MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Slow drivers in the left lane: Listen up. In Minnesota, that move will cost you.
The state legislature passed a bill this session that will fine drivers who don’t move over for faster vehicles. WCCO talked to the lawmaker behind it who considers the crackdown common sense.
On a road trip, you expect to encounter drivers going different speeds, just don’t drive slowly in the left lane.
“It doesn’t cost anything and it makes traffic flow much better,” said Sen. John Jasinski, who is behind the left lane or “slowpoke” bill.
He worked with the State Patrol to clean up an old slow-moving vehicle law to say motorists need to move over if another driver is behind them.
“I drive a lot from Faribault to the metro, and this happens a lot where you get stuck behind a car and you can’t get by them and it gets frustrating,” Jasinski said.
Jasinski says it’s not an invitation to speed – that will still get you stopped – but camping out in the left lane could result in a $125 fine.
“The long drive kind of gets irritating when someone is in front of you going 10 miles under what you’re going. You wait for them to get over and they don’t, so I think it makes sense,” one driver said.
Drivers were also fired up on Facebook. Terry says it’s about time. Eric says cars get next to each other and drive 55 in a 70 mph zone, keep it up for miles and people wonder why road rage exists.
“It makes driving a lot less stressful,” Jasinski said.
He believes one or two miles an hour can make a big difference on any trip.
A public awareness campaign on Minnesota roads is expected soon, carrying the reminder to drive in the right and pass in the left or be prepared to pay. This issue is rolled into the much larger transportation bill Gov. Tim Walz has signed.
Jasinski says it will become law Aug. 1. Minnesota will join a list of more than a dozen other states to have a similar left lane law.