Slow Left Lane Driver Fines Arrive in Virginia
Most of us have felt the frustration of trying to overtake and finding a slow driver hogging the left lane. Now people who fail to pull over will face a penalty as slow left lane driver fines arrive in Virginia.
A new law in Virginia goes into effect Saturday. It solidifies the fine for people who get caught using the left lane for more than passing.
The law is HB 2201. It drivers who fail to drive on the right side of highways or do not observe traffic lanes can set you back $100.
The slow left lane driver fines have been around for some time but the penalty is vague. The new law clarifies it.
The legislation was introduced into the Virginia assembly by Del. Israel O’Quinn (R-Bristol). The impetus for the legislation is two-fold.
O’Quinn spoke to law enforcement officers and first responders who expressed frustration at coming up behind a vehicle going below the speed limit in the left lane when they were attending an incident.
He warned these situations can be potentially dangerous, stating:
“Upon approaching the vehicle they said they were either forced to make an unsafe pass on the right or try to avoid a rear-end collision when the car slammed on its brakes.”
The Reasons for Slow Left Lane Driver Fines
The second motivation according to the backers of the bill was how often this happens. O’Quinn said it was clear that the practice of traveling under the speed limit in the left lane is pervasive, unsafe and already illegal.
“It’s glaringly obvious that driving in the left lane under the speed limit is becoming more pervasive,” he said. “It’s unsafe and it’s already illegal.”
O’Quinn’s original bill introduced suggested a fine of $250. It was later lowered to $100, following a recommendation by Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
Slow left lane drivers can be a cause of frustration and road rage in Virginia. We have written about how road rage can be a serious problem in Virginia. In January, for example, police reported shots fired after a crash on Tidewater Drive in Norfolk.
Traffic experts say driving too slow in the passing lane may cause confusion as well as aggravation, and even accidents. Slower drivers were already required to move over to the right lanes, according to VA Code 46.2-804.
We welcome any change that will make the highways of Virginia safer. If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto wreck, please call us at (757) 455-0077.