A new bill that has been proposed in South Carolina House would make it illegal to drive 5 miles per hour or less below the speed limit while driving in the left lane.
If passed, the penalty for violation would add two points to a driver’s license.
“About every driver probably has dealt with slow traffic in the passing lane,” says Rep. Joshua Putnam, R-Powdersville, who filed the bill. “It creates a bottleneck and also congestion, which forces drivers to pass the vehicle on the right-hand side, which studies show is more dangerous and leads to higher accident rates.”
The proposed bill has drawn a lot of support, however Rick Todd, President of the South Carolina Trucking Association said he’s concerned about how the 2-point violation might impact CDL holders.
“You get in the left lane, you lose some speed or people start to pass you on the right. Then all of a sudden you’ve got conflicts all around you and you’re stuck, and it takes awhile for that to sort out before you have the opportunity to get back over,” Todd told WJBF.
The bill does provide some exemptions. For example, if you’re in the left lane to allow slower traffic to merge, or if you’re in the left lane because of heavy traffic or congestion, the law would not apply.
Eleven other states have a similar law.