Lawmakers pass ‘Anti-Road Rage Act’

MONTGOMERY, Ala.  — A new Alabama law says "move over!" The left lane is for passing -- not driving.

Both the House and the Senate have passed a bill that would limit how long drivers can ride in the left lane.

The sponsor of the bill, Republican Rep. Phillip Pettus, calls it the "Anti-Road Rage Act."

He says it's aimed at reducing the risk of violence from drivers becoming angry at slow drivers in the left lane.

The bill allows for some exemptions, such as during inclement weather or particularly bad traffic conditions.

How many cars in the left lane do you think are actually passing vehicles?

"That's what it's for. That's what we learned in driving school right, is that it is the passing lane and if you're not passing someone you should move to the right," said Sunny Gentry, a frequent driver on Alabama interstates.

But people don't always obey that law. Representative Pettus thought the problem was big enough to take to the state house. His bill passed in the House and the Senate.

Under the new law, a driver could only stay in the left-hand lane for a mile and a half if they aren't passing other vehicles. So how long is that really? Well, if you're driving 70 miles an hour on the interstate it's a little over a minute or 77 seconds to be exact.

If a driver doesn't move over they could get a ticket.

"I think it's great, honestly," Gentry said.

Gentry doesn't live in Alabama, but she works in the state.

"I'm in Alabama weekly. I cover everywhere from Huntsville to Birmingham, Mobile, Montgomery, so, I am literally all over," she said.

She thinks this bill could make the roads safer.

"The majority of the time people are mad about slow drivers in the left-hand lane and they end up passing them on the right side which is dangerous obviously," she said.

The bill sponsor is calling this the "Anti-Road Rage Act" but not everyone thinks this bill would steer the state in the right direction.

"I don't really think its an issue here in Alabama you don't hear about too much road rage," said one Madison resident.

The bill is headed to the Governor's desk and it will need her approval before it's officially the rule of the road.

WHNT News 19 reached out to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to find out how the law would be enforced. An agency spokesperson told us at this point they want to wait to comment until after the Governor has decided if she will sign the bill.

 

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