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Friday, April 15, 2011

Florida: Keep to the Right

A bill has passed in Florida senate that would penalize motorists who cause congestion in the left lane in a multilane highway by driving too slow. The penalties include fines and points on the driver's license. This measure is aimed to reduce the number of aggressive driving cases caused by drivers who drive too slow on the left lane, causing stress for the drivers behind.

Known as the "Highway Safety Act," it gives law enforcement more authority to ticket drivers who block traffic, even if they are driving the speed limit. Failure to keep to the right will be warranted as "aggressive careless driving."

The senate voted 37-1, advancing the bill. Not only would this bill target those who cause slow-downs on the left lane, but also the eruptive behavior of drivers behind the slow vehicle, such as: tailgating and other risky maneuvers to try and take over that vehicle. Repeat offenders may face fines up to $500 and a mandatory court appearance.

Critics, however, state that the move is only designed to encourage speeding among drivers, and that it will unnecessarily punish drivers who follow speed limits. Backers say that even more dangerous situations, such as overtaking on the right lane or aggressive driving will be prevented.

Current Florida law requires drivers to yield the left lane to other motorists, except when overtaking and passing on the right is allowed. Currently passing on the right is allowed in most of Florida's multi-lane highways, and a lot of motorists are frustrated with one slow driver slowing up the rest of the lane.

The bill still must be approved by the Florida house and signed by Florida governor Rick Scott before it becomes law.

Learn more about about Move Over Law at to help make drivers more aware of changing lanes and highway safety.

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