Proposed West Virginia bill targets left-lane slow drivers


    House Committee on Government Organization Chairman Gary Howell, R-Mineral, introducea a bill that would make it illegal to continuously drive a vehicle in the left lane of a highway while other traffic is attempting to pass, (Photo: U.S. Census Bureau https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/)<p>{/p}

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) - Drivers in West Virginia whose blood boils when slow motorists camp out in the left lane could get some relief if a proposed bill passes.

    House Committee on Government Organization Chairman Gary Howell, R-Mineral, introduced a bill that would make it illegal to continuously drive a vehicle in the left lane of a highway while other traffic is attempting to pass, according to a news release from the House of Delegates.

    “This has to be one of the biggest complaints we hear from motorists: why is it that some people just can’t seem to get out of the left lane when other people are trying to pass?” Howell said in the release. “It’s time we crack down on these nuisance drivers.”

    House Bill 2355 would create a misdemeanor offense that would punish anyone who continuously operates a vehicle in the left lane of a multi-lane roadway and impedes the flow of other traffic. A first-offense conviction would carry a $100 fine. Each subsequent offense would carry a $200 fine.

    Howell said many interstate accidents occur while people are attempting to change lanes.

    “Forcing people to change lanes to get around a slow driver can pose a safety hazard to innocent motorists,” he said.

    Most West Virginia drivers are taught that the left lane is supposed to be used for passing, Howell said, but it appears many out-of-state drivers are not taught this lesson.

    The bill has been referred to the House Technology and Infrastructure Committee. If it passes there, it will go to the Judiciary Committee before coming to the full House of Delegates for a vote.

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