The South Carolina Department of Public Safety announced on August 4th, 2021 that a new law will now require South Carolina motorists to drive only in the right half of controlled-access highways, using the left lane only for passing through. This law went into effect August 15th, 2021.
Can You Get a Ticket for Staying in the Left Lane in South Carolina?
Within the first first 90 days of the law in effect, SC law enforcement will only issue warnings for any motorists driving in the left lane. Once the 90 days are over, it will be considered a civil violation punishable with a fine of up to $25. Beyond the ticket, no court costs may be assessed and violators cannot be arrested.
To aid in the transition of this new law, the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) will install new signs along SC roadways, notifying nearby motorists of this new law with messages such as “Slower Traffic, Move Right.”
Exceptions and Exemptions
With this new law, there are a few exceptions. According to the SCDOT, these exceptions include:
- When no other vehicle is directly behind the vehicle in the left lane;
- When traffic conditions and congestion make it impractical to drive in the right lane;
- When snow and other inclement weather conditions make it safer to drive in the left lane;
- When obstructions or hazards exist in the right lane;
- When, because of highway design, a vehicle must be driven in the left lane when preparing to exit;
- To law enforcement vehicles, ambulances, or other emergency vehicles engaged in official duties and vehicles engaged in highway maintenance and construction operations;
- When a driver of a tractor-trailer commercial motor vehicle combination is unable to move into the right lane safely due to another vehicle overtaking or passing his vehicle to the right; or
- When a driver of a vehicle requiring a commercial motor vehicle license to operate is unable to move into the right lane safely due to a highway grade or another vehicle overtaking or passing his vehicle on the right.
Can I Get a Ticket for Driving Under the Speed Limit in the Left Lane in South Carolina?
As outlined in the new law, the left lane will be designated for drivers looking to pass or overtake another vehicle in the right lane, so it should always be readily accessible for this reason. Those driving under the speed limit in the left lane can expect to be pulled over by a police officer and receive at least a warning.
To read the full legislation (S. C. Code § 56-5-1885), please refer to 2021-2022 Bill 3011: Driving on the right half of road.
Protecting the Good People in the Carolinas
Injured in an accident in North or South Carolina? Your attorneys at Grimes Teich Anderson LLP will fight for you to receive the maximum compensation you need to help get you back on your feet. With offices throughout the Carolinas, our car accident attorneys are here to serve you wherever is most convenient for you. Call our office toll free at 800-533-6845 or submit a form on our website for a free consultation of your case today.