Explaining Colorado’s “Left-Lane Law”

Jul 05, 2022
  • Gridlocked traffic is a serious problem on our nation’s highways. When motorists fail to move over and allow faster traffic to pass in the left lane, it creates a dangerous situation that can lead to accidents and injuries. In addition, it can also cause frustration leading to road rage and delays for other motorists who are trying to get to their destination in a timely manner or to first responders who require fast access.

    Pre Left-Lane Law

    Prior to Colorado’s left-lane law, there was no specific regulation governing the use of the left lane on multi-lane highways. As long as a driver was going the speed limit, law enforcement could do nothing to prevent traffic congestion. This often resulted in vehicles occupying the left lane for extended periods of time, even when there was no overtaking traffic present.

    This was a source of frustration for many drivers, as it created unnecessary congestion and prevented motorists from using the highway in the most efficient manner possible.

    The Left-Lane Law Explained

    According to Colorado Statute 42-4-1013 (Passing Lane):

    “A person shall not drive a motor vehicle in the passing lane of a highway if the speed limit is sixty-five miles per hour or more unless such person is passing other motor vehicles that are in a nonpassing lane or turning left, or unless the volume of traffic does not permit the motor vehicle to safely merge into a nonpassing lane.”

    In essence, on highways with a designated speed limit of 65 miles per hour or more, a driver cannot be in the left-lane unless:

    • They are passing another vehicle in the right lane.
    • They are turning left.
    • Traffic is congested to the point where the driver cannot enter the right lane.

    Consequences of Not Passing in the Passing Lane

    If a driver is caught in the left-lane and their predicament does not match one of the three scenarios listed above, they can be issued a fine of $41.20 (or more depending on other charges) in addition to having 3 points added to their Colorado Driver’s License.

    Denver, Colorado Car Accident Attorneys

    At Boesen Law, our car accident attorneys have helped countless injured victims in Colorado get the compensation they deserve. We understand the devastating financial and emotional toll that a car accident can take on victims and their families, and we will fight tirelessly to ensure that our clients are well-represented.

    If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident, call us today at or fill out our form online.