Florida Senators support penalizing left-lane cruising drivers

cars on a highway left lane driving
Cars on a highway by PapaBear via iStock for WMNF News.

©2024 The News Service of Florida

A proposed ban on drivers cruising in left lanes of highways got rolling Wednesday in the Florida Senate.

The Senate Transportation Committee unanimously backed a measure (SB 258) that would apply to drivers on highways with at least two lanes in the same direction and speed limits of 65 mph or higher.

It would prevent them from using left lanes unless they are passing and could help curb motorists using right lanes to get around left-lane drivers.

“It is illegal to pass on the right side, and that is for safety reasons,” bill sponsor Keith Perry, R-Gainesville, said. “If you look at data from the highway patrol, in the last five years there were 17,404 accidents that were the direct result of passing on the right side. … This (bill) is a way to keep traffic moving at a regular rate and also to keep our roads safe.”

The bill would set non-criminal fines up to $158 for using left lanes unless drivers are attempting to pass other motorists.

The proposal would need approval from two more Senate committees before it could go to the full Senate.

An identical House bill (HB 317) has cleared one committee and still needs approval from the House Infrastructure Strategies Committee.

Similar bills were filed for the 2023 legislative session but did not pass.

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