Oklahoma Left Lane Law; Effective November 1 2017

Oklahoma left lane law - Tulsa Traffic Ticket Attorneys

Oklahoma Left Lane Law

Effective November 1, 2017, a new left lane restriction for vehicles driven on a two lane divided highways was put into place. The new restriction states that a vehicle may not be driven in the left lane, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle, other than in situations where traffic conditions or road configurations require the use of the left-hand lane in order to maintain safe traffic conditions.

Violations of the left lane restriction may result in a ticket, which are about $235, according to the Tulsa World

The new law was added to the Oklahoma Statute at 47 O.S. 2011, Section 11-309. The text of the new law is as follows:

[5] Upon a roadway which is divided into four or more lanes, a vehicle shall not impede the normal flow of traffic by driving in the left lane shall not be driven in the left lane except when overtaking and passing another vehicle; provided, however, this paragraph shall not prohibit driving in a the left lane other than the right-hand lane when traffic conditions or, flow, or both, or road configuration, such as the potential of merging traffic, require the use of lanes other than the right-hand the left lane to maintain safe traffic conditions.

The statute can be viewed here

The Tulsa Police Department recently issued a statement regarding this law:

“The Tulsa Police Department has been inundated with questions about the amended Oklahoma left lane law, which  was primarily intended for highway application. We would like to clear up some confusion on the law and clarify what actions can be made by Tulsa Police Officers.

Municipal Officers cannot write citations for state traffic laws when there is not a municipal ordinance mirroring the same law. If need be, municipal officers can enforce the state law by an arrest but those incidences would be rare.

The City of Tulsa does have a city ordinance that is similar the State’s left lane law. The ordinance is Title 37 Section 640 A which states “Whenever any two-lane street has been divided into marked lanes for traffic, the driver of a vehicle shall drive in the lane nearest the right-hand edge or curb of the roadway when such lane is available for travel, except when overtaking another vehicle or in preparation for a left turn.”

This ordinance has been enforceable for several years although it is rarely cited by Tulsa Police Officers. In the last three years this citation has been written 89 times in the City of Tulsa. 2015 – 30, 2016 – 33 and 2017 (YTD) – 26 citations. Due to the natural flow of traffic on city streets the application of this ordinance is limited.”

The statement was reported here.

If you have questions regarding this law, or have questions regarding traffic violations in Tulsa, contact our office for a consultation. As we have expressed in prior blog posts, it is important to understand the consequences of a ticket prior to paying the fine. 

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