S-0983.2          _______________________________________________


                                 SENATE BILL 5561



State of Washington              52nd Legislature             1991 Regular Session


By Senators Erwin, Thorsness, Hansen, Anderson, Johnson, McMullen, Sellar, Bluechel, von Reichbauer, Nelson and A. Smith.


Read first time February 7, 1991.  Referred to Committee on Transportation.Requiring signs reminding drivers to keep right.

     AN ACT Relating to driving on multilane highways; amending RCW 46.61.100; and creating a new section.




     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.      The legislature finds that increased population growth in our state has spawned increased traffic and its accompanying problems, including traffic delay and increased accident potential.  The legislature also finds that better public awareness of rules of the road will help alleviate these problems.


     Sec. 2.  RCW 46.61.100 and 1986 c 93 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:

     (1) Upon all roadways of sufficient width a vehicle shall be driven upon the right half of the roadway, except as follows:

     (a) When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction under the rules governing such movement;

     (b) When an obstruction exists making it necessary to drive to the left of the center of the highway; provided, any person so doing shall yield the right of way to all vehicles traveling in the proper direction upon the unobstructed portion of the highway within such distance as to constitute an immediate hazard;

     (c) Upon a roadway divided into three marked lanes and providing for two-way movement traffic under the rules applicable thereon; or

     (d) Upon a street or highway restricted to one-way traffic.

     (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 (a) when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction, (b) when traveling at a speed greater than the traffic flow, (c) when moving left to allow traffic to merge, or (d) when preparing for a left turn at an intersection, exit, or into a private road or driveway when such left turn is legally permitted.  On any such roadway, a motor truck shall be driven only in the right-hand lane except under the conditions enumerated in (a) through (d) of this subsection.

     (3) It is a traffic infraction to drive continuously in the left lane of a multilane roadway when it impedes the flow of other traffic.

     (4) Upon any roadway having four or more lanes for moving traffic and providing for two-way movement of traffic, a vehicle shall not be driven to the left of the center line of the roadway except when authorized by official traffic control devices designating certain lanes to the left side of the center of the roadway for use by traffic not otherwise permitted to use such lanes, or except as permitted under subsection (1)(b) of this section.  However, this subsection shall not be construed as prohibiting the crossing of the center line in making a left turn into or from an alley, private road or driveway.

     (5) The department of transportation shall, at appropriate places on multilane state and interstate highways, place signs making the following or substantially similar statement:  "Keep right except to pass."  The department shall place such signs in sufficient quantity to adequately notify drivers of the existence of the requirements of this section.