Can Trucks Drive in the Fast Lane?

Trucks

A State by state breakdown of the fast lane law for trucks 

In every state, there are laws in place to determine how and when trucks can take to the fast lane. However, those laws vary from state to state and city to city. 

Every state has some kind of regulation in place for left lane usage. Some prohibit it altogether, while others will allow it in certain circumstances such as overtaking. In many cases, the prevention measures on fast lanes apply to all vehicles in general and are not specifically aimed at trucks. 

As well as the variation on lane usage laws, there is also disagreement on what actually constitutes a truck. Different states have different vehicle classifications and what constitute trucks in one state may not be classed as a truck in another. 

Trucks in the Fast Lane: A Law That Keeps on Changing

Trucks

Another consideration worth remembering is the ever-changing nature of road laws. Legislators are constantly working to make the roads a safer place, as a result, they frequently update the regulations that cover them. At the same time, many drivers are unaware of changes, which can easily cause confusion on the highways. To find out whether a state allows trucks to take to the fast lane you really have to check the laws of that state.

Trucks in the fast lane: state by state breakdown of the regulations

StateLane RestrictionsApplies toPenalties

Alabama

Ok when overtakingAll vehicles1st offense: up to $100 or 10 days’ jail
2nd offense in 1 year: up to $200 and/or 30 days’ jail
3rd or subsequent offense in 1 year: up to $500 and/or 3 months’ jail

Alaska

Ok when overtakingAll vehiclesFine up to $300

Arizona


Ok, when overtaking, but certain vehicles over 26,000 lbs must use specific lanes if also designated to do so by the local authority.
All vehiclesFine of up to $250

Arkansas


Prohibited use of  left lane on six-lane interstate highways. All vehicles are also prohibited from impeding traffic in the left lane of a multilane road.
Vehicles with more than two axles.Fine of up to $100

California


For example, must use lane(s) designated by signs. If no designated lane, then must also use the right-hand lane. May use second-to-right-hand lane if there are four or more lanes. To pass you must also use a designated lane, second-to-right lane, or right lane.
Motor trucks; truck tractors with three or more axles; truck tractors trailing another vehicle1st offence: up to $100
2nd offense in 1 year: up to $200

3rd offense in 1 year: up to $250

Colorado


Must drive in right lane if driving slower than normal speed of traffic, however, its ok to pass another vehicle or turn left. secondly, may not drive in a passing lane where the speed limit is 65 miles per hour except to pass another vehicle or turn left.
All vehiclesFine of up to $100

Connecticut


Prohibited from the far-left lane on designated highways with more than two lanes. Also, all vehicles driving at less than the normal speed of traffic must use right-hand lane except when passing or turning left.
Operators of vehicles with commercial registration, motorbus, trailer, or school busFine of $88

Delaware


For example, must use right-hand lane if also driving at less than normal speed of traffic except when passing or turning left.
All vehicles1st offense: $25-$75
Subsequent offenses within 12 months: $57.50-$95

District of Columbia

N/A  

Florida


Must use right-hand lane if also driving at less than normal speed of traffic except when passing or turning left. Also, may not continue to use furthermost left-hand lane if being overtaken from the rear by a vehicle driving at a higher rate of speed.
All vehiclesFine of $60

Georgia


Trucks must also use designated lanes. If no lanes are designated, and two or three lanes are available, trucks may also not use the far-left lane, except to pass or turn left.
Vehicles with more than six wheels, except buses and motor coachesVaries by location

Hawaii


For example, must drive in right lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except to pass or turn left.May not drive slower than five miles per hour below speed limit in Honolulu.
All vehicles1st offense: up to $200
2nd offense in 1 year: up to $300

3rd offense in 1 year: up to $500

Idaho


Must drive in the right lane when driving slower than the normal speed of traffic, except to pass or turn left.
All vehiclesFine of up to $300

Illinois


May not drive in left lane, except when passing another vehicle (other exceptions apply).
All vehiclesVaries by location but no more than $1,000

Indiana


Must use far right lane (or two right lanes if three or more lanes available) on interstate highways except to pass, enter or exit a highway, also to avoid a special hazard.
Trucks, truck tractors, road tractors, trailers, semitrailers, or pole trailers.Fine of up to $500 if the ticket is contested

Iowa


Must drive in right lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except to pass or turn left.
All vehiclesFine of $100

