By on July 7, 2016

Whitestown, Indiana Police, Image: By Huw Williams (Huwmanbeing) (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The state of Indiana is cracking down on motorists driving too slowly in the left lane.

In the first year of the State’s highway slowpokes law, state police issued 109 tickets and at least 1,535 warnings to drivers that didn’t move from the left lane when they should reasonably know another vehicle is trying to overtake them. The law went into effect last July.

State police told local television that the law’s intent isn’t to penalize drivers for not yielding to others going 95 mph, but to discourage inconsiderate drivers that drive slowly in the left lane — something we have all likely experienced. Naturally the law isn’t in effect when there’s traffic or bad weather.

When the law went into effect last year, tickets would max out at $500 for being a slowpoke in the left lane, although the state said they would likely be in the $100 to $200 range.

[Source: WSBT, Image: By Huw Williams (Huwmanbeing) (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]

by Jason Siu

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89 Comments on “Indiana Police Fine 109 Left-Lane Slowpokes in First Year of New Law...”


  • avatar
    Loser

    Wish this was in every state.

    • 0 avatar
      dougjp

      +1

      • 0 avatar

        It won’t matter. We’ve had this same law on the books in Arkansas for many years. You can’t find anyone here that has ever been ticketed for holding up traffic in the left lane on an interstate highway.

        A lot of these laws are “feel good” only laws. Somebody feels good they got it passed.

        In practice the law has changed nothing at all.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          Yep, 109 tickets means nothing changed.

          • 0 avatar
            amca

            Each of those 109 people bitched about getting that *#^@?! ticket to at least 20 friends. And they mentioned it to their friends. I’t like the six degrees of separation principle: it doesn’t take too many rounds of people telling other people before pretty much everyone hears about it.

            And then when one of those people finds himself drifting along at 52 in the fast lane, maybe, just maybe a light bulb goes off over his head and he moves over a lane.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          You fail because you are trying to use the law to change something best addressed with education.

    • 0 avatar
      lon888

      If I remember correctly, there is a “left hand law” in 33 states. It’s just that the LEO’s are too lazy to enforce it. Besides that they had rather catch you doing 5 over the speed limit. Catching speeders requires little brain-work.

      • 0 avatar
        amca

        It’s not laziness. It’s priorities.

        State Trooper types need to be educated to the benefits of keeping traffic flowing by keeping the left lane clear. Instead they’ve long prioritized speeding, whether safe or not.

    • 0 avatar
      Lex

      I’m from Indianapolis and I have seen it start. If you have driven on I-65, you would see that Indiana drivers are amongst the worst when it comes to this, so the law was borne out of a necessity, not revenue.

  • avatar

    I wish we could get more of this in Atlanta. We have an epidemic of drivers that haunt our left lanes. Usually it’s phone users or ESL types.

  • avatar
    SlowMyke

    First, the two people taking that video are extremely obnoxious, but at least it’s not the driver taking the video.

    Second, the payoff is genuinely entertaining. A very effective way of removing a problem from the left lane of traffic. I doubt it will have a lasting effect, but it got the slow poke out of the way without then creating something on the side of the road for mouth breathers to gawk at.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Agreed, the people filming are complete idiots.

      About the Civic driver: How long does a cop have to kiss your rear bumper before you think “gee, maybe I should get over?” Not until you damn-near get yourself a ticket, evidently.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        If a cop got behind me like that, I’d be moved over within five seconds. I have to think that person is seriously unaware or out of it, and not really fit to be driving at all.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        That Civic driver probably checks his (or her) mirror rarely or never. I bet that just keeping his car in one lane is so taxing that momentarily checking the mirror just might overwhelm him mentally. Some people really are so awful at driving that they are incapable of noticing the simple, obvious things happening around them.

        “Idiot” is a broad word, albeit warranted… We’re all good and bad at different things in life. Most of us aren’t cut out to be concert violinists or play basketball in the NBA, but with practice we can learn enough to not completely embarrass ourselves. BUT… everybody is terrible at something. Some people are completely tone deaf and have no rhythm at all. I, for one, sink less than a quarter of my shots, even standing still, five feet from the net. And Mr. Civic Driver happens to really suck at driving.

        • 0 avatar
          garuda

          I too share your completely pathetic basketball skills. I also admire your empathy. However, here are two reasons the analogy fails:
          1) You and I are not licensed to a minimum level of competence at basketball, drivers are. If you continually fail to follow the regulations required of the license, then you should not be practicing the licensed activity.
          2) No matter how much we try, we cannot hurt other people with our missed 5 foot free throws. Drivers are absolutely capable of hurting/killing themselves and others around them with their 70 mph, 1.5 ton cannonball.

