FALLS CHURCH, Va. -- A new plan to fine drivers who travel too slowly in the fast lane on Virginia highways has passed the state House and is moving to the Senate.
House Bill No. 2201 would impose a $250 fine for drivers that don't stay in the right lane. Exceptions will be made for drivers when they use other lanes to pass but the intent of the proposed new law would be to keep slower traffic to the right of the road and faster traffic to the left.
Del. Kaye Kory, a democrat from Falls Church, is a cosponsor of the bill. Kory said even though police can pull someone over already for impeding traffic this bill will impose a specific offense and fine for something that puts drivers in danger on the road.
"The hope is that the "fast lane" will essentially become a passing lane and it will eliminate people passing on the right of cars that are going too slow in that lane," said Kory.
Kory believes the passage of the bill into law is part of an overall traffic safety improvement plan.
"It should cut down on road rage," said Kory. "It also should, I hope, cut down on people on the phone and texting while driving because I bet-- I don't know the statistics but I bet-- people who are going too slow in the fast lane are doing that because they're not paying attention and they're being distracted by their handheld devices.”
Even though the bill is just making it to the Senate and could still face some changes Kory said the intention is not to vilify drivers "just going the speed limit."
Some drivers see the benefit of the new proposed law.
"What happens is when people are trying to pass and they can't they start weaving in and out of traffic which is what causes the accidents," said Mary Martin, a driver in favor of the additional measure and fine.
Others don’t see a benefit in the proposed law and say profiting on slower drivers is unfair.
“It's frustrating to have people driving slow in the fast lane but at the same time it’s excessive to find another way to tax people and hit them with a substantial ticket,” said Michael Billion. “$250 is insane. $250 is just fundraising—it’s far too much.”