New Indiana Law Takes Aim at Slow Left Lane Drivers

By Jason Vandenberge

EVANSVILLE (WTVW/WEHT) – Some new rules of the road taking aim at slow drivers in the left-hand lane on multi lane highways will take effect July 1 in Indiana. The law allows police to cite drivers who fail to move into the right lane if they know or ‘should reasonably know’ another driver is trying to overtake or pass them.

“We see so many traffic problems created because drivers are choosing to stay in that left lane or that passing lane when they should be in the right lane,” said Indiana State Police Sergeant Todd Ringle. “There’s no doubt in my mind that this law will make the highways safer.”

On certain sections of highways, there are signs posted that notify drivers to stay in the right-hand lane if they aren’t passing another driver. The new law will apply that same standard to all multi-lane highways.

Sgt. Ringle believes the law is long overdue and should help alleviate the issues he and other law enforcement officers see daily. The possible $500 fine should incentivize people to obey the law.

“When people stay in the left lane, It prevents other cars from passing and everyone bottlenecks,” Sgt. Ringle said. “When that happens, everyone starts to tail gate. They’re making unsafe lane changes to get around that slower moving vehicle and that creates problems and sometimes that creates crashes. Drivers get mad at one another. They start honking their horns. They start brake checking and it creates problems.”

Even if drivers are going the speed limit or just above the speed limit in the left-hand lane, they will be required to move into the right lane if someone is trying to pass them, Sgt. Ringle said. It certain situations, police would likely ticket a speeding driver instead of the person who doesn’t get out of the speeder’s way, Sgt. Ringle said.

The right-lane mandate does not apply in situations where a driver is making a left turn, in construction or congested zones or in near a tollbooth.