A woman said she was shocked after a police officer pulled her over driving on the left lane of the highway for extended periods of time. She didn’t know it was illegal.
TikTok user @m.chaides said she only learned this lesson 13 hours into a 15-hour road trip, and that she stayed in the left lane for nearly the entire duration of that time. She posted about her experience in a viral video that’s accrued more than 926,000 views since Sept. 26.
Other users shared their own left lane driving experiences and thoughts on proper etiquette when it comes to keeping their whip in this lane.
@m.chaides its not my fault all the diff states have diff rules #highway #statetrooper ♬ original sound – worsethanrevenge
“me when I remember the time I got pulled over by a state trooper on my 15 hr drive home to visit my mom home on Mother’s Day because apparently you’re not supposed to stay in the left lane permanently (it’s illegal) (I drove like this for 13 hrs),” reads the text overlay. “and I just looked at him and said ‘oh is that why all the truck drivers were [middle finger emoji] me off and cussing me out’ and he said ‘what have you had your license for a day’ and I said ‘yes’ and we just stared at eachother, he then explained the highway rules to me.”
TikTok users have their own interpretation of highway rules that they’ve adopted throughout their years of driving, however. Like one user, who wrote: “in my book you can stay in the left lane as long as you want but the literal second you notice someone faster is coming up behind you then you move.”
It seems that the individualized laws vary by state as well—at least, according to residents of those states. “As a Californian the left lane is not a passing lane it’s simply the fast lane,” another user penned.
A Florida resident said that the state makes it pretty clear via road signs how folks should utilize highway driving lanes. “what state is this lol in fl the left lane is the fast lane and there are signs saying for slower traffic to keep right that makes the most sense tbh,” they wrote.
And there was someone else who was just shocked that @m.chaides wasn’t aware of this knowledge from the get go. “Yes everyone. I think this should be on drivers tests because people will road rage you,” they wrote.
“the amount of people that didn’t know this, makes me think everyone should get a refresher driver’s code when they update licenses. for roundabouts 2,” a second user agreed.
One TikToker indicated that folks simply just don’t follow this particular rule of the road: “Literally never seen a single person follow this rule in my state.”
And someone else told @m.chaides that they, too, had a run-in with the police as a result of spending a long time driving on the passing lane.
While traffic laws vary from state to state, the left lane is largely considered the “passing lane” and vehicles shouldn’t stay in them for longer than it takes for them to drive past another car on the highway. Take the state of Kentucky, for instance, which stipulates that “it is illegal to drive in the left lane unless you are passing a car. This is to prevent slower drivers from reducing the speed of traffic. Vehicles need to also be a reasonable distance ahead of the car they just passed before switching back over.”
The Daily Dot reached out to @m.chaides via TikTok comment for further information.