Time to Ticket 'Slow Poke' Drivers in Virginia?

New Georgia law tickets slow drivers getting in the way of faster cars. What do you think?

New Georgia law getting slow drivers out of the fast lane. What do you think? Patch file.
New Georgia law getting slow drivers out of the fast lane. What do you think? Patch file.

(Updated with help from user Rico. Thanks, Rico!)

Georgia implemented its new “Slow Poke” law this week. And it had us wondering about the law in Virginia. It's already against the law here.

The new law requires drivers in the left lane of a Georgia highway move to the right when a vehicle traveling at a faster speed comes up from behind. Slower drivers who do not move out of the high-speed lane may be ticketed under the new law.

Proponents say the new law will reduce congestion, road rage and tailgating.

According to a 2006 report from Fredericksburg.com, Virginia's "slow poke" law states, "It shall be unlawful to fail to give way to overtaking traffic when driving a motor vehicle to the left and abreast of another motor vehicle on a divided highway."

So, should we be ticketing more "Slow Poke" drivers? Tell us in the comments section below.

When it comes to sharing the road, a recent Howard University study found that Virginia commuters may be safer than drivers in D.C. and Maryland, according to a CBS Local report.

The study looked at car accidents in the district. Virginia drivers lagged far behind Maryland and D.C.

Elizabeth July 05, 2014 at 06:57 PM
What if the "slow" driver is actually doing the speed limit? As far as I'm concerned, either raise the speed limits and then enforce them, or make it clear that only speeders, trying to rush everyone, will be ticketed, followed by only those drivers going slower than the speed limit in the left lane will be ticketed. Some people think speed limits don't exist in the left lanes; that they (for some reason) are exempt from laws that apply to everyone else; and that they are (for some reason) more important than anyone else. Thus, the left lanes are reserved only for them, regardless of speed or speed limits. What makes it all even more dicey is that many, many roads with two or three travel lanes in each direction also have left exits, which means drivers attempting to make a left exit either MUST drive in the left lane or they must somehow try, in roughly a quarter of a mile, to cross two or more lanes of bumper-to-bumper traffic, risking everyone's lives, just to get to the exit. No one lets anyone get in front of them; at least, not willingly. So: someone tell me how people are supposed to do the SAFE thing, even if, by doing it, some rush-rush jerk thinks HIS right to go anywhere, at ANY speed is slowed down to (oh, horror!) the SPEED LIMIT! The simple fact is that too many drivers think the speed limit is only a suggestion. Until they learn otherwise, any suggestion of ticketing slower drivers in the left lane (meaning those who are going at or even slightly above the posted limit) is an outrage and sets the worst possible example. Let's put safety, first. Please!
Vincent Careatti July 05, 2014 at 09:32 PM
Dear Elizabeth; it's called learning how to drive, merge, and use a turn signal. Why do drivers slow down to get into a lane? You speed up use a turn signal and merge. The test to receive a driver's license is a joke; until we get a cpueruzed driver's test in a mock up car with a program with all possible driving scenarios traffic will never get better
Danny Donahue July 06, 2014 at 11:28 AM
Hmmmmm, State engineers study traffic patterns and determine that 55, 65, or whatever is the best, safest speed for a stretch of road. So, VDOT puts up a sign that says SPEED LIMIT 55mph. The police routinely sit on the side of this stretch of road and allow cars to pass by at rates up to 80mph without ticketing those drivers who are, under Virginia law, committing a Reckless Driving offense by driving more than 20mph over the posted speed limit. And now we are talking about ticketing people driving at, or even 10-15mph over, the posted speed limit because other people want to drive recklessly... And that line of logic ladies and gentlemen, is why the Commonwealth is in the shape it is right now!!!
kat frandanisa July 08, 2014 at 09:53 AM
OK, so if you won't move over because you think others are driving too fast or you won't move over because YOU think the laws are above you, how about moving over out of common consideration for the other guy on the road. Maybe that guy isn't just a jerk who's in a hurry; maybe he has had an emergency and needs to get somewhere fast. Regardless of the reason, the courteous thing to do is get out of the way. And while we're talking inconsiderate drivers, why not pull up closer to the car in front of you at a traffic light; is there really a reason to give 2 or more car lengths between? Have you ever thought about the person behind you that is trying to get through that light? Oh, we could go on & on . . .
Vincent Careatti July 08, 2014 at 11:26 AM
Kat the answer to ur ? Re car lengths is simple: they're texting and have no idea what's going on around them. I could give out a minimum of 3 citations for texting at any traffic signal. The best one was on I66 going 70 mph (ok yes I'm breaking the law ) Maryland driver going even faster was texting with his left hand and steering with his right . If you ask the cops the answer is "we can't be everywhere" but my question is exactly where are the cops? We always read about weekends devoted to enforcement. Isn't this a part of their full time job? Where are the stats? I've pleaded with VDOT to use the variable message boards to get the word out about all sorts of traffic laws: texting, seat belts, windshield wipers, headlights, new bike laws, all for naught. Jan the VDOT in house mouth organ "too much information will distract the driver" DAH! Like 7 minutes to downtown or construction in Rosslyn are really helpful messages. I don't know how you clean out the entrenched plastic pocket protector crowd but if I ever ran for governor that would be my only platform


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