“Slow-Poke” Bill Is Speeding Through Georgia

House Bill 459, if passed, would require motorists to get out of the left lance when a faster car comes up from behind.

Left-lane “slow pokes” better speed up or move out of the way.  Legislation flew through the Georgia House last month with a staggering vote of 162 to 9.  If it becomes a law, it will be a misdemeanor if you don’t move out of the left lane when a faster car approaches from behind.

Rep. Bill Hitchens, author of this House Bill told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that “everyone knows this is the slow-poke bill.”  While enforcing the law may be difficult, Hitchens believes it to be likened to the “good manners your mother should have taught you.”

Some of the bill states that “No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation.”

You can read the entire Bill here.

This past Wednesday, the Georgia Senate voted 42 to 5 in favor of the bill.  Now, it needs Republican Governor Nathan Deal’s signature to become a law.  If Gov. Deal signs the Bill, it will go into effect July 1st.

These so-called slow-pokes could face misdemeanor penalties of up to $1,000 in fines and up to a year in prison, however Hitchens expects penalties to be much lower.

The New Jersey Legislature approved a similar bill last year that doubled the minimum fine for those that linger in the left lanes.  Now, South Carolina is also considering a similar bill.

Generally speaking, slower traffic is supposed to keep right on multilane highways.  If the slower traffic did stay to the right, would that reduce the amount of stop and go in the fast lanes?  And wouldn’t that ultimately reduce the road rage we see today?

What do you think?  Should there be a law requiring slow drivers to get out of the way of faster cars?