A new law goes into affect in Oklahoma on November 1st, that may cause drivers in the Sooner State to pay closer attention to their surroundings. The law restricts the left or "fast" lane of a roadway of four or more lanes to those passing slower traffic.

The law, formerly known as House Bill 2312, takes effect on Wednesday and originally stated it would not be permissible for a driver to impede the flow of traffic by driving in the left lane. While in the State House, it was amended to state that a vehicle "may not be driven in the left lane, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle."

Exceptions to this will be observed for weather, traffic or road conditions. It will also be permissible to pass emergency or police vehicles who are pulled to the side of the road, to avoid merging vehicles, or stranded motorists working on a vehicle in an attempt to get it off the road way.

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The law was put in place to help curb the ever-increasing instances of "vehicle stacking", which tends to occur more on the larger roadways and highways. Vehicle stacking tends to occur when group of tricks drive side-by-side and block both lanes. Along stretches of highway, it can occur where the stack is two or three miles deep, causing accidents, traffic hazards and in some instances, occurrences of road-rage.

The State Dept Highway Patrol reminds Oklahoma drivers that while traveling in the left lane is permissible to pass slower moving vehicles, it is not a license to speed, and that drivers that are driving the posted limits should not concern themselves with faster moving vehicles, regardless of which lane you are driving in.

To advise drivers of the change, the Oklahoma Dept of Safety has posted 234 "slower traffic keep right" and "do not impede left lane" signs along Interstates 40 and 35 from state line to state line. To read the new law in its entirety, cling on this link.

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