Avoid a Ticket for Misusing the Left Lane on Illinois Interstates
By the time summer finally arrived in northeastern Illinois, we were all anxious to get out and enjoy the beaches, ballparks, and other outdoor fun–even though we often have to fight heavy traffic to get there. Always remember, however to drive safely, because a traffic ticket will only slow you down and thin your wallet. Be especially careful in using the left lane on Illinois interstate highways, or you could find yourself paying a $120 ticket, plus court costs, for misuse of the left lane.
A state law in effect since 2004 states that drivers must stay out of the left lane on interstate highways and fully access-controlled highways except when passing another vehicle. The Illinois State Police (ISP) have cautioned motorists that they will be using unmarked vehicles this year to identify drivers who abuse the left lane. The unmarked vehicles will then alert patrol cars stationed further up the highway to stop and ticket the violators, who are being tagged as “left lane lollygaggers.”
This state law (625 ILCS 5/11-701) does not apply, however, when no other vehicle is directly behind the vehicle in the left lane. As long as you are not impeding traffic by driving too slowly in the left lane, you should not be ticketed for left lane abuse–although you could, of course, be ticketed for a speed violation.
Driving and remaining in the left lane of an interstate highway is also allowed when:
- Traffic congestion makes it impractical to drive in the right lane;
- Weather conditions make it necessary to drive in the left lane;
- Obstructions or hazards are present in the right lane;
- Emergency or disabled vehicles are present on the right shoulder; or
- You have to be in the left lane to exit or use an I-Pass lane.
ISP has said they may also ticket drivers who tailgate left lane lollygaggers, so as to discourage this behavior as a means of getting slower drivers to shift over. Other high-risk motorist behaviors of top concern to ISP include driving impaired, speeding, texting while driving, and not wearing seatbelts.
Will County Traffic Ticket Defense Attorney
Too many moving violations in a short period of time can result in the suspension of your driver’s license. To avoid another traffic offense conviction, call an experienced Joliet traffic ticket defense lawyer. Attorney Jack L. Zaremba has a distinguished track record as a criminal defense attorney in Will County for over a decade. Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation.