Drivers be warned: Being on the left may get you stopped
Everyone knows the nation is moving to the right. But who knew that staying on the left would label you a lawbreaker?On Highway 82 and elsewhere around the state, drivers in the left lane can be pulled over if they are not passing another vehicle. Gov. Bill Owens signed the law in March.Aspenites have little reason to worry, however. The law, which took effect July 1, impacts only drivers in 65 mph or faster zones. On Highway 82, that zone exists between El Jebel and Glenwood Springs.Morry Hollenbaugh of Snowmass Village is trying to help police get the word out about the new law.”It’s a safety feature,” he said. “If I’m in the right lane and I come up to somebody in front of me and I want to pass him, I have to pull over into the left lane. If somebody’s cruising behind me [in the left lane], just holding the lane, no one can pass him, no one can pass me, and we just sit there.”The idea is to keep the traffic flowing and keep it safe. It’s a long time coming.”Police won’t exactly be coming down hard on motorists daydreaming on the left-hand side. A six-month campaign kicked off in July in which only warning tickets were issued. Starting next month, a $35, one-point ticket can be issued for driving in the left lane, Hollenbaugh said.And officers will likely use discretion before pulling over these “hardened criminals.” Police mainly will be looking for drivers in the left lane who are going slow and have traffic piling up behind them, said Capt. Barry Bratt of the Colorado State Patrol.”Keep right except to pass” signs will go up on Highway 82 in the 65 mph zones to warn drivers.”Keep right except to pass” signs will go up on Highway 82 in the 65 mph zones to warn drivers.
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