Tennessee bill would limit left lane use

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 10/19/2015

Travelers who poke around in the far left lane of certain multilane highways could soon be under scrutiny at the Tennessee statehouse.

Rep. Dan Howell, R-Georgetown, has filed a bill for consideration during the upcoming regular session that would allow police to ticket drivers lingering in the far left lanes on of interstates and highways with at least three lanes of traffic in one direction.

Dubbed the “slowpoke bill,” HB1416 would require any driver on affected roadways to stay to the right except when overtaking or passing another vehicle.

Violators would face up to $50 fines. No points would be added to drivers’ licenses.

The rule would not apply when avoiding traffic moving onto the highway from an acceleration or merging 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.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation would not be required to post signage to alert drivers to the rule.

Supporters, including OOIDA and the National Motorists Association, say that blocking the left lane, whether intentional or not, results in reduced road safety and efficiency.

The 2016 regular session begins on Jan. 12.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Tennessee, click here.

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