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Virginia Is About to Make It Illegal to Hog the Left Lane

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author photo by Will Kinton February 2017

One of the most annoying things you can encounter on the road is someone driving slowly in the passing lane. They hold up traffic, they cause people to break the law by forcing faster drivers to pass on the right, and they're undoubtedly a cause of traffic jams and accidents. Vox recently released an excellent video that quickly breaks down exactly why it's dangerous to be a left-lane dawdler. States across the country are passing laws to fight the practice, and Virginia is about to become one of them.

Yes, the state well know for its draconian speed-limit enforcement is considering a law that allows police to start ticketing drivers who are cruising below the speed limit in the left lane. While it's currently against the law to drive slower than the speed of traffic in the left lane, the bill now mandates a $250 fine for the infraction, where there currently is none.

The bill was introduced by delegate Israel O'Quinn from Bristol, Virginia, and has seen widespread support from Democrats and Republicans alike.

"It doesn't matter which corner of the commonwealth you come from," O'Quinn said while addressing the House of Delegates. "It doesn't matter which interstate or four-lane highway that you have going through the districts you represent. I guarantee you are going to encounter this many times, even if you're on the highways for just a few minutes."

O'Quinn said he sat down with many law enforcement officers throughout the state while preparing the bill, and that every one had a story where they came upon a car that was going slowly in the left lane and causing major traffic problems.

The bill passed the Virginia House of Delegates in a 66-to-31 vote before going to the Senate for further consideration. Considering the bipartisan support for the bill, it'll likely pass there, too, before heading to the governor to be signed.

For drivers, that can't come soon enough.

Photo: Erica Habedank/Left Lane Prius

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Virginia Is About to Make It Illegal to Hog the Left Lane - Autotrader