States take aim at slow drivers in the left lane

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Move over or pay up. That’s the message from police to slowpokes.

Multiple states are taking aim at drivers clogging up the left lane on highways by passing laws that could lead to fines up to $500 for drivers who refuse to move over when traffic backs up behind them.

Indiana recently passed a bill that will allow police to cite drivers in the left lane if they are holding up other motorists. While tickets could reach up to $500, it’s likely most fines will be much less, according to USA Today.

The bill goes into effect July 1. The new law does not apply during severe weather situations and traffic jams.

Lawmakers in Oregon are also considering a similar bill. Last year, troopers in Oregon pulled over 14,000 drivers for left lane violations, but in many cases they only issued a warning. The new bill calls for penalties of $124 or more, depending on how far under the speed limit drivers are going.

Georgia, New Jersey, Florida, and Michigan have similar laws in place. A bill introduced in the North Carolina senate earlier this year would allow police to fine drivers $200 for driving below the maximum speed in the left lane.

Studies have continuously shown it is safer to pass on the left. Drivers hogging the left lane also increase the likelihood of crashes by backing up traffic.

Forty states now have some form of penalty in place for drivers clogging up traffic, according to NBC.

51 comments

  • tk421

    OK…..THIS IS REALLY STUPID…WHAT A WASTE OF RESOURCES…PLEASE PULL OVER ALL THE A**H**LES WHO ARE DOING 15025 OVER, THEY ARE THE REAL PROBLEM.

    • Mia

      I agree with you about the speeders. There are so many of them that get away with going 15 to 20 mph over the speed limit. They are the only ones going to benefit from this not the law abiding citizens.

      • Aldo Carobene

        Exactly so….that way the police can charge you for going too slow and charged me for going too fast, its a win win for them. Who can complain the police will make much more money.

    • Wilson

      You are wrong tk421. Just drive at your constant 65 or 70 in the right lane where you should be driving and allow those drivers who choose to go a bit faster to use the left lane to pass you and they will then slide back into the right lane AHEAD OF YOU where they can set their cruise control to say 73mph’s and not even worry about getting a ticket. Just stay out of the way and the road will be safer for everybody!!!

      • Mia

        Problem with that Wilson. Most of the time they pass you just to get in front of you to slow down to do the speed limit. So what is the point of passing someone who is already doing the speed limit if you’re just going to do the same and slow them down way below the speed limit.

      • JackRippedOneEw

        “Just stay out of the way and the road will be safer for everybody!” Typical arrogant driver. The world revolves around you, the road was placed there for you, and everyone on it is just an obstacle and burden to YOU.

        The real problem on the road is not a matter of speed. It’s a matter of the average driver having an inflated sense of ability. That’s ego. Add to that steaming pile some impatience, selfishness, aggression, and apathy. Studies have shown that most drivers who claim to possess expert driving abilities in fact are average or worse.

        We’ve now established that your driving skills are [likely] not great. With that said, how about you just go the speed limit and live with it? Or are you too dumb to time when to properly leave?

    • JT

      Your statement screams your ignorance, and you are definitely part of the problem, including being partially to blame for the speeders. The left lane is primarily for passing. When a slower driver insists on staying in the left lane (especially when there is room to the right) you are creating a dangerous situation, as faster drivers then must pull into the slower lanes, which weren’t meant for passing. If everyone followed the rules, there would be far less traffic jams, and need for people to speed. Most proTruckers know this. If you lived in Germany, and drove on the autobahn, you would definitely get rear ended… And it would be your fault!

    • John

      You are so wrong, slow people in the left (passing) lane clog it up and force others to pass in slower traffic on the right creating a more hazardous situation as the differences in speed are greater. Let the police do the policing and worry about yourself.

  • Bdoe

    So even if i am doing the SPEED LIMIT.. i am required to remove myself from the left lane to allow the SPEEDERS a lane to use? This is fantastic! NOT!

    • Taylor

      You can’t really stop people from speeding…it’s never going to happen; so might as well stop people from backing them up.

      • Mia

        So it’s ok for people to speed and risk peoples lives? How is that fair to those who abide by the speed limit?

      • CommonSense

        MIA, there is no correlation of the increase in speeds to increase in accidents. Look it up. That is why limits have been going up over the years.

      • tac

        Because also going the speed limit can create an environment in which you may also risk people’s lives. Especially if you are not a courteous driver and you see that someone would like to pass you or go faster, so you hold them up because you are angry and choose to be a jerk about it… That is the beginning of road rage. Enough said… Speed limits…they are relative. A group of people sit in a building an decide what the limit should be. It could be 45 in one area, 55 the next. It’s all up to what someone in the government decides….

      • Taylor

        I’m saying there are signs that say slow traffic stay in the right lane, doesn’t matter how fast you are going. If you are the slower one holding up the faster people behind you for example you are going 65 and they are going 75, it doesn’t matter if they are speeding…you are going slower and need to get in the right lane like the signs say. I’m sure the police officers will still do their job and pull over the people speeding, just listen to the law!

