phillips, hunt, walker & hanna Padding in the Left Lane
Recently, the Florida Florida Department of Transportation has started a campaign to remind drivers that going too slow on the interstate or major highways is against the law, too. Known as the passing or hammer lane, the left lane is generally reserved for passing. We have all been stuck behind someone driving too slow and impeding traffic (illegal) and have to pass on the right (also illegal). It appears the FHP is now warning drivers about the possibility of a ticket.
The left lane was designed by roadway engineers to be occupied intermittently by vehicles overtaking other vehicles. It is not designed to be a travel lane for your convenience. It has a purpose, and that purpose is temporary speed and passing.According to the Miami Herald, left lane blockers have made traffic the number 1 annoyance and destroyer of quality of life in U.S. cities. Miami, home to many of the world’s worst drivers, ranks number 6 on the list of metro areas with the most congestion in the national Traffic Index by TomTom, a navigation and mapping company. Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York ranked 1-2-3, respectively.
What is the law?
In Florida and 44 other states, obstructing traffic in the left lane is against the law. Most states follow the Uniform Vehicle Code and require drivers to keep right if they are going slower than the prevailing speed of traffic, regardless of the speed limit.
Florida legislators revised the law (F.S.S. 316.081) in 2014 to make the left lane for passing, not cruising, unless there was congestion or an obstruction in the right lanes. Breaking Florida Statute 316.081 by “proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic” in the left lane or staying there when “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” is a moving violation punishable by a $179 fine and three points on your license.
Is it enforced?
According to Kim Montes of the Florida Highway Patrol, there is no new initiative to crack down on slow drivers in the left lane, but the impeding flow of traffic law has been in place for years. So, it is illegal, but tickets are rare.
Please consider these rules and move over if you see someone behind you.
Other lesser known traffic laws?
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