Most states have similar laws in place to keep slow-moving traffic out of the left lane, but it is rarely enforced and considered by most a mere suggestion to be a courteous driver.
The law specifically allows police to pull over and ticket slowpoke drivers as much as $500 for obstructing the flow of traffic. The law goes into effect on July 1, right before Independence day — one of the busiest traffic days of the year.
Indian isn’t the only state to enact fines for slow drivers. Georgia has a similar law and the state’s police have already issued 310 tickets since the slowpoke law went into effect last July. Drivers face a maximum $1,000 fine for breaking the law. In Florida, drivers are not only fined but are hit with three points on their licenses. Oregon lawmakers are considering a similar bill to ease traffic this year.
The measure has garnered some skepticism with critics accusing the law of encouraging drivers to speed. Yet experts assert left lane hogs pose a critical safety risk by compelling drivers to merge in heavy traffic or forcing faster cars to pass on the right. Not to mention slow drivers incite enough road rage — a significant cause of car accidents.
"This is totally about traffic safety," said Sen. Ginny Burdick, who supports Oregon's slowpoke bill. "This is a problem that's just getting worse out there."