Question:  Can you please explain the new law that requires drivers to move to the right lane if they are impeding traffic by traveling under the posted speed limit?

Answer: The requirement to move over and allow vehicles to pass in the left lane has been law in Minnesota for many years. Modernized language was added to the current law for those drivers that drive in the left lane below the posted speed limit and are impeding traffic. Effective Aug. 1, the modernized law requires drivers in the left lane to move to the right, when practicable, to allow vehicles to pass. If you need to pass someone, do so in the left lane – but then get back in the right lane as soon as you’re clear. Nothing allows a driver to exceed the speed limit on roads with more than one lane in each direction.

If you are traveling under the posted speed limit, move to the right when safe to do so. Remember to signal every time you change lanes.

Keeping the left lane clear has other benefits, too: It will help reduce everyone’s stress on the road by increasing efficiency, and it can ward off road rage effectively. Traffic also works best when everyone is going about the same speed.

The speed limits are the limits, and we are always on alert for violators that choose to go above those limits. In Minnesota, speeding is one of the leading contributing factors in crashes, so please obey all posted speed limits.

Sgt. Neil Dickenson is Minnesota State Patrol Public Information Officer for the state’s northeast region. Send questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues to neil.dickenson@state.mn or by mail to Minnesota State Patrol, 1131 Mesaba Ave., Duluth MN 55811. Follow Dickenson on Twitter at @MSPPIO_NE. 

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