Transportation
10:27 am
Mon October 15, 2012

TxDot: Left Lane for Passing Only

Frustrated by motorists who fail to use the left lane just to pass, impeding your ability to drive freely, often prompting excessive lane changes? Intentional or not, the Texas Department of Transportation is working to end the issue.

Approximately 3,400 new “Left Lane for Passing Only” signs will appear on all highways with speed limits of 75 mph or higher by summer 2013.  State law requires TxDOT to post these signs on highways where slower traffic is asked to stay in another lane. The signs are enforceable and violators can be stopped and ticketed by law enforcement.

Carol Rawson, TxDOT’s Traffic Operations Division Director, said in a statement, “We want to make sure that travelers on our highways have a safe, efficient and enjoyable trip. Reminding the public that slower moving vehicles should use right lanes and that passing vehicles use left lanes will help improve safety on our highways.”

Agency leaders think the expanded use of these signs will allow highway users to reach their intended destinations in a safer manner and without undue delay due to slower moving vehicles. They say driver awareness is more important than ever with an increasing number of Texas highways with speeds of 75 mph or higher.

In June, the new speed limits were enacted along close to 1,500 miles of Texas interstate, including I-30 from the Rockwall/Hunt County line to Texarkana in Northeast Texas. The move was the result of a bill passed by the 82nd Texas Legislature.

“Engineers generally consider highway travel to be the safest when vehicles are traveling at the same speeds,” Rawson said. “The use of these signs will help ensure that vehicles traveling at the posted speed limit will not be impeded or forced to make excessive lane changes when encountering a slower vehicle.” 

This is the second safety announcement in the last three weeks from TxDot. The agency is also preparing to install additional left turn signals at left turn lanes and traffic lights.