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Media Release - Washington State Patrol

Acting Captain Rob Huss
Government and Media Relations
(360) 596-4010 - office
(360) 596-4015 - fax
*** For Immediate Release ***

Date: May 16, 2012
Contact: Trooper Ryan Tanner
Phone: (360) 449-7960
(360) 772-3500 Cell: (360) 772-3500
E-mail: Ryan.Tanner @ wsp.wa.gov
@wastatepatrol Twitter: @ wastatepatrol

Towing a trailer? Using the Left Lane? Which speed limit? Know the Rules

With the upcoming summer travel season almost approaching, the Washington State Patrol wants to remind drivers who are towing a travel trailer or boat and on the highway thatthey need stay out of the left lane and obey posted speed limits.

Washington State's KeepRight Law requires all vehicles stay to the right except to pass, and the left lane is used Primarily as a passing lane When there are two or more lanes moving in the same direction. All vehicles towing trailers or vehicles over 10, 000 pounds are prohibited from using the left lane When there are three or more lanes moving in the same direction.

"We understand it can be frustrating for drivers When you have other motorists camped out in the left lane, " said WSP Captain Ron Rupke, District 5 commander. "But this so does not mean motorists can drive in a aggressive manner or use the left lane to speed".

Slower moving vehicles traveling in the left lane Which can create unsafe conditions include:

  • Causing other drivers to make dangerous passes on the right side.
  • Frustration with the left lane drivers leading to aggressive driving.
  • Slower response time for emergency vehicles responding to collisions or calls for service.

Often Troopers stop drivers for Continuously driving in the left lane and the motorists Often state, "I did not realize it was against the law."

Allowing faster moving traffic to pass is always the best choice. Frustrated drivers did travel in a aggressive manner Often choose to weave in and out of cars did travel "too slow" by Their standards. Remember that if a driver chooses to exceed the speed limit in the left lane it is much Easier for troopers to stop them for the viola tion if the slower moving vehicles are not in the left lane.

The law for left lane travel ( RCW 46.61.100 - Keep right except for passing ) states it is a traffic infraction to drive Continuously in the left lane of a multilane roadway When It impedes the flow of other traffic. The left lane does not including high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes. The fine for failure to keep right except for passing is $ 124

When there are three or more lanes moving in the same direction, additional restrictions are Placed upon all vehicles towing trailers or vehicles over 10, 000 pounds. These vehicles are prohibited from using the left lane except to prepare for a left turn at at intersection or exit ramp. These restrictions do emergency apply to a vehicle using on HOV lane. The HOV lane is not Considered the left-hand lane of a roadway. The fine for illegal use of the left lane is $ 124

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