Anyone that has driven through the Great Basin or wide open spaces of Nevada, they for sure have experienced highway driving. For most of those rural miles, a two-lane highway links together each town. Many of these towns are old ghost towns from the old mining days or simply old city centers that have seen better days.
The two-lane highway can be dangerous. When a driver heading in one direction needs to pass a slower driver in front of them (moving in the same direction) the only option they have is to get in the lane of oncoming traffic to pass the car in front of them.
Obviously, it is not the ideal situation especially when it can be difficult to gauge the distance of oncoming traffic or if there are turns ahead or hills that may obstruct the view of a car heading in your direction.
When passing a car is not allowed in this scenario, the yellow line separating the two lanes on the pavement will be a double yellow line. Because passing on a two-lane road can be so dangerous it is necessary for all cars to have their headlights on regardless of weather or time of day. By turning your headlights on, it can provide a better optic for cars driving in your direction.
Fortunately, the two-lane highway is only present during the major stretches between each town. In many cases, there are four lanes leading into towns and also heading out of them. That can be a big relief to drivers because when there are four lanes and a driver needs to pass they can simply move to the left lane and pass the slower driver without any fear of having a head-on collision.
Major highways and more insignificant ones that travel through busy city centers will typically all have multiple lanes making driving and passing easier. Although, with more cars due to the busy areas, more dangerous drivers exist.
Even though it should be a relief to drivers to see a vast highway with multiple lanes, the action of some can cause continued difficulty to drivers. Not only do these actions create dangerous situations but they also impede traffic and get a driver cited for a traffic ticket. With multiple lanes, drivers by law are supposed to stay in the right-hand lane except under certain circumstances.
If you get any kind of traffic ticket citation you should contact Ticket Busters immediately. We’ll help you clear up the problem and can oftentimes save you money in the process.
The law that pertains to driving on the right-hand side of a highway is Nevada Revised Statute 484B.200. NRS 484B.200 “Driving on the Right Half of the Highway Required” is a very straightforward statute. Although there are some exceptions that we will review in this article, the law dictates exactly what it says. Drivers operating their automobiles on a multi-lane highway must stay in the right half. The exact verbiage of the NRS is as follows:
Upon all highways of sufficient width a vehicle must be driven upon the right half of the highway, except as follows: (a) When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction under the laws governing such movements;
So this exception allows for drivers operating their vehicles at a faster pace than the car in front of them to move from the right half of the highway to the left lane with the intention to pass. Once passed, the faster driver needs to move back to the right half of the highway at the next available and safest opportunity. You may have noticed the detail in the exception above that reads “….under the laws governing such movements”.
That excerpt refers to the fact that even though there is an exception to move out of the lane to pass, a driver is not allowed to pass in the left-hand lane if they are violating other rules. Most commonly a driver will pass a slower car and exceed the speed limit when doing so. Speeding is speeding so you will still get a ticket for that and a law enforcement officer could potentially cite a driver for violation of NRS 484B.200 as well. In most cases that would not be the case but based on how the statute reads it could be an option.
Another exception is the following: (b) When the right half of the highway is closed to traffic;
This one is pretty obvious. If the law states that you have to drive on the right half of the highway but the right half of the highway is closed off (for whatever reason) then you are allowed to drive on the left-hand side. Although it is common sense, it is spelled out specifically in the statute.
The next exception is: (c) Upon a highway divided into three lanes for traffic under the laws applicable thereon;
If there are three lanes on a highway then half of that would be 1 ½ lanes. Without this exception, NRS 484B.200 would dictate that you occupy the far right lane and half of the middle lane to abide. This exception makes it clear that you can be in the middle lane without violating any traffic laws in Nevada.
The last two exceptions are: (d) Upon a highway designated and posted for one-way traffic; or
(e) When the highway is not of sufficient width.
In most cases, the driving lane on the highway is sufficient in size but sometimes it may not be the case. Most passenger cars and normal-sized trucks will usually not encounter this issue however other obstacles could be on the shoulder which tightens up the driving space.
Anyone driving around Las Vegas or Reno definitely sees all of the road construction and that is not only happening on the surface roads as many highways are experiencing changes as well. When cones and metal signs are placed in the shoulder areas of the highway they are done by the Department of Transportation in safe spaces to not impede normal driving.
However, these obstacles can move over time for many reasons. If those cones and other items shift towards the far right lane it can cause issues and if that occurs you are ok by law to not drive on the right half of the highway.
Another common occurrence where this exception can take place is for larger trucks and machinery. Often their oversized loads make driving in a lane pretty tight to begin with let alone if there are obstacles off to the side. Not only could there be obstacles but when there is a car accident or if someone experiences a flat tire they typically move off to the right-hand shoulder as they wait for assistance. In that case, it is always advised to move out of the right lane and this scenario would certainly fall under the exception.
If you are ever cited for violation of NRS 484B.200 then call Ticket Busters right away. With a little help from you, we can set up a defense. If ticketed by the highway patrol, be sure to take pictures of the situation with your phone. Being able to view how the lanes and shoulder of the highway looked would be helpful and if there were any witnesses it would be good for you to obtain their contact info.
If you get nailed with any kind of traffic ticket or need help with criminal defense contact us at Ticket Busters. Our office is located in downtown Las Vegas and you can simply stop by and see us. There is no need to make an appointment. If easier for you, you may also call or email us.
In our history, we’ve assisted more than 50,000 clients in a variety of legal issues. Let us add you to the list and help you out. Call us today for immediate assistance.