Lawmaker proposes traffic tickets for slow pokes

State Rep. Dan Howell, R-Georgetown, is proposing a new traffic offense through what he calls a “slow poke law,” reports The Tennessean. It targets motorists driving too slow in a passing lane and Howell says he sees lots of them driving from his Bradley County home to Nashville.

“There are a lot of people who will get in the left-hand lane on the interstate, set the cruise and they never look in the rearview mirror,” said Howell, a Republican.

…Howell’s bill (HB1416) would make it illegal for anyone to drive in the passing lane of a highway unless that person is actually passing another vehicle. There are plenty of exceptions and caveats: The road would have to be a three-lane highway, and the law would apply only when weather and traffic permitted.

There are similar laws in other states — hundreds of drivers in Georgia have been cited since the law took effect this year, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. Howell believes such a law in Tennessee will keep some of the busiest highways around the state’s largest cities moving and safe.

“Basically, it’s to reduce road rage and reduce congestion on our interstates,” Howell said.

Violators would face a Class C misdemeanor, the same citation associated with a speeding ticket, and a $50 fine.