A bill targeting drivers going too slow on Georgia highways was passed by way of unanimous vote by the House Transportation Committee Tuesday afternoon.
HB1047, sponsored by Rep. Mark Butler (R) of Carrollton, would attach a minimum $75 fine to a law already on the Georgia books that makes it a misdemeanor to impede traffic by driving slower than the speed limit in the left-hand lane of Georgia interstates – excluding the HOV lane.
While the majority of traffic fines –such as January’s ‘Super Speeder’ fines - target motorists driving too fast, House lawmakers, with this bill, emphasize that those going too slow can be just as dangerous.
"They're causing a lot of frustration for the drivers behind them," Rep. Butler said of drivers travelling below the speed limit in the left lane. "They're also causing people to weave in and out of traffic in order to get around the slower drivers, which also causes a much larger hazard. The left-hand lane on these multi-lane roads is supposed to be used for passing only."
The bill will now be sent to the House Rules Committee, and, should it pass both the full House and Senate votes, it could be signed into law as early as July.
While some fear the move will encourage drivers to speed, Rep. Butler insists that the bill would only target those motorists impeding the flow of traffic while continuing to ticket those violating the speed limit.
"We're not trying to get people to go faster," Butler told reporters, "we're just trying to get people to quit clogging up the lane that's supposed to be used for passing."