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

  • Time to read: 5 min.

We were unable to find any Kansas traffic law making it illegal to change lanes in an intersection.

It is not too surprising though, because only a few states have prohibited it.

Our article confirms what we have found regarding relevant driving laws in Kansas.

Is It Illegal To Change Lanes In An Intersection In Kansas? (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?

The best place to look to confirm whether a maneuver is legal (or not) is the current and applicable laws of the state you are present in (not the DMV handbook or a news article).

Kansas expects all drivers to use reasonable caution concerning pedestrians, children, and any people who might be in some kind of difficulty. Statute 8-1535 makes this clear.

This is in addition to any requirements in other statutes toward drivers, passengers, etc.:

Notwithstanding other provisions of this article or the provisions of any local ordinance, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused or incapacitated person.

Source: Kansas Traffic Code 8-1535

Ensuring there is sufficient space for your vehicle on an intersection (and railroad crossing) before proceeding into it is required under Kansas 8-1584:

No driver shall enter an intersection or a marked crosswalk or drive onto any railroad grade crossing unless there is sufficient space on the other side of the intersection, crosswalk or railroad grade crossing to accommodate the vehicle he or she is operating without obstructing the passage of other vehicles, pedestrians or railroad trains notwithstanding any traffic-control signal indication to proceed.

Source: Kansas Traffic Code 8-1584

Adhering to the right side other than when passing or overtaking is covered under 8-1514:

(a) Upon all roadways of sufficient width, a vehicle shall be driven upon the right half of the roadway, except as follows:

When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction under the rules governing such movement

Kansas Traffic Code 8-1514

Overtaking or passing with vehicles traveling in both directions is stipulated under 8-1515:

Drivers of vehicles proceeding in opposite directions shall pass each other to the right, and upon roadways having width for not more than one (1) line of traffic in each direction, each driver shall give to the other at least one-half (1/2) of the main-traveled portion of the roadway as nearly as possible.

Kansas Traffic Code 8-1515

The right-of-way when approaching an intersection is also relevant. This is covered under statute 8-1526:

When two (2) vehicles approach or enter 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.

Kansas Traffic Code 8-1526

When preparing to turn, the correct vehicle positioning and signaling are stipulated in statute 8-1548:

(a) No person shall turn a vehicle or move right or left upon a roadway unless and until such movement can be made with reasonable safety, nor without giving an appropriate signal in the manner hereinafter provided.

(b) A signal of intention to turn or move right or left when required shall be given continuously during not less than the last one hundred (100) feet traveled by the vehicle before turning.

(c) No person shall stop or suddenly decrease the speed of a vehicle without first giving an appropriate signal, in the manner provided herein, to the driver of any vehicle immediately to the rear when there is opportunity to give such signal.

Kansas Traffic Code 8-1548

Neither changing lanes nor overtaking at an intersection was found to be prohibited, as long as it is conducted safely.

Why Do People Generally Think That It’s Illegal To Change Lanes In An Intersection?

It is pretty common to be taught that you should not change lanes in intersections while learning to drive.

The assumption is often made that the reason is that there’s a law prohibiting it, when in fact, it is just a bad idea.

The act of changing lanes in an intersection would normally not be considered reckless driving under statute 8-1566.

However, it is still unusual to see it or to do it. Some might even expect it to be illegal, but in Kansas anyway, it is not.

It is probably a good rule to avoid doing it because should this result in an accident, it will raise uncomfortable questions.

But If It Is Not Illegal In Kansas To Change Lanes In An Intersection, Why Did I Get A Ticket?

You broke some other law. That’s it.

It is often the smaller things that get overlooked or genuine mistakes that fall foul of the law.

For example, changing lanes to get to the one necessary for you, or preparations taken ahead of making a turn and failing to signal first are safety violations.

Brake checking someone behind you, even if done accidentally because your foot slipped, is likely to get pulled up.

Due care means neither driving too quickly nor too slowly. Doing either may endanger other people or property as a result.

Any of the above could be cause for a conversation with a law enforcement officer and perhaps a ticket being issued.

What Happens If A Car Accident Results?

Accidents can occur for different reasons.

Sometimes, people are accused of driving recklessly or being distracted.

Even following too closely behind another driver can have unintended consequences and may be in breach of statute 8-1523.

In the case of bodily harm to others or damage to property, it becomes more concerning.

Seeking the advice of an experienced Kansas motor vehicle accident attorney isla good idea early on, even if you have insurance.

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Is It Illegal To Change Lanes In An Intersection In Kansas