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'No Trucks in the Left Lane' Laws by State

If you’ve ever been stuck behind an 18-wheeler in the left lane of the freeway, you may have wondered whether or not there were laws against big trucks driving in the fast lane. In fact, there are laws against such a practice. However, these laws vary by state and even by city in some areas. Some states restrict which lanes trucks can use, while others have lane restrictions for all types of vehicles. Read on to learn more about which states prohibit trucks from the left lane, and which have more general lane restriction laws.

Types of Lane Restrictions

While most states don’t have statewide laws prohibiting trucks from the left lane, all states regulate the use of the left lane in some way. States that do single out big trucks prohibit them from the left lane altogether, or only allow use in certain circumstances. States also provide different definitions for what constitutes a “truck,” with some counting axels and others specifying weight limits or vehicle descriptions.

Other states require all vehicles to stay out of the left lane except to pass another vehicle. Many states’ laws say that you must stay in the right lanes if you’re driving slower than either the normal or legal rate of speed, unless you’re passing someone or making a legal left turn. And all states specify the penalties and fines you’ll face for violating these laws.

It’s important to note, however, that even if there’s no statewide law prohibiting trucks from using the left lane, local governments may impose these restrictions on certain roadways and highways, and you must obey any traffic control devices restricting lane travel. Also, since states are constantly reassessing these laws, they may have recently changed in your state. Therefore, it’s best to consult with a local attorney who can advise you on any recent changes.

Breaking Down State ‘No Trucks in the Left Lane’ Laws

The table below lists lane restriction laws and whom they apply to, as well as potential fines (not including court costs and other charges) for violating these laws.

 

Lane Restrictions

Applies to

Penalties

State Codes and Statutes

Alabama

Must drive in right-hand lane if driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except when passing another vehicle or turning left.

All vehicles

1st offense: up to $100 or 10 days’ jail

2nd offense in 1 year: up to $200 and/or 30 days’ jail

3rd or subsequent offense in 1 year: up to $500 and/or 3 months’ jail

§32-5A-80; 32-5A-8

Alaska

Must drive in right lane if driving slower than speed limit, except to pass another vehicle or turn left.

All vehicles

Fine up to $300

§13 AAC 02.050(b); 13 AAC 03.050(b); 13 AAC 03.085; 28.90.010(c)

Arizona

Must drive in right lane if driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except to pass another vehicle or turn left.

Certain vehicles over 26,000 lbs. (or if pulling pole trailer over 6,000 lbs.) must use specific lanes if designated to do so by local authority.

All vehicles

Fine of up to $250

§28-721; 28-736; 28-1598;

Arkansas

Prohibited from using farthest left lane on designated six-lane interstate highways.
All vehicles are prohibited from impeding traffic in the left lane of a multilane road.

Vehicles with more than two axels.

Fine of up to $100

§27-65-107(a)(16) & (b); 27-51-301(b) & (c)

California

Must use lane(s) designated by signs. If no designated lane, must use right-hand lane. May use second-to-right-hand lane if there are four or more lanes. To pass, must use designated lane, second-to-right lane, or right lane.

Motor trucks; truck tractors with three or more axles; truck tractors trailing another vehicle

1st offense: up to $100

2nd offense in 1 year: up to $200

3rd offense in 1 year: up to $250

§21655; 22406; 42001

Colorado

Must drive in right lane if driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except to pass another vehicle or turn left.
May not drive in a passing lane where the speed limit is 65 miles per hour except to pass another vehicle or turn left.

All vehicles

Fine of up to $100

§42-4-1001(2); 42-4-1013; 42-4-1701

Connecticut

Prohibited from far-left lane on designated highways with more than two lanes.

All vehicles driving at less than normal speed of traffic must use right-hand lane except when passing or turning left.

Operators of vehicles with commercial registration, motor bus, trailer, or school bus

Fine of $88

§14-230a; 14-230

Delaware

Must use right-hand lane if driving at less than normal speed of traffic except when passing or turning left.

