Failure to yield the center lane is both illegal and dangerous
For years, New Jersey drivers have been complaining about slow moving motorists who drive in the left lane and won't move to the right to allow faster drivers to pass them. Now motorists have a new complaint.
Law enforcement said they are increasingly getting complaints about slow moving drivers in the center lane of major highways, who refuse to move to the right, and consequently force other motorists to sometimes pass them on the right.
"New Jersey law stipulates that vehicles that are traveling on the roadway are supposed to travel farthest to the right when possible," said New Jersey State Police Sgt. Jeff Flynn.
He stressed drivers should always follow the speed limit on all New Jersey roads, but if someone wishes to travel at a slower rate of speed they should not remain in the center lane if everyone around them is going faster.
"We would encourage that person to drive in the right lane, reserve their driving to the right lane," Flynn said.
In fact, traveling slowly in the middle lane can lead to unsafe lane changes.
"Drivers that get tempted to pass in that right lane, they're passing illegally - and not only is it illegal, it's dangerous." Flynn said. "If you have vehicles passing on both sides now you have to worry about who's passing you on the left, who's passing you on the right - it could be disastrous. It could cause a very serious, if not fatal accident."
According to Flynn, there are certain statues and violations a trooper can issue if he sees a driver creating a hazard by traveling slowly in the center lane of a major highway.
The bottom line is to travel in the right lane.
"Keep that right lane for the slower moving traffic, that way vehicles that wish to pass can do so safely and legally. There's a reason why these laws are in place and passing is only allowed on the left," Flynn said.