Thousands of people have been fined since Virginia implemented a law setting penalties for driving too slowly in the left lane of a highway.
The law established a $100 fine for driving too slowly in the left lane, failing to stay to the right unless passing and other related violations.
“You should only be in the left hand lane when you are passing or overtaking another vehicle,” Virginia State Police First Sgt. Steven Mittendorff said. “Any other time, you should be over to right side of the highway.”
WTOP-FM obtained data on the citations through a public records request.
The station reports that from July 1, 2017, through April 3, more than 16,000 people were cited under various portions of the law. Almost 2,000 tickets were issued specifically for driving too slow in the left lane. Almost 15,000 drivers were fined under the broader law, which includes trucks in the left lane and people passing on solid yellow lines.
More than 2,000 of those tickets were challenged in court, and about 1,400 were found not guilty or had the charges dropped by prosecutors.
The bill's sponsor, Del. Israel O'Quinn, said driving too slowly in the left lane endangers law enforcement and spurs road rage.
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“Believe it or not, this law is very popular among many people,” Mittendorff said. “I can't tell you the number of times I've been at a social event and have heard people say can you write more people who are impeding the flow of traffic.”