Virginia, Nevada roll out new left lane laws this week

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 6/28/2017

Starting this weekend new laws in Virginia and Nevada are intended to deter driving in the far left-hand lane.

Virginia law already requires any vehicle moving at less than the normal speed of traffic to stay to the right. The maximum fine is set at $250.

Approved during the 2017 regular session, the new law addresses problems with motorists who fail to follow the lane-use rule.

“If you have ever driven down the interstate and you wonder why that person never will get over from the left-hand lane, and you are honking your horn, and you are blinking your lights, and they continue to stay in that lane, well right now if you receive a signal from a driver behind you with flashing lights you are supposed to move to the right. But as we all know that fails to happen,” Sen. Bill Carrico, R-Grayson, previously told Senate lawmakers.

As approved by state lawmakers, HB2201 called for imposing fines of at least $250 for driving too slowly in the left lane. Gov. Terry McAuliffe, however, used his special privilege to reduce the mandatory minimum to $100.

The new law takes effect on July 1.

In Nevada, a new law limiting left lane use on highways with at least two lanes of traffic in the same direction goes a step further.

State law already prohibits slow driving in the left lane. A minimum speed is also in place.

In an effort to reduce possible road rage incidents, the new law applies to any vehicle simply hanging out in the far left lane on affected roadways.

Highway users will be permitted to make their pass on the left and then are required to merge back to the right as soon as possible.

Offenders would face $50 fines. Subsequent offenses would result in escalating fine amounts.

A separate law taking effect this weekend covers Nevada’s “Move Over” law.

State law requires drivers to slow down, and, if possible, move to the far lane when passing an emergency vehicle with lights flashing.

The revised rule now includes state Department of Transportation vehicles and freeway service patrol vehicles on the protected list.

Nevada joins at least a dozen states to include transportation vehicles on their lists of protected vehicles.

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