New traffic laws taking effect in city
On July 1, 2009, some new laws were passed that will affect all drivers in one way or another. Everyone has had some time to adjust to these new laws, and I thought this would be a good time to remind everyone of these changes and recap them, as follows:
• Right lane law: Mandates that if you are driving on a highway outside the corporate limits of any city, divided into two or more lanes of traffic proceeding in the same direction, you cannot drive in the far left lane, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle, preparing to make a legal left turn, directed by a traffic control device or otherwise directed by law enforcement.
• Move it law: Mandates that if you are a driver of a non-hazardous materials transporting vehicle and are involved in a non-injury accident on an interstate, U.S. highway or any divided or multi-lane roadway in Kansas, you are required to move the vehicles out of the lane of traffic.
This law was intended to keep drivers and passengers safe by getting them out of the lane of traffic.
Move the vehicles to a safe location such as a shoulder or the nearest exit. You can then exchange information or call law enforcement. Keep in mind law enforcement should always be contacted if there are any injuries, the vehicles cannot be moved, if it appears alcohol may be involved, damage exceeds $1,000, the driver does not have insurance or driver leaves the scene of the accident.
Both of these laws are now in effect. However, during the first year, motorists will receive warnings in lieu of a citation. After June 30, 2010, violators of these laws could receive a $60 citation.
One other law that is commonly overlooked is regarding when your headlights are required to be on. Kansas law clearly states that head lamps must be illuminated from sunset to sunrise, when other vehicles cannot be seen at a distance of 1,000 feet due to fog, smoke or unfavorable conditions, and when windshield wipers are in continuous use as a result of rain, sleet, or snow.
As fall and winter approach, it is a good idea to understand these laws, as it is certain the weather will be unfavorable at times, and there will be some unfortunate accidents and it is going to rain. Please drive carefully and obey the laws.
If you would like any additional information about these laws or have any other questions, please contact me, Chief Martley, at the Basehor Police Department at (913) 724-1370.