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.