      • Mia

        I have seen numerous people speed past that had to be doing well over 80 and never get pulled over………. How is that considered safe when the speed limit is 65? To me that is risking lives of people around you and yourself…..

    • exlonghauler

      BDOE, in a word YUP. When I was driving big trucks we saw time and again the near incidents caused by people trying to get around another driver. Now picture places that have a limit 10 to 20 mph for trucks, they do exist, and think of all the people risking their safety as well as others to get around them. Do you realize there are places where it is illegal to be in the left lane except to pass even when no one is behind you. I say about time they start pushing this.

    • Wilson

      How long have you been a licensed driver bdoe?? You should remember this from driver’s Ed??? The left lane is for passing slower moving traffic. Once you complete your pass you move back into the right lane. So many ignorant drivers, so little time to teach them the rules of the road…..

    • DasAuto

      BDOE, yes, you are to remove yourself from the left lane. Not so much for speeders, but to have the lane clear for emergency vehicles.

    • Joe

      its unfortunate how often the left lane is mischaracterized as the “fast lane.” It is also unfortunate that so many people don’t know w

    • sarah

      Your comment is false. Fact, in oregon slow drivers are driving 10 to 20 under speed limit. Fact, they then speed up not to let you pass. Fact, not everyone passing is speeding. Fact, you can be slow and horribly dangerous. Cutting off vehicles, blocking people traveling at speed limit, speeding in slow zones only to go slow on higher speed zones, swerving, no blinkers, not stopping for pedestrians or bicyclists, texting, tailgating at 40 is still unsafe. Fact, most drivers are forced to speed by trying to pass left lane hogs. These same people that travel 45 also increase their speed to prevent people from passing. I’ve spent years driving. There are certain states that are known for bad habits. Somehow the media keeps saying slow is safe and while yes not driving at 100 is smart and safe. Certain people maintain that they are excellent drivers as long as they go slow. 30 on the freeway! You might as well just take a bus or stay off the freeways if you can’t maintain a steady speed or pass another car.

  • Mia

    This is getting out of hand with this to be honest. You’re allowing speeders to get away with committing a crime which isn’t fair to those of us who do the speed limit and drive with common sense. The ones who speed and text and drive are the issues. Not the ones who abide by the law……….

      • Mia

        I have heard so many people say that until they hit someone and severely injure or kill someone due to speeding. I have seen what speeding can do to someone so don’t tell me speeding isn’t a crime. I have had family in Indiana and other states hit by people who were doing well over the speed limit and to be honest they were lucky to even survive while the people who hit them left the scene without a scratch. Plus I have been in accidents myself where people have hit me because they were distracted and speeding in Indiana. When you add the ” distracted driving ” to the speed factor you’re asking for a major issue on roads. I see it all the time on major highways in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana. I travel frequently from Wisconsin to Indiana and there are times I hate being in a car because of the drivers who are distracted by phones and radios because they don’t pay attention to the roads. So if I seem like I feel strongly against speeding then sorry but I feel if you want to get to your location safe then you should leave sooner and drive the speed limit not speed and take a risk of causing an accident and possibly killing someone…….

  • CommonSense

    The left lane is for passing and while passing you can go over the speed limit. Everyone who sits in the left lane under the speed limit should be fined because they are an obstruction to other drivers. The speed at which cars go does not affect the accident rate and has been proven many times over so dont give me this “oh they are going so fast they are the problem!”

    • Wilson

      Commonsense you are actually wrong you cannot exceed the speedlimit to pass even though everyone does so. If you looked in a driver’s ed textbook or spoke to a driving instructor that is what you will find.

      • CommonSense

        Wilson, my name is set to common sense for a reason.. obviously its technically a violation. But common sense shows you that everyone does it and unless your going exceedingly fast, you wont get a ticket. Therefore you CAN speed, like I said. I didnt say it wasnt a violation I said it is usually allowed and the passing lane is the designated lane. I’m glad they are giving tickets for being obstructive in the left lane, its more dangerous than someone passing.

    • Mia

      Just wondering something here…. Do you know me personally and how I drive? Most people who know me and how I drive realize I am a safe driver because I won’t go faster than the posted speed limit. I don’t have a lot of $$$$ to spend just to pay tickets for speeding tickets. If you haven’t been in a vehicle with me then don’t judge my driving skills……. I am a safe driver and refuse to speed to make people happy just so they can get to their location……. I don’t go under the speed limit which shouldn’t be an issue so who are you to mention going under the speed limit in the passing lane to me? Use your brain before you say things……..
      COMMONSENSE
      MIA, speed does not affect safety unless you are going exceedingly faster than the other drivers. Obstruction by going under the speed limit in the passing lane is not “safe” no matter how many times you say it. THIS IS WHY they are giving out fines. Read up on the facts/studies before you post and realize that you are probably one of these unsafe drivers who think they’re doing the right thing but are clearly NOT.

  • Ephram

    The comments in here are gold.
    The bottom line is that when you clog traffic in the left lane you are causing dangerous traffic backups/situations. The left lane is for passing. People speeding are completely irrelevant to the argument. When you drive slow in the left you are selfishly putting others in danger. “But other people speed” is just rationalization of your own bad driving habits.