All vehicles

1st offense: $25-$75

Subsequent offenses within 12 months: $57.50-$95

§21-4114(b); 21-4205

District of Columbia

N/A

     

Florida

Must use right-hand lane if driving at less than normal speed of traffic except when passing or turning left.
May not continue to use furthermost left-hand lane if being overtaken from the rear by a vehicle driving at a higher rate of speed.

All vehicles

Fine of $60

§316.081(2) & (3); 318.18(3)(a)

Georgia

Trucks must use designated lanes.
If no lanes are designated, and two or three lanes are available, trucks may not use far left lane, except to pass or turn left.

Vehicles with more than six wheels, except buses and motor coaches

Varies by location

§40-6-52

Hawaii

Must drive in right lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except to pass or turn left.
May not drive slower than five miles per hour below speed limit in Honolulu.

All vehicles

1st offense: up to $200

2nd offense in 1 year: up to $300

3rd offense in 1 year: up to $500

§291C-41(b); 291C-161

Idaho

Must drive in right lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except to pass or turn left.

All vehicles

Fine of up to $300

§49-630(2); 18-113A

Illinois

May not drive in left lane, except when passing another vehicle (other exceptions apply).

All vehicles

Varies by location but no more than $1,000

§625-5/11-701(d) & (e); 625-5/16-104; 730-5/5-4.5-75

Indiana

Must use far right lane (or two right lanes if three or more lanes available) on interstate highways except to pass, enter or exit a highway, or avoid special hazard.

Trucks, truck tractors, road tractors, trailers, semitrailers, or pole trailers.

Fine of up to $500 if ticket is contested

§9-21-8-12 et seq.; 9-21-8-49; 34-28-5-4

Iowa

Must drive in right lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except to pass or turn left.

All vehicles

Fine of $100

§321-297(2)

Kansas

May not drive in left lane, except when passing or turning left.

All vehicles

Fine of $75

§8-1522(c); 8-2118

Kentucky

May not drive in left lane of any limited access highway of four or more lanes with a speed limit of at least 65 miles per hour, except to pass, yield to traffic entering highway, or when unsafe to use right lanes.

All vehicles

Fine of $20-$100

§189.340(7); 189.990(1)

Louisiana

May not use left-hand lane except to turn left, pass, or when right lanes are congested. May not impede another vehicle driving in left lane.

All vehicles

1st offense: Fine of up to $175 or up to 30 days’ imprisonment

Subsequent offense: up to $500 or up to 90 days’ imprisonment

§32-71(B); 32-57(A)

Maine

Must use right lane on limited-access ways with speed limit of at least 65 miles per hour, except to pass.

All vehicles

Fine between $25 and $500

$137 if uncontested

§29-A.2052; 29-A.103; 4.164(12)

Maryland

Must use right lane when going slower than normal speed of traffic or 10 miles below speed limit, except when passing or turning left.

All vehicles

Fine of up to $500

§21-301(b); 27-101(a) & (b)

Massachusetts

Must use far-right lane. May use next adjacent lane for passing. May not use other lanes except in emergency.

All vehicles must stay to the right except when passing or turning left.

Commercial vehicles weighing more than 2.5 tons, used to transport goods, wares, and merchandise

Fine of up to $100

§89.4C; 89.4B; 89.5

Michigan

Must use two right lanes on freeways with three or more lanes, except to turn left or where a special hazard exists.

Trucks with gross weight over 10,000 pounds, truck tractors, or combination of vehicle and trailer or semitrailer

Fine of up to $250

§257.634(3); 257.907(3)

Minnesota

Must drive in right lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except to pass, turn left, or when a specific lane is designated.

All vehicles

Fine of up to $300

§169.18(10); 169.89

Mississippi

Must drive in right lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except to pass or turn left.

