Improper Lane Use

Improper Lane Use is a civil infraction that motorists are frequently cited for. A cop citing you for improper lane use will write up a traffic ticket. The best bet is to avoid a traffic ticket in the first place. Avoiding traffic tickets means first understanding the law. Here is a breakdown of the improper lane use law.

Lane Use in General

Motorists need to drive within a single lane as much as possible. A motorist should not change lanes until ensuring they can make the change safely.

Two-Lane Highways

Motorists should drive in the right-hand lane as much as possible, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle. Motorists should only cross the center line to make left-hand turns.

Three-Lane Highways

Where there is a roadway divided into 3 lanes for 2-way movement, motorists must not operate in the center lane except when overtaking and passing another vehicle driving in the same direction, when the center lane is clear of traffic within a safe distance, or in when making a left turn, or where the center lane is at the time allocated exclusively to traffic moving in the same direction the vehicle is going and the allocation is designated by traffic control devices.

Traffic Control Devices

Official traffic control devices may be established to direct specific lanes of travel and for traffic to use designated lanes. For example, often at intersections we see solid white lanes directing us into lanes where we must turn left, go straight, or turn right. Motorists are not supposed to drive over the solid white lines to change lines. Doing so gives police a reason to pull you over.

Traffic control devices may also prohibit the changing of lanes on sections of the road, and motorists must obey these signs. For example, these would be ‘stay in your lane’ signs.

HOV Lanes

HOV lane stands for high-occupancy vehicle lane. When there is a designated HOV lane, that lane is reserved for HOVs and buses. The restrictions on HOV lanes does not apply to emergency vehicles, police, transit buses. MCL 257.642

Improper Lane Use is a Civil Infraction

Improper lane use is a moving-violation, which means the Secretary of State can assess points on your driving record if you receive a ticket. Call a traffic ticket attorney in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti for help in dealing with an improper lane use ticket. We can go to court for you and speak with the prosecutor and police officer with the goal of getting rid of the ticket and getting a zero-point ticket such as impeding traffic.

Call Us

Call Sam Bernstein at 734-883-9584 or e-mail at

Sam Bernstein is a traffic ticket lawyer in Washtenaw County.

ArborYpsi Law is located at 2750 Carpenter Rd #2, Ann Arbor, MI 48108.

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Traffic Law and Criminal Defense

Knowledge of the traffic laws is instrumental for effective criminal defense. For example, in a driving while intoxicated case, the police officer needs a reason to pull over the driver. Police have over a hundred potential reasons to pull someone over. However, the reason for the pull over must be analyzed in every case to ensure there was legal grounds for the pull over. Those legal grounds are generally based on the civil infractions in the motor vehicle code.

Driving That Can Result In A Civil Infraction Doesn’t Equal Impaired Driving

Often in a DWI trial a prosecutor will argue that a driver’s actions that equate to a civil infraction mean that a person was driving poorly. Is that really the case? Look at the definitions of improper lane use described above. A person who drove in the left-lane of a two-lane highway while not overtaking another vehicle has committed a civil infraction. I would argue this is not an example of poor driving. We have all driven in the left-lane without the need to overtake someone. Perhaps we passed a car a mile ago but remained in the left-lane. This is normal driving behavior that happens to be a civil infraction but doesn’t equate with poor driving. This distinction must be emphasized at trial.

Driving While Intoxicated and Traffic Violations Law

As you can see from the above examples, DWI law and traffic violations are closely related. A criminal defense lawyer cannot practice DWI without a working knowledge of the motor vehicle code. Our traffic ticket practice reinforces our ability to effectively represent clients on DWI cases. We have represented clients on traffic tickets in dozens and dozens of courts in the metro Detroit area, from Chelsea and Saline to Novi and Hamtramck.

Our Practice

ArborYpsi Law specializes in traffic law and DWI law. We study the law, file motions, and run trials. We help clients through all aspects of DWI law and the driver’s license issues, from implied consent hearings to felony DWIs to an SOS driver’s license restoration hearing. A driver’s license is a privilege, and it goes without saying that protection of that license is critical for most people. We will take your driver’s license matter seriously.

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Call 734-883-9584 to speak with an Ann Arbor DWI attorney

“To be an effective criminal defense counsel, an attorney must be prepared to be demanding, outrageous, irreverent, blasphemous, a rogue, a renegade and a hated, isolated and lonely person – few love a spokesman for the despised and the damned.” – Clarence Darrow

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