by Tim McCool
Hi, I’m Technical Trooper Tim McCool, with the Kansas Highway Patrol. I’m the Public Resource Officer for Troop B, in Topeka. I’m here today to tell you about several new laws that our Kansas Legislature passed in their last session.
The first one is the “Stay to the Right” law, or for those of us that spend a lot of time on our highway system, the “Don’t Linger in the Left Lane” law. And for those of us that have been around for a while it should be somewhat familiar. We had this one on the books at one time but it went by the wayside several decades back. It goes something like this:
Drivers should not travel in the far left lane of traffic, unless:
•Actively, overtaking and passing another vehicle
• Preparing to make a proper left turn (Several miles before your turn doesn’t qualify!)
• Directed to by official traffic control devices or emergency personnel
• Or otherwise required by other provisions of the law.
This works on all multi-lane roadways in our state, unless you are within the city limits of a city and then it is set aside because of the increased traffic volume and movement of vehicles. This went into effect on July 1 this year, but because we are in an education period for the first year, law enforcement officers are just warning motorists until July 1, 2010.
The second law I would like to tell you about deals with motor vehicle collisions, more specifically the “Minor Fender Bender.” This law also went into effect on July 1 this year. If you have a non-injury crash on any interstate highway, U.S. highway, or any multi-lane or divided highway and are NOT transporting any hazardous materials, then drivers are required to make all reasonable efforts to move their vehicles off the roadway. Why did this law come about? Because of the secondary collisions caused by people leaving their vehicles in the roadway and the traffic control problems associated with those situations.
So when do you call law enforcement?
• When there are any injuries
•When the vehicles are disabled and can’t be moved without damaging the roadway
• When one of the drivers seems intoxicated
• When the damage exceeds $1,000 (and nowadays that’s only a scratch!)
• When one of the drivers has no proof of insurance
• When one of the drivers leaves the scene
Get the picture? if it doesn’t feel right, call us. If it’s only minor then exchange information:
• Driver’s License number
• Telephone number
• Vehicle license number
• Vehicle description (make, model, year of vehicle)
• Insurance information
• Names and contact information of any witnesses
Again, this went into effect on July 1 of this year but because we are in an education period for the first year, law enforcement officers are just warning motorists until July 1, 2010.
Happy Trails Campers,
Tim McCool is a Public Resource Officer for the Kansas Highway Patrol.