‘Slow poke’ bill moving quickly at Tenn. legislature

TDOT Tennessee interstate highway Generic

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – With Middle Tennessee’s slow traffic woes a conversation piece almost daily in offices across the Nashville area, state lawmakers hope to speed up the problem with what they call the “Slow Poke Law.”

The bill moved quickly and unanimously Tuesday afternoon out of the House Transportation Committee with its next step before the critical House Finance Committee.

The “slow poke” bill defines when and how vehicles should pass on interstates or multi-lane divided highways.

Specifically, the measure says, “A person shall not operate a vehicle in a passing lane except when overtaking or passing a vehicle that is in a non-passing lane.”

Non-passing lanes are defined in the bill as “any lane that is to the right of the passing lane” and “passing lane” means the “furthermost left lane or “the lane immediately to the right of the furthermost left lane” except when that lane is designated during rush hour for high occupancy vehicles.

For some, it sounds confusing while supporters say it’s been tried with success in other states to move traffic quicker.

The measure, which is listed as HB 1416/SB 1608, also cites seven instances when the “Slow Poke Law” would not apply.

These include weather, safety and merging traffic issues.

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