NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The so-called “Slow Poke” law went into effect across Tennessee on July 1.
The new law states drivers are only allowed to use the left passing lane on interstates or multi-lane highways if they are actually passing.
If motorists are caught driving in the lane without passing, it could mean a misdemeanor charge and a $50 fine.
Knoxville resident Brianne Vonlaufen is in full support of the new slow poke law.
“I’m a caregiver so I see clients so I’ve got certain times I’ve got to be places and someone holding up the fast lane is irritating,” said Vonlaufen.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol hopes the law will help ease traffic back-ups and improve. Troopers are on the lookout for violators of the new law.
“We’ll enforce it just like we do every other state law. If you’re just out there riding in that lane and there’s nothing around you and there’s no reason for you to be there you can probably expect to get pulled over for that,” said THP Lt. Don Boshears.
Lt. Boshears says the new law could impact safety. He says a slow vehicle in the fast lane can cause traffic to start backing up. Once the traffic is close together it just takes a second to cause a crash.
There are exceptions to the slow poke law. The slow poke law will not apply if inclement weather or an official traffic control device makes it necessary to drive in the passing lane, if there are obstructions in the non-passing lanes or if highway design makes it necessary to drive in the passing lane to exit or turn left.