A couple of weeks ago, Rep. Nate Steel (D-Nashville) commented on Twitter that he was slowed down getting to the state capitol due to drivers not moving over to the far left lane.
Turns out, Steel was already working on legislation to correct this problem. A bill he filed today would add some teeth to current law that prevents drivers from going slow in the left lane. HB1180 would make improperly driving in the left lane of a multi-lane highway punishable by a fine of $100.
“Currently, failure to yield would be the charge if any charge could be filed under the ambiguous statute,” Steel tells me. “This just simplifies it to an identifiable offense and sets a max fine of $100 that may be imposed.”
The bill would also require the highway department to post signs clarifying that driving in the left lane is prohibited unless the driver is passing another vehicle.
“The only thing that is mandatory is erecting and maintaining signs that are consistent,” said Steel. “Educating the public on the danger of impeding traffic in the left lane is my main concern.”
He believes the cost of the new signs would be minimal as the Highway Department could put the new signs in place as wear and tear requires replacement of existing road signs.
Specifically, drivers are required to drive in the right lane unless they are “overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction under the rules governing that movement” or “when the right half of a roadway is closed to traffic while under construction or repair, under a roadway divided into three (3) marked lanes for traffic under the rules applicable thereon; or Upon a roadway designated and signposted for one-way traffic.”
We will see if Steel gets the green light on this or if someone puts the brakes on his proposal.