Left Lane [Slow] Drivers: Beware, Washington State Patrol is Looking for You

If you regularly drive I-90 between the Snoqualmie Valley and Issaquah, many drivers say this is a pretty common issue – left lane [slow] drivers. Last year I even witnessed a driver unwilling to move out of the left lane for a King County Sheriff’s vehicle.

So if you’re hitting the freeways over the next few days – and if you enjoying driving in the left lane – be aware that the Washington State Patrol may be looking for you.

The WSP said via press release that many Washington State drivers are unaware that downloaddriving in the left lane for extended periods of time can be against the law. The left lane is designed to operate as a passing lane.

In order to combat this problem, Chief John R. Batiste announced the Washington State Patrol, (WSP) will conduct a statewide emphasis patrol from March 16th –March 18 to bring increased awareness to the left lane law.

State Troopers will focus their efforts on locating and stopping left lane violators. Last year, the Washington State Patrol stopped nearly 14,000 left lane law violators.

Per the press release and according to the law, RCW 46.61.100(2):  Upon all roadways having two or more lanes for traffic moving in the same direction, all vehicles shall be driven in the right hand lane then available for traffic, except for overtaking and passing another vehicle in the same direction, when traveling at a speed greater than the traffic flow, when moving left to allow traffic to merge or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection, exit or into a private road or driveway when such left turn is legally permitted.


Comments are closed.


  • I suspect they’ll just warn a few people and not write any tickets. Will be back to ‘left lane hog’ by next month.

  • Might not be as much of a problem if the highway was in better shape… I drive the left lane to save my tires from the rough pavement, and also when it is raining to avoid the water pooling in the lane tracks of the other lanes…

  • Saw a happy LL camper just yesterday from Issaquah all the way to North Bend, an no reason to be, keep right except to pass is a regulatory sign (that means you can be ticketed for it). The potholed bridge decks and ruts were caused by studded tires which the legislature fails to address BTW.

  • I think everyone knows that it’s the law and the expectation on I-90 , my wife got pulled over on SNOQUALMIE parkway going the speed limit . It was after 10 pm with no traffic a classic over-reach by one of our officers. Basically annoying, and gave me a laugh when I heard, but profiling or fishing and using the letter of the law while ignoring the intent.

  • Living Snoqualmie