Left-lane lollygagging: driving slowly could cost even more if one bill passes

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Slow drivers in South Carolina could be fined hundreds of dollars for riding-out the left lane below the speed limit if one senator's bill becomes law.

The idea has mixed reviews from drivers.

"I don't know that I would go that far," driver Ron Grabowski said.

"But when you've got a line of people behind you in that lane, they can't go anywhere and it aggravates people," driver Sylvia Spencer said.

Most drivers that WIS spoke with agree it's frustrating to get stuck behind someone in the fast lane, but some feel a fine up to $200 is too much.

"Frankly, I find South Carolinians drive rather fast," Grabowski said.

Some feel fining slow-pokes more money for riding-out the left lane encourages speeding. Others believe it could prevent road rage.

"The second lane, the left lane, is really for passing," Spencer said, "but I've seen people in their vehicle that's in the passing lane get real indignant and that's uncalled for."

Under state law, there's already a fine of up to $100 for drivers clogging the passing lane below the limit, but this bill would raise that up to $200. The senator behind the idea says it's about safety.

"When I want to deter behavior with my kids sometimes, I use money and say 'you don't get your allowance or you're not getting that, if your behavior doesn't change.' And so, I think sometimes you have to have a little bit of muscle behind the fine in order to kind of change behavior," Sen. Ross Turner (R- Greenville) said.

But some, like the South Carolina Trucking Association, feel added signage could be enough - without an increased fine.

Rick Todd has concerns for truck drivers who can't pass fast enough.

"What's funny is, some of us want to speed but not get a ticket for it. But then when someone's keeping us from it, we want to give them a ticket for it and that's the reality out there," Todd said.

WIS asked the Highway Patrol how many citations they've issued for drivers riding-out the left lane, but they say there's no way to keep track of that because that section of law is grouped together with several other types of violations.

The bill for the increased fine is pre-filed in the Senate. It will need to be debated in subcommittee, as the first step to becoming law.

Copyright 2017 WIS. All rights reserved.