RI lawmaker wants to fine drivers for ‘lollygagging’ in the left lane

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A local lawmaker said he had safety in mind when he introduced a left lane ‘lollygagging’ bill.

Rep. Dennis Canario, a retired Portsmouth police officer, is spearheading a bill that would fine drivers $85 if they are found going below the speed limit in the far left lane.

The left-hand lane is meant for passing. “I think most of us learned that in driving school but as time goes on, we forget that,” said Canario.

He believes when slow drivers spend time there, traffic becomes backed up and it is a safety hazard.  “My motto is if you’re looking ahead of you and there are no cars, and you look in the rearview mirror and there’s a quarter of a mile of cars behind you, then apparently you are the problem.”

This issue could lead to aggressive driving and weaving cars, Canario continued.

“It forces [passing drivers] into the second or first lane and this becomes a dangerous situation to the motoring public,” he said.

Canario added that he might talk to the RIDOT about using highway signs to education drivers on common courtesy practices concerning the left lane.

Several states have similar laws, including New York, Michigan, and Massachusetts.

The law would only apply to three-lane highways.