South Carolina bill intended to deter hanging out in left lane

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 1/4/2019

One South Carolina state lawmaker is trying again to further discourage slowpokes hanging out in the far left lane of highways.

South Carolina law already requires any vehicle moving at less than the normal speed of traffic to stay to the right. Exceptions to the lane rule are made for situations that include preparing to turn or to overtake and pass another vehicle.

Violators face fines of up to $100.

Sen. Ross Turner, R-Greenville, does not believe the deterrent is enough to discourage the behavior. He has introduced legislation that would raise the fine for violators of the keep right law.

Specifically, the fine for driving less than the speed of normal traffic in the passing lane of a multilane highway would increase by as much as $200. Warnings would be issued to violators for the first 90 days.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation would also be responsible for posting signs along interstates to alert travelers of the law.

Advocates for keeping the left lane clear, including the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the National Motorists Association, say that blocking the outer lane, whether intentional or not, results in reduced road safety and efficiency.

Turner introduced the same bill a year ago but it died in the Senate Transportation Committee without getting a vote.

This year’s version, S200, awaits consideration in the Senate Transportation Committee for the regular session that convenes Tuesday, Jan. 8.

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