NYS VTL Law
Vehicle and Traffic Law
New York State Consolidated Laws
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Article 25 - NY Vehicle and Traffic Law
DRIVING ON RIGHT SIDE OF ROADWAY, OVERTAKING AND PASSING, ETC.
S 1120 Drive on right side of roadway; exceptions. (a) Upon all
roadways of sufficient width a vehicle shall be driven upon the right
half of the roadway, except as follows:
1. When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same
direction under the rules governing such movement;
2. When overtaking or passing pedestrians, animals or obstructions on
the right half of the roadway;
3. When an obstruction exists making it necessary to drive to the left
of the center of the highway; provided, any person so doing shall yield
the right of way to all vehicles traveling in the proper direction upon
the unobstructed portion of the highway within such distance as to
constitute an immediate hazard;
4. Where travel on the shoulder or slope is permitted by section
eleven hundred thirty-one of this article;
5. Upon a roadway divided into three marked lanes for traffic under
the rules applicable thereon; or
6. Upon a roadway restricted to one-way traffic.
(b) In addition, upon all roadways, any vehicle proceeding at less
than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the
conditions then existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then
available for traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb
or edge of the roadway, except when overtaking and passing another
vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left
turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
(c) Upon any roadway having four or more lanes for moving traffic and
providing for two way movement of traffic, no vehicle shall be driven to
the left of the center line of the roadway, except when authorized by
signs or markings designating certain lanes to the left side of the
center of the roadway for use by traffic not otherwise permitted to use
such lanes, or except as permitted under subsection (a) (2) hereof.
S 1121. Passing vehicles proceeding in opposite directions. Drivers
of vehicles proceeding in opposite direction shall pass each other to
the right, and upon roadways having width for not more than one line of
traffic in each direction each driver shall give to the other at least
one-half of the main-traveled portion of the roadway as nearly as
S 1122. Overtaking a vehicle on the left. The following rules shall
govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same
direction, subject to those limitations, exceptions, and special rules
(a) The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in
the same direction shall pass to the left thereof at a safe distance and
shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely
clear of the overtaken vehicle.
(b) Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the
driver of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of
the overtaking vehicle on audible signal and shall not increase the
speed of his vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.
S 1122-a. Overtaking a bicycle. The operator of a vehicle overtaking,
from behind, a bicycle proceeding on the same side of a roadway shall
pass to the left of such bicycle at a safe distance until safely clear
S 1123. When overtaking on the right is permitted. (a) The driver of a
vehicle may overtake and pass upon the right of another vehicle only
under the following conditions:
1. When the vehicle overtaken is making or about to make a left turn;
2. Upon a street or highway with unobstructed pavement not occupied by
parked vehicles of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving
vehicles in each direction;
3. Upon a one-way street, or upon any roadway on which traffic is
restricted to one direction of movement, where the roadway is free from
obstructions and of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving
(b) The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle upon
the right only under conditions permitting such movement in safety.
Such movement shall not be made by driving off the pavement or
main-traveled portion of the roadway, except as permitted by section
eleven hundred thirty-one of this article.
S 1124. Limitations on overtaking on the left. No vehicle shall be
driven to the left side of the center of the roadway in overtaking and
passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction unless
authorized by the provisions of this chapter and unless such left side
is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient
distance ahead to permit such overtaking and passing to be completely
made without interfering with the operation of any vehicle approaching
from the opposite direction or any vehicle overtaken. In every event the
overtaking vehicle must return to an authorized lane of travel as soon
as practicable and in the event the passing movement involves the use of
a lane authorized for vehicles approaching from the opposite direction,
before coming within two hundred feet of any approaching vehicle.
S 1125. Further limitations on driving to left of center of roadway.
(a) No vehicle shall at any time be driven to the left side of the
roadway under the following conditions:
1. When approaching the crest of a grade or upon a curve in the
highway where the driver`s view is obstructed within such distance as to
create a hazard in the event another vehicle might approach from the
2. When approaching within one hundred feet of or traversing any
railroad grade crossing;
3. When the view is obstructed upon approaching within one hundred
feet of any bridge, viaduct, or tunnel.
(b) The foregoing limitations shall not apply upon a one-way roadway
nor to a vehicle in any lane which is at the time allocated exclusively
to traffic moving in the direction the vehicle is proceeding and is
marked to give notice of such allocation.
S 1126. No-passing zones. (a) When official markings are in place
indicating those portions of any highway where overtaking and passing or
driving to the left of such markings would be especially hazardous, no
driver of a vehicle proceeding along such highway shall at any time
drive on the left side of such markings.
