Left-lane lurkers and the limits of the Slowpoke Law

Georgia passed a left-lane Slowpoke Law a couple of years ago, although a good percentage of those driving haven’t figured it out yet. (AJC file photo)
Georgia passed a left-lane Slowpoke Law a couple of years ago, although a good percentage of those driving haven’t figured it out yet. (AJC file photo)

So, you’re on the interstate, stuck behind one of those left-lane laggards. You flash your lights, yelling in frustration, “Where are the cops? I thought these &%!*$@# were supposed to get ticketed!”

Georgia passed its Slowpoke Law two years ago. It says if cars start queuing up behind you, then you must move out of the left lane or get a citation. That’s even if you’re at the speed limit.

The jury is still out, though, on whether this bit of vehicular common sense has sunk into the driving consciousness. Police have started an educational effort to change the habits of both the clueless and the purposeful lane blockers, writing both warnings and citations.

But different departments are split on the law's effectiveness, or even the need to write what is a discretion-laden ticket.

Georgia State Patrol troopers wrote more than 300 tickets in the first year. Cobb County is up about 50 percent, each month writing about 17 “impeding the flow of traffic” tickets, which include Slowpoke tickets. Gwinnett County, also known for its traffic, writes just a handful each month and the number is down slightly since the law went into effect.

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