‘If you’re not keeping up with traffic, stay out of the left lane,’ SC bill tickets slow left lane drivers

State - Regional

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Driving too slow in the left lane may cost you in the future.

In what some consider to be the fast lane, drivers who like to take their time may want to practice new driving habits.

The South Carolina Senate passed a bill that would ticket slow left lane drivers on a three-lane highway. State leaders sponsoring the bill say as South Carolina continues to grow, there are more cars on the road, and it’s also a popular gateway to other destinations.

“When I was younger, I would always see signs that said slower traffic keep right, and I don’t see those signs anymore,” South Carolina Representative, Gary Simrill, said.

The version passed by the Senate fines drivers $25. Meanwhile, the House passed its own version, which included a $200 fine.

South Carolina Representative Gary Simrill says the more people are aware of this, the better our roadways will flow.

“This bill is meant to be more educational than punitive. If you look at the damages of what you would be fined or ticketed, those would be fairly low, less than speeding,” Simrill said.

Lawmakers say the fine could be given to drivers by state troopers or highway patrols who see drivers going under the left lane’s designated speed limit. The new law would be upheld just like any other seatbelt, speeding, or reckless driving law.

Similar proposals have been in debate in the past, but sponsors of H. 3011 say it’s getting close to the governor’s signature this year. Education and safety are two factors driving the bill.

“Certainly, if you want to talk about safety on our roadways, unfortunately in South Carolina, we have the unfortunate distinction of having some of the highest fatalities of that rate,” Simrill said.

The bill would not add any points to their license if they got pulled over for clogging the left lane. Initially, the House discussed a two-point penalty but removed it before they voted on it.

Simrill said, “If you’re not keeping up with traffic stay out of the left lane.”

There are two options. The House could agree with the Senate version, or the two will have to work out a compromise.

Count on News13 for updates.

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