Left Lane Lounging: Should There Be a Law Against It?
There's nothing more annoying than cruising down the four-lane and trying to pass only to find someone just casually driving in the left lane. It should be illegal, right?
In Colorado, it is illegal to just drive in the left lane, but only under certain conditions.
The most important part of the law is it's only illegal on highways with a speed limit of 65 mph or higher. But even that doesn't always apply.
Go I-70 explains Colorado's Left Lane Law;
A person shall not drive a motor vehicle in the passing lane of a highway if the speed limit is sixty-five miles per hour or more unless such person is passing other motor vehicles that are in a non-passing lane or turning left, or unless the volume of traffic does not permit the motor vehicle to safely merge into a non-passing lane.
Yes, it's complicated. So, if you don't understand, stay in the right lane and you'll stay legal.
One of the common misconceptions is if you're traveling the speed limit - or for some, over the limit - using the left lane as your driving lane is acceptable. It's not. Get over it.
The Colorado State Patrol (CSP) believes the law is useful because it optimizes the flow of traffic. By keeping slower drivers in the right lane, it allows others to pass and continue without backing up traffic.
CSP believes the Left Lane Law "achieves the appropriate balance between public safety and optimizing traffic flow on Colorado highways.”
What about four-lane highways with speed limits lower than 65 mph? If you're left lane lounging, I suppose the CSP could cite you for impeding traffic.
The right answer is actually very simple. Be courteous by embracing some driving etiquette and stay in the right lane unless you need to pass.
The roads will be safer and you won't have to deal with deciphering hand signals and lip reading.