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Could Slow Driving Contribute to Florida Car Accidents?

Sen. Mike Bennett from Bradenton has introduced a new bill which would allow Florida drivers to get ticketed for driving too slowly in the left lane. According to proponents of the bill, slow drivers in the left lane contribute to Florida pedestrian accidents and car accidents by creating traffic problems and instigating road rage that leads to aggressive driving.

According to statistics, drivers who drive too slowly in the left lane cause traffic delays, which then causes other drivers to become more aggressive in order to pass them. Slow drivers cause other drivers to speed up and weave around them experts say, creating unsafe conditions for everyone. Supporters of the bill say that the new law would make drivers more courteous.

Those who oppose the bill say that the law would punish law-abiding drivers. Some opponents also note that the real danger in most situations are speeding drivers and aggressive drivers – not drivers driving at or below the speed limit. Some opponents claim that the law sends the wrong message – to speed up rather than slow down – while other opponents claim that the law is just another way to ticket drivers.

Under current Florida legislation, drivers can only drive in the left lane when passing. However, this rule is not strictly enforced. Opponents of the current bill note that the new law would not be needed if the current legislation were better enforced. If the new bill does pass, it could become law as early as July of this year. Under the new law, drivers caught going too slowly in the left lane would get a ticket and fine of $143.

No conclusive studies have been done to determine whether reducing slow drivers in the left lane would reduce Florida car accidents. Supporters of the new bill note that it is just common sense to ticket drivers who are breaking current legislation and driving in the left lane. Opponents of the bill believe that the new law might not help prevent Florida car accidents.