Georgia House Passes 'Slowpoke' Law

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Have you ever felt a brief flare of road rage while stuck behind a slow driver in the left lane on a four-lane highway? It may not happen frequently, but when it does, your contempt for the person using the passing lane as their personal cruising la-la land can reach fantastic heights.

Georgia’s House of Representatives has passed a measure that would fine a motorist $75 for driving below the speed limit in the left lane. The legislation was introduced by Republican Rep. Mark Butler, who apparently got behind a slowpoke on his way to work once too often. His bill passed on a 129-29 vote in the House and still needs Senate approval and the governor’s signature to become law.

Perhaps it sounds like a whiny law, but the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and AAA Auto Club South see potential safety benefits by cutting down on tailgating and increasing the carrying capacity of the highways.

Supporters of the bill are quick to point out that they do not advocate driving faster than the speed limit.

Slowpokes in Left Lane Face Fines Under Georgia Bill (Augusta Chronicle via Jalopnik)

By Stephen Markley | March 24, 2010 | Comments (11)

Comments 

J

Wait, so they want us either do the speed limit on the left lane, or risk pulling over by going "OVER" the speed limit? What are they smoking down south?

Tony

In PA the governor ordered signs over the left lane. It was very effective measure, they said. But I see plenty of people just coming off the on-ramp and jumping right into the left lane, even if the right lane is free.

Zerf

J, I agree pretty funny. I would be surprised if it does much for tailgating. Here in MA you can be 10 to 20 over the speed limit and it happens. Seems like everyone follow the lead guy thinking he will be the one to get ticketed.

J

Not only that, how does any motorist know for 100% sure that the displayed traveling speed is the actual speed that their vehicle is going? Also, the cruise control usually have a 4% overshoot. How are they going to address those problems?
Apparently, that is what we get for voting those idiots who do not know any math into the legislative part of the government.

Bowrider

God bless Rep. Butler. I think some idiots believe it's ok to drive in the left lane. They need a reminder. The left lane is there for passing ONLY. If I was a police officer there, I would hand out those tickets all day long. People who drive in the left lane clog up the highways for miles.

How about the ones tailgating you in the right lane when you're already doing 10 over the limit and the guy won't get a clue to get the hell in one of the other 3 EMPTY lanes? I see this all the time, HUGE problem, even with 18 wheelers. Yesterday there was a local incident where a driver in a Jaguar shot at a dump truck 13 times because he was driving aggressively. Although you could argue who was really the aggressor there lol...

But how would this law factor into heavy (yet still flowing at speed) traffic, where a slowpoke isn't able to move over?

If they're going to address this issue, they need to contemplate all possible situations.

Dan

Sounds like the solution is have different speed limits in the two lanes, like on the Autobahn. I hope we move to that soon.

Matt@boston

The Germans have it right.

PASS LEFT - KEEP RIGHT! There's no need for speed limit signs. I've been to Germany recently and had the pleasure of driving on their Autobahn highways. Not only is the no speed limit refreshing, but because of the pass-left, keep-right laws, the highways are much more organized and harmonious.

Matt@Boston said just what I was planning to comment. I lived in Germany for 4 years, and almost never did you see or hear about a traffic accident.. UNLESS an American driver was involved.

And why? Because the idiots did not understand that the LEFT lanes, were for FAST driving.

4 years of driving in Germany, was pure pleasure. They KNOW how to share the road properly, and even at 120kph or more, they use courtesy!

Frank Butler

I hate tailgaters especially when I am already exceeding the speed limit.
Watch for my new bumper sticker:
"Use your brakes or I'll use mine!"

Pete

I agree that there are people in the left hand lane that should not be there when you are trying to pass someone. I also agree that you should not be doing less than the speed limit. However, unless you remove the speed limit on the left hand lane, I don't understand how you can have someone doing over 5 mph over the speed limit, not blocking any passing, and get a ticket if you are in the way of a speeder. It is a passing lane not a speeding lane.

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