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            @garuda- I was using that analogy to explain human performance, not human behavior (or the consequences of dimwits driving crappily compared to klutzes who will never ever be ballers).

            I am sure the Mr. Civics of the roads will indignantly declare their right to drive in a mental fog in any lane while cursing the “maniacs” and “that guy who came out of nowhere.”

            Cheers!

  • avatar
    Loser

    Better yet, I wish people/ drivers had enough courtesy so this kind of law wasn’t needed.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      How quaint!

      Nowadays, the Man On TV says My Rights(tm) as an American is to vote, to sue, and to be stupid, obnoxious, fat and useless. And that that is an exhaustive enumeration. And The Man On TV is Expert! Says the progressives.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    (Applause for the Indiana State Highway Patrol and the Indiana Legislature for passing it.)

    Does the law apply to truckers? Here in the West we’d have to double the size of our State Highway patrols to sufficiently police truckers going 65 in a 75 trying to overtake a truck going 63.

  • avatar

    “Keep Right Except to Pass” (regardless of the travel speeds) should be an enforced law everywhere. It is one of the “secrets” of Autobahn safety where 100 kph (62 mph) truck mix constantly with 200+ kph (124 mph) cars. June is Lane Courtesy Month each year for the NMA.

    • 0 avatar
      Piston Slap Yo Mama

      A close friend in Florida writes the curriculum for an online driving school. We were driving up I75 and he was hogging the passing lane, going exactly the speed limit. Everyone was passing us, some flashing their lights before going around. We got into an argument – and he – a man who writes traffic school curriculum – said that if he’s going the speed limit he can drive in that lane. I pointed out that the traffic signs state “Slower Traffic Keep Right” and make no mention about speed limits. He’s such a hardheaded guy, won’t listen … so when we exited to tank up I noticed two cops next door at the Krispy Kreme (cliche but true). I walked over and asked them to educate my friend about the traffic laws that he failed to understand and to my astonishment they did. He seemed sullen after that, later mumbling something about the cops being wrong.

      He still drives slow in the fast lane.

      • 0 avatar
        nlinesk8s

        The analogy I’ve always used: Driving the speed limit in the left lane is legal. Farting in a crowded elevator is legal too. But it won’t make you any friends.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        “Slower traffic” (in my state) means a vehicle traveling slower than the rest of the traffic in that location at that time. It’s meant to cover things like construction trucks, farm equipment, bicycles, etc. However, many people think “slower traffic” means everyone except whoever is going the fastest.

        If someone is being passed by every other vehicle on the road, then they are “slower traffic” and the need to move to the right-most lane applies. If they are going a middle-of-the-pack speed, then they would not be required to move over. (Again, per the definitions in my state.)

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      The secret to safety is actually everyone driving the same speed, not which lane they are in.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        “Same speed” isn’t very realistic except for trains and robot cars. Speed is just part of the secret to safety- similar speeds and smooth traffic flow. That means no outliers going much, much slower or much, much faster. Predictability is another part of the secret. Slower/right and faster/left is predictable. With many lanes, slowest/right most and fastest/left most is predictable and safe.

        IT’S REALLY NOT COMPLICATED!

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    This is a law I could stand behind – even though my wife, bless her soul, is a left lane dawdler.

    Me: *mutters* you can get in the right lane now

    Her: I was just about to *grumpy look*

    • 0 avatar
      IHateCars

      Lol! Same here….although after my wife gives me the grumpy look, I start whistling the “Driving Miss Daisy” theme.

      She’s still awesome, though!

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    Just drove across Indiana for the Fourth. Apparently most Hoosiers are completely unaware of this initiative. I hope the state patrol steps up enforcement a whole lot this year.

  • avatar
    jmo

    I can only imagine the look of utter befuddlement on the part of the drivers when the cop explains why they’ve been pulled over.

    Can I also offer a head slap to the guy here who mentioned people who use their brakes on the highway for no reason. Ever since he mentioned it, I’ve started to notice it and it’s driving me crazy. I was beside someone the other day and there was no car for miles in front of her. But, ever few seconds…brake tap….brake tap…brake tap…

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Excellent. Most of the tickets will have CIVIC or PRIUS written at the top.

