Bill to fine slow drivers in the fast lane putters through NC House


A bill to fine slow drivers who hog the fast lane of highways is creeping through North Carolina’s legislature.

Sen. Jeff Tarte, a Cornelius Republican who’s fumed in his weekly drives to Raleigh, proposed the measure in March. A similar version is now in the N.C. House.

The House bill would let law officers issue $200 fines to left-lane drivers “impeding the flow of traffic,” except when passing another vehicle moving in the same direction or when turning left.

The bill appropriates $50,000 to the Division of Motor Vehicles to educate the public on complying with the law.

A House committee endorsed the measure on Wednesday, sending it to a possible floor vote Thursday. But Raleigh’s News & Observer reports that the Senate could dig in its heels.

The Senate version of the bill was voted down in April by the transportation committee, with members of both parties voicing concerns about whether the law is needed or enforceable.

Rep. David Rogers, a Republican from Rutherfordton, echoed those doubts Wednesday, the N&O reported. Rogers said the law could create situations where grandmothers are passed by speeders – “somebody waving at them with a middle finger, and the grandma is breaking the law by going the speed limit.”

A sponsor of the House bill, Democratic Rep. Duane Hall of Raleigh, responded that slow left-lane drivers can jam traffic and prompt dangerous passing maneuvers.

“We are not trying to chase your grandma,” Hall said. “This is a public safety issue. It actually saves lives, and it actually helps prevent accidents.”

(Raleigh) News & Observer staff writer Colin Campbell contributed.

Bruce Henderson: 704-358-5051, @bhender