SARASOTA - Do you hate the slowpoke driving in the fast lane of the interstate? You might like a new state law that came out of the legislature this year that some have called the "road rage bill."
We think of this as happening on interstates, but the new law applies to any road with three lanes or more. If you drive in the left-hand lane more than ten miles an hour below the speed limit, you can get a ticket under this new law.
The bill’s sponsor, Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg, says that people driving too slowly in the left lane interferes with traffic flow because people have to slow down behind them. That backup can build up road rage in some drivers, and even cause danger when traffic clogs, the law's supporters say.
Sarasota attorney Darren Finebloom, who fights traffic tickets for clients, says the law has good intent, but wonders how it can work. “What happens if you're in that lane and there's traffic in front of you? Four cars in front of you going under the limit; what are you supposed to do at that point? It looks good, it sounds good, but is it really actually going to help? I guess we'll see. I think it's going to be very difficult to enforce.”
Finebloom also points out -- as some people who commented on our Facebook page did -- that it's not common that people are going 60 miles per hour on the interstate. It's that they're going 70 and the people behind them want to go 80. But the law does not cover that.
A similar law passed in 2006, but then-Governor Jeb Bush vetoed it. Governor Rick Scott is expected to sign this one.