Left lane law: Slowpokes could be fined

Published: May. 28, 2019 at 6:13 PM CDT
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Left lane cruisers, your free ride could soon be ending in Minnesota.

“Just those differences of one or two miles per hour can really jam up traffic,” says Minnesota Senator John Jasinski (District 24 - R).

The state legislature has signed off on a bill could cost left lane drivers a more than $100 in fines and fees if they don't move over for faster vehicles.

Jasinski says it’s all about safety.

“There’s road rage, there’s people trying to pass on the right instead of the left – there’s just a lot of safety concerns,” he says. "It's really a common sense law that would just promote for people to move over when there's traffic behind them."

And residents seem to agree.

“95% of the people love it – they’ve all been stuck in the same position where they get frustrated because somebody doesn’t move over. About 5% of the people don’t agree with it. They think if they’re going the speed limit, they shouldn’t have to move over,” Jasinski says.

“It’s for passing only, it should be for passing only,” says Jim Winkels, a Wadena resident. “In some states, like Texas and Kansas – that’s what the left lane is for only. Minnesota should pass that law too.”

“Yeah,” says Caroline Zablocki, who lives along the Minnesota/North Dakota border. “So that I can keep moving.”

But not everyone was initially on-board with the bill.

Jasinski says he went back and forth with Minnesota State troopers before getting their approval.

“I did work with state patrol quite a bit,” he says. “They were actively working on language that was acceptable to them.”

The bill waits on Governor Walz’s desk, where it’s expected to be signed into law later this week.

The bill also requires a public awareness campaign, so drivers can learn about the new law.