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I was pulled over for what?

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I was pulled over for what?

Posted by Brian Anderson (owner) on Jan 17 2013
I was pulled over for what? >>

A friend recently told me he was surprised that he was pulled over for driving too long in the left lane of a multi-lane highway. He suggested maybe he was really pulled over because he was driving a new Suburban. It certainly wasn't because he was driving a red car.

According to Edmunds.com, the top five reasons for being pulled over by a police officer are the following: speeding, illegal cell phone use, hazardous driving, equipment lane violations, and following another car too closely.

The article notes that driving in the left hand lane of a multi-lane highway is common reason, too. But is it a violation of the law? Actually, it isn't. Not in the State of Washington, anyway. The law in Washington since 1986 has been pretty clear. The legislature decided that the "left-hand lane on any state highway with two or more lanes in the same direction [should] be used primarily as a passing lane." In fact, they made it an infraction to "drive continuously in the left lane of a multilane roadway" but, drum roll please, only "when it impedes the flow of other traffic". (my italics) Remember that old saw (pun intended) about the tree falling in the forest? Well, if there are no other cars around, it's pretty clear that you can drive in the left hand lane and are only violating the spirit of the law and not the letter. But, please don't pull the statute up and try to argue reason to the police officer. Even though it would probably get dismissed by a judge, you'd save some time by just saying,"Really, the things I never would have known!?" and thanking the officer for helping to keep the roads safe.

Oh, and if you get pulled over for talking into your speaker on your cell phone, you will probably want a lawyer. In my experience, it seems to be a pretty common infraction even though the law specifically prohibits holding the phone to your ear and specifically exempts "hands free mode" (which means the "use of a wireless communications device with a speaker phone.") 

Last changed: Jan 17 2013 at 1:16 PM

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Comments

Some cops ... By Guest on Jan 17 2013 at 1:25 PM
Most cops are pretty cool, but this guy seems like he might have just been having a bad day!

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