General Question

PupnTaco's avatar

#1 lane on California freeways: passing only or driving?

Asked by PupnTaco (13890points) September 2nd, 2009 from iPhone

Settle a bet ($1000 to the victor):

Is the #1 (leftmost) lane on California freeways designated for passing / overtaking only, or can a driver occupy the lane as other lanes?

I know it’s only legal to overtake another vehicle to its left. This bet doesn’t includes other states or countries.

A vehicle code link would help.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

11 Answers

Sarcasm's avatar

I checked out the Driver’s handbook on the California DMV website

and I found this:
“If you can choose among three lanes, pick the middle lane for the smoothest driving. To drive faster, pass, or turn left, use the left lane. When you choose to drive slowly or enter or turn off the road, use the right lane.”

Do I get some of that $1,000?

PupnTaco's avatar

Yeah, but that sounds like a guideline or suggestion, not a law. Hmmmm

Sarcasm's avatar

All I’m thinking is, it’s a statement in the DMV’s driver handbook. If the #1 lane was only for passing and turning, I’d assume they wouldn’t include “To drive faster” in there.

Rant's avatar

I live in California and drive every day and the #1 lane is usually the carpool lane, and if not the carpool lane then it is just the fast lane. It gets pretty much as much use as the middle lanes.

DominicX's avatar

The lane farthest to the left is often the carpool lane on many freeways. If it’s not the carpool lane, it’s just another lane.

YARNLADY's avatar

The law states that every driver will not exceed the speed limit, regardless of which lane. That is the extent of the law.

Judi's avatar

I WISH it was a passing only lane. I think I get stuck behind @YARNLADY every time I drive the LA freeways!~

YARNLADY's avatar

@Judi Probably there is more than one person who believe that the speed limit is for everyone. Otherwise, you’re welcome for letting me be the reason you didn’t get a speeding ticket that day.

Glow's avatar

@YARNLADY lol, many speed limits are horribly outdated :P

I don’t think that if you drive in the left most lane you will get ticketed or pulled over, so long as you are going fast enough to let passing cars get through. It can cause a traffic problems if a car is going the speed limit in the left most lane, since people DO use it to pass people. But I don’t think you will be ticketed, ever, so long as you go the speed limit, BUT, you can cause accidents to occur, and THAT can be a problem.

But anyway, I’m going off what I was told and by experience from another state, so you might want to ignore my comment ):

deni's avatar

Some states have signs that say keep right except to pass. so…i guess that kind of makes it sound like its not to really leisurely drive in.

YARNLADY's avatar

Generrally I will only drive in the left lane when there is no other traffic anywhere, and pull over when speedo’s want to pass me. The reason is the condition of the road is very poor in the right hand lane, so I prefer the smoother surface.

The fuel effeciency of the automobile is known to be improved when you drive 55, so it makes a lot sense with the high price of gas to drive slower.

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