Michigan bill would revise left lane rules on two-lane roads

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Concern about left lane use on many Michigan highways has spurred one state lawmaker to introduce a bill to revise state law covering the issue.

Michigan law already requires drivers on roadways with at least two lanes of traffic in one direction to stay to the far right unless traffic flow is “substantially continuous.” Left-lane use is also permitted to overtake and pass another vehicle.

On highways with at least three lanes of traffic, a motorist is free to use any available lane. However, large trucks are limited to the far right lanes.

Despite having rules in place, Michigan State Police say motorists either do not know, or do not understand, the law. As a result, troopers hand out more than 1,000 citations each year.

In an effort to educate the public about left-lane rules the agency held an education and enforcement campaign in March and April in west Michigan.

Rep. Robert Kosowski, D-Westland, is going one step farther. He is behind a bill that targets travelers who impede traffic. Specifically, motorists on highways with at least two lanes of traffic in one direction would be required to move to the right if they know, or “reasonably should know,” a faster-moving vehicle is trying to pass.

Exceptions would apply for situations that include preparing to turn left, when construction vehicles are working on the roadway, or when directed by law enforcement to exit a lane.

The bill, HB5707, awaits consideration in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Michigan, click here.

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