New law targets slow left lane drivers |

New law targets slow left lane drivers

SUMMIT COUNTY – The Colorado State Patrol will begin enforcing a six-month old law that requires drivers to stay in the right lane unless they’re passing another vehicle.State lawmakers passed the legislation on July 1 in an attempt to prevent traffic congestion and to cut down on road rage.For the past six months, troopers have merely been warning drivers who are caught driving too slow in the left lane, but as of the first of the year, the friendly reminder will end.From now on, if the highway has three or more lanes, drivers are required to stay out of the far left lane, except to pass.CSP Capt. Ron Prater is hoping the new law will alleviate the conflict between people who want to drive slower than 65 miles per hour and those who want to pass vehicles.He warned that the law is not a free pass to speed in the left lane, but rather a measure to help control traffic flows.”I know there will be some people out there who will put the hammer down in the left lane thinking its their own personal raceway,” Prater said.Beginning Jan. 1, offenders will face a $35 ticket, plus a $6.20 surcharge and three points tacked on to their driver’s license – costs that Prater believes will not help CSP with its goal of changing behavior on the interstate.”The fines are ridiculously low,” Prater said.For example, the seatbelt fine in Colorado is $18 and the fine for driving 10 to 15 miles per hour over the speed limit is $50.Prater believes if the fines were higher, the monetary factor would be a greater deterrent and would enable CSP to concentrate less on enforcement and more on interstate safety.

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