All vehicles

Fine of up to $100

§63-3-603(d); 63-9-11

Missouri

May not use left-hand lane on interstate highways, freeways, or expressways within urbanized areas of the state having three or more lanes.

Trucks weighing more than 48,000 pounds used to transport property; motor vehicles designed or used for carrying freight, merchandise, or more than eight passengers, but not including vanpools or shuttle buses

Varies by location

§304.015(7-9)

Montana

Must drive in right lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except to pass or turn left.

All vehicles

1st offense: fine of $10-$100

2nd offense in 1 year: $25-$200

3rd offense in 1 year: $50-$500

§61-8-321(3); 61-8-711

Nebraska

Must drive in right lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except to pass or turn left.

All vehicles

1st offense: fine up to $100

2nd offense in 1 year: up to $200

3rd offense in 1 year: up to $300

§60-6,131; 60-689

Nevada

Must drive in right lane if driving so slow as to impede forward movement of traffic behind driver.
May not drive in extreme left lane of controlled-access highway if being overtaken by faster vehicle (exceptions apply).

All vehicles

1st offense: $50

2nd offense: $100

3rd offense: $250

§484B-627; 2017 Assembly Bill 334; 484A.900

New Hampshire

Must drive in right lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except to pass or turn left.

All vehicles

Not more than $1,000

As of 1/1/2016:
1st offense: $62
2nd offense: $124

§265:16(II); 265:2(IV); NH Fines

New Jersey

May not drive in far left-hand lane of roadway with three or more lanes, except for up to one mile before a left-hand turn, to enter or exit roadway, or due to emergency conditions

Trucks of at least 10,000 pounds registered gross weight

Fine of $50-$200, imprisonment for up to 15 days, or both

§39-4-88(e); 39-4-203

New Mexico

Must drive in right lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except to pass or turn left.

All vehicles

Fine of up to $10

§66-7-308(B); 66-8-116

New York

Must drive in right lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except to pass or turn left. Must use lanes designated by traffic-control devices.

All vehicles

1st offense: Fine of up to $150 and/or imprisonment for up to 15 days

2nd offense in 18 months: Up to $300 and/or imprisonment for up to 45 days

Subsequent offense in 18 months: Up to $450 and or imprisonment for up to 90 days

§1120(b); 1128; 1800

North Carolina

May not drive slower than speed limit in left lane when doing so impedes traffic, except to turn left.

All vehicles

Fine of up to $100

§20-146(e); 20-176

North Dakota

Must drive in right lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except to pass or turn left.

All vehicles

Fine of $20

§39-10-08; 39-07-06; 39-06.1-06; 39-06.1-09

Ohio

Must drive in right lane when driving slower than prevailing and lawful speed of traffic, except to pass, turn left, or continue on route.
Must keep right except to pass on freeways with at least three lanes in interstate system.

All vehicles and trackless trolleys

Fines vary

§4511.25(B); 4511.351; 2929.21 et seq.

Oklahoma

Must drive in right lane when driving slower than the normal speed of traffic, except to pass or turn left.

May not impede traffic by driving slower than maximum posted speed in left lane of four-lane roadway (effective until 11/1/2017).
May not drive in left lane of roadway with at least four lanes, except to pass or to maintain safe traffic conditions (effective 11/1/2017).

All vehicles

Fine of $5-$500 or imprisonment for up to 10 days

§47-11-301; 47-11-309(5); 47-11-309(5); 47-17-101

Oregon

Must drive in right lane of all roadways with two or more lanes, except to pass (without interfering with passage of other vehicles), turn left, respond to emergency conditions, avoid merging traffic, or to obey traffic control devices.

Any camper, vehicle with a trailer, vehicle with registration weight of 10,000 pounds or more

Fine of not more than $1,000 for individuals, $2,000 for corporations

§59-811.325; 14-153.018

Pennsylvania

May not drive in left-hand lane of limited access highway with three or more lanes, except to turn left.

