For Going the Speed Limit
In This Issue: Georgia’s ‘Slowpoke’ Law
Just because something has been a law for a while doesn’t necessarily mean it’s very well-known or widely followed. Such is the case for Georgia’s “slowpoke” law, which lets the police ticket you for going the speed limit, provided you’re doing a few other things as well.
The Georgia Senate OK’d House Bill 459 — more commonly known as the slowpoke law — back in 2014. According to an article published on AJC.com shortly thereafter, this law allows authorities to ticket drivers who lollygag in the left lane and make it impossible for drivers to pass them.
Say you’re out on Interstate 75 cruising along at a good pace when you come upon a semitruck going considerably slower than your cruising speed in the right lane. No big deal, right? All you have to do is pass them in the left lane without having to slow down too much, if at all. But, what if there is another vehicle in the left lane that is matching the semitruck’s speed rather than passing it? That effectively cuts you off from the road ahead, leaves you understandably frustrated, and, in the state of Georgia, leaves the driver in the left lane open to a penalty — even if they were going the speed limit.
While it might seem strange to ticket someone for following the law, the slowpoke law actually makes a lot of sense in practice. Rather than penalizing drivers for going the speed limit, the law penalizes them for disrupting the flow of traffic, which can arguably create conditions for accidents just as much as excessive speeding can.
If most people are being honest, they probably go much faster than the speed limit when in the left lane of the highway. If you insist that you don’t ever go above the speed limit, well, make sure you’re not blocking traffic in the left lane — it could come back to bite you.