NJ lawmaker takes aim at 'left lane hogs'

March 1, 2012 3:00:44 PM PST
A New Jersey driving law states slower traffic has to stay to the right, except to pass.

However, many drivers aren't following the rule and now a Camden County lawmaker wants to raise the fines for violators.

Kia Jones of Lawnside is, like many drivers, sick and tired of the left lane hogs.

"Get out the way. Move over to the other lane!"

You know--the cars that stay put in the passing lane and won't move over.

"You use that lane to pass in, but some people just get in it and that's where they stay and I don't care if you blow your horn or whatever they just refuse to move," said Charmain Hunter of Camden.

"They shouldn't be in that lane, they drive too slow. That's what they have speed limits for," said Lisa Hibmann of Westville.

"I know people who get road rage because of that and snap because they might be in a hurry," said Michael Coley of Camden.

New Jersey law requires slower traffic to stay to the right except to pass. Because so many people ignore that, a Camden County lawmaker has introduced a bill to almost double the fines against violators to anywhere from $100 to $300.

"This is resonating. I've gotten so many phone calls over the last few days," said State Senator Donald Norcross. "People are just upset."

If the bill passes part of the fines collected will go toward more signs reminding drivers about the law. Police wrote more than 5,000 tickets last year to left lane hogs. That comes along with a two point penalty on your driving record.

To coax left lane hogs out of the passing lane, aggravated drivers have been known to flash their lights, honk and use various hand gestures. Derrick Searles has been on the receiving end of that.

"Beep the horn, flip you off, you know a lot of different things," said Derrick Searles of Camden, who went on to say that - even with those gestures - he doesn't move.

"When I'm in the left lane and I'm doing above the speed limit, don't get literally right up on top of me because you want to go 90," said Valerie Johnson.

Left-laners want other drivers to back off, but if the fines are increased they'll be paying more for refusing to move over.