This week, the House Public Transportation Committee and the Senate Transportation, Technology, and Legislative Affairs Committee heard testimony from the Arkansas State Police and the
Highway Police concerning the prevalent issue of driving in the left lane.
In 2021, the Arkansas General Assembly passed legislation aimed at addressing the challenges posed by inappropriate use of the left lane on multilane highways.
Act 1090 puts clear restrictions on driving in the left lane, permitting it only under specific circumstances:
- When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
- When all other lanes traveling in the same direction are closed for construction or repair.
- When all other lanes for traveling in the same direction are in disrepair or are in an otherwise undrivable or unsafe condition.
- When a vehicle is preparing to exit the multilane highway on the left.
Since the enactment of this legislation, the Arkansas State Police have issued over 400 citations and delivered more than 3,600 warnings to drivers found impeding traffic in the left lane.
The rationale behind this enforcement aims to address a significant safety concern. When drivers choose to block the left lane, whether intentionally or not, they compromise road safety and efficiency for everyone on the road.
According to the National Motorist Association, refraining from obstructing other drivers not only reduces the likelihood of accidents but also brings additional benefits. Smoother traffic flow leads to less tailgating, reduced weaving in and out of lanes, and ultimately fewer accidents.
Furthermore, the ripple effect of yielding to faster traffic results in faster overall travel times. Reduced congestion and a smoother traffic flow allow highway capacity to be utilized to its fullest extent, translating to quicker journeys for all drivers.
As you travel this holiday season, we encourage you to be mindful of the law regarding the use of the left lane so all Arkansans can get to their destination faster and safer.