AUSTIN - In a colorfully worded post to Austin's subreddit earlier this week, user "kanyeguisada" sought to inform Austin drivers that the left hand driving guidelines were in fact laws in Texas.
We all know it's annoying to be stuck behind a slowpoke in the left lane, but did you know it's actually illegal in the state of Texas?
Austin Police Department Detective Patrick Oborski confirmed that in Texas, the rules about when to drive in the left lane are laws and can carry expensive citations when not followed.
"It's a state law," Oborski said. "A Class C Misdemeanor ... punishable by up to a $500 fine."
As Oborski explained, the rules come from the State Transportation Code Chapter 7 regarding "Vehicles and Traffic."
"It's to allow vehicles that are traveling at a higher rate of speed ... to continue moving in that left lane to pass other vehicles that are supposed to be on the right side," Oborski said.
According to said code, Texas drivers are supposed to always drive in the right lane except when:
Passing another car
There is something blocking the roadway that needs to be avoided
The road has three or more marked lanes
The roadway has been restricted to one way traffic
"A lot of people don't realize what the law is," Oborski said. "People don't realize that if you're in the left hand lane, you're a traffic hazard."
Oborski said that sitting in the left lane can lead to other drivers making sharp turns and can build road rage as well, something he said was even more concerning.
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