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Keep Right, Pass Left Could Become Law In Florida

Posted in driving, News, Police, Safety by Kurt Ernst | April 12th, 2011 | 8 Responses |

Image by Flickr user The_Gut

The Florida state senate has approved a bill that will levy fines and points against drivers who clog the left lane, even if those motorists are driving within posted speed limits. The measure passed the senate by a vote of 37 to 1, and a similar bill is pending in the House. Neither will progress unless approved by Florida governor Rick Scott, but both efforts are evidence that there is some sanity left in state government. Current Florida law requires drivers to yield the left lane to other motorists, except when overtaking and passing on the right is allowed. Since passing on the right is permitted on most Florida multilane highways, Florida drivers are as likely to yield the left lane as Donald Trump is to win the presidency in 2012.

Under the proposed legislation, drivers caught blocking the left lane will receive a fine of $143, plus have points attached to their drivers license. Opponents of the bill cry foul, and claim that it will penalize law-abiding citizens while allowing those who break the law (speeders, for example) to continue their anti-social ways. Backers say it will reduce road rage, and eliminate the need for drivers to attempt dangerous passes of cars blocking the passing lane. Police agencies seem indifferent to the proposed measure, but question how and when the law would be enforced. The advantage (and real purpose behind the bill) is that it would educate drivers on a point of driving accepted the world over. Keep right, pass left is as universal as “first pants, then shoes”, except in the state of Florida.

Source: Jacksonville.com

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8 Responses

  1. This is a good law, I think it should be enforced in California too. When I used to commute I used to get very upset when slow people hogged the “fast” lane, especially going 40 mph with a huge gap between them and the car in front of them so I would be forced to pass on the right. These slow drivers can make it appear like traffic is backed up, when it’s not; it’s just one driving holding up the fast lane but you won’t see it if you are in the “fast” lane. You would need to be in the middle lane or right lane in order to tell that it’s one person holding up the fast lane.

  2. inthebuff says:

    This is absolutely necessary. And about time, but on a scale of 1 to 10, what are the chances of the law having any affect on the way people drive in FLA?

    I’m guessing somewhere between snowball’s chance and slim and none.

    • Kurt Ernst says:

      Buff, there is zero chance of enforcement. Still, it amazes me that we need to legislate common courtesy.

  3. J D Stadler says:

    But Kurt, they are keeping you from speeeeeeeding and potentially killing someone with your unlawful speeeeed of 80mph and therefore, they’re really on your side and you should thank them for policing your actions, you know.

    /sarcasm. I hate left-lane “its for your own good” nannies with a passion. Talk about road rage.

  4. It’s even worse when it’s a slow person in the left lane that should be able to clearly tell that you want to pass but for some reason just refuses to yield and move over; they feel it’s their right to drive in the fast lane even though they can’t keep up the speed. These people will then get mad if you get too close to their car and will start playing games like “brake checking” you or holding 2 fingers up (to signal that you should leave 2 car lengths behind them etc). I have tried flashing my lights at these people too and they don’t get the hint. I find it very obnoxious.

    • Kurt Ernst says:

      Ah yes, traffic Nazis…

      These self-proclaimed speed limit enforcers are probably responsible for as many accidents as drunk or distracted drivers. Instead of making roads safer, they force other motorists to make dangerous passes, just to get around their rolling roadblocks.

      On the highway, I almost never drive in the left lane (unless I’m passing or yielding to merging traffic). I’m always aware of what’s happening in front of me as well as behind me, and I don’t care how fast someone else wants to drive. It’s not my job to enforce traffic laws, but it is my job to not drive like an asshat.

  5. Mark Smith says:

    And California. I can’t tell you the number of idiots you find out here blithely driving along at 5 miles under the speed limit in the fast lane.