These 13 states will hand out tickets for driving too slowly in the left lane


It’s a commuting problem we’ve all experienced at some point: A car in the far left lane cruising at a glacial pace, causing a traffic jam behind it.

Despite the fact that that the left lane is meant to stay empty to allow vehicles to safely pass one another on freeways, many drivers ignore this rule — and it has consequences.

Traffic fatalities have reportedly been on the rise since 2015, increasing by as much as 7 to 8 percent some years, and some argue that left-lane drivers — especially slow ones — may cause other cars to dangerously weave around them.

Now, while nearly every state has a law requiring slower traffic to move to the right, more and more areas are passing stricter laws to punish left-lane slowpokes with tickets and fines.


Last year, Virginia passed a law prohibiting people from driving under the speed limit or driving without intention to pass another car in the left lane, and it’s hardly the first state to do this.

Below are all the states where you could potentially receive a ticket for driving in the left lane, as of today. Some even refer to these requirements as “slowpoke” laws!

highway photo
Getty Images | Scott Olson


If you are caught driving in the left lane in Alabama, you can face a ticket and fine up to $235 and two points on your license.


The left lane law in Colorado states that anyone driving on the left side of a freeway that isn’t trying to pass a car in another lane or make a left turn will be subject to a $100 fine and three points on their license.

traffic photo
Getty Images | Justin Sullivan


Lawmakers in the Sunshine State revised a law in 2014 that punishes slow left lane drivers with a minimum fine of $121.


Georgia’s “Slowpoke Law” went into effect in July 2014. It states that anyone driving in the left lane who doesn’t yield to a faster car approaching can be ticketed and fined.


In 2015, a law went into effect in Indiana that punished left lane drivers with a maximum fine of $500.

traffic photo
Getty Images | Marc Serota


In 2018, Michigan began enforcing a law that requires the left lane on highways to be for passing only.


It is not legal in the state of Missouri to drive in the left lane unless you are passing another car.

Ford Recalls Almost Half Million Vehicles To Fix Engine Fire Issues, And Door Problems
Getty Images | Justin Sullivan


Driving under the speed limit in the left lane on a Nevada highway is against the law as of 2017.

New Jersey

In 2015, the fine for driving in the left lane without passing in New Jersey increased to a hefty $500.


If you’re not passing a car while driving in the left lane in Oklahoma, you can be ticketed and fined up to $249.

traffic photo
Flickr | zolakoma


In the state of Oregon, left-lane drivers who go under the speed limit can be subject to a $250 fine.


Motorists who are caught driving in the left lane in Tennessee without passing can be charged with a misdemeanor and face a $50 fine.

highway photo
Getty Images | Joe Raedle


As of July 2017, you can receive a $100 fine for driving too slow in the left lane or for driving in the left lane without turning left or passing another car.


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About the Author
Margeaux Baulch Klein
Margeaux Baulch Klein is a freelance writer and digital strategist based in Los Angeles. She has written for publications like the Huffington Post, New York Daily News, Bustle, and HelloGiggles, among others. Visit Scripps News to see more of Margeaux's work.

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