Proposed bill could charge slow drivers - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Proposed bill could charge slow drivers

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ATLANTA (WTOC) -

Ever get stuck on the highway behind someone going way under the speed limit in the left lane, the fast lane?

There's a new proposal speeding through the Georgia House of Representatives that would prevent that called, the Slowpoke Law.

"They need to get out of that lane," said driver Carolyn Sledge. "It can cause an accident and they are holding up the traffic with long lines."

If the new legislation becomes law, it'll be a misdemeanor to stay in the left lane when a faster car is approaching from behind.

"It will give police more power to get them off the road or get them over," said driver Evelyn Morgan.

Representative Bill Hitchens of Rincon authored House Bill 459 passed in the Georgia House Wednesday. Being the former head of the Georgia State Patrol, he understands the rules of the road aren't always followed.

"It's not a citizen's duty to manage traffic," said Hitchens. "If someone is getting behind you and getting on your bumper and blinking their head lights, I think the best thing you can do, if you think they are unsafe, get over and call 911."

David Ehsanipoor with the Effingham County Sheriff's Office admits enforcing the law will be difficult, but added it does encourage good manners.

"It may not be that easy to enforce," said Ehsanipoor. "It's something we need to get the message out about. The goal here is to get traffic moving, reduce angry drivers."

Drivers agree, preventing a long back-up behind a slower car in the left lane could diminish the spark that ignites road rage.

"I think it is good because some people slow up so slow and you can cause an accident,"said Charles Morgan. "I think they should get over in the right lane if a guy wants to go around.

"It ends up in bad situations or road rage," said Ehsanipoor. "We are not trying to encourage people to speed however the left lane should be used to pass other vehicles."

The bill heads now to the state Senate.

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