A new bill could toughen penalties for drivers who linger in the left lane. To many safety advocates, this means roads will be safer and that fewer crashes will be reported, simply because drivers will use left lanes to pass only.
According to several local news reports, the new bill would ensure that the left lane on highways is designed simply for passing, helping to curb crashes. But despite the widely known function of the left lane, many drivers prefer to simply “camp out,” making crashes more likely to happen since they block others trying to pass. As a result, drivers try to pass in the right lane, making collisions more likely.
The new bill would apply tougher penalties for drivers who refuse to use the left lane for passing, and they could end up paying up to $181 for it.
On all roads that have two or more lanes, vehicles must remain in the right-hand lane if passed. Unless the vehicle is passing another car driving the same direction, if the vehicle is going a higher rates of speed, or if the vehicle is moving left to allow traffic to merge.
The proposed legislation would also allow vehicles to remain in the left lane if they are preparing for a left turn at an intersection, exit, or gearing up to drive into a private road and if a left turn is permitted.
If this bill passes, drivers could have extra incentives to avoid “camping” in left lanes.
This is not the first time that this subject is brought up. Recently, Washington State Patrol troopers did a patrol emphasizing the importance of making sure that left-lane campers moved to the right. Aggressive driving is a serious risk and it continues to be one of the most common causes of crashes. If drivers are not sure of where they should stay while driving, they should first look at the traffic and keep in mind that if they are slower than the flow, they must move to the right.
For more on the proposed legislation, follow this link.