Is It Illegal To Change Lanes In An Intersection In West Virginia?

  • Time to read: 5 min.

No, we failed to find any statute making it illegal to change lanes in an intersection in West Virginia.

Nevertheless, it is a good idea not to try doing it.

Plenty of other traffic codes is relevant for anyone driving in West Virginia.

Our article covers the important ones.

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

Disclaimer

The contents of this web page are for informational purposes only, and nothing you read is intended to be legal advice. Please review our disclaimer about law/legal-related information on this website before taking action based upon anything you read or see.

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).

West Virginia has statute §17C-7-2 which legislates what a driver of a vehicle passing another on opposite sides of the road is expected to do:

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

(b) Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $100; upon a second conviction within one year thereafter, shall be fined not more than $200; and upon a third or subsequent conviction, shall be fined not more than $500.

Source: West Virginia Code §17C-7-2

A vehicle on the approach to an intersection is legislated under statute §17C-9-1:

(a) The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to a vehicle which has entered the intersection from a different highway.

(b) When two vehicles enter an intersection from a different highway 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.

(c) The right-of-way rules declared in subsections (a) and (b) are modified at through highways and otherwise as hereinafter stated in this article.

Source: West Virginia Code §17C-9-1

Making a left turn at an intersection has a statute too:

The driver of a vehicle within an intersection intending to turn to the left shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard, but said driver, having so yielded and having given a signal when and as required by this chapter, may make such left turn and the drivers of all other vehicles approaching the intersection from said opposite direction shall yield the right- of-way to the vehicles making the left turn.

Source: West Virginia Code §17C-9-2

Actually, turning and signaling have considerably legislation covering this activity. It is best to read up on it.

Also, no-passing zones may exist under statute §17C-7-7:

(a) The commissioner of highways is hereby authorized to determine those portions of any highway where overtaking and passing or driving to the left of the roadway would be especially hazardous and may by appropriate signs or markings on the roadway indicate the beginning and end of such zones and when such signs or markings are in place and clearly visible to an ordinarily observant person every driver of a vehicle shall obey the directions thereof.

(b) Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $100; upon a second conviction within one year thereafter, shall be fined not more than $200; and upon a third or subsequent conviction, shall be fined not more than $500.

Source: West Virginia Code §17C-7-7

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.

Let’s face it, moving lanes in an intersection demonstrates poor planning on the part of the driver.

But alone (without other circumstances), it is not on the books as illegal.

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

You violated a law…just a different one.

Tickets may be issued when a driver has made a minor or major error in driving technique.

Sometimes, they may be let off with just a warning. But most of the time, the infraction may have put other drivers, passengers, or pedestrians at risk.

At which point, the peace officer feels they have to act.

The reasons for a ticket are various, such as driving that’s too slow, being too close to the vehicle in front, exceeding the speed limit, or performing an unsound lane change at the wrong moment.

What Happens If A Car Accident Results?

Accidents may not always be your fault. But they aren’t avoidable in every situation.

Sometimes, you may be getting blamed for one despite your protestations of innocence.

In this case, the assistance of an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney may be required.

You need to be prepared for what may be to come.

Wrap Up

Want to learn more about the courts and our justice system?

Browse our free legal library guides for more information.

You might also like:

Is It Illegal To Change Lanes In An Intersection In West Virginia