Since January 1, Oklahoma Has Ticketed 60 Left Lane Squatters

Our hats are off to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Welcome to Oklahoma Sign
Joe Sohm/Visions of America—UIG via Getty Images

On the November 1st, 2017, the state of Oklahoma enacted a law meant to prevent drivers from hanging out in the passing lane like it's a Starbucks, with the goal of easing traffic, reducing road rage incidents, and freeing passage for emergency vehicles. Following a two-month grace period, during which more than 200 drivers were only given warnings for their transgressions, the law came into full swing on the first day of 2018. Insurance Journal reports that since that date, 60 drivers have been issued citations for violation of the law by troopers of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, and many more have been warned.

“We write a lot of warnings,” stated Trooper Dwight Durant, to Insurance Journal, “Every trooper has their own discretion. They’re not under any direction to do either one.”

A stretch of Interstate 35 between Love County and Noble County is stated to account for 25 of these tickets alone, with another 14 dished out to drivers on Interstate 40 from Pottawatomie County to Canadian County. The single most prevalent offender is Carter County, with 14 tickets, but Oklahoma County is not far behind, tallying 12. At $236.50 a pop, these tickets have punished drivers with a cumulative $14,190 in fines.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol responded to The Drive's request for a figure corroborated with the above source, attributing 39 of the tickets to the OHP, and declaring the running total of citations given between November 1st and March 29th as 84.

Many other states have codified similar laws to ease traffic flow. Nevada, Washington, and Tennessee all have their own ways of keeping absentminded drivers out of the passing lane. Colorado has a similar law, and more than enough signage clarifying such, but it has not stopped convoys of Subaru drivers from clogging up the state's roadways.

Get on it, Colorado Highway Patrol, Oklahoma's making you guys look like amateurs. Unless, of course, you are busy ticketing coal rollers. If that is the case, carry on.