Florida House OKs left lane driving restrictions

Florida's motorists would not be able to cruise in the left lanes of highways under a bill that passed this week in the Florida House. 

"When drivers impede the flow of traffic in the left lane, it's not only a cause of frustration for us, but it creates a dangerous situation," bill co-sponsor Jenna Persons-Mulicka, R-Fort Myers, said. "It creates a situation of less predictable (driving), more encounters, more maneuvers, more opportunities for accidents, and more opportunities for road rage." 

The proposal, which passed in a 113-3 vote, would apply to highway drivers with at least two lanes in the same direction and speed limits of 65 mph or higher. Drivers could use the left lanes when passing other motorists, preparing to exit highways, or when directed by law-enforcement officers or traffic-control devices. Tickets would be issued as noncriminal moving violations that, including fees, could total $158. 

"Driving up here (to Tallahassee), by all of us, you know the frustration of road rage," bill co-sponsor Rep. Melony Bell, R-Fort Meade, said. "Get out of the left lane, and let us get to Tallahassee on time." 

The Senate will hear its bill (SB 258) next Thursday.