MS House bill would make it illegal to drive continuously in the left lane

MS House bill would make it illegal to drive continuously in the left lane

JACKSON, MS (WDAM) - A bill on its way to the Mississippi Senate might make driving on the highway a little less stressful by preventing slower traffic from lingering in the left lane.

House Bill 80, passed by the House Wednesday, would make it illegal to drive for long periods of time in the left lane of a multi-lane roadway.

District 101 representative Brad Touchstone voted for it.

"We've all come up on that before and understand how you're impeding traffic, it's a safety issue and also contributes to congestion," Touchstone said.

The bill has exceptions for people using the left lane for passing or if the right lane is closed for construction or is unsafe.

It also allows use of the left lane if you're preparing to exit the road.

"We want something that makes sense," Touchstone said. "We don't want folks stopped for traveling in the left lane when it makes sense."

District 44 senator John Polk agrees that the bill makes sense, and is looking forward to hashing out the details in the Senate.

But he does think its exceptions could cause some problems.

"The concept is very good," Polk said. "The problem I think is going to be in enforcement, I think there are a lot of loopholes that'll be able to be used to where it will be hard to enforce it."

He added, "There are some issues here that I think if we're going to be serious about, we might want to talk about."

Fines for offenders would range from $5 to $50.

The bill passed by a vote of 87-27.