UPDATED: November 2, 2021
While North Carolina has yet to make the bill into law, a similar bill was signed into law by Gov. Henry McMaster on May 17, 2021. The law says a vehicle can’t travel in the farthest left lane of a controlled-access highway except when overtaking and passing another vehicle. This requires drivers to move right, freeing up the left lane for faster vehicles to pass. The law went into effect in August, but the state Highway Patrol won't begin enforcing the new law with tickets until sometime in November.
ORIGINALLY POSTED: October 24, 2017
We all know that slower drivers need to use the right lane, right? Maybe not. If you've been driving around Charlotte for any length of time, you have probably been a victim of those drivers who insist on driving slow in the left lane. These drivers create anxiety, impatience, and even risks for all those other drivers in a hurry. No, it's not as risky as speeding or DUI, but having a steady flow of traffic relieves a lot of stress on drivers who may already be on edge.
A new Senate Bill, SB 303, expands the law that requires slower vehicles to keep right, but this bill adds consequences that include monetary fines. If the bill becomes law, drivers who get a traffic ticket for the new traffic law could have to pay $200. The bill would create fines for drivers who drive at less than the speed limit or “impede the steady flow of traffic.”
So what is “impeding traffic?” The bill defines it as "...if the person knows or reasonably should know that he or she is being overtaken from the rear by a vehicle traveling at a higher rate of speed." The bill does allow for “reasonable exceptions,” such as moving over for a left turn or passing. If the bill becomes law it will go into effect December 1st 2017.
But for you “less slow” drivers, don't think that moving all those slow drivers over into the right lane will give you license to speed up too much. Your new found freedom in the left lanes could land you a speeding ticket if you get too excited!
As for you slow drivers, you might want to go ahead and get in some practice in the right lane so you don't get a traffic ticket.
So here's to finally opening up all those left lanes and making that commute a little less stressful. If you end up getting a traffic ticket for this new traffic law, or a speeding ticket because of this new law, the experienced traffic attorneys at the Jason Reece Law Firm are ready to help. We can help you out with any traffic violation, old or new, from minor infractions to more severe violations such as DWI.