Jasinski’s left lane “slowpoke” bill passes first committee

A new bill from Senator John Jasinski (R-Faribault) that aims to crack down on drivers proceeding slower than the flow of traffic in the left-hand lane passed its first Senate committee Tuesday, March 12. The Senate Transportation Committee passed the bill on a voice vote, and referred it to the committee on Judiciary.

Sen. Jasinski’s bill, called the “Slowpoke Bill,” would require the left-hand lane to be used only when passing other vehicles. The legislation makes exceptions when traffic conditions, inclement weather, hazards, or other circumstances make it impractical. Existing Minnesota law only calls for drivers traveling below “the normal speed of traffic” to stay in the right lane.

“We’ve all been stuck behind slow moving drivers hogging the left lane, even though that lane is only supposed to be used for passing,” said Sen. Jasinski. “Our commutes are already hard enough; it’s time to ease some stress by adding Minnesota to the list of states that penalizes left-lane drivers.”

Other provisions of the bill

  • Cars may exceed the speed limit by 5 MPH in order to pass another vehicle
  • The fine for violating the law is increased to $100
  • A public awareness campaign will make Minnesotans aware of the change
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