    • Mia

      How is driving safe and the speed limit a rationalization of bad driving habits? I don’t see how driving safe and the speed limit is a bad habit. I see that as a good thing when you’re looking out for everyone on the road as well as yourself by not speeding. You must be one of those “speeders” who get away with doing 15 to 20 over the speed limit on a daily basis and disregard the safety and well-being of everyone else on the road with you. Last time I checked the speed limit posted is what you’re suppose to do. You’re not suppose to speed and put lives at risk knowing that you could possibly kill someone or severely injure them. If they didn’t want you to have speed limits they wouldn’t make a speed limit for you to follow. Think about the way you drive when you’re on the roads and maybe look at the passengers in the other vehicles. The other vehicles could have innocent babies, children or adults passengers who don’t want their lives taken because of a careless driver……..

      • CommonSense

        MIA, speed does not affect safety unless you are going exceedingly faster than the other drivers. Obstruction by going under the speed limit in the passing lane is not “safe” no matter how many times you say it. THIS IS WHY they are giving out fines. Read up on the facts/studies before you post and realize that you are probably one of these unsafe drivers who think they’re doing the right thing but are clearly NOT.

      • tac

        You can kill someone driving 45-50 miles per hour. So if the speed limit is 65, does that mean they are driving at a dangerous speed, even though that is the limit posted and technically ok?

    • Mia

      Who cares you’re not the owner of the road. You’ll be the one getting the ticket not me……………… As I have said before, speeding is more dangerous than someone doing the speed limit……. When you add the texting/drivng that the cops still don’t enforce which is ILLEGAL to the speed factors you’re asking for people to get killed……………..

      • MAYHEM LIKE ME

        1. Technically, my tax dollars pay for the roads, so I like to say I own the roads.
        2. Don’t text and drive. That’s dumb.
        3. Just do your thing in the center or right lane. People are not going to thank you for “making them safer drivers” for forcing them to drive at or under the speed limit. You are going to get people riled up which will cause them to be overly aggressive when they can pass you.

  • joe

    About time, slow pokes need to find the gas pedal. If you can’t keep up don’t drive and slow everybody else down.

  • Hot_Tub

    I see a lot of self entitled people posting here. Even if you are going 70 get in the right lane. This is how the highway was built to be used. Pass on the left and drive on the right. I cannot wait for this law to take effect. Go pound sand if you think you should drive in the left you clueless degenerates!

  • Joe

    Its unfortunate how often the left lane is mischaracterized as the “fast lane.” Its also unfortunate how many people dont know when they are supposed to utilize the left lane. The left lane is always the passing lane on multi lane highways. It is to be used only when ACTIVELY involved in a passing maneuvre. Speed has nothing to do with being in the left lane, it is there for passing and passing only. How much above or below the speed limit a person drives is a moot point if you understand that lane is a passing lane. We’ve all seen where a vehicle is in the left lane with another vehicle next to it with no cars in front of them for a long distance but a bunch of cars piled up behind them unable to pass. The danger isn’t being caused by the guy thats last in line and wants to drive 5 over the speed limit, the danger is caused by the vehicle causing traffic to stack up behind them. If that car moves over one lane then all the traffic can flow through that bottleneckand spread out more allowing greater following distance and more reaction time for everyone. Pretty simple.

  • H. Mueller

    Too many people are worried about whether someone is speeding or not. That is not your business, however if you are in the left lane holding up traffic, you need to get out of the way. You are not the arbiter of how fast someone should be doing in the left lane, get out of the way. Hopefully this crackdown on these fools who obstruct traffic flow will help.

  • mster

    man the people in these comments need to rethink the point of a bill like this. the left lane is the PASSING LANE not a driving lane. if you like driving the speed limit, do so not in a PASSING LANE. this not only will reduce accidents, it will reduce road rage of people who want to speed. not to mention it makes it really easy for police to catch people who exceed the speed excessively. tl;dr- old people get out of a passing lane for speeders so they can get pulled over

  • Marge Creedon

    I find it very interesting that you are expected to go OVER the speed “LIMIT”(feel free to look up the definition of the word LIMIT) when you are passing someone on the highway or freeway, but, I’m told emergency vehicles are to stay within the speed LIMIT on their way to a fire or accident, or transporting an injured victim to the hospital. The only true privilege they have is going through stop signs and red lights. If there is a police officer, firefighter, or an EMT reading this, and you dispute that claim, please feel free to comment. I was told that, and have not verified it.

  • Tricia McNall

    We have to pay tolls in other states so why not stop and ticket the people who think they should control led foot drivers. I believe we have a law that tells people left lane is for passing. We could use that money to pay for road repairs. As for those who don’t like speeders it’s not up to drivers to crape around and cause accidents because you think you are a cop, and slow down all traffic.

  • Richard Foltz

    Yeah now with this bill the you must move over, even if doing the speed limit, that way the speeders can speed past you and the police may ticket them.

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