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Proper left lane driving

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The rules of the road can be numerous and complex, and many experienced drivers who think they’ve seen it all and have it figured out still don’t know it all.


One rule of the road, commonly known by most drivers, is that the right lane is for slower moving traffic, while the left lane is for cars moving just at, or maybe a little bit above the speed limit.  But drivers might not know if they stay in that left lane a little too long, they just could end up with a ticket.  The Mississippi law was passed back in 2018.


“It’s the left lane law, which prohibits motorists from traveling in the left lane continuously,” says Sergeant Jameka Moore of the Mississippi Highway Patrol.  Subsection 63-3-601 specifically states that drivers shall not continuously travel in the left lane of a multi lane roadway when they’re impeding traffic.


Why does this law exists and how might driving in the left lane be harming?


The confusion might lie in thinking the left lane is the fast lane when it’s more accurately the passing lane. 


“When people are driving in the left lane, it creates situations in which motorists who are trying to get around right lane drivers have to weave in and out of traffic and increase the chances of vehicle collisions,” says Sergeant Moore.  “We have responded to road rage incidents in which people get irritated with other drivers in the left lane.  Also the left lane is designated for emergency vehicles that may be trying to go to where they need to be -- an ambulance, a police vehicle or fire truck, whatever the case may be.  If there is an emergency, they need access to the left lane to get where they’re going as quickly as possible.”


There are a few exceptions to the law, such as when passing other vehicles when the right lane is shut down or when making a left turn.


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