Florida bill would clear left lane

| 1/31/2005

An effort in the Florida Legislature is intended to combat aggressive driving on the state’s multilane highways.

“We’re seeing the problem of road rage increasing,” said Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Norman Parks, who has been patrolling the state’s interstates for almost 15 years.

That’s one reason why state Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, is pushing for the Road Rage Reduction Act to be adopted into law. It’s designed to reduce the amount of drivers in the left lane.

“We have a lot of people in the state of Florida who unfortunately, drive in the left-hand lane and block traffic,” Bennett told Tampa’s Bay News 9.

Signs in the median advising drivers to only use the left lane for passing don’t seem to be working.

“We need a better tool to specifically deal with this issue,” Parks said.

Bennett’s bill wouldgive troopers the flexibility to ticket drivers who go too slowly in the left lane, blocking the normal flow of traffic.

Those who lag in the left lane could be ticketed and fined $60 and have four points added to their driver’s licenses.

The law would not apply when there are no other vehicles in the left lane.

If approved, drivers will not only see more signs and billboards on the roadways warning them to stay out of the left lane, but increased enforcement.

“We’re trying to figure out a way to increase traffic flow and prevent citizens from accidents and road rage,” Bennett said.

S732 has been referred to the Senate Transportation and Criminal Justice committees.