Effort to clear Florida's left lanes advances

| Monday, April 11, 2005

The Florida House voted 109-4 April 5 to approve a bill intended to keep most drivers out of the fast lane. It now moves to the Senate, which is considering a similar measure.

Rep. Ken Sorensen, R-Key Largo, said he sponsored the bill – HB157 – to combat aggressive driving on the state’s multilane highways by reducing the number of drivers in the far left-hand lane.

Dubbed the “Road Rage Reduction Act,” it would give law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit.

Opponents say the bill is “code for increasing speed limits” and supports the actions of speeding drivers rubbing up behind slower drivers.

“This bill has nothing to do with speed,” Sorensen told the Orlando Sentinel. “It used to be a courtesy to move over to the right.”

Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, the bill’s sponsor in the Senate, echoed Sorensen on the issue of speeding.

“We’re not trying to encourage speeding,” Bennett told the Sun-Sentinel. “We’re trying to encourage safety.”

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

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

Bennett said the effort’s intent was simple.

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

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