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Election 2012: Know your Delaware governor
By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor

Election Day is a little more than two months away, and Delaware voters have likely already noticed the increased frequency of ads touting candidates or issues, as well as ads berating those same candidates and issues.

With all of the messages that voters must sift through in the lead-up to Nov. 6, it is worthwhile to revisit some noteworthy actions taken by Gov. Jack Markell, who is vying for re-election against Republican challenger Jeff Cragg.

Earlier this month the Democratic governor signed into law a bill that is intended to keep most drivers out of the fast lane.

State law already requires drivers to stay right on multilane roadways when traveling slower than the normal speed of traffic.

To combat aggressive driving on multilane highways, the new law revamps the rule to crackdown on drivers lingering in the far left-hand lane. An exception is included for vehicles traveling the posted speed in the left lane.

Certain law enforcement can now issue citations for slow travel in the left lane.

Also signed into law this summer is a bill that affirms that county sheriffs in the state cannot make arrests, or issue citations.

The new law is intended to settle a dispute about police powers for sheriffs and deputies in the state’s three counties. Typically, sheriff duties consist of running tax and foreclosure sales and serving court papers.

Despite passage of the bill into law a ruling on the matter by the state Supreme Court is also a possibility.

During Markell’s time in office he has signed various bills into law that are intended to improve safety. During the 2011 session he signed a rule to provide additional resources for State Police and local law enforcement from an additional $15 penalty charged to people convicted of crimes or offenses – such as speeding.

However, the revenue is not applied to roads. It used to help fund efforts to reduce violent crime in the state.

Another rule change signed into law a year ago gets tough with multiple offenders of the state’s DUI law.

The previous year Markell signed into law bills intended to discourage drivers from traveling during heavy snow falls in the state, boost fines for failure to register vehicles, prohibit texting while driving and restrict cellphone use while behind the wheel, increase red-light camera fines, and enhance the state’s “move over” rule.

For more 2012 election coverage from Land Line, click here.

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