Traffic

Left-lane campers, prepare to be unhappy

Lane camping, like what this semitruck at the right is doing on Interstate 5 in Olympia back in 1997, is illegal. Washington State Patrol troopers will be performing a lane camping emphasis next week.
Lane camping, like what this semitruck at the right is doing on Interstate 5 in Olympia back in 1997, is illegal. Washington State Patrol troopers will be performing a lane camping emphasis next week. The Associated Press file, 1997

The Washington State Patrol is planning a statewide emphasis on left-lane campers next week.

Troopers will be watching from Tuesday through Thursday for drivers using the left lane of the state’s highways for long periods without passing people, the State Patrol announced Friday in a news release.

State law requires drivers to stay in the right lane in multilane highways except when passing.

The State Patrol stopped more than 16,000 people for camping in the left lane in 2016. Troopers can give violators a $136 citation. Camping can also lead to road rage, aggressive driving, congestion and crashes, the news release states.

Vehicles towing trailers are also not allowed in the left lane of multilane highways, except when preparing to turn.

Troopers also remind drivers that though the left lane is for passing, it’s still not legal or safe to exceed the speed limit within it. (Speeding is allowed when passing on two-lane highways.)

Kenny Ocker: 253-597-8627, @KennyOcker

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