ATLANTA – Driving in the left lane on controlled-access highways would be forbidden “except when overtaking and passing another vehicle” under legislation currently under consideration by the Georgia General Assembly.
The measure – House Bill 459 – provides a number of exceptions, including when motorists need to avoid hazards in the right lane, when snow or other inclement weather forces motorists to drive in the left lane and when a driver is preparing to take a fast-lane exit. Also, the rule, if approved as is, would not apply when “no other vehicle is directly behind the vehicle in the left lane.”
“I always thought it was good manners. Your mama taught you, when somebody comes up behind you, you get out of the way,” WXIA-TV quoted state Rep. Bill Hitchens, R-Rincon, the former head of Georgia’s Department of Public Safety, as saying.
“The thing I worry about the most is the fact this is close to what was there before but this one has more attributes to it,” Hitchens said, according to the television station. “It exactly says you stay out of the left lane and it gives 10 examples when you shouldn’t be there, one of them is when nobody else is out there – when no one is behind you.”
In 2010, the state House approved a bill that would fine drivers $75 for impeding traffic by remaining in the left lane. However, the measure stalled in the state Senate.
Under the 2010 proposal, a motorist could not remain in the left lane of a road with two or more lanes if he or she is driving less than the posted speed limit and another, faster car approaches from behind. There was, however, an exception for motorists preparing to make a left-hand turn.