Motorists in South Carolina can continue to poke along in
the far left lane of multilane highways in the state, thanks to a veto from the
With a 50-59 vote, the state’s House failed to override Gov.
Mark Sanford’s veto of a law intended to combat aggressive driving on
interstates in the state by prohibiting drivers from lingering in the left
lane. The Senate tried to override the veto by voting 36-6, a margin well
beyond the two-thirds majority required to override.
The bill, passed in the final days of the session that ended
earlier this month, called for reserving the left lane for passing only.
Sen. Harvey Peeler, R-Gaffney, the bill’s sponsor, said left-lane drivers force
others to pass them on the right, causing accidents and frustration.
the No. 1 cause of road rage in South Carolina,” he told the Greenville News.
The governor defended his veto and said, “I personally
sympathize with the feelings that motivated this legislation,” but I vetoed it
because of the severity of the penalties.
Drivers found in violation could have faced a $150 fine with
two points added to their driver’s licenses.
“This is a strong consequence … in light of another bill
recently delivered to me that would set the fine for failing to wear a seat
belt at only $25,” Sanford wrote in his veto message.
rule would not have applied when there were no other vehicles in the left lane.
Also, drivers would have been exempt if they were in the left lane to turn or
exit, or if traffic wouldn’t allow them to merge back to the right.
told The Charleston Post and Courier he’d try again next year.