Drivers in Colorado will soon start getting fined for using
the left lane on the state’s highways for anything but passing.
Starting Jan. 1, troopers will stop giving warnings to
drivers and start issuing $35 tickets to left-lane laggards, plus they will
tack three points on to their licenses.
A 6-month-old-law requires the left lane to be used only for
passing on any of Colorado’s multilane highways where the speed limit is 65 mph
or faster. Lawmakers passed the bill early this year, hoping to ease traffic
woes and cut down on road rage.
“Over the last few years, we’ve seen more and more drivers
in that left-hand lane, and it’s becoming increasingly dangerous,” state Rep.
Alice Madden, D-Boulder, recently told Denver’s KUSA TV. The new law “basically tells people, ‘You drive in the right-hand lane, you go into the
left lane to pass and then, if possible, you get back over as soon as you can.”
The only exceptions would be for left turns – if permitted – or if the volume of traffic does not allow a vehicle to merge safely back into
a nonpassing lane.
The Colorado Department of Transportation has posted about
40 signs around the state, reminding travelers to “Keep right expect to pass.” Another 30 sings are planned.