New Oklahoma law reserves left lane of highways for passing only

A new Oklahoma law is making it official: Slower drivers need to move to the right.

A new law that took effect on Nov. 1 states that the left lane on multilane roadways in Oklahoma will be for passing only, not traveling, the Tulsa World reported .

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Dwight Durant said vehicles in the left lane will be required to move to the right if another vehicle comes up from behind, allowing the faster moving vehicle to pass.

"You're no longer allowed to travel in that left lane. Period," Durant said.

The law includes some exemptions, including the potential of merging traffic, executing a left turn and moving over for stopped or emergency vehicles. Fines for traveling in the left lane are about $235.

"We're going to take into consideration congested traffic and metropolitan areas," Durant said. "We're mainly concerned with the long stretches in the rural areas."

Tulsa Police Sgt. Shane Tuell said the department didn't anticipate a change that would affect how officers enforce traffic flow.

"We've always had laws about impeding the flow of traffic," Tuell said. "The trouble is enforcement."

Tuell said officers will enforce violations as they see them. The issue, he said, was having enough officers to enforce such laws.

Lawmakers passed the statute in May, hoping to prevent collisions caused by a congested left lane and reduce road rage.

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