    Next proposed legislation: Ticketing people who are not within 5mph of speed limit by the end of exit ramp. Because it’s pretty damn dangerous to be behind someone doing 43mph as they enter a major freeway.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      I’ve noticed mostly CUVs, pickups, work trucks and commercial vans. I think for the work trucks and commercial vans the guys are in a hurry but they are also worried about getting a ticket and getting in trouble at work so they want to be in the passing lane but they are afraid to drive faster than those in the travel lane.

    • 0 avatar
      rcx141

      >>Because it’s pretty damn dangerous to be behind someone doing 43mph as they enter a major freeway.<<

      And it's a crapshoot what they will do at the end of the slip road

      1) accelerate and merge into lane without checking mirror
      2) slow down even more before doing (1)

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      I actually sent the Ohio Highway Patrol an E-Mail message about the typical behavior of the slugs entering the freeway on the exit immediately prior to mine, which seems to be a deceleration lane for my exit (1/2-mile long)! There’s a cut in the median for the cops to sit, and they could pick people off all day doing 20 under. They’d make more money that way, since the underposted numbers on the damn sign seems to be all anyone cares about on a Northwestern Ohio freeway.

      The ones that REALLY strip my gears are the ones who endanger the lives of others behind them by entering the freeway at 47mph, then a mile down the road (after my Honda J35’s POWAH has dispatched said idiots, my BP is back to normal, and my ACC is set to a comfortable speed in the center lane), what comes rocketing past me but that same driver! (Most of the time, they settle into the right lane at 2mph below with the rest of the sheeple.)

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    (Also this article appears posted by TTAC Staff, which I didn’t think was a thing anymore.)

  • avatar
    Fred

    I can’t remember the last time I saw someone driving slower than the speed limit in the left lane. Must be a east coast thing. It never happens here in Texas.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Indiana isn’t exactly “east coast,” but it’s a very Midwestern thing. It’s hard to get many people to -go- the speed limit. Traffic jams happen because everyone is content to drive at 48mph.

    • 0 avatar
      IAhawkeye

      lol, if it says 70 I always go 80. I don’t have time or desire to just hangout on an interstate. And idk, seems like everyone else drives plenty fast enough.

      Now on more rural two lane highways…-ugh. If the speed limits 55 people seem to want to drive 50. It it’s 65 they drive 60. I always pass them if possible just so I’m not riding their tail, but would it really kill them drive faster?? At least the speed limit.. I’d be more okay with that.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        They raised the limit to 60 from 55 on those sorts of roads here in Ohio a year or two ago, and I still drive ~63mph, as I always did. The people will do the speed limit, but just as on the interstates, an occasional left-lane bandit will project their morality, if less so.

  • avatar
    ltcmgm78

    Wish they would do this in Illinois. We have a lot of folks who also consider the middle lane as some form of Disengaged Driver Zone. And they go slow. And they should be in the right-hand lane.

    • 0 avatar
      bryanska

      I don’t sympathize. I drive in the MPLS area and travel through WI on 94 to spend time in the Chicago area (as far south as Braidwood).

      I have seen crazy speeding (85+ MPH), multiple unsignaled lane changes, red light running, and high-speed tailgating more in Chicago metro than ANYWHERE else. Illinois needs basic traffic law enforcement before it worries about fast people going faster.

      • 0 avatar
        NeilM

        “I have seen crazy speeding (85+ MPH), multiple unsignaled lane changes, red light running, and high-speed tailgating more in Chicago metro than ANYWHERE else. Illinois needs basic traffic law enforcement before it worries about fast people going faster.”

        That’s normal Chicago traffic — nothing to do with Illinois in general.

    • 0 avatar
      rcx141

      >>Wish they would do this in Illinois.<<

      You've obviously been on I-55 as well near Chicago

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    If you’re doing the speed limit or less in the left lane, you should be stopped. You are a menace to other drivers.

  • avatar
    Blackcloud_9

    I wish, oh, how I wish they would do this in CA. Now all I have to do is convince my wife that moving to Indiana is a good thing – Ain’t gonna happen

  • avatar
    JimC2

    Hurray!!

    No doubt there will be gnashing of teeth by a lot of self-righteous slowpokes out there. Somebody already mentioned the truck turtle race (63-65 in a 75 zone), brake tappers, slow mergers, speed limit in the left lane is perfectly A-OK while being repeatedly passed on the right (aka FL Turnpike Special). Some folks don’t get it, and a few will never get it.

