PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — A bad driving habit could end up costing you money.
A bill filed in the state legislature last week would prohibit drivers from continuously traveling “in the furthermost left-hand lane of certain roadways.”
The bill applies explicitly to roadways with two or more lanes moving in the same direction and a posted speed limit of at least 65 miles per hour.
The bill expands an existing statute that states drivers should move out of the left lane if the driver “knows or reasonably should know that he or she is being overtaken in that lane from the rear by a motor vehicle traveling at a higher rate of speed.”
“What we see, left lane travelers are people who are going faster, but also there are those people in the left-hand lane that are trying to maintain a slower speed or the same speed when others are trying to pass and it kind of holds up and begins a congestion problem,” Florida Highway Patrol Lieutenant Jason King said. “We ask that they move over.”
But this newly proposed bill wants to take that a step further.
The amendment suggests that drivers only ride in the furthermost left-hand lane if: “overtaking and passing another vehicle, when preparing to exit the road, or when otherwise directed by an official traffic control device.”
King supports the legislation and said it will improve overall traffic flow.
“If you’re not in the left lane affecting the pass, you should be in the right lane for several reasons,” King said. “It maintains a smooth flow of traffic but it also opens up the fast lane to emergency workers. If we need to respond to a scene, we have an inside left lane travel that we can clearly make a path to our destination in a timely fashion to save you or your loved one’s life.”
Drivers found breaking this proposed law could receive a ticket for a moving violation.
That could cost you anywhere from $130 to $170 and three points on your license.
If passed, the bill would take effect on January 1, 2024.