Washington State Patrol targeting left lane ‘campers’ June 20-22


    The Washington State Patrol June 20-22 will be conducting a statewide focus on drivers who “camp” in the left lane.

    State law requires all vehicles to keep right except when passing on multiple lane roadways. Left lane “campers” are drivers who remain in the passing lane (left lane) for long periods of time without passing.

    The WSP targets left lane violators to educate them on the consequences of “camping” in the left lane. Left lane camping can lead to road rage, aggressive driving, traffic congestion, and collisions. If you’re caught camping in the left lane it could result in a $136 ticket. The WSP contacted 16,453 left lane violators last year.

    “The WSP would like to remind everyone to save their camping for the wilderness and not the left lane,” the state patrol said in an announcement.


    1. Seriously this might have been a good law when we did not have bumper to bumper traffic; but we need all lanes to move traffic!

    2. It would be helpful if the State Patrol would give us added information on how to use the left lane during heavy traffic and when all are traveling at the limit. We are not allow to exceed the limit even for passing as I read the law so that would mean we much leave the left lane when all are traveling at the limit. What are we suppose to do when we are traveling at the limit and using the carpool lane. Can we stay in the carpool lane and drive the limit?

      We need better information to do what is legally right.

      • Nah it’s up to the police to make something up after they pull you over because they probably don’t know the law either other than to not drive in the left lane.

      • Darrol, The HOV lane is not the left lane that they refer to. The left/passing lane is the left lane of the general purpose lanes. They will be targeting the “campers” who go slower than those in lanes to the right of them. If you are in stop and go traffic then you are unable to pass them so they wouldn’t be targeting you in that situation.

          • Mr. Haug, here is what the law says;
            “It is a traffic infraction to drive continuously in the left lane of a multilane roadway when it impedes the flow of other traffic.”

            I’m not sure what you mean by “…follow the law and stay at the speed limit…” If you’re asking if it is legal to stay in the left lane AT the speed limit and not be passing anyone, the answer is, no. Also note that section of the law says “continuously,” which means that temporarily moving to the left to do such things as allowing merging traffic onto the hwy or moving left to prepare to take the next immediate legal left turn is permitted.

    3. They want to produce revenue. Ticket normal drivers in the left lane so you can then ticket speeders in the left lane. It has nothing to do with safety.

    4. I do not share the idea that our State Patrol is out to just produce revenue or make things up. They are trying to help us all be safer and more efficient in how we use our roads. I am just looking for answers on how to best comply with the law and nothing else.

      • Thank you for saying this! They are doing a sometimes dangerous, and a valuable and very necessary job.

    5. Finally! Washington decides to enforce one of the basic rules of the road, one they have enforced in Germany for over fifty years. We are taught, and correctly so, that for safety reasons, slower traffic should keep to the right but chaos has been the order of the day due to lack of enforcement. It is too bad that the HOV lanes aren’t being targeted as well because that is where a lot of the campers reside, thinking that the goal of the HOV is for their comfort instead of moving all traffic efficiently and safely. Slow HOV’ers cause other HOV’er to pass on the right which is a major cause of confusion and accidents. It really is rather simple: drive in the lane where traffic is traveling at the speed consistent with the speed you wish to drive.


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