(b) The foregoing limitations shall not apply to the driver of a
vehicle turning left while entering or leaving such highway.
(c) Where a two-way left turn lane or a paved and clearly traversible
dividing section separates the travel lanes for traffic proceeding in
opposite directions, the foregoing limitation shall not apply to the
driver of a vehicle traveling within such lane or section for such
distance as is required for safety in preparing to turn left leaving
such highway or in completing a left turn entering such highway.
S 1127. One-way roadways and rotary traffic islands. (a) Upon a
roadway designated and signposted for one-way traffic a vehicle shall be
driven only in the direction designated.
(b) A vehicle passing around a rotary traffic island shall be driven
only to the right of such island unless otherwise indicated by traffic
S 1128. Driving on roadways laned for traffic. Whenever any roadway
has been divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic the
following rules in addition to all others consistent herewith shall
(a) A vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within
a single lane and shall not be moved from such lane until the driver has
first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety.
(b) Upon a roadway which is divided into three lanes and provides for
two-way movement of traffic a vehicle shall not be driven in the center
lane except when overtaking and passing another vehicle traveling in the
same direction when such center lane is clear of traffic within a safe
distance, or in preparation for making a left turn or where such center
lane is at the time allocated exclusively to traffic moving in the same
direction that the vehicle is proceeding and such allocation is
designated by official traffic-control devices.
(c) When official traffic-control devices direct slow-moving traffic,
trucks, buses or specified types of vehicles to use a designated lane or
designate those lanes to be used by traffic moving in a particular
direction regardless of the center of the roadway, drivers of vehicles
shall obey the directions of every such sign, signal or marking.
(d) When official markings are in place indicating those portions of
any roadway where crossing such markings would be especially hazardous,
no driver of a vehicle proceeding along such highway shall at any time
drive across such markings.
S 1129. Following too closely. (a) The driver of a motor vehicle shall
not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent,
having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon
and the condition of the highway.
(b) The driver of any motor truck or motor vehicle drawing another
vehicle when traveling upon a roadway outside of a business or residence
district and which is following another motor truck or motor vehicle
drawing another vehicle shall, whenever conditions permit, leave
sufficient space so that an overtaking vehicle may enter and occupy such
space without danger, except that this shall not prevent a motor truck
or motor vehicle drawing another vehicle from overtaking and passing any
like vehicle or other vehicle.
(c) Motor vehicles being driven upon any roadway outside of a business
or residence district in a caravan or motorcade whether or not towing
other vehicles shall be so operated as to allow sufficient space between
each such vehicle or combination of vehicles so as to enable any other
vehicle to enter and occupy such space without danger. This provision
shall not apply to funeral processions.
S 1130. Divided and controlled-access highways. 1. Whenever any
highway has been divided into two or more roadways by leaving an
intervening space or by a physical barrier or clearly indicated dividing
section so constructed as to impede vehicular traffic, every vehicle
shall be driven only upon the right-hand roadway unless directed or
permitted to use another roadway by official traffic-control devices or
police officers. No vehicle shall be driven over, across, or within any
such dividing space, barrier, or section, except through an opening in
such physical barrier or dividing section or space or at a crossover or
intersection, as established, unless specifically authorized by public
2. No person shall drive a motor vehicle or motorcycle onto or from
any controlled-access highway except at the established entrances and
exits thereof unless directed or permitted to use another entrance or
exit by official traffic-control devices or police officers.
S 1131. Driving on shoulders and slopes. Except for bicycles and those
classes of vehicles required to travel on shoulders or slopes, no motor
vehicle shall be driven over, across, along, or within any shoulder or
slope of any state controlled-access highway except at a location
specifically authorized and posted by the department of transportation.
The foregoing limitation shall not prevent motor vehicles from using
shoulders or slopes when directed by police officers or flagpersons, nor
does it prevent motor vehicles from stopping, standing, or parking on
shoulders or slopes where such stopping, standing, or parking is lawful.
Top of Page
||Description of Violation
||Failed to keep right
||Failed to keep right (slow moving vehicle)
||Failed to yield one-half roadway
||Passed vehicle on right
||Failed to give way when being passed
||Left pavement to pass on right
||While passing on left, interfered with safe operation of oncoming vehicle
||Drove left of pavement markings
||Wrong way on one-way street
||Moved from lane unsafely
||Failed to use designated lane
||Drove across hazardous markings
||Following too closely
||Failed to leave sufficient space
||Failed to leave sufficient space (motorcade, except funerals)
||Drove across mall/median
||Unauthorized. entry/exit controlled access highway
||Drive on shoulder
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