House OKs bill that keeps slowpokes to the right

Slowpoke drivers will have to stay out of the fast lanes or run the risk of being fined under a bill passed Monday by the Georgia House.

On multilane roads -- mainly interstates -- motorists will be expected to travel at the maximum posted speed limit if they’re driving in the left lanes, said Rep. Mark Butler (R-Carrollton), the bill’s sponsor.

Otherwise, they will be fined a minimum of $75, Butler said.

"This is a serious problem on our roads right now, and this seeks to help with that problem," he said. "This is a safety issue. This is a traffic issue."

The bill, which passed the House 129 to 29,  has the backing of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.

"We don't want to encourage speeding, but we don't want to encourage aggressive driving either," said Bob Dallas, director of the Office of Highway Safety.

He said faster drivers can be frustrated when they encounter slower drivers in the left-hand lanes. The result is the faster driver passes the slower one on the right and ends up making multiple lane changes, Dallas said.

It would not apply to the high-occupancy vehicle lane, Butler said.

Last year, the Legislature passed a law that cracks down on excessive speeders.

Under the so-called "super-speeder" law, motorists who are caught going 85 mph or more on most Georgia roads -- including interstates -- are subject to an additional $200 fine.  On two-lane roads, meaning one lane each way, the extra fine kicks in at 75 mph.

That’s on top of whatever ticket the speeder gets for going over the speed limit.