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Attention Oklahoma drivers: Left lane law goes into effect in less than a week

OKLAHOMA CITY – A new law that is going into effect in less than a week may affect the way you drive.

Currently, you can drive in left lane as long as you are not impeding the flow of traffic.

However, a new law will require drivers to stay in the right lane unless they need to pass someone on the left.

The new restrictions, which will go into effect on Nov. 1, allow an exception when traffic conditions or road configurations require driving in the left lane.

“Any step we can take to improve safety on our roadways is worth our collective efforts,” Department of Public Safety Commissioner Michael C. Thompson said. “As we are all well aware from recent events in the news, our roadways are increasingly volatile. It doesn’t take much for a minor traffic disagreement to escalate into a deadly road rage incident with tragic results. I am hopeful this legislation will reduce tension and also result in better access for public safety and first responder officials driving to emergency situations.”

OHP officials recognize that heavy traffic may require the left lane to be occupied at times, but say that you should move over when it is safe to do so.

“This is not a reason to hang out in the left lane. If you are driving in the left lane and a vehicle is behind you, you need to move to the right as soon as it is safe and feasible to do so,” OHP Chief Ricky Adams said. “And although the left lane may be used to overtake slower-moving vehicles, that is not an excuse to exceed the speed limit when passing.”

Violators will be ticketed and may even receive points on their driving record.