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Idaho begins enforcing new 'slowpoke' passing-lane law

by Justin King

State police argue hogging the left lane can cause accidents.

Idaho has begun enforcing a new law that prohibits drivers from impeding traffic in the passing lane on highways.

The new law, which rolled out on July 1, prohibits drivers from blocking traffic by going below the speed limit in the left lane. Violations carry a modest $90 fine.

"If vehicles are moving slower, it can cause accidents and crashes," Idaho State Police Lt. Shawn Staley told the Idaho Press.

Similar laws are worded differently depending on the individual state. In Idaho, some of the fastest drivers may be disappointed to learn that a driver can't be ticketed for hogging the left lane if they are going the speed limit, even if they are impeding the flow of slightly faster vehicles.

"If you're going the lawful rate of speed, another person shouldn't push up behind you," Staley said.

The state has only issued two tickets and three warnings in the law's first month. In contrast, Idaho State Police wrote nearly 2,500 speeding tickets.

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