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Question #14615 posted on 04/20/2005 3:01 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I was driving down the freeway in Salt Lake today and I noticed a highway patrol officer had pulled over somebody in the carpool lane (I think it was probably because she was the only person in the car, but that's not really relevant...). The driver of the vehicle had pulled off onto the left shoulder of the freeway, and that made me wonder if that is illegal in Utah. Aren't you supposed to always pull over to the right hand side of the road, even on a divided highway/freeway? What does Utah law say about this? Can you be fined more if you violate it (assuming there is, in fact, such a law)?

- Stanley Bostitch

A: Dear Stanley Bostitch,

As far as I can tell, there is no law that prohibits you from pulling to the left. Generally, the right is preferred as there is more room and it is safer. However, traffic conditions and the difficulty of pulling across several lanes of traffic if you are in the carpool lane may justify pulling to the left it there is sufficient room. That is Utah and other states may be different. Ultimately it is up to the officer. They'll let you know if they want you to pull over somewhere other than what you do.

-Pa Grape