Good Question: Can you drive on the shoulder of the road?

August 29, 2017 06:49 AM

You may think using the shoulder of the road to go around a car that is turning is legal, but that is not always the case.

A viewer, who was recently hit by a car using the shoulder of the road, reached out to Pat Taney to ask about New York's Shoulder law. When is it legal to use the shoulder of the road and when is it not?


Motorcyclist Gregory Roth was recently hit at an intersection in Penfield.

"I was heading west at the intersection and trying to turn left. He (the other driver) was heading east and going straight through the intersection," Roth said.

That driver used the shoulder of the road to pass another car that was turning left, striking Gregory in the intersection.

Pat Taney: Was that driver ticketed?

Roth: He was not.

According to the law, he should have been

"You are not allowed to pass vehicles to get to an intersection," said Gates Police Officer Michael Ludolph.

But, according to the law, you can use the shoulder to pass a car when you're not approaching an intersection.

"You are allowed to overtake a vehicle if they are in the process of or making a left turn into a business."

That's provided again if it's a straight road and there's no intersection ahead.

If you do use the shoulder, under the law, it can only be used to bypass one vehicle.

"The shoulder is not meant for a lane of traffic, so if there is a line of cars, you are not allowed to drive on that shoulder to pass multiple cars,” Officer Ludolph said.

Roth does not think enough people know this.

"The awareness is not out there and it should be addressed because it's done every day."

He feels more police officers should look out for this, including the officers who handled his accident investigation.

"They should do more cracking down on it to make people aware of it because everyone does it."

In the cases when it's legal to use the shoulder, again not at an intersection and only to go around one car max, you must use your blinkers and get back into your lane as quickly as possible. 


Pat Taney

Copyright 2017 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

Relay Media Amp

We no longer have Facebook comments on this site. Please visit our Facebook Page to join the conversation.