North Carolina bill targeting left-lane laggards fails passage

| Friday, June 24, 2005

An effort in the North Carolina Legislature to keep slowpokes out of the left lane on the state’s multilane highways has died.

The bill remained in a House panel at the deadline for bills to advance from the chamber, effectively killing it for the year.

Sponsored by Rep. Stephen LaRoque, R-Kinston, HB12 would have given troopers more authority to ticket drivers who go too slowly in the left lane and block the normal flow of traffic.

The bill specified: “Upon any highway having four or more lanes for moving traffic and providing for the two-way movement of traffic, no vehicle being driven slower than the normal speed of other vehicles … shall be driven in the leftmost travel lane.”

The only exceptions would have been for passing, left turns or exiting.

LaRoque’s measure called for the North Carolina Department of Transportation to alert motorists of the lane ban by posting signs in certain locations that read “Left lane for passing only.”

If the bill had been signed into law, the department estimated it would have had to post as many as 2,600 signs at a cost of as much as $1.6 million.