South Carolina bill intended to deter left-lane lollygaggers

January 8, 2018

Keith Goble


If one South Carolina state lawmaker gets his way, slowpokes hanging out in the far left-hand lane of highways in the state would pay more for their indiscretion.

South Carolina law already requires any vehicle moving at less than the normal speed of traffic to stay to the right. Exceptions to the lane rule are made for situations that include preparing to turn or to overtake and pass another vehicle.

Violators face fines of up to $100.

Sen. Ross Turner, R-Greenville, does not believe the deterrent is enough to discourage the behavior. He has introduced legislation that would raise the fine for violators of the keep right law.

Specifically, the fine for driving less than the speed of normal traffic in the passing lane of a multilane highway would increase by as much as $200. Warnings would be issued to violators for the first 90 days.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation also would be responsible for posting signs along interstates to alert travelers of the law.

Advocates for keeping the left lane clear, including the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the National Motorists Association, say that blocking the outer lane, whether intentional or not, results in reduced road safety and efficiency.

Turner’s bill, S809, awaits consideration in the Senate Transportation Committee.

Human trafficking bill
A separate bill in the Senate Transportation Committee calls on professional drivers to help combat human trafficking.

Sponsored by Sen. Katrina, Shealy, R-Lexington, S803 would mandate prospective truck drivers receive training on trafficking prevention. To become licensed to drive a commercial vehicle, a person would be required to complete the online certification course offered by Truckers Against Trafficking.

TAT is a nonprofit organization that educates trucking and travel plaza industry members on domestic sex trafficking. The group touts 300,000 trucking industry members registered as TAT trained through their website.

The rule sought in S803 would also apply to CDL holders renewing their license.

Once the prevention training is complete, the person would not be required to have additional training at the time of license renewal.

To view other legislative activities of interest for South Carolina, click here.