Louisiana law limiting left-lane use takes effect Aug. 15

| 8/13/2009

Law enforcement officers in Louisiana this weekend will be allowed to pull over drivers who hold up traffic by lingering in the left lane. However, the Louisiana State Police will hold off on issuing tickets through Oct. 1.

Louisiana law already prohibits vehicles from using the left lane if they are moving at less than the normal speed of traffic. But a new rule that takes effect Saturday, Aug. 15, addresses the difficulty the State Police had in enforcing it.

Intent on stopping “rolling roadblocks,” the new law makes the left lane off limits for cars and trucks except for passing. Exceptions to the lane rule will be made for preparing to turn at an intersection or when the right lane is congested.

Although the lane use rule takes effect this weekend, troopers who spot infractions for the next six weeks will issue warnings instead of writing tickets. During that time, State Police will focus on getting the word out about the new law.

Col. Michael Edmonson said it is part of the patrol’s duty to provide public education of the left-lane rule and other traffic laws that take effect Aug. 15.

“My troopers will be using this opportunity between Aug. 15 and Oct. 1 to educate our motorists on these important new traffic laws by issuing warnings rather than citations,” Edmonson said in a written statement.

At least 20 states have similar left-lane restriction rules, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Kansas and Oklahoma have approved their own restrictions this year.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Louisiana in 2009, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor

Editor’s Note: Please share your thoughts with us about the legislation included in this story. Comments may be sent to statelegislativedesk@ooida.com.