Is It Illegal To Change Lanes In An Intersection In Connecticut?

We didn’t find a statute prohibiting lane changes in intersections in Connecticut.

But we did find statutes that would allow traffic police to give you a ticket if you were to do so unsafely.

In the article that follows, we’ll explain.

Is It Illegal To Change Lanes In An Intersection In Connecticut? (EXPLAINED)


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Where Are The Laws That I Can Look To In Order To Confirm Whether Lane Changes In An Intersection In This State Are Legal/Illegal?

We did a search but couldn’t find a specific statute prohibiting lane changes in intersections.

Instead, we spotted:

(a) Upon all highways, each vehicle, other than a vehicle described in subsection (c) of this section, shall be driven upon the right, except (1) when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction, (2) when overtaking and passing pedestrians, parked vehicles, animals or obstructions on the right side of the highway, (3) when the right side of a highway is closed to traffic while under construction or repair, (4) on a highway divided into three or more marked lanes for traffic, or (5) on a highway designated and signposted for one-way traffic.

Title 14, Chapter 248, section 14-230

This limits drivers to specific times when they can make a pass.

Here’s another one:

No person shall operate any motor vehicle upon any public highway of the state… recklessly, having regard to the width, traffic and use of such highway, road, school property or parking area, the intersection of streets and the weather conditions. 

Title 14, Chapter 248, Section 14-222

So if a person were to recklessly pass in an intersection, he could be charged with a violation of this specific law.

However, we never did find a law that stated something like “it is illegal to pass in an intersection.”

If you want to look for yourself, check out the Connecticut General Statutes.

But I Thought Making Lane Changes In Intersections Was Illegal?

It might be in some states.

But in Connecticut, it appears that the laws tell us specifically what when we can and can’t pass, and has a mechanism to punish us if we fail to comply with those rules.

Why Do People Think Lane Changes Are Illegal Then?

There may have been statutes in the past that made them illegal.

This also may be the result of driver education.

Since changing lanes in intersections or approaching an intersection is pretty dangerous, most new drivers are probably told not to do it, and to wait until after passing the intersection.

Why Are Intersection Lane Changes Dangerous?

Intersections are vulnerable places for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians.

We are exposed when we take a left, or walk across the street.

People are on their phones, eating, or talking to passengers.

Drivers have to take their eyes off oncoming traffic to check their mirrors on all sides, which leaves them blind to the changes that oncoming drivers are making.

Many accidents occur on a daily basis in intersections.

This is why its just better to wait until after you get through the intersection to move lanes.

What If I Got Into An Accident While Changing Lanes In An Intersection?

If you have recently been involved in an accident, it is a good time to reach out and contact a Connecticut car accident attorney and/or your car accident insurance representative.

If the accident was particularly serious, to the point that you are concerned that criminal charges might be filed against you, most attorneys would recommend that you first contact a Connecticut criminal defense lawyer to guide you through the accident aftermath.

The defense lawyer should be able to give you some pointers about how to navigate the post-accident process and help you from making your situation worse than it already is.

Wrap Up

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Is It Illegal To Change Lanes In An Intersection In Connecticut