PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Drivers across the country are getting pulled over by police, not for speeding, but for going too slow.
More and more states are cracking down on drivers for holding up traffic in the passing lane with the so-called “slow poke law.”
“I would agree going 90 is more dangerous than going 50, but doing 50 does come with some concern and some consequences,” said New Jersey State Police Col. Patrick Callahan.
At least 38 states have laws in place to fine drivers for lingering in the left lane. In five states, fines could be up to $1,000, and 22 states classify the violation as a misdemeanor.
In Rhode Island, the law says “any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic shall be driven in the right-hand lane.”
Enforcing the law in Rhode Island is largely up to state troopers, but Hopkinton Police Chief David Palmer recently pulled over and ticketed someone for driving to slow. The driver was fined $85.
“The law doesn’t specify if you’re going the speed limit, it’s basically if you’re going less than the flow of traffic,” said Chief Palmer.
A recent survey found slow driving in the left lane is the third biggest cause of road rage, behind texting and tailgating.