TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A bill seeking to penalize drivers who “continuously” travel in the left-hand lane without the intent to pass moved closer to the governor’s desk Thursday, clearing a Senate transportation appropriations committee.
The bill, filed by Sen. Keith Perry (R-Gainesville) on Feb. 1 and related to HB 421, declares vehicles would be prohibited from continuously traveling “in the furthermost left-hand lane of certain roadways” like streets, and highways with two or more lanes and a posted speed limit of at least 65 mph.
“A driver may not continuously operate a motor vehicle in the furthermost left-hand lane, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle, when preparing to exit the road, street, or highway, or when otherwise directed by an official traffic control device,” the bill states.
This law would not apply to authorized emergency vehicles and vehicles engaged in highway
maintenance or construction operations.
Drivers who are stopped for the violation would receive a ticket. If passed, the bill would take effect on Jan. 1, 2024.
Florida already requires drivers to travel in “The RIGHT Lane” to “prevent impeding the flow of traffic,” the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ website states.
Like the Sunshine State, others have enacted similar “keep right” laws to keep traffic moving in the fast lane, but the fine print varies. In South Dakota, it’s the responsibility of “slow-moving” vehicles to keep to the right. Since the left lane is meant to be used for passing, in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Texas, passing on the right is prohibited on some roadways.