This would amend the current highway code that allows motorists to cruise in the passing lane.
A new bill filed in Florida is looking to punish motorists who hog the left lane on divided highways, reports 6 South Florida. Currently, Florida law dictates that a vehicle may remain in the left lane for as long as they don't believe they're holding up faster-moving traffic.
Currently, the wording of the highway code states, "a driver may not continue to operate a motor vehicle in the furthermost left-hand lane if the driver knows or reasonably should know that he or she is being overtaken in that lane from the rear by a motor vehicle traveling at a higher rate of speed."
Representative Jenna Persons-Mulicka, who filed the bill last week, would need to amend just two lines of the highway code.
"A driver may not continuously operate a motor vehicle in the furthermost left-hand lane, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle, when preparing to exit the road, street, or highway, or when otherwise directed by an official traffic control device," reads a section of the bill.
If passed, motorists could face penalties for violating the law. These non-criminal traffic infractions will be difficult to enforce, as it requires police presence, and catching someone in the act is more challenging than it sounds. The proposed rule would only apply to highways, roads, and streets with a speed limit of 65 mph and above and two or more lanes.
There are exceptions, of course, with emergency vehicles and highway maintenance crews (during construction periods) immune from punishment. Ticket Clinic CEO Mark Gold told the publication he hopes to see the law being enforced.
"If people get the message that they are going to get ticketed for it, they'll get out of the way for faster-moving traffic, and everybody will be the better for it," said Gold.
Not all motorists are phased by the new bill. "Some people go 100 mph, and they consider [that speed] reasonable. I go the speed limit which is 60 or 70 mph, and the people going 100 mph consider me slow. But that's actually the speed limit, and that's what is safe. People need to learn patience," said Ashley Mamia, a Florida resident.
However, it's not a matter of exercising patience. It's a dangerous habit, and we're glad to see another state taking action. So when can we expect to see it taking effect? If passed, it will come into effect on January 1, 2024, meaning Florida motorists may have to put up with that dawdling Toyota Prius for a bit longer.
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