7 Oklahoma Traffic Laws Drivers Commonly Ignore

Oklahoma motorists frequently ignore rules of the road, such as not following too closely and passing on the left.

The rules of the road are in place for the safety of each and every person on Oklahoma’s roads. Still, some drivers regularly fail to obey traffic laws and present a danger to other travelers.

Below, you’ll find seven Oklahoma traffic laws that are often ignored. Keep reading to learn what they are and what to do to comply with the rules of the road.

Learn more with these additional resources:

1. Oklahoma Slower Traffic Keep Right Law: The “Move Over” Rule

Oklahoma law states that if you are moving slower than the traffic around you, you must drive in the right lane. You should keep towards the right-hand curb if the road is only one lane. The only exceptions to the move-over rule are when you need to pass another vehicle or are getting ready to turn left.

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 when available for traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway and may be temporarily driven upon the right-hand shoulder for the purpose of permitting other vehicles to pass.

This shall not apply 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.

OK Statutes § 47-11-301

2. Oklahoma Flow of Traffic Law: The “Minimum Speed” Rule

There is no Oklahoma statewide minimum speed. But, you still cannot drive slowly enough to impede or block the normal flow of traffic.

Additionally, you must maintain at least the posted pace if a sign sets a minimum speed. Unless you need to slow down for safety or to comply with the law, a police officer can ticket you for driving too slowly.

No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.

Whenever the State Highway Commission or local authorities determine that slow speeds on any part of a highway consistently impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, the Commission or such local authority may determine and declare a minimum speed limit below which no person shall drive a vehicle except when necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.

OK Statutes § 47-11-804

3. Oklahoma Driving in Left Lane Law: The “Passing on the Left” Rule

To pass another vehicle on Oklahoma roads, you must pass on the left. First, you need to signal that you intend to pass. Then, be sure to completely clear the other vehicle before moving back to the right.

If you need to enter lanes headed in the opposite direction, you cannot come within 100 feet of any oncoming vehicles. You must wait until traffic headed the other way is sufficiently clear before passing.

When a driver behind you signals they intend to pass, you must allow them to overtake your car. You also cannot speed up until the other motorist has completed the pass.

The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle 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.

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.

Every driver who intends to pass another vehicle, which requires moving his vehicle from one lane of traffic to another, shall first see that such movement can be made with safety and shall proceed to pass only after giving a proper signal by hand or mechanical device.

OK Statutes § 47-11-303

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 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 safe operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction or any vehicle overtaken.

In every event the overtaking vehicle must return to the righthand side of the roadway before coming within one hundred (100) feet of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction.

OK Statutes § 47-11-305

4. Oklahoma Rear-End Collision Law: The “Following Too Closely” Rule

In Oklahoma, it is illegal to follow another vehicle without leaving a “reasonable and prudent” space between your cars. The amount of space that’s reasonable will depend on weather and highway condition and the other vehicle’s speed.

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.

OK Statutes § 47-11-310

5. Oklahoma Mobile Phone Driving Law: The “Hands-Free Driving” Rule

You must use your cell phone’s hands-free mode to send or read texts or emails while driving in Oklahoma. You cannot type into your phone unless you are contacting emergency services such as police, EMS, or a fire department.

It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle on any street or highway within this state while using a hand-held electronic communication device to manually compose, send or read an electronic text message while the motor vehicle is in motion.

The provisions shall not apply if the person is using the cellular telephone or electronic communication device for the sole purpose of communicating with any of the following regarding an imminent emergency situation: an emergency response operator; a hospital, physician’s office or health clinic; aprovider of ambulance services; a provider of firefighting services; or a law enforcement agency.

OK Statutes § 47-11-901d

6. Oklahoma Four-Way Intersection Law: The “4-Way Stop” Rule

Oklahoma law includes specific instructions for motorists who reach an intersection at nearly the same time. In these situations, the driver on the left must yield the right of way.  The vehicle to the right will go first.

When two vehicles enter or approach an intersection from different highways at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.

OK Statutes § 47-11-401

7. Oklahoma Left Turn Intersection Law: The “Right of Way” Rule

In Oklahoma, you need to yield to approaching vehicles before making a left turn. Cutting in front of any oncoming vehicles and creating a safety hazard is illegal. First, cede the right of way, wait for traffic to clear, and then proceed with the turn.

The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is so close thereto when initiating such turn as to constitute an immediate hazard.

OK Statutes § 47-11-402

Obeying Oklahoma’s traffic laws can help you stay out of accidents and avoid getting tickets. By complying with the rules of the road, you will be a smarter, safer driver. So, try to remember these seven traffic laws next time you’re behind the wheel.

Amy Grover is a licensed attorney in the state of Ohio. After graduating magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, then passing the bar exam in 2014, Amy began her diverse career as a practicing attorney. Amy has a range of experience in the legal field, including work with the Department... Read More >>