Sheriff’s Office Traffic Tip of the Month – May 2023

A slow vehicle clogs traffic in the left lane, creating a dangerous situation for all drivers.

Imagine this scenario. You are traveling down one of Georgia’s highways or the Interstate system, such as U.S. Highway 27, Georgia Highway 2, or Interstate 75. You are in the far left-hand lane (also known as the fast lane or passing lane) and you meet another vehicle traveling in the same direction, but that vehicle is traveling at a much slower speed than you.

The operator of the vehicle you have met continues to remain in the far left lane and refuses to move over into the other lane of travel. As you continue to travel down the highway, more motorist get stuck behind you and the slower driver, and traffic begins to pile up from behind.  Now, everyone is frustrated because they cannot get by the slower motorist, which results in other drivers cutting between lanes in an attempt to get around this slow-moving vehicle that is hogging the far left-lane.  Sound familiar?

We have all experienced this and it is frustrating, as well as dangerous and illegal. When a situation like this occurs, crashes are more likely to occur due to motorists attempting to get around the slow-moving vehicle by shifting their lanes of travel sporadically. There is a higher probability of being in a collision due to motorists following too closely, as well as issues of aggressive driving and road rage.

It is illegal to impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic, unless it is necessary to do so for safety reasons. When a motorist is met by another motorist on any road, street, or highway with two or more lanes from the same direction, and one motorist causes traffic to become impeded and refuses to move to another lane of travel so that normal traffic movement can continue, that motorist is in violation of Georgia law and can be stopped by law enforcement and cited.

OCGA 40-6-184 Impeding Traffic Flow; Minimum Speed in Left-Hand Lanes
(1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation.

(2) On roads, streets, or highways with two or more lanes allowing for movement in the same direction, no person shall continue to operate a motor vehicle in the most left-hand lane at less than the maximum lawful speed limit once such person knows or should reasonably know that he is being overtaken in such lane from the rear by a motor vehicle traveling at a higher rate of speed, except when such motor vehicle is preparing for a left turn.

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