Danger in the Left Lane
When Virginia’s General Assembly passes bills that get signed into law by the governor, it makes news. As you know, some laws make more news than others. When the new law is controversial or makes a major impact on the lives on Virginia’s citizens, you will probably hear about it in the news. If the law is seemingly small, however, and you do not know about it, you can still violate it.
Isn’t that what we are afraid of most? We don’t know what we don’t know.
What if This is You?
Picture the scene. You are driving down a four-lane road, cruising in the left lane. You are holding up traffic that cannot get around you or the car next to you in the right lane. Admittedly, this is not ideal for anyone to do; even you can admit that. You are not really harming anyone, though. Sure, it might be annoying, but no one is hurt.
Suddenly, you see flashing lights behind you. As soon as you can, you pull off to the side of the road. To your surprise, the police car stops behind you. Little do you know, you have broken a new Virginia law.
Left Lane Punishment:
One of the new laws passed by the General Assembly this year calls for a $100 fine for “left lane dawdlers.” If that seems like an overreach to you, it was almost worse. Originally, the House of Delegates called for a $250 fine!
We can all admit that left-lane drivers are frustrating. Now, they can be punished. This has many drivers concerned, especially on busy urban highways that require all lanes of traffic. How this law will be enforced by the police is uncertain.
The Washington Post has described four things for which the police will be watching, summarized from the Code of Virginia:
- On all highways of sufficient width, the driver of a vehicle shall drive on the right half of the highway.
- Where the road has been divided into clearly marked lanes, a vehicle going less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under existing conditions “shall be driven in the lane nearest the right edge or right curb of the highway when such lane is available for travel except when overtaking and passing another vehicle or in preparation for a left turn.”
- Stay in your lane unless you know you can safely move out of it.
- Generally speaking, you shouldn’t travel to the left of two solid yellow lines, and you shouldn’t cross two solid white lines.
If you are thinking that those rules are both obscure (the first three) and unnecessary (the last one), you are not alone.
What to do With Traffic Violations:
Everyone hates traffic violations, whether they are for speeding, failure to use a turn signal, or, now, left lane driving. When people receive them, they tend to take the path of least resistance. Once the initial anger at the situation subsides, they pay the fines, as long as they can afford them.
This is going to sound like a lawyer talking, but that should not be the case. Most (perhaps all) traffic violations should be argued in court. In many cases, either the charge or the punishment can be reduced. The best case scenario is that it goes away entirely.
As the amount of laws about traffic violations increases, the need for a lawyer to help you fight them increases. It does not have to be left lane driving; any violation needs a good defense attorney. If this is you, call or e-mail today for a free consultation!
Case Results Disclaimer:
Every legal matter is different. The outcome of each legal case depends upon many factors, including the facts of the case, and no attorney can guarantee a positive result in any particular case. The outcome of every case will depend on a variety of factors unique to each case and case results depicted here do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.
Attorney/Client Relationship Disclaimer:
This website is designed for general information only. The information presented on this website should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney/client relationship.
Blog Content Disclaimer:
The blog posts contained on this website were written, in part, by a non-lawyer employee of Jordan B. Davies. However, each post has been carefully reviewed and edited by Jordan B. Davies to ensure legal accuracy and compliance with the Rules of Professional Conduct.