States Crack Down on Left Lane Hogs

Slowpokes could be hit with $500 fines.

by on Jun.09, 2015

A NJ state trooper pulls over a left lane hog. Image courtesy AutoGuide.

Speed up or get out of the way.

That’s the message from Indiana lawmakers who have passed a new law that could lead to fines of as much as $500 for slowpokes who refuse to move out of the left lane when traffic piles up behind them.

Stay in the Fast Lane!

The Hoosier State becomes one of a handful to specifically targets left lane hogs, though the majority of other states have broader laws that allow police to ticket motorists obstructing traffic or who fail to exit the left lane after passing. Lawmakers in Oregon, meanwhile, are expected to put a similar bill onto the books this year.

“When I drive, I pass on the left and then get back to the right,” said Indiana GOP Rep. Judd McMillin, the sponsor of the bill that will go into effect on July 1st, just in time for the Independence Day holiday, one of the busiest times of the year on America’s highways.

While the new measure has generated some criticism – skeptics contending it actually will encourage speeders to drive even faster – the Indiana bill also should click with many motorists tired of getting stuck behind a slowpoke welded into the left lane doing 10 mph under the speed limit.

A recent study of road rage by GfK, conducted for travel service Expedia, found that left lane hogs are third on the list of those likely to get other drivers’ blood boiling – behind only texters and tailgaters.

(Click Here for the full road rage study.)

Under the new Indiana law, police will be able to ticket a motorist who remains in the left lane rather than yielding to faster drivers. The fines can be up to $500, though a report in USA Today indicated authorities expect most tickets will be for a lower amount.

In Georgia, which started enforcing a similar law last July, the fine can run as high as $1,000, though that is determined by each individual county. So far, state police alone have issued over 300 slowpoke citations.

New Jersey increased its left lane hog fines by 50%, to $300, in 2013.

Meanwhile, dawdlers in Florida can face not only a monetary fine by also be hit with three points on their licenses if they’re driving in the left lane at speeds of at least 10 mph below the limit.

(Summer travel expected to increase as fuel prices slip. Click Here for more.)

Michigan is one of a number of states that allow police to fine motorists who continue to drive in the left lane after completing a pass. The law is seldom enforced, officials told, especially in metropolitan areas like Detroit where traffic levels often require cars to spread out.

Still other states allow motorists to ride in the left lane unless other vehicles want to pass.

While critics contend the new Indiana law will encourage speeding, experts contend that left lane hogs can pose an equal risk to safety by forcing faster vehicles to pass on the right, or to merge in heavy traffic. Studies show it is safer to pass on the left, or driver’s side. Further, by forcing faster vehicles off to the right, left lane hogs create the potential of crashes with higher gaps in speed, a recipe for more serious injuries and fatalities.

“This is totally about traffic safety,” said Sen. Ginny Burdick, a Portland Democrat who supports the Oregon dawdler bill. “This is a problem that’s just getting worse out there,” she told the Oregonian.

The Oregon bill will subject left lane hogs to $160 in fines. All told, 40 states now have some form of penalty in place for slowpokes who refuse to cede the speed lane. Still others, including Ohio, are now working up similar measures.

(To see  why women are driving more miles than ever, Click Here.)

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7 Responses to “States Crack Down on Left Lane Hogs”

  1. [...] States Crack Down on Left Lane Hogs – Detroit Bureau: Speed up or get out of the way. Indiana will begin fining left lane hogs as much as $500 starting next month, and other states, including Ohio and Oregon, are considering similar measures. Proponents claim dawdlers pose traffic safety risks, reports [...]

  2. Jorge says:

    This new law won’t change things much if not enforced. I have lost count of the number of times someone is in the left lane doing 10+ mph below the speed limit in heavy traffic forcing people to pass in the right lane just to maintain the posted speed limit. Often you find the vehicle in the left lane is a POS that is dangerous and should not be allowed on the roadway. Then to top it off the person operating the vehicle in the left lane at 10+ mph below the speed limit is usually completely oblivious to why other motorist are passing on the right side, blowing their horns, etc. to get the attention of the clueless person in the left lane who is either braindead or on drugs.

    These people cause a lot of accidents and the fines should start at $500 and go up, IMO.

  3. hi tr says:

    Texas does it, too.
    They have a high speed limit, but you better GET out of the left lane, ASAP after passing an auto.

  4. heyfred3000 says:

    In the 10-12 wks I’m in Italy each year, I get very used to staying right, and watching for cars which can be approaching at 25-30 mph above my Citroën’s 75 mph (speed limit=83). People are careful and observant, always.
    I’ve noticed something slightly similar here in GA on 6+ lane Interstates (traffic too thick on most 4 lanes). People driving in the 65-70 range no longer just stay left if someone approaches at a higher speed. BUT ~ I’ve also noticed fewer drivers in the 82-85+ mph range, too. Not sure why, maybe they feel they stand out more over there by themselves.

  5. Wally Mc says:

    This is a great approach,Lets see how it works.

  6. [...] to remain in the left lane rather than moving back onto the right to let faster motorists pass by, Htxurlreports. The fine would be up to $500/ticket for a driver caught driving in the left lane 10 mph under the [...]

  7. Jorge says:

    It use to be in Germany on the Autobahns that you always kept to the right except to pass and you used extreme caution when pulling to the left to pass as cars driving in the left most lane in excess of 150 mph was common and they could be on you back bumper in the blink of an eye if you were driving the recommended 75 mph speed. Now days Germany is much like the U.S. where people don’t care and they do whatever they feel like since open borders and reunification occurred in 1990. It’s sad to see a very effective and excellent travel system be replaced with insanity and apathy. It’s still illegal to pass on the right in Germany but clueless people do this all the time.

    There is a YouTube video floating around of a (young) Audi driver in a modded car and two motorcyclists racing in traffic on the Autobahn. My hope is that the German authorities see this video online and identify the license plates/riders on the motorcycles and that speed cameras got the Audi license plate. This video shows the three participants endangering the lives of hundreds of motorists as they cut back and forth thru Autobahn traffic at speeds up to 167 mph for the motorcycles and 174 mph for the Audi. As far as I can tell this racing did not occur in the (few) unrestricted speed areas of the Autobahn. I won’t post the link to the video because that is exactly what the braindead people who do these crazy things want – instant gratification for them endangering the lives of many.

    Left lane bandits are not as bad as the three “racers” on the Autobahn but left lane bandits do definitely cause accidents by others trying to get around these thoughtless people. Some believe the left lane bandits are trying to “police” the speed limits but IME most left lane bandits are just out of their minds and drive in the left lane so they do not have to deal with merging/exiting traffic.

    In the U.S. all of the large trucks now drive in the second lane instead of the right lane where they belong. This causes a lot of traffic jams and similar issues to left lane bandits when four wheelers try to get around slower moving big rigs. The truck drivers complain about merging/exiting traffic as an excuse to drive in the second lane but they know for the most part that they should be in the right lane. If they can’t deal with merging/exit traffic maybe they should chose a different career?