Over 10,000 Criminal Cases Handled in the Denver Area

Understanding how Colorado’s left-lane law is supposed to work

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2018 | Firm News |

While many states have laws on the books that explain when it is appropriate for a driver to use the left lane of a multi-lane highway, few states have laws that are as strict as the one in Colorado.

In fact, since 2004, Colorado law has stated that it is illegal for individuals to drive in the passing lane (left lane) of multi-lane highways with speed limits of 65 MPH or more, unless:

  • The individual is passing another motor vehicle that is in the non-passing (right) lane
  • The individual is turning left
  • The individual cannot safely merge into a non-passing lane due to the volume of traffic

While some drivers believe that they can stay in the left lane as long as they are traveling the posted speed limit, that is simply not the case. Indeed, there is no exception listed in the statute for drivers going the speed limit. Therefore, even if a driver is going the speed limit, they must still get into the right lane if it is safe to do so, unless, of course, they are actually passing another vehicle or turning left. If they don’t move over, they may be ticketed by police.

What happens to drivers who violate the left-lane law?

If a police officer stops a driver for violating the state’s left-lane law, they may receive a citation for a class A traffic infraction. If that happens, the driver may have points added to their driving record and face a fine.