Slow drivers could face $200 fine under proposed law

Slow drivers could face $200 fine under proposed law

COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC/WIS) - Slow drivers in South Carolina could be fined hundreds of dollars for riding-out the left lane below the speed limit if one senator's bill becomes law.

Drivers are giving the idea mixed reviews.

"I don't know that I would go that far," motorist Ron Grabowski said.

"But when you've got a line of people behind you in that lane, they can't go anywhere and it aggravates people," motorist Sylvia Spencer said.

While most agree it's frustrating to get stuck behind someone, but some feel a fine up to $200 is too much.

There's already a fine up to $100 for drivers clogging the passing lane below the limit, but this bill would raise that to $200. The Senator behind the idea says it's about safety.

"When I want to deter behavior with my kids sometimes, I use money and say, 'You don't get your allowance or you're not getting that, if your behavior doesn't change.'" Greenville Sen. Ross Turner said. "And so, I think sometimes you have to have a little bit of muscle behind the fine in order to kind of change behavior."

Some motorists feel fining slow-pokes more money for riding-out the left lane encourages speeding, but others think it could prevent road rage.

"But I've seen people in their vehicle that's in the passing lane get real indignant and that's uncalled for," Spencer said.

But others, like the South Carolina Trucking Association, feel added signage could be enough without an increased fine. Rick Todd has concerns for truck drivers who can't pass fast enough.

"What's funny is, some of us want to speed but not get a ticket for it," Todd said. "But then when someone's keeping us from it, we want to give them a ticket for it and that's the reality out there."

When asked how many citations have been issued for drivers riding out the left lane, the Highway Patrol said there is no way to keep track of that because that section of law is grouped together with several other types of violations.

The bill for an increased fine is pre-filed in the Senate. It will need to be debated in subcommittee, as the first step to becoming law.

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