Coasting Down a Hill is Illegal in Most States (Part Two)

Written by Gregory Monte.

This blog post is a follow-up to Friday’s where I discussed the interesting fact that coasting a vehicle down a hill is illegal in most states.  Now that I have completed the research, I can provide a comprehensive list of the states that actually allow this driving behavior.

Just so you understand what I mean by “coast,” here is an example of the standard language used to prohibit this action:

Michigan 257.678 Coasting prohibited

“(1) The driver of a motor vehicle when traveling upon a down grade shall not coast with the gears of the vehicle in neutral.”

“(2) The driver of a commercial motor vehicle when traveling upon a down grade shall not coast with the clutch disengaged.”

States Where Coasting is Legal for All Vehicles: Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin.

States Where Coasting is Only Illegal for Trucks/Buses: Vermont, Connecticut.

All other states prohibit coasting of any kind by any vehicle.

Historical Notes

North Carolina had a prohibition against coasting up until 1995: §§ 20-165 – Repealed by Session Laws 1995, c. 379, s. 6.

Ohio also had the prohibition under its old motor vehicle code Section 73.07 but the new code Chapter 4511 removed it.

If you want some real traffic law history, check out the book Traffic Laws Annotated (1979). You can read this for free on Google.


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