Ugh, it happened again. I was waiting behind a car, on a two lane road, the car in front of me was making a left, I was waiting to go straight and a car worked their way onto the shoulder to go around us both. 

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I guess I wasn't moving fast enough, ya' know, because of the car directly in front of me, blocking my way. Silly me, didn't I know I was supposed to go around the car? Take my chances on the pot-holey shoulder?

So, I had to find out, is it legal to pass someone on the right? Using the shoulder to do it?

I know people do it all of the time, but it is legal? So I did a little bit of digging. By the way, if you know a police officer, ask them for me if you can get a ticket for doing it. I would love to hear what they have to say.

Here is what the New York State DMV had to say, from their website, this is from right under the section, "How To Pass on The Right:"

You can pass a vehicle on the right only in the conditions listed below and only if you can pass safely. You cannot drive on or across the shoulder or edge line of the road unless a sign allows it or when indicated by a traffic officer.

So what are the "conditions' that it is okay for you to pass someone on the right? Right off the bat with the first condition, it says when the car in front of you is making a left turn.

  • When a vehicle ahead makes a left turn.
  • When you are on a two-way road that is marked for two or more lanes or is wide enough for two or more lanes, and passing is not prohibited by signs or restricted by parked cars or other obstructions.
  • When you drive on a one-way road that is marked for two or more lanes or is wide enough for two or more lanes, and passing is not prohibited by signs or restricted by parked cars or other obstructions.

So, I am still left with the question of is it a ticket-able driving offense? I am thinking that it probably isn't otherwise police officers would be writing a lot more tickets for it, at least in the Hudson Valley, where this happens all of the time.  I am still confused.

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