    • 0 avatar
      IAhawkeye

      I did a ride along with a family friend who’s a local LEO one night a while back and he pulled a Civic driver over for doing 65 in a 70mph zone in the left lane. The guy seemed legitimately p****d my friend would DARE pull someone over for doing less then the speed limit, despite the fact that it’s illegal to hang out in the left lane in Iowa. I imagine until he had been pulled over he was all sorts of proud of himself for making people slow down and pass on the right-despite the increased danger to everyone else. People like him are easily some of my least favorite.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Because they’re all likely the most selfish, self-righteous, self-serving, smug individuals you’ll ever have the displeasure to meet!

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          “the most selfish, self-righteous, self-serving, smug individuals”

          Huh… I thought we hung out in the right lane. I do.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            There is this impulse some drivers have who think it’s there job to never exceed the speed limit, and also to prevent anyone else from exceeding the speed limit. How dare you go faster than me!

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    I live somewhwere such a law has been put in place. At the political level it was done to please habitual speeders. Who happen to be road bullies. As usual it was done with no reference to the speed limit regulations. The question whether one needs to get out of the way of speeders was not addressed and so far has not been tested in court.

    This combination of circumstances makes the laws and the process that creates them look like a game and thus lowers respect for the laws.

    Our current minister of transportation is a habitual speeder who has had his license suspended.

    • 0 avatar
      ltcmgm78

      I never view myself as an enforcer of the speed limit. If I am in other than the right-hand lane and someone crowds me wanting to pass, I get out of their way. If the driver is going faster than the posted speed limit, it’s up to law enforcement to do that. If letting a speeder fly by in the left lane make him/her easier to find then so be it.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        I will go into triple-digits, if need be, and the situation is safe enough, to get around slower traffic so as to yield to faster traffic.

        I loathe left-lane banditry, so I’ll be damned if I’m going to be accused of same!

        (And usually, the cop will go after the last car in line, especially if he sees its driver tailgating!)

    • 0 avatar
      bryanska

      “The question whether one needs to get out of the way of speeders was not addressed and so far has not been tested in court.”

      Which is SO weird to me. Law #1 says don’t speed. Law #2 says move over for scofflaws. Maybe not in direct conflict, but the state is seeding contempt for law #1. A savvy lawyer could bring a good case if you’re stopped for either.

      Violate law #1: I was being pushed from behind by aggressive speeders enabled by law #2.

      Violate Law #2: There was a situation in the right lane (several exits, vehicles I couldn’t see around, shoulder conditions) which prevented me from being there. I planned on moving over when safe. I have no reasonable duty to predict the unknown actions of criminals.

  • avatar
    redav

    Frankly, I don’t care about it. I’m much more bothered by people who get into the right lane at stop lights who don’t intend to turn right.

    • 0 avatar
      notapreppie

      This happened to me this morning. Made me regret not re-installing the rocket launchers on my car after taking them off to do some maintenance.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        I wish I could deploy some sort of a hidden push-bar so I could simply do a PIT maneuver on the left-lane/onramp bandit in front of me! (Which would leave no damage to either vehicle!)

    • 0 avatar
      MLS

      If there are only two lanes, left turns are permitted, and other vehicles are already stopped in the left lane, I typically use the right lane to go straight. I’ve too often been stuck behind drivers who didn’t switch on their left turn signal until after the light had changed (if at all).

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      “people who get into the right lane at stop lights who don’t intend to turn right.”

      What if they’re going to turn right into an upcoming parking lot and traffic’s too heavy to ditz with lane hopping, or if that’s the only option for continuing straight through the intersection?

      I’m not going to disrupt what I deem the safest approach to anything merely for the convenience of the hothead behind me.

  • avatar
    Steve Lynch

    Bravo!

    The greatest driving experience of my life was last summer in Ireland: NOBODY blocked the fast lane. Not once. It was amazing.

  • avatar
    bryanska

    “the law’s intent isn’t to penalize drivers for not yielding to others going 95 mph”

    I see conflicting laws here. If the person overtaking is indeed speeding, how can a law penalize someone for not moving over? I’m totally agnostic to the whole situation (it just isn’t on my priority list) but I chuckle when I see the state doing conflicting things.

