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Slow Left Lane Driver Fines Arrive in Virginia

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Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Slow Left Lane Driver Fines Arrive in Virginia

Most of us have felt the frustration of trying to overtake and finding a slow driver hogging the left lane. Now people who fail to pull over will face a penalty as slow left lane driver fines arrive in Virginia.

A new law in Virginia goes into effect Saturday. It solidifies the fine for people who get caught using the left lane for more than passing.

The law is HB 2201. It drivers who fail to drive on the right side of highways or do not observe traffic lanes can set you back $100.

The slow left lane driver fines have been around for some time but the penalty is vague. The new law clarifies it.

The legislation was introduced into the Virginia assembly by Del. Israel O’Quinn (R-Bristol). The impetus for the legislation is two-fold.

O’Quinn spoke to law enforcement officers and first responders who expressed frustration at coming up behind a vehicle going below the speed limit in the left lane when they were attending an incident.

Slow Left Lane Driver Fines are brought in in Virginia

Driving slow in the left lane may land you with a $100 fine

He warned these situations can be potentially dangerous, stating:

“Upon approaching the vehicle they said they were either forced to make an unsafe pass on the right or try to avoid a rear-end collision when the car slammed on its brakes.”

The Reasons for Slow Left Lane Driver Fines

The second motivation according to the backers of the bill was how often this happens. O’Quinn said it was clear that the practice of traveling under the speed limit in the left lane is pervasive, unsafe and already illegal.

“It’s glaringly obvious that driving in the left lane under the speed limit is becoming more pervasive,” he said. “It’s unsafe and it’s already illegal.”

O’Quinn’s original bill introduced suggested a fine of $250. It was later lowered to $100, following a recommendation by Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Slow left lane drivers can be a cause of frustration and road rage in Virginia. We have written about how road rage can be a serious problem in Virginia. In January, for example, police reported shots fired after a crash on Tidewater Drive in Norfolk.

Traffic experts say driving too slow in the passing lane may cause confusion as well as aggravation, and even accidents. Slower drivers were already required to move over to the right lanes, according to VA Code 46.2-804.

We welcome any change that will make the highways of Virginia safer. If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto wreck, please call us at (757) 455-0077.

Griff O'Hanlon

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John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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