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Bill passed by house to ticket slow left lane drivers

Slow driving car on highway

It happens far too often when you're cruising along a South Carolina highway. You switch to the passing lane but are blocked from making any progress by someone who is driving way too slowly and refuses to move over.

If this has ever happened to you, you'll be happy to learn the state is taking aim at these drivers with a proposed new law. Here's what you should know.

Move over or get a ticket

South Carolina lawmakers are targeting motorists who drive too slow in the left lane on highways with three or more lanes. Both the House and the Senate have passed “slow poke” bills that would fine violators.

Under a bill passed in early March by the South Carolina House, police would be able to ticket slow drivers. The bill passed unanimously. The proposed law makes it illegal for a driver to occupy the left lane if they are aware, or should be aware, that they are being overtaken by a faster vehicle and can safely change lanes to let that vehicle pass.

The penalties in the House bill are notable. They include a $200 fine and the possibility of 30 days in jail. A two-point penalty for the violator’s license, which was part of the original bill, was removed from the final legislation.

The Senate in late March unanimously passed a similar bill that calls for a $25 fine. The House can either choose to accept the Senate version of the bill, or the two sides can work out a compromise.

Unsafe at a slow speed

Research has shown that driving slower than other traffic is more likely to cause a motor vehicle accident than speeding. That’s largely because other drivers are forced to constantly brake and accelerate, creating dangerous and unpredictable scenarios.

In addition, the erratic traffic flow caused by a slow driver creates confusion, with some drivers honking their horns, flashing their lights, or engaging in road rage behavior. Other drivers may attempt dangerous maneuvers, such as tailgating, passing on the right, and weaving between lanes.

The circumstances can also make some drivers overly nervous. They may not have the experience or expertise to deal with the situation.

Who are the slow drivers?

  • Distracted drivers who don’t know they are blocking traffic because they are not paying attention.
  • Tourists who are unfamiliar with the area, traffic patterns, speeding regulations, or are simply lost.
  • New drivers who are more likely to mistakenly drive slow in the passing lane.
  • Elderly drivers who are overly cautious because they suffer from poor eyesight and reflexes.

Take quick action after an accident with a slow driver

If you have been injured in an accident caused by a slow driver, you may be out of work and unable to support your family as the bills pile up. You may also be in an unusual legal situation because the person who caused your accident might not even be aware that they are at fault.

The at-fault driver may believe they were driving safely and that you are responsible for the crash. As you deal with these issues, an insurance company might try to pressure you into accepting a settlement that comes nowhere close to covering all your accident-related expenses. That's when having a personal injury lawyer on your side to protect your rights and advocate for your best interests can make all the difference in your claim.

The attorneys at Twenge + Twombley Law Firm serve clients just like you in Beaufort, Hilton Head, Bluffton, and throughout the Lowcountry. Our legal team will give you the individual attention that you deserve while aggressively pursuing both justice and a fair financial settlement. Contact us today for a free case consultation.

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