Vehicle or combination over 10,000 pounds

Fine of $25

§3313(d); 6502

Rhode Island

Must drive in right hand lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except when passing or turning left.

All vehicles

Find of $85

§31-15-2; 31-41.1-4

South Carolina

Must drive in right hand lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except when passing or turning left.

All vehicles

Fines vary

§56-5-1810

South Dakota

Must drive as closely as possible to right-hand edge of highway when driving a slow-moving vehicle, except to pass.
Must obey signs designating lanes for slow-moving traffic.

All vehicles

Fine of up to $500, imprisonment for up to 30 days, or both

§32-26-1; 32-26-8; 22-6-2

Tennessee

Must drive in right hand lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except when passing or turning left.
Must obey highway signage limiting truck tractors and semitrailers to specific lanes, except to pass.

All vehicles

Fine of up to $50, imprisonment for up to 30 days, or both

Signage violation: fine of up to $50

§55-8-115(b); 55-8-195; 55-8-103; 40-35-111(e)(3)

Texas

Must drive in right hand lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except when passing or turning left.
Must obey traffic control devices limiting certain vehicles to specific lanes, except to pass.

All vehicles

Fine of $1-$200

§545-051(b); 545-0651; 542.401

Utah

May not use left lane of freeway with at least three lanes, except to turn left, exit, avoid merging traffic, respond to emergency conditions, or follow direction signs

Vehicle drawing trailer or semitrailer; vehicle or combination of vehicles with gross weight of 12,001 or more pounds

Fine of up to $750 ($1,000 for corporation, associations, partnerships, and governmental instrumentalities)

§41-6a-702; 76-3-301

Vermont

Must drive in right hand lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except when passing or turning left.

All vehicles

Fine of up to $1,000

§1031; 2302

Virginia

May not drive in left lane of any interstate highway with more than two lanes where posted speed limit is at least 65 miles per hour.
May not drive in left lane on interstate highway within Eighth Planning District or Interstate Route 81 regardless of speed limit.
Must drive in right lane of interstate highway with no more than two lanes when driving 15 miles per hour or more below speed limit.
Exception: when exiting to the left.

Commercial motor vehicles (defined in 46.2-341.4), except buses, school buses, or vehicles performing maintenance or construction work on interstate highway.

Fine of up to $750

§46.2-803.1; 46.2-341.4; 46.2-113; 18.2-11

Washington

May not use left lane of a limited access roadway with three or more lanes, except to turn left.
May not use left lane of two-lane roadway except to pass, when travelling at greater speed than traffic, to avoid merging traffic, turn left, or exit.

Vehicles or combinations weighing more than 10,000 pounds

Fine of up to $250

§46-61-100(2) & (3); 46-63-020; 46-63-110

West Virginia

Must drive in right hand lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except when passing or turning left.

All vehicles

1st offense: Fine of up to $100

2nd offense in one year: Fine of up to $200

Subsequent offense: Fine of up to $500

§17C-7-1(b) & (c)

Wisconsin

Must drive in right lane of three-lane highway, except to pass, turn left, make U-turn, or obey signs.
Must drive in right hand lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except when passing, turning left, making U-turn, or to proceed on route.

All vehicles

Fine of $30-$300

§346.05; 346.17(2)

Wyoming

Must drive in right hand lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except to pass or turn left.
May not drive in left lane of controlled-access highway for prolonged period in manner which impedes flow of traffic traveling at lawful speed.

All vehicles

Fine of up to $750

§31-5-201(b); 31-5-304(c); 31-4-104

Get a Free Claim Review

Between all the different state laws, not to mention local ordinances and regulations, it’s nearly impossible to know all the rules of the road you’re supposed to follow at any given moment. However, whether you understand them or not, violating these laws can result in significant consequences if you receive a ticket or are involved in an accident. Additionally, if you were injured in an accident by the driver of a car or truck violating a left lane law, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Get a free claim review today to learn more about your options.

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