Friday, July 08, 2016

'Slowpoke' or 'left-lane courtesy' laws on interstate highways are becoming more common
Some states are enacting stiffer penalties for driving slowly in the left lanes of interstates, mostly a problem on four-lane roads in rural areas. "While all states require slow-moving vehicles to keep to the right, laws that went into effect in Tennessee this year, Indiana last year, Georgia in 2014 and Florida and New Jersey in 2013 are setting harsher penalties for dawdling drivers," Niraj Chokshi reports for The New York Times. "The new penalties, proponents say, are aimed at reducing congestion, frustration and accidents."

In Tennessee, violating the so-called "slowpoke" or "left-lane courtesy" laws could cost drivers $50, Chokshi writes. State Rep. Dan Howell, who sponsored the bill, told The Chattanooga Times Free Press earlier this year, “It’s not the speed on the highway that kills as much the weaving in and out of traffic, which is caused by people who impede the flow of traffic." Indiana, where driving slow in the left lane can cost drivers $500, has issued 109 tickets and 1,535 warnings since the law went into effect last year.

The laws aren't aimed at getting drivers to slow down, but to get slower drivers to move to the right, Chokshi writes. Capt. David Bursten of the Indiana State Police told WISH-TV, “The purpose of this law is for those rude, inconsiderate drivers who think they own the left lane.” (Vox map)

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