Left-lane restrictions advance in South Carolina

| Thursday, March 10, 2005

The South Carolina Senate approved a bill March 9 intended to combat aggressive driving on interstates in the state. It has been forwarded to the House for further consideration.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Harvey Peeler, said slow left-lane drivers force others to pass them on the right, causing accidents and frustration.

“It’s the No. 1 cause of road rage in South Carolina,” he said.

In response, Peeler, R-Gaffney, offered the bill to prohibit drivers from lingering in the left lanes of interstates. Instead, S307 would reserve the left lane for drivers passing other vehicles.

The bill allows the Highway Patrol to determine when to ticket left-lane drivers.

If the bill is signed into law, drivers who stay too long in the passing lane would be given a warning – but only for the first 90 days. After that, offenders would face fines ranging from $75 to $150. No points would be added to the driver’s license.

It would not apply when there are no other vehicles in the left lane. Also, drivers would be exempt if they are in the left lane to turn or exit, or if traffic doesn’t allow them to merge back to the right.

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