When it comes to driving in Texas, we have all seen our fair share of OMG moments and have probably been in a few moments we would like to forget and never relive.

These moments often happen because another driver is impatient and wants to get somewhere in a hurry. Their actions can be considered scary and dangerous.

What I witnessed happening while driving from Tyler to Longview on Highway 31 was shocking and a bit unsettling too. One impatient driver passed another driver on the right shoulder when there was only one lane of traffic in that section of the road.

We had all been traveling the posted speed limit, but for some reason, the car in front of me wanted to go faster and could not wait until there were two lanes going in our direction to safely pass the car in front of him so he used the shoulder to pass.

After witnessing that bold and daring traffic maneuver it got me thinking...

Is passing a car on the right shoulder legal in Texas?

That's the question I was left with answering myself. Technically the answer is yes, but what this driver did in this situation was completely illegal. According to the Texas Transportation Code Chapter 458 Section 058, driving on an improved shoulder has to be done in a safe manner and if the following conditions are met:

  • to stop, stand or park
  • to accelerate before entering the main traveled lane of traffic
  • to decelerate before making a right turn
  • to pass another vehicle that is slowing or stopped on the main traveled portion of the highway, disabled or preparing to make a left turn
  • to allow another vehicle traveling faster to pass
    as permitted or required by an official traffic-control device
  • to avoid a collision

The bottom line is if you're using an improved right shoulder to simply pass another vehicle it is against the law in Texas and you could be issued a citation if the incident was seen by law enforcement.

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