CHARLESTON, W.Va. – House Committee on Government Organization Chairman Gary Howell, R-Mineral, has introduced a bill that would make it illegal to continuously drive a vehicle in the left lane of a highway while other traffic is attempting to pass – a common frustration for West Virginia drivers.
“This has to be one of the biggest complaints we hear from motorists: why is it that some people just can’t seem to get out of the left lane when other people are trying to pass?” Chairman Howell said. “It’s time we crack down on these nuisance drivers.”
House Bill 2355 would make it a misdemeanor to continuously operate a vehicle in the left lane of a multilane roadway when doing so impedes the flow of other traffic. A first-offense conviction would carry a $100 fine, while each subsequent offense would be a $200 fine.
Chairman Howell said the bill is not just a matter of driver convenience, but public safety.
“Many interstate accidents occur while people are attempting to change lanes,” Chairman Howell said. “Forcing people to change lanes to get around a slow driver can pose a safety hazard to innocent motorists.”
Chairman Howell said most West Virginia drivers are taught that the left lane is supposed to be used for passing. However, he said it appears many out-of-state drivers are not taught this lesson. He said he hopes this legislation will send a message to motorists to improve courtesy and safety on West Virginia roadways.
“The purpose of this bill is to eliminate a nuisance that has bothered West Virginia drivers for years,” Chairman Howell said. “Hopefully, if we start cracking down on this poor behavior, we can improve the safety and peace of mind for all who use our roads.”
The bill has been referred to the House Technology and Infrastructure Committee. If it passes there, it will go to the Judiciary Committee before coming to the full House of Delegates for a vote.