Va. Bill Would Fine Slow Drivers in Left Lane

WASHINGTON — Coming up on a driver going slowly in the left lane can be infuriating and the surprise can lead to safety issues if faster-moving drivers swerve around or act on their road rage, so a Virginia bill would add a fine for drivers who block the “fast lane.”

While slow-moving drivers are supposed to stay to the right, there is no penalty for violating the rule in Virginia.

The bill, set for approval in Virginia’s House of Delegates after it advanced Monday to a final vote, would make a violation a $250 fine.

“Simply put, a penalty behind it that shows that we understand the seriousness of this problem and that we’re going to be serious about actually enforcing it,” said Del. Israel O’Quinn, a Republican who represents Washington County.

Northern Virginia Democrats Del. Kaye Kory and Sen. Scott Surovell are co-sponsoring the bill, providing some bipartisan support.

O’Quinn said Monday the change would address “a particularly pervasive and ever-growing problem” of cars going “grossly under the speed limit in the left lane.” He hoped the new penalty could encourage more drivers to move over and cut down on road rage from drivers who come up behind slowpokes.

Maryland law is similar to Virginia’s current law, with a ban on driving slowly in the left lane that does not carry a specific penalty. Police can pull drivers over for it though to look for other violations.

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