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

  • Time to read: 4 min.

We were unable to find any specific laws that forbid changing lanes at an intersection in Kentucky, though exhibiting dangerous driving behavior while changing lanes will get you in trouble. 

This article will explain this.

Is It Illegal To Change Lanes In An Intersection In Kentucky? (Explained)

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What do the Kentucky traffic laws say about changing lanes at an intersection?

Most state traffic laws appear similar, but it may be unwise to generalize these laws while driving in different states. 

There are usually subtle differences in driving laws. 

Drivers may get fined for seemingly innocuous driving.

That said, Kentucky provides traffic laws made handily available on its official government website. 

These traffic laws are found in chapter 189 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) and do not categorically state that changing lanes in an intersection is a crime.

On changing lanes

The laws on changing lanes are in the following section; .340 Overtaking vehicles, bicycles, or electric electric-low-speed scooters — Traffic lanes — Following vehicles — Exemption for commercial motor vehicle platoon trailing vehicles.

Subsection 5 states that vehicles should not be driven to the left side of the center of the roadway when overtaking other cars moving in the same direction unless the left side is visible and free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit overtaking.

Furthermore, it states that overtaking vehicles must return to the right side of the road before coming within two hundred feet of cars approaching from the other direction.

Subsection 6 states that the commissioner of highways has the authority to determine highway segments where overtaking or changing lanes would be considered hazardous.

The commissioner may indicate these areas by signs or markings visible to an observant person.

In portions where these signs are sighted, drivers should obey such signs unless indicated otherwise.

Thus, this section depicts that changing lanes in Kentucky have universal rules that drivers should adhere to, whether on a straight road or at an intersection.

When drivers fail to adhere to these rules, they could receive citations.

On Intersections

Traffic laws for driving through intersections are in this section: .330 Turning and right-of-way at intersections.

The commissioner of highways has the authority to put preferential signs or markings at intersections to direct drivers on the right-of-way even though there are some intersection laws on making turns.

Subsection 6 states that the operator of a vehicle intending to turn shall do so as follows:

  • Right turns – right bends should get approached as close to the edge of the road as possible.
  • Left turns – the operator of a vehicle intending to turn left should approach the turn in the extreme left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the direction of travel of such a vehicle. Whenever practicable, the left turn shall be made to the left of the center of the intersection and to leave the junction or other location in the extreme right-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the same direction as such vehicle on the roadway being entered.

Subsection 8 states that the operator of any vehicle shall not turn to proceed in the opposite direction unless he/she can make such a movement in safety without interfering with other traffic.

Why would some states make changing lanes at intersections illegal?

Yes, some states prohibit lane changing at intersections for several reasons. Here are two important reasons.

Traffic:

At intersections, traffic congestion occurs as lots of cars may need to slow down before crossing or turning. In addition, a left-turning car may not see you.

You may also not see right-turning or parked vehicles. They may also not anticipate you. So there is an increased risk of crashes.

Speed:

Most drivers increase their vehicle speed during overtakes. 

Sometimes, drivers inadvertently go above the road speed limit in their bid to overtake other vehicles. 

Impacts are common following speeding.

What If I Changed Lanes In An Intersection and A Crash Occurred?

Two main factors -circumstances preceding and aftermath of a crash-determine the severity of the punishment you may get if a crash occurs because you changed lanes.

Subsection 5 of the Kentucky intersection traffic law states that if an operator is involved in a collision at an intersection, such a crash may be considered prima facie evidence of his failure to yield the right-of-way.

However, before awarding punishment, several factors are considered. 

If damage to property, injuries, or death occurs, awarding severe punishment is within the realm of possibility.

If you think that you are at risk of punishment for your driving, you should quickly contact a Kentucky criminal defense attorney to obtain legal advice.

Can you go to jail in Kentucky for changing lanes at intersections?

Changing lanes at intersections in Kentucky is not prohibited.

However, a change of highways could land you in trouble.

KRS stipulated fines for disobedience to traffic laws. These laws are in the penalties section of the KRS –.990 Penalties. In subsection (1), drivers who disobey lane changes and intersection traffic law changes would get fined. 

You could face jail time if property damage, injuries to individuals, or death occurs.

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Is It Illegal To Change Lanes In An Intersection In Kentucky