Published Friday, March 01, 2013
Many drivers are frustrated when they come up behind another driver cruising in the left lane on a multi-lane highway. The frustration comes because the driver in front won’t move over and allow the other motorist to pass.
This frustration often leads to tailgating, flashing lights and other aggressive behavior. It can even lead to a road rage incident.
Such driving behavior may be addressed by the Georgia General Assembly, which is in the middle of its 2013 legislative session under the Gold Dome in Atlanta.
State Rep. Bill Hitchens, a Republican from Rincon near Savannah, is sponsoring legislation to address this issue. Hitchens, who was colonel of the Georgia State Patrol, said he received many complaints from the public about drivers who get in the left lane and block traffic.
He is sponsoring House Bill 459. The bill outlaws driving in the left [fast] lane except to pass another vehicle or when road construction, weather or other circumstances require it. Driving in the left lane also is allowed when no one is directly behind wanting to pass.
If the lawmakers approve the legislation and the governor signs it, the change would be in effect by July 1.
We understand the frustrations of drivers who encounter other drivers who seem to camp out in the left lane and won’t move over to allow someone to pass. This can be a safety hazard. We also understand many of those aggressive drivers who come up behind a vehicle and want to pass are speeding. That, too, can be a safety hazard.
These types of driving behaviors could be resolved if drivers would simply exercise good common sense on our highways. Don’t hog the left lane when someone is behind you. Move over and allow other vehicles to pass.
Unfortunately, common sense is not always common on our highways. It may take Hitchens’ legislation to address this issue.