New law solidifies fine for slow drivers in left lane

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — We all know the feeling when you’re trying to get somewhere on time, but someone is hogging the left lane.

A new Virginia law goes into effect Saturday that solidifies the fine for those who get caught using the left lane for more than passing.

HB 2201 says failing to drive on the right side of highways or failing to observe traffic lanes can set you back $100.

Right now, the penalty is a little vague. Those who get ticketed can be fined up to $250. The new law makes the punishment more concrete.

The legislation was introduced by Del. Israel O’Quinn (R-Bristol). He said the impetus is two-fold.

First, he heard from law enforcement officers and first responders who had close calls when coming up behind a vehicle going below the speed limit in the left lane.

“Upon approaching the vehicle they said they were either forced to make an unsafe pass on the right or try to avoid a rear end collision when the car slammed on its brakes,” he said in a statement.

The second motivation was how often it happens.

“It’s glaringly obvious that driving in the left lane under the speed limit is becoming more pervasive,” he said. “It’s unsafe and it’s already illegal.”

The legislation O’Quinn introduced suggested a fine of $250. It was lowered to $100, per a recommendation by Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

For a look at other Virginia laws going into effect this weekend, click here.