If someone is clogging up the passing lane, going slow, can you legally pass them on the right in New York? There are so many times I have gotten stuck behind a slow poke, who for no reason whatsoever, will not move into the empty lane to the right of them. It's like some people feel they wield power by staying in the passing lane no matter what. If you encounter a driver who can easily move into the lane to the right of them (meaning there is no traffic in that lane) but doesn't, can you legally pass them on the right?

Photo by Sebastian on Unsplash
Photo by Sebastian on Unsplash


Can A Person Legally Drive Under The Speed Limit In New York State?

I don't know if it's my luck or if I am just a speed demon (or both), but I ALWAYS get stuck behind someone doing 50 in a 60 MPH zone. Some highways in New York State have a minimum speed limit. The Department of Motor Vehicles issues a warning to slowpoke drivers,

To keep a smooth traffic flow, some highways also have minimum speed limits. If you drive slower than the minimum speed you can halt the traffic flow and create a dangerous condition. Even if there is no minimum speed limit, those driving too slowly can be as dangerous as those who drive too fast.

I hope that all of the sloth drivers I've been stuck behind read this article! According to Rosenblum Law, people driving under the speed limit can be ticketed (although it doesn't happen as frequently as people driving above the speed limit).

Driving too slow falls under Article 30 section 1181. There are two subsections for this violation. The first is VTL 1181(a) Driving too slow (impeding traffic). This applies on most roads and is issued when the driver’s speed is disrupting the flow of traffic. The second is VTL 1181(b) Driving below minimum posted speed limit. As the name implies, this applies only on roads that have a posted minimum speed, such as on a highway.

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Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash
Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

Can You Legally Pass On The Right In New York State?

If you run into a situation where someone is traveling super slow in the far left lane (the passing lane), can you legally pass them on the right? Unfortunately, most people clogging up the left lane driving slowly don't realize it's not legal. According to the New York State DMV,

The law requires that we drive on the right side of the road. When we are allowed to pass other vehicles, we usually pass on the left. You are permitted to pass on the right only in certain circumstances and it must be done only when necessary and safe. When you pass other vehicles or change lanes to keep away from hazards, do so with caution and only when necessary. You must not exceed the speed limit to pass another vehicle.

So there you have it. You can legally pass using the right lane, as long as it's necessary and safe.

**This article is not intended to provide legal advice or counsel

As you're out and about traveling, another thing to worry about, aside from slowpokes, is speed traps.

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If you have spent any time driving along the roads, highways, and byways of New York you know that there are a lot of bad drivers on the road.

Gallery Credit: Dave Fields

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