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HOV Lanes and Slower Traffic Keep Right Laws...


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  • HOV Lanes and Slower Traffic Keep Right Laws...


    There is a question that often comes up with friends and coworkers; How does the "slower traffic keep right" law apply when there is an active HOV lane in use? Nothing that I can find in the revised statutes for my state (Arizona) directly addresses this question. There must be some common logic amongst the various states.

    In theory, whenever an HOV lane is active (lane #1), lane #2 becomes the most furthest to the left lane that the rest of the non-HOV traffic can drive in. Therefore, a driver going slower than the average speed of traffic in lane #2 is required to move to the right in order to let faster moving vehicles pass. Is there anything that backs up this logic in the eyes of the law?

    As a public safety employee that works around police officers daily, I have gotten a variety of answers from them when this topic is brought up, yet all agree that slower traffic should remain right when possible. I can only assume that there would be as diverse of interpretations from judges. Then there is the fact that the "slower traffic keep right" law is rarely enforced in my state, making this question more about common courtesy and driving safety, than legal responsibility.

    Nonetheless, what is the correct answer for those of us that have been debating this for years?

    Knowledge is power, but an good attention span can never be replaced,
    Dr. Z.
    Last edited by Zeigh; 12-08-2010, 04:22 AM.

  • #2

    We have "Slower Traffic Keep Right" signs all over our Interstate highways (and even on some secondary divided highways), but they are never enforced. Many of our roads are now 70 mph, but there are plenty of dolts who tool along at 60 - and won't move over for sh*t.

    Hope you have better luck with it out there in AZ, though.

    P.S. We have "HOV" lanes here (both the type separated by a grass median or jersey wall - as well as the type with one carpool lane at the far left of the regular road surface), but I have never seen a "Slower Traffic Keep Right" sign on them at all.

    "Are other drivers repeatedly passing you on your right? If so, then you are in the wrong damn lane!"
    Last edited by VA Dutch; 12-08-2010, 07:37 AM.

    The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

    The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.


    "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."


    • #3
      The left-most "normal" lane next to the HOV lanes becomes the fast lane.


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