Kansas


May not drive in the left lane, except when passing or turning left.
All vehiclesFine of $75

Kentucky


May not drive in left lane of any limited access highway of four or more lanes with a speed limit of at least 65 miles per hour, except to pass, yield to traffic entering highway, or when unsafe to use right lanes.
All vehiclesFine of $20-$100

Louisiana


May also not use left-hand lane except to turn left, pass, or when right lanes are congested. May also not impede another vehicle driving in left lane.
All vehicles1st offense: Fine of up to $175 or up to 30 days’ imprisonment
Subsequent offense: up to $500 or up to 90 days’ imprisonment

Maine


Must also use right lane on limited-access ways with speed limit of at least 65 miles per hour, except to pass.
All vehiclesFine between $25 and $500
$137 if uncontested

Maryland


Must also use right lane when going slower than the normal speed of traffic or 10 miles below the speed limit, except when passing or turning left.
All vehiclesFine of up to $500

Massachusetts


For example, must also use far-right lane. May use next adjacent lane for passing. May not use other lanes except in emergency.All vehicles must also stay to the right except when passing or turning left.
Commercial vehicles weighing more than 2.5 tons, used to transport goods, wares, and merchandiseFine of up to $100

Michigan


Must also use two right lanes on freeways with three or more lanes, except to turn left or where a special hazard exists.
Trucks with a gross weight over 10,000 pounds, truck tractors, or combination of vehicle and trailer or semitrailerFine of up to $250

Minnesota


Must drive in right lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except to pass, turn left, or when a specific lane is designated.
All vehiclesFine of up to $300

Mississippi


Must drive in the right lane when driving slower than the normal speed of traffic, except to pass or turn left.
All vehiclesFine of up to $100

Missouri

May not use left-hand lane on interstate highways, freeways, or expressways within urbanized areas of the state having three or more lanes.
Trucks weighing more than 48,000 pounds used to transport property; motor vehicles designed or used for carrying freight, merchandise, or more than eight passengers, but not including vanpools or shuttle buses
Varies by location

Montana


Must drive in the right lane when driving slower than the normal speed of traffic, except to pass or turn left.
All vehicles1st offense: fine of $10-$100
2nd offense in 1 year: $25-$2003rd offense in 1 year: $50-$500

Nebraska


Must drive in right lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except to pass or turn left.
All vehicles1st offense: fine up to $100
2nd offense in 1 year: up to $2003rd offense in 1 year: up to $300

Nevada


Must drive in the right lane if driving so slow as to impede forward movement of traffic behind the driver. May not drive in the extreme left lane of a controlled-access highway if being overtaken by faster vehicle (exceptions apply).
All vehicles1st offense: $50
2nd offense: $100
3rd offense: $250

New Hampshire


Must drive in right lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except to pass or turn left.
All vehiclesNot more than $1,000As of 1/1/2016:1st offense: $622nd offense: $124

New Jersey


May not drive in far left-hand lane of a roadway with three or more lanes, except for up to one mile before a left-hand turn, to enter or exit roadway, or due to emergency conditions
Trucks of at least 10,000 pounds registered gross weightFine of $50-$200, imprisonment for up to 15 days, or both

New Mexico


Must drive in right lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except to pass or turn left.
All vehiclesFine of up to $10

New York

Must drive in the right lane when driving slower than the normal speed of traffic, except to pass or turn left. Must also use lanes designated by traffic-control devices.All vehicles1st offense: Fine of up to $150 and/or imprisonment for up to 15 days
2nd offense in 18 months: Up to $300 and/or imprisonment for up to 45 days. Subsequent offense in 18 months: Up to $450 and or imprisonment for up to 90 days

North Carolina


May not drive slower than speed limit in left lane when doing so impedes traffic, except to turn left.
All vehiclesFine of up to $100

North Dakota


Must drive in the right lane when driving slower than the normal speed of traffic, except to pass or turn left.
All vehiclesFine of $20

Ohio


Must drive in right lane when driving slower than prevailing and lawful speed of traffic, except to pass, turn left, or continue on route.Must keep right except to pass on freeways with at least three lanes in interstate system.
All vehicles and trackless trolleysFines vary

Oklahoma


Must drive in the right lane when driving slower than the normal speed of traffic, except to pass or turn left. May not impede traffic by driving slower than the maximum posted speed in the left lane of four-lane roadway (effective until 11/1/2017). May not drive in the left lane of the roadway with at least four lanes, except to pass or to maintain safe traffic conditions (effective 11/1/2017).
All vehiclesFine of $5-$500 or imprisonment for up to 10 days

Oregon


Must drive in right lane of all roadways with two or more lanes, except to pass (without interfering with passage of other vehicles), turn left, respond to emergency conditions, avoid merging traffic, or to obey traffic control devices.
Any camper, vehicle with a trailer, vehicle with registration weight of 10,000 pounds or moreFine of not more than $1,000 for individuals, $2,000 for corporations

Pennsylvania


May not drive in the left-hand lane of limited access highway with three or more lanes, except to turn left.
Vehicle or combination over 10,000 poundsFine of $25

Rhode Island


Must drive in right hand lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except when passing or turning left.
All vehiclesFind of $85

South Carolina


Must drive in the right-hand lane when driving slower than the normal speed of traffic, except when passing or turning left.
All vehiclesFines vary

South Dakota


Must drive as closely as possible to right-hand edge of highway when driving a slow-moving vehicle, except to pass.Must obey signs designating lanes for slow-moving traffic.
All vehiclesFine of up to $500, imprisonment for up to 30 days, or both

Tennessee


Must drive in the right-hand lane when driving slower than the normal speed of traffic, except when passing or turning left.Must obey highway signage limiting truck tractors and semitrailers to specific lanes, except to pass.
All vehiclesFine of up to $50, imprisonment for up to 30 days, or both. Signage violation: fine of up to $50

Texas


Trucks must drive in right hand lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except when passing or turning left.Must obey traffic control devices limiting certain vehicles to specific lanes, except to pass.
All vehiclesFine of $1-$200

Utah


Trucks may not use the left lane of the freeway with at least three lanes, except to turn left, exit, avoid merging traffic, respond to emergency conditions, or follow direction signs
Vehicle drawing trailer or semitrailer; vehicle or combination of vehicles with a gross weight of 12,001 or more poundsFine of up to $750 ($1,000 for corporation, associations, partnerships, and governmental instrumentalities)

Vermont


Trucks must drive in right hand lane when driving slower than normal speed of traffic, except when passing or turning left.
All vehiclesFine of up to $1,000

Virginia


Trucks may not drive in the left lane of an interstate highway with more than two lanes where the posted speed limit is at least 65 miles per hour. May not drive in the left lane on the interstate highway within Eighth Planning District or Interstate Route 81 regardless of the speed limit. Must drive in the right lane of an interstate highway with no more than two lanes when driving 15 miles per hour or more below the speed limit. Exception: when exiting to the left.
Commercial motor vehicles (defined in 46.2-341.4), except buses, school buses, or vehicles performing maintenance or construction work on an interstate highway.Fine of up to $750

Washington


Trucks may not use left lane of a limited access roadway with three or more lanes, except to turn left.May not use left lane of two-lane roadway except to pass, when travelling at greater speed than traffic, to avoid merging traffic, turn left, or exit.
Vehicles or combinations weighing more than 10,000 poundsFine of up to $250

West Virginia


For example, trucks must drive in the right-hand lane when driving slower than the normal speed of traffic, however, it’s ok when passing or turning left.
All vehicles1st offense: Fine of up to $1002nd offense in one year: Fine of up to $200. Subsequent offense: Fine of up to $500

Wisconsin


For example, must drive in the right lane of a three-lane highway, however, to pass, turn left, make U-turn, or obey signs is acceptable. Otherwise ok when overtaking
All vehiclesFine of $30-$300

Wyoming


For example, must drive in the right-hand lane when driving slower than the normal speed of traffic, except to pass or turn left. Secondly, may not drive in the left lane of the controlled-access highway for a prolonged period in a manner which impedes the flow of traffic traveling at lawful speed.
All vehiclesFine of up to $750

Truck accidents can often lead to complicated legal proceedings, this is because of the many different parties involved. As a result of this complication, any mixture of employers, drivers, contractors, and trucking companies could be liable for a truck accident.

If you are currently involved in a legal situation because of a truck or vehicle accident, Accidents.LAW has a list of experienced legal professionals available for your assistance. 

For more advice, please contact us here at Accidents.law or leave a message in the comments below.