Rules Of The Road

Left lane driving crackdown heats up: Police target drivers who are dawdling and not passing

A left lane driving crackdown: Police target drivers who are dawdling

cars trucks driving in the left lane
As of today, driving too slowly in the left lane can earn you a ticket from law enforcement. CommuterContempt.com

Like hogging the left lane? You might be in for a surprise ticket.

Houston area law enforcement officers are starting a targeted crackdown on people who drive illegally in the left lane starting today.

 Driving slowly in the left lane can not only clog traffic but cause accidents and even lead to road rage. 

Although some drivers might not know it, state law mandates that a driver can get a ticket for driving too slow in the far left lane — or not using it only for passing or turning left.

"It is a violation of the law to travel in that left lane when you're not passing other vehicles," Department of Public Safety trooper Alan Williams tells KPRC Houston. "Or if you're traveling at the same speed as those other vehicles."

DPS officials say the left lane crackdown will take place on rural highways in Fort Bend and Montgomery counties where TxDOT signs are already posted.

This enforcement will not happen in the Houston metro area or Harris County because DPS notes it's very difficult to enforce the left-lane laws with such a high volume of drivers on those roads.

According to law officers, driving slowly in the left lane can not only clog traffic. It can cause accidents and even lead to road rage in some drivers.

"They start getting mad at the people that are driving too slow in the left lane, which then forces a chain reaction a lot of times," Williams said.

DPS officials say drivers are allowed to travel in the left lane so long as they do not create a road hazard for other drivers.