Traffic Tip: Driving on right side of roadway
By Zac De La Rosa
July 7, 2012 at 2:07 a.m.
Today, I am addressing two separate laws that are often related and committed at the same time by drivers.
Sec. 545.051. Driving on right side of roadway. (a) An operator on a roadway of sufficient width shall drive on the right half of the roadway, unless:
(1) the operator is passing another vehicle;
(2) an obstruction necessitates moving the vehicle left of the center of the roadway and the operator yields the right-of-way to a vehicle that:
(A) is moving in the proper direction on the unobstructed portion of the roadway; and
(B) is an immediate hazard;
(3) the operator is on a roadway divided into three marked lanes for traffic; or
(4) the operator is on a roadway restricted to one-way traffic.
Sec. 545.303. Additional parking regulations.
(a) An operator who stops or parks on a two-way roadway shall do so with the right-hand wheels of the vehicle parallel to and within 18 inches of the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.
Why the emphasis on these particular traffic laws?
A concerned citizen has brought it to my attention that drivers in her neighborhood often approach the cluster mailbox on her street by driving across the lane of traffic and parking on the left side of the street so they could be closer to the mailbox. There are currently no city ordinances regulating the blocking of mailboxes, however, it is very inconsiderate and may prevent people from receiving their mail. The action occurring in this scenario does, however, violate traffic law. Drivers should stay to the right of the center of the street unless passing, turning left, or safely avoiding an obstruction or hazard in the proper lane of traffic. Crossing the oncoming lane of traffic can result in head on collisions and should be avoided.
Parking on the wrong side of the road may also be very dangerous to you and other drivers. If you are parked on the left side of the street and another vehicle is parked directly in front of you, your field of vision is greatly obstructed and your rear view mirrors will be of no use to help you scan the lane of oncoming traffic that needs to be crossed as you enter the roadway.
Just remember to stay to the right and park on the right. Drive smart and drive safe.
If you have a traffic law question, contact Senior Patrol Officer Zac De La Rosa, Victoria Police Department Traffic Safety Unit, 361-485-3700.