Driving on South Florida Highway – Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image by Julian Prizont-Cado
Recently introduced legislation in the Florida Senate aims to fine motorists who “continuously” drive in the left lane without intending to pass.
Vehicles would not be allowed to continuously travel “in the furthermost left-hand lane of certain roadways,” i.e., streets, highways, and roads with two or more lanes and a posted speed limit of at least 65 mph, in accordance with a bill introduced by Rep. Jenna Persons-Mulicka (R-Fort Myers) on January 24.
“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,” the bill states.
Emergency vehicles, maintenance teams for the highway, and workers engaged in construction activities would not be subject to the restriction.
Drivers who are pulled over for the infraction would be given a moving ticket for a noncriminal traffic violation.
The law would go into effect on January 1, 2024, if it were to pass.
However, Florida state law already requires drivers to travel in “The RIGHT Lane” to “prevent impeding the flow of traffic,” the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ website states.
“Drivers must not continue to drive a vehicle in the far left lane when being overtaken by a faster moving vehicle, unless the driver is preparing for a left-hand turn at an intersection.”
Failure to yield could result in a moving violation, which is a noncriminal traffic infringement.
However, the announcement received mixed reviews.
Those who usually drive in the left lane at or under the speed limit are often seen as a nuisance on the road.
“People are weaving in and out to go around you. Pass somebody. Move over,” said Connecticut resident Mark Fournier who stopped at a St. Johns County rest stop Tuesday on his way to Stuart.
“It’s dangerous out there,” said West Virginia’s John Baker, who was traveling to Bradenton.
“I hope that they recognize that this really is a safety issue and will start enforcing it,” said Mark Gold, the CEO of the Ticket Clinic. “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.”
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Melissa’s career in writing started more than 20 years ago. Today, she lives in South Florida with her husband and two boys.