New Virginia law establishes fine for slow drivers in the left lane

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — A new law kicked into effect on Saturday in Virginia targeting drivers who occupy the left lane longer than necessary.

The law, passed by the General Assembly during the 2017 session, creates a concrete $100 fine for misusing the passing lane.

Del. Isarel O'Quinn, a Republican from Virginia's 5th district who sponsored the bill, said driving too slow in the left lanes endangers law enforcement and spurs road rage.

Cpl. Wayne Westfall with Harrisonburg P.D. said staying in the right lane also frees up room for first responders.

"Leaving that left hand lane open, does make it a lot easier for emergency vehicles to travel," said Cpl. Westfall. "You'll see it a lot, people kind of get caught when that siren goes off behind them and [say], 'what am I supposed to do, which way do I go?'"

Cpl. Westfall said improper use of the left lane is a primary offense, meaning drivers can be pulled over for it.

Learn about new laws that took effect July 1 in Virginia.