According to the Indianapolis Star, a new law passed during the 2015 legislative session will force motorists travelling in the left hand lane to, “move over to allow faster vehicles to pass them or risk a $500 fine…” The new law, which will take effect July 1st, passed 97-0 in the House, but received a good deal of criticism in the Senate where it passed narrowly 29-20.
Critics say that the law legalizes speeding and gives speeders the right of way. The Star reports that Senator Karen Tallian had this to say about the law, “It really doesn’t make sense to put law-abiding citizens as the criminal here,” Tallian said. “You can be driving down the road at 70 miles per hour, doing the speed limit, and some joker comes up behind you doing 90 and you’re the one who gets the ticket?”
But defenders of the law, including the bill’s author Representative Jud McMillin, say that the bill reinforces what is already law – the left hand lane is for passing only. The Star quoted Representative McMillin, “If you’re going the speed limit or you’re not going the speed limit, the left lane is the side to pass,” he said. “The law doesn’t say that you have to be in the right-hand lane all the time, it requires you to be there when it’s safe to do so.” The Indianapolis Star also reports McMillin noted that numerous other states have similar laws and that it isn’t aimed at protecting speeders but to improve safety for all drivers.
It’s important to understand that the law does make exceptions allowing for drivers to drive in the left hand lane even when not passing. For example the Star notes, “The mandate does not apply during traffic congestion, bad weather, while exiting on the left, paying a toll, or pulling over for an emergency vehicle.” During these situations drivers would not be subject to a fine for travelling in the left hand lane.
Highway travel can be dangerous whether you are in the fast or the slow lane. While controversial, hopefully the new law will make highway travel safer for everyone. Unfortunately, accidents do happen, and sometimes they are catastrophic. If you or a loved one is injured in an auto accident contact a car accident attorney at Hensley Legal Group today. They have the experience you deserve and will make sure you don’t get the run around from the insurance company. Call anytime 24/7 at 317-660-2548, or contact us via the web. Fill out the ‘Get Help Now’ form and someone from our office will contact you as soon as possible to discuss your situation. It never costs you to speak with us about your accident, and we don’t get paid unless you do.