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Driving in the left lane: What is the law?

According to Arkansas traffic law, there are a few exceptions to driving in the left lane that travelers should be aware of.

ARKANSAS, USA — Spanish version: Para español haga click aqui.

A common question on many drivers' minds is what the rules are when driving in the left lane, specifically on two-lane highways. 

Can you just cruise, or are there penalties for doing so?

Arkansas District 7 Circuit Clerk's office said they've received several calls about being cited for impeding traffic by driving in the left lane, with the cost of the fine being $195.

The law states that cars in Arkansas should always be driven in the right lane.

However, if this very narrow explanation makes you worry that you have been breaking the law, you will be relieved to learn the many exceptions to this rule.

What is the law, exactly?

As of 2021, the left lane law formally known as A.C.A. 27-51-301 details the exceptions to driving your vehicle on the right side of the road in Arkansas. 

As most drivers know, the law allows the use of the left lane while passing another vehicle driving in the same direction.

Similar to passing, if a vehicle will be exiting the road on the left, the left lane may be used.

If the right lane is closed due to construction or repair, the law acknowledges this, and allows for the use of the left lane in this case.

When a road is divided into three or more lanes or it is designated for one-way traffic, driving on the left lane is allowed.

If you're trying to protect your vehicle when driving on a particularly damaged or dangerous road you can use the left lane, according to the law.

However, driving continuously on the left lane is not allowed if it "impedes the flow of traffic." This means that you should exit the left lane if you are not using it to pass another vehicle when faster traffic approaches, or for any of the other exceptions. 

Act 1090 was passed in 2021 and made it mandatory to put up signs announcing the law along highways prohibiting continuous driving on the left lane.

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