Officers launch campaign to educate drivers on purpose of left freeway lane


by Vicente Arenas / KHOU 11 News

Posted on November 6, 2013 at 7:44 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 7 at 12:42 PM

HOUSTON --- A law you may not know about could cost you $500. 

Roxanne Cates said she has always driven in the left lane of traffic, no matter what people did to her on Houston-area roads.

“They usually give me the bird or wave at me,” she said with a laugh.

A Montgomery County Deputy Constable stopped Cates near New Caney Wednesday for refusing to move out of the far left lane on the Eastex Freeway.

She didn’t know slower drivers are required by law to move to the right.

“I usually stay in that far left lane. I get in that lane and stay in it all the way home,” she said.

“You’ve got many lanes you can ride in. So if somebody is coming up behind and they are going faster than you, just need to move over,” Dpt. Constable Jeff Buchanan said.

Officers said a lot of people don’t know the left lane rule.

So they’re starting a campaign to stop cars that just won’t move over for faster moving traffic.

“Just anecdotally, by looking at a bunch of incidents of road rage, this is probably one of the top reasons for road rage in our area—is people who clog the left lane,” said Assistant District Attorney Warren Diepraam.

Diepraam said he decided to launch the program as the holiday season kicks into high gear.

Officers are hoping to make more drivers aware of the law.

Cates said she got the message loud and clear.

“I’ll definitely get over from now on,” she said after being issued a warning.

Tickets for impeding traffic are a Class C Misdemeanor and fines can total $500.

Officers in several counties are participating in the enforcement program that will last until the end of the year.