New York bill aims to curb coasting in the left lane of highways

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State Sen. Joseph Griffo has introduced a bill aiming to curb coasting in the left lane of interstate highways in New York (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WRGB) – A New York state lawmaker is trying to curb coasting in the left lane of interstate highways.

State Sen. Joseph Griffo recently introduced a bill aiming to address that issue. The Rome-area Republican says his constituents have complained about vehