South Carolina’s left lane laws

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South Carolina’s left lane laws

Life in the fast lane. Well, technically, the far left lane.

It’s a space that most drivers understand to be for passing cars + faster moving traffic – but as you likely know, not everyone abides by these unwritten rules of the road.

Several South Carolina lawmakers are working to change that by proposing laws that would allow officers to pull drivers over if they’re traveling too slowly in the left lane of major roads. Surprised these laws didn’t already exist? You’re not alone. In fact, North Carolina + South Carolina are the only Southeastern states without this type of legislature.

There are two bills currently in the works – one in the House and one in the Senate. While they essentially serve the same purpose, the exact wording of the restriction + the outlined repercussions are slightly different.

H. 4835, introduced in the House on January 14, 2020
The House bill, sponsored by House Majority Leader Gary Simrill, states that “a driver may not continue to operate a motor vehicle in the furthermost left-hand lane if the driver knows or reasonably should know that he is being overtaken in that lane from the rear by a motor vehicle traveling at a higher rate of speed.” The penalty would be a fine of $200 plus two points assessed against a driver’s record.

S. 9, introduced in the Senate on January 8, 2019
The Senate bill, sponsored by Senate President Harvey Peeler, states that, “a vehicle may not be driven in the furthest left lane of an interstate highway except when overtaking and passing another vehicle.” The penalty would be a fine of $100 and no points would be assessed against a driver’s record.

The Senate Transportation Committee voted unanimously to pass the bill last week. The House bill has not yet been taken up in committee.

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