A West Virginia Delegate has introduced a bill that would make it illegal to continuously drive a vehicle in the left lane of a highway while other traffic is attempting pass.
This bill was introduced by West Virginia House of Delegates member and House Committee on Government Organization Chairman Gary Howell (R-Mineral), who said that that this issue is a common frustration for West Virginia drivers.
“This has to be one of the biggest complaints we hear from motorists: why is it that some people just can’t seem to get out of the left lane when other people are trying to pass?” Chairman Howell said. “It’s time we crack down on these nuisance drivers.”
According to a press release from the West Virginia House of Delegates, the bill, known as House Bill 2355 would make it a misdemeanor to continuously operate a vehicle in the left lane of a multilane roadway when doing so impedes the flow of other traffic. The press release explained that a first-offense conviction would carry a $100 fine, while each subsequent offense would be a $200 fine.
Chairman Howell said the bill is not just a matter of driver convenience, but is also a matter of public safety.
“Many interstate accidents occur while people are attempting to change lanes,” Howell said. “Forcing people to change lanes to get around a slow driver can pose a safety hazard to innocent motorists.”
Howell said that he believes most West Virginians were taught that the left lane is supposed to be used for passing other vehicles, but that it appears many out-of-state drivers were not taught this lesson. He said that he hopes this legislation will send a message to drivers to improve both courtesy and safety on West Virginia roadways.
“The purpose of this bill is to eliminate a nuisance that has bothered West Virginia drivers for years,” Chairman Howell said. “Hopefully, if we start cracking down on this poor behavior, we can improve the safety and peace of mind for all who use our roads.”
According to the press release, the bill has been referred to the House Technology and Infrastructure Committee. If the bill passes there, it will then go to the Judiciary Committee before coming to the full House of Delegates for a vote.