  • avatar
    brenschluss

    Slow People got no reason
    Slow People got no reason
    Slow People got no reason
    To live

    They got slow hands
    Slow eyes
    They walk around
    Tellin’ low-speed lies
    They got slow noses
    And poky teeth
    They wear plodding shoes
    On their dawdling feet

    Well, I don’t want no Slow People
    Don’t want no Slow People
    Don’t want no Slow People
    `Round here

    Slow People are just the same
    As you and I
    (A Fool Such As I)
    All men are brothers
    Until the day they die
    (It’s A Wonderful World)

    Slow People got nobody
    Slow People got nobody
    Slow People got nobody
    To love

    They got lesiurely legs
    That don’t move below
    You got to push ’em forward
    Just to make ’em go
    They got underpowered cars
    That go beep, beep, beep
    They got sluggish voices
    Goin’ peep, peep, peep
    They got lethargic fingers
    And quiet minds
    They’re gonna get you every time

    Well, I don’t want no Slow People
    Don’t want no Slow People
    Don’t want no Slow People
    ‘Round here

    I’m sorry, Mr. Newman.

  • avatar
    bricoler1946

    My highway code manual states that “The outside lane is for overtaking,after overtaking return to the inner lane,simple. In some parts of Europe, quite often, a car behind will flash his/her high beams and almost always the car in front will move over, seems to work. In NA that approach will get one into trouble.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      This..a brake check, or just more smug resolve!

      After witnessing the aftermath of a horrific accident as a volunteer firefighter, a buddy of mine fastidiously stuck to the speed limit at all times, even being a consummate left-lane bandit! (One time, I nearly swung my left foot over the console from the passenger seat to step on his right foot as we were traversing a nasty freeway interchange, and he was gumming up the works!)

      He got scared straight into normalcy the day someone was able to break around to his right and nearly sideswiped him..he ended up in the grass in the center median!

      I said “serves you right!”

      He now drives normally!

  • avatar
    doublechili

    Some left lane hogs are probably just clueless. Others apparently think they’re helping to enforce the law. Which is absurd since the purpose of most traffic laws is to make driving safer, meanwhile a left lane hog typically creates a situation where dozens of frustrated drivers are bunched up and dodging and tailgating behind them. Very effective technique. :)

    BTW, my favorite left lane hogs are the ones who FINALLY move right… at an entrance ramp just when incoming traffic is merging left.

  • avatar
    Testacles Megalos

    If I get to be dictator (which could happen once the demagogue and criminal have been removed from contention), I’m going to restore driving as a privilege, not a right of Murkin Sitz n’ Ship. Can’t play by the rules? Hand over your license and go pay a school to re-train and pay the county courthouse for the licensing exam. Repeat as needed. There are enuf idiots that this policy will generate large revenues.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    My childhood friend, K.S., used to refer to these folks as “LLD’s”, or Left Lane Dawdlers…

    I remember that after the speed limit increased in my state, there were so many slow drivers in the fast lane that it wasn’t possible to drive at the limit (in relatively light traffic.). Lane discipline had deteriorated so much since the 55 limit had been introduced, and the state had removed the “Slower Traffic Keep Right” that nobody seemed to remember good driving skills.

    And then there were those driving much above the limit and weaving through the pack much as an electron moves through the interstitial spaces in a crystal substance.

    I’m 20 years living in Switzerland (120 km/h) now and I don’t miss the slow moving motorway chaos that is prevalent in the states.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    This is a feel good revenue raising scheme. To really fix it, make the passing lane legal speed +10 and ticket all trucks in the passing lane except for emergency need or left hand turn need. The 55 mph and truck only lanes out west help, but those are often ignored.

    The other fix needed for highways are congestion variable speed limits like Saint Louis has and actually enforce them. Regards who wreck every single day on the SoCal freeways are a menace and screw it up for everyone. Better everyone goes 45 or 55 with no wrecks than stop and go at 80, which is extremely stressful.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    This article should have said ” 109 tickets in the FIRST SHIFT” .
    .
    I hate left lane bandits too , all one needs to do is get up close to me or flash your brights and I’ll get right on over .
    .
    Yesterday I was passing everyone else on the serpentine Pasadena Freeway @ 85 + MPH hen I noticed a Maserati behind me , far behind but moving right along ~ I immediately signaled and moved to the right , he blew past me a few moments later and I resumed using the left lane to pass everyone else .
    .
    It’s not rocket science , it’s common courtesy that also improves safety .
    .
    My Big Brother OTOH, is a terror ~ he brake checked some one on SR 99 last week , at the top of the exit ramp he suddenly slowed to _15_ MPH , I thought we were about to be rear ended .
    .
    -Nate

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