As a driver in Oklahoma, you are likely familiar with common traffic violations, like drunk driving and exceeding speed limits. However, the Sooner State has some little-known traffic regulations. Did you know, for example, that you may sometimes signal with your arms or that state authorities have restricted left lane use? Learn five Oklahoma traffic laws many people don’t know.
1. If Your Blinkers Aren’t Working, You Must Use Hand Signals
Turning without signaling is illegal in Oklahoma, but what can you do if your blinker lights malfunction? According to Oklahoma traffic laws, in this situation, you must signal with your arm within one-third of a block or 100 feet before turning. To use arm signaling:
- Extend your arm straight out for a left turn
- Point your arm and hand up for a right turn
- Point your arm and hand down to slow down or stop
2. You Can Drive 80 MPH on Some Interstates in Oklahoma
Most freeways in Oklahoma have speed limits from 55 to 70 mph. However, some significant interstates have a higher speed limit of 75 mph, which may rise to 80 mph on specific road segments. Here are a few of the places where the speed limit was raised to 80 MPH:
The Oklahoma speed limit has recently been raised to 80 mph in several locations, including:
- Mile markers 3 to 28 on Cherokee Turnpike, spanning 25 miles
- Mile markers 102 to 107 on H.E. Bailey Turnpike, Norman Spur, covering 5 miles
- Indian Nation Turnpike, a stretch of 11 miles between SH-9 and I-40
- Muskogee Turnpike, spanning 31 miles between Muskogee and Tulsa, Oklahoma
- Turner Turnpike, a 13-mile stretch between Bristow and Sapulpa, Oklahoma
To ensure you always drive lawfully, watch for the speed limit on whichever Oklahoma road you use.
3. Oklahoma Restricts Left Lane Use
Many drivers consider the left lane faster and may weave between lanes to avoid a congested stretch. In 2017, Oklahoma authorities passed the so-called Left Lane Law for safer and more efficient road use.
According to this law, you can use the left lane only for passing and merging or when traffic or road conditions require using the left lane. Violating the Left Lane Law may result in fines, driving record points, and higher insurance rates.
4. Seat Belts Are Optional for Some Passengers
Front-seat passengers must always wear a seat belt in Oklahoma, and violating this rule is a primary offense for which an officer has the right to ticket you. However, back-seat passengers may lawfully ride without a seat belt as long as they are over eight years old, which makes Oklahoma the only state without seat belt requirements for all children.
However, even though riding without a seat belt may be legal, this doesn’t mean it is wise. Buckling up is a minor effort that could save your children or other passengers from severe injury or death in a car accident.
5. Drivers in Oklahoma Must Carry Liability Auto Insurance
While this law isn’t technically specific to Oklahoma, every driver should know about the state’s auto insurance requirements. According to state law, all drivers must carry liability auto insurance that covers the following:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
Driving without insurance is a serious violation that could result in license suspension and heavy fines. Also, liability auto insurance can become a financial safety net if you ever end up causing a car accident.
Bryan Garrett, PLLC: Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Oklahoma City
Better knowledge of Oklahoma traffic laws can help you avoid fines, license suspensions, and other legal penalties. However, even if you’re a cautious driver, you may end up in a car accident through no fault of your own.
If you suffered a motor vehicle accident in Oklahoma City, contact the motor vehicle accident attorneys at Bryan Garrett, PLLC. The legal team can evaluate your case, protect your rights, and guide you through the accident claim process. Call (405) 725-2661 or send a question online today for a free consultation with an OKC car accident lawyer.