Skip to main content

Is left-lane driving allowed in your state? There are some states that don’t allow it, and Florida is the latest one wanting to restrict how to use that left lane. If it passes, it will be a crime to use the left lane except for turning left or passing. Happily cruising along in that left lane will get you a ticket. 

This is now the third time that the Florida legislature has a proposal to eliminate driving in the left lane. It is SB 258, and State Senator Keith Perry (R. Gainesville) submitted it last week. The two other times a similar bill came before the legislature was also in 2023. Both times, it did not pass either the Senate or the House, according to The Pensacola News Journal.

What kinds of limits are there to the left lane ban?

Two lanes going in the same direction
Two lanes going in the same direction | PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty

The three things drivers would legally be able to use the left lane for are to overtake and pass a vehicle, to exit the road or highway, or when an “official traffic control device” directs you to. We will assume that the “device” can also be a human, such as the police doing the directing. 

Right now, you can cruise in the left lane, except when a faster car behind wants to pass. Then, Florida law says you must pull over into the next lane to allow that car to go by. That seems like a fairly easy law for Florida motorists to understand. Yet, the Florida legislature seems to be hell-bent on restricting its use. 

What is the “Move Over Act”?

Florida Highway Patrolman next to his car
Florida Highway Patrolman next to his car | PETER MUHLY/AFP via Getty

The other two times a similar bill lost in both the House and the Senate was concerned over confusing it with Florida’s “Move Over Act.” This act necessitates drivers move over one lane for emergency vehicles, law enforcement activities where patrol cars are stopped, and sanitation, utility, and tow trucks. The goal is to have “motorists drive in the right lane to prevent impeding the flow of traffic, which can create dangerous driving situations.”

There are 27 states that require slower drivers to use the far right lane with certain exceptions. Those not moving over or those driving higher than the speed limit can both receive tickets in those circumstances. Receiving a ticket for slow driving can also negatively affect your insurance rates, as can going over the speed limit.  

Which states ban driving in the left lane?

Florida Highway patrol troopers secure the roadways
Two Florida Highway Patrol officers | Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty

Own an EV in Florida? Senator Wants to Ban You From Evacuating a Hurricane

The states that specifically make it illegal to drive in the left lane are Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and West Virginia. Most other states have weaker restrictions on using the left lane but not specifically banning the practice. 

SB 258 will come before the Florida legislature during the 2024 session.