Slow left lane drivers face fine under updated law

June 21, 2019 06:26 PM

Few things can frustrate drivers like someone going slowly in the left lane. And an update to Minnesota law taking effect Aug. 1 is meant to crack down on lingering on the left. 

"People who are going 45 miles per hour, you shouldn't be in the left lane," one man said as he was getting gas in Minneapolis.


State lawmakers updated the wording of the law, which includes a $50 fine. Drivers would also have to pay about $75 in a surcharge for court costs bringing the total penalty to $125.

"This is a really practical thing that I think will really help even if Minnesotans just hear about it and know the rule it's a good reminder," said Katherine Tinucci, a Democratic strategist.

The Minnesota State Patrol said the revised law requires drivers to use the right lane unless they are passing another vehicle. It makes clear drivers must not speed while passing. Officials say mandating slower drivers make way is also an attempt to crack down on instances of road rage.

RELATED: New law allowing citations to slow drivers in left lane goes into effect Aug. 1

"I definitely get road rage," said driver Liz Ploch. "I think that's super frustrating and it can be for a lot of drivers out there especially during the morning rush hour."

"I think it might be a bigger issue in greater Minnesota where people are going longer distances and there are fewer cars on the roads and people are being safe and making sure they stay in the right lane and use the left lane for passing," Tinucci said.

The State Patrol said troopers will pull over drivers they see in violation. But some drivers question how frequently the law will be enforced.

Minnesota, along with these 22 other states marked in yellow, require drivers to stay in the right lane if they are going slower than the normal speed of traffic.

"There might have to be more police patrolling the highway I think so that might be an obstacle to get past," Precious Jones said.

There are some exceptions the law doesn't apply to drivers getting ready to turn left or preparing to take a left exit.

"I think people might learn to stay to the right or to let people like me who need to get to work get to work on time so I think that would be a very good idea," Jones said.

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Matt Belanger

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