A proposal that would restrict drivers from cruising in highway left lanes sped through a House panel on Thursday, Dec. 7.
With little comment, the House Transportation & Modals Subcommittee unanimously approved a bill (HB 317) that would apply to drivers on highways with at least two lanes in the same direction and speed limits of 65 mph or higher.
"All of us who travel back and forth to Tallahassee experience frustration on the major highways and frustration caused by drivers impeding the flow of traffic in the left lane," bill sponsor Jenna Persons-Mulicka, R-Fort Myers, said. “This creates a dangerous situation, when drivers unnecessarily camp out in the left lane. It leads to blocking traffic flow, less predictability, more encounters, more passing maneuvers and more opportunities for accidents.”
The bill would set non-criminal fines of up to $158 for using the left lane unless drivers are attempting to pass other motorists.
It would provide several exceptions, such as when motorists are directed to use certain lanes or to drive around obstructions.
Sen. Keith Perry, R-Gainesville, has filed an identical Senate bill (SB 258) for consideration during the 2024 legislative session, which will start Jan. 9. Similar bills were filed for the 2023 session but did not pass.