Coasting Down a Hill is Illegal in Most States.

Written by Gregory Monte.

I have to apologize to my readers from Virginia.  I wrote a blog post last week where I ridiculed two Virginia laws: Dumb and Dumber – These two Virginia driving laws are as silly as it gets.

Well, it turns out that most other states also have one of those “silly” Virginia laws – the prohibition against coasting down a hill.  I haven’t completely finished my research, but I wanted to get this post out as soon as possible to update the legal standing on this issue.

Here is an example of the language used in most of the “anti-coasting” statutes:

Alabama Motor Vehicle Code, Section 32-5A-57: Coasting prohibited.

(a) The driver of any motor vehicle when traveling upon a down grade shall not coast with the gears or transmission of such vehicle in neutral or the clutch disengaged.

(b) The driver of a truck or bus when traveling upon a down grade shall not coast with the clutch disengaged.

Before the detractors start chiming in, I already understand why a several ton truck shouldn’t do this. But I made the point in that earlier blog post that I did it all of the time in my 5-speed Honda Civic and had no issues. I offer the possibility that maybe Vermont has the proper approach when it comes to coasting (see below).

So far I have only found two states where it is perfectly legal to coast: Pennsylvania and MinnesotaVermont is a “half-way” case, because it allows regular drivers to coast but not trucks or buses.

Here is the list of states which I am still researching because my initial search was not conclusive: Alaska, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Stay tuned.


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