State troopers confront slowpoke ‘left-lane campers’

May 13, 2011

By Staff

NEW — 8 a.m. May 13, 2011

State troopers cracked down last month on “left lane campers” — people clogging traffic by traveling too slowly in the left lane.

Troopers stopped 223 motorists and issued 199 warnings during King County patrols. Washington State Patrol leaders conducted the exercise to educate drivers about the importance of the left-lane travel law.

Under state law, slower traffic should travel in the right lane in order to keep traffic flowing in a safe and orderly fashion. Motorists violate the law if they remain continuously in the left lane and impede the flow of other traffic. (The left lane does not include high-occupancy vehicle lanes.)

Slowpokes face a $124 fine if caught.

Slow vehicles traveling in the left lane create unsafe conditions as other motorists grow frustrated and start to pass on the right side. The problem causes traffic congestion as motorists follow too closely to the slow-moving vehicle.

The situation also creates the potential for slower response times for emergency vehicles headed to incident scenes.

Motorists stopped for continually driving in the left lane often frequently state, “I didn’t realize it was against the law.”

Troopers called for motorists to stay out of the left lane if traveling less than freeway speeds and to not travel continuously in the left lane for any reason.

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