Mass. prohibits left lane highway travel

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Massachusetts state law prohibits drivers from traveling in the left lane of a highway, but how many people ignore that law?

22News took a drive along I-91 to see if everyone obeys the rules of the road. We saw many vehicles who would stay in the left lane after passing a vehicle on the right.

Electronic signs by the Department of Transportation serve as a warning. But it’s a warning thats often ignored.

On a three lane highway, the right lane is for slower vehicles or cars that are exiting. The middle lane is the travel lane. The left lane is the passing lane.

If you get caught traveling in the passing lane, you could get fined. Up to a $100 fine and surcharge on your insurance.

Sgt. Alan Joubert, Massachusetts State Police told 22News, “The number one reason you shouldn’t be there is for a safety issue. We do have occasional calls of wrong way drivers. If you were to encounter one they would most likely be in the left lane and your options would be very limited.”

The State Police say its a violation people get ticketed for every day.

“It’s annoying. You want to yell out at them. Scream and roll down the window and say hey cut it out,” said Sandy Mancini of West Springfield.

However, there are a handful of states where you can travel in the left lane.

“Everybody is driving in the left lane. Everybody who wants go over the speed limit is in the left lane so I honestly didn’t know that it was illegal in Massachusetts,” Susan Giles, West Springfield.

And it’s not just passenger cars. State law also restricts trucks that weigh more than two and a half tons from using the left lane. The State Police say it’s also important to keep the left lane clear for emergency vehicles.

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