An effort intended to keep most drivers out of Florida’s
fast lanes is headed to Gov. Jeb Bush.
House lawmakers voted 113-4 April 14 to give the measure
their final approval. The Senate approved the bill 28-10 a week earlier.
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.
Supporters say the measure would avert dangerous situations where frustrated
motorists stuck behind a slower-moving vehicle try to pass on the right.
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.
Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, the bill’s sponsor in the
Senate, said the effort’s intent is simple.
“We’re trying to figure out a way to increase traffic flow
and prevent citizens from accidents and road rage,” he told the Sun-Sentinel.
Supporters nixed an effort to add a provision to the bill
that would have permitted law enforcement to pull over drivers for not buckling
up. Currently, officers can issue
seat-belt citations to drivers only after stopping a vehicle for another
Florida is one of 28
states without a primary seat-belt law. Twenty-one states allow police
to pull over drivers solely for not wearing their seat belts. New Hampshire is
the only state without a mandatory seat-belt law.