New bill would fine slow drivers in left lane

New bill would fine slow drivers in left lane

NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) - Are you tired of getting stuck behind a slow driver in the left lane? A proposed bill in the North Carolina General Assembly would crack down on these drivers.

The left lane is there for a specific reason," said Barbara Thomas, a New Bern resident. "Slow drivers need to be in the right lane."

House Bill 827 would allow officers to pull drivers over if they are in the left lane on a North Carolina highway traveling under the speed limit. Offenders would be fined $200.

"I think it's a good start, see if it deters people from driving slow in the left lane, if it doesn't then bump it up," said Abby Lenier, a Wilmington resident who claims she's nearly been in several accidents because of slow drivers in the left lane. "I would not do it again if I got a $200 ticket."

Opponents of the bill say it is ambiguous because drivers 'impeding the steady flow of traffic' can also be fined. Drivers on board with the legislation say the fines could lead to less accidents in the right lane.

"It is dangerous because the people start piling up behind you," said Carter Mebane, a frustrated driver. "Then when you get ready to go around the guy there is other people particularly younger people zipping around you faster making it more dangerous."

The bill was filed April 11, passed first reading two days later and was referenced to the Committee on Transportation.

If approved, the new bill would go into effect Dec. 1.

A companion bill, Senate Bill 303, was voted down by a Senate committee Wednesday. But Rep. Duane Hall, sponsor of HB 827, told WECT he will continue to push for its passage in the house, saying he didn't think it got a "fair shake" in the Senate committee's debate period.

What do you think of the proposed legislation?

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