You might have already noticed there’s a crackdown on driving in the left lane. The whole thing seems perplexing. After all, you might think the purpose of three highway lanes is for fast, medium and slow. So, why should you get a ticket for keeping up with traffic?
Imagine you’re traveling in the right lane along the New Jersey Turnpike. You move into the left lane to pass the car in front of you. After you edge into the middle lane, you drive the speed limit…or maybe just a bit faster. Meanwhile, a state trooper pulls up behind you and signals you to move over. Suddenly, you find yourself facing a ticket for driving in the left lane and failing to keep to the right.
Driving in the Left Lane: Keep Right Unless Passing
In New Jersey, it is against the law to stay in the left lane unless you are passing another vehicle when the road is divided into clearly marked lanes for traffic. This represents a failure to observe traffic lanes.
According to N.J.S.A. 39:4-88a, “a vehicle shall normally be driven in the lane nearest the right-hand edge or curb of the roadway when that lane is available for travel, except when overtaking another vehicle or in preparation for a left turn.”
Simply put, you shouldn’t stay in the left lane other than to pass or when preparing to turn left. The right lane is designated for slow-moving vehicles while the left lane is designated for the faster moving vehicle. If you’re a bit cynical, you might think this sort of motor vehicle violation is merely designed to fill the state coffers.
If convicted, the penalty is two points on your license, a fine of up to $200, and higher insurance premiums. Who needs all that hassle?
The New Jersey law that directly relates to driving on the right side of the road is N.J.S.A. 39:4-82. This statute states: “Upon all highways of sufficient width, except upon one-way streets, the driver of a vehicle shall drive it on the right half of the roadway. He shall drive a vehicle as closely as possible to the right-hand edge or curb of the roadway unless it is impracticable to travel on that side of the roadway, and except when overtaking and passing another vehicle s….”
Defense Against Driving in the Left Lane
If you have been convicted for failure to observe traffic lanes, an experienced New Jersey traffic lawyer might be able to get this violation reduced to a lesser offense that has no points. Call the Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo now for a free consultation. We have worked with many clients fighting traffic tickets and reducing traffic violations.