Bill to curb slow left lane driving rides through Idaho House

Posted at 12:47 PM, Feb 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-16 15:46:43-05

The Idaho House has green lighted a bill aimed at putting an end to slow left lane driving. 

Rep. Lance Clow, R-Twin Falls, introduced the bill. 

The bill does not require slower moving vehicles to avoid the left lane, but does establish a requirement that vehicles moving into the left lane to pass do not impede the flow of traffic in that lane. 

"It basically says, not withstanding the minimum speeds, if someone pulls into that center lane and they're impeding traffic for an unreasonable period of time, that's an infraction," Clow said during the bill's introductory hearing. 

During Friday's House debate, legislators raised concerns that the bill was unnecessary and easily misinterpreted. 

"I've seen courtrooms, I've seen actually people arguing for one hour what following too closely is and statutes like this, I think, just waste judicial resources." Rep. Bryan Zollinger, R-Idaho Falls, said. 

Clow said the legislation was recommended to him by Idaho State Police and contains similar language of that found in Wyoming state code. 

"Driving in the rural areas on the interstates, both east and west of the Treasure Valley, this problem presents itself all the time," Rep. Greg Chaney, R-Caldwell, said. "I recognize the concerns about this being misapplied, but there needs to be motivation for when it is possible for people to move over." 

Last year, the Idaho Legislature passed a bill, also introduced by Clow, allowing Idahoans to exceed the speed limit by 15 mph when passing on two-lane highways.

The left lane driving bill passed on a 41-28 vote and now heads to the Senate for approval.