Ask anyone who are the worst drivers on the road and you are likely to get a variety of responses. One that stands out, however, are the passing lane campers, those who cruise along in the left lane, oblivious to the traffic they are tying up and/or the road rage they are feeding.
According to the Expedia Road Rage Report 2016, “Left-Lane Hogs” rank as the fourth most annoying drivers, trailing only texters, tailgaters, and last-minute lane cutters. But these obtuse commuters are not just a leading cause of road rage. Research shows that “driving 5 miles per hour slower than the surrounding speed of traffic puts you at a greater risk of accidents than going 5 miles per hour faster.”
Every state has a law on the books prohibiting drivers from traveling slower than the normal speed of traffic in the left lane, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, but only a handful of states hand out tickets for the annoying behavior. California, for example, has established a $35 fine, while states such as Colorado and Kentucky have fines that can be as steep as $100.
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident caused by someone’s unpredictable driving behavior, you need to speak with a Denver injury attorney for help.
Most States Are Imposing Tougher Penalties
It is little wonder that so many states have started imposing tougher penalties for drivers who stay in the left passing lane. The New Year has ushered in steeper fines for drivers in Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, Nevada, and Oklahoma. The fine in Oklahoma is now $200 for left-lane violators.
In Colorado, all vehicles must remain in the right lane if they are traveling slower than the normal speed of traffic, unless they are passing another vehicle or making a left turn. On the highway, or anywhere with an established speed limit of 65 mph, drivers are prohibited from being in the passing lane unless they are passing or turning. States have these laws in place to try and prevent major car accidents causing injury or death.
According to the Colorado State Patrol, the passing lane is defined as, “the farthest to the left lane if there are two or more adjacent lanes of traffic moving in the same direction in one roadway; except that, if such left lane is restricted to high occupancy vehicle use or is designed for left turns only, the passing lane shall be the lane immediately to the right of such high occupancy lane.”
Wyoming is one of the more stringent states in the country when it comes to penalties for left-lane hogs, with fines that can reach up to $750.
In many states, the stiffer penalties have come with increased traffic stops as well as coordinated marketing campaigns. States like Colorado and Missouri have begun posting messages on electronic roadside signs on major interstates to remind drivers to move over if they’re not passing.
CSP Trooper Josh Lewis told 9News recently that, “we receive a lot of complaints from a lot of people seeing this as an issue.” He added that CSP made more than 4,000 traffic stops last year just for left-lane violations.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver breaking the law, get in touch with our expert Denver personal injury lawyers as quickly as possible. Call Burg Simpson Colorado at 303-792-5595 or fill out our Free Case Evaluation form so we can discuss your potential case with you.