MAILBAG: Is it OK to drive in left lane?

Shirley of Fruitport asks, "Is it state law not to drive in the left lane of a divided highway, like U.S. 31 north and south of Grand Haven and I-96, if you're not passing another car?"
Mark Brooky
Aug 24, 2012

ANSWER:

Yes and no. Does that help?

Here is what the Michigan Vehicle Code (MCL 257.634) has to say about lane driving:

"If the road has two or more lanes in one direction, vehicles shall be driven in the extreme right-hand lane. If all lanes are occupied by vehicles moving in substantially continuous lanes of traffic, then a driver can use any lane available. A driver may also use the left lane for a reasonable distance when preparing for a left turn.

"On a freeway having three or more lanes, a driver may use any lane lawfully available."

And the code's MCL 257.642 gives further direction: "Upon a roadway with four or more lanes which provides for two-way movement of traffic, a vehicle shall be driven within the extreme right-hand lane except when overtaking and passing, but shall not cross the center line of the roadway except where making a left turn."

So, to be safe, keep to the right lane on those divided highways — except when passing, or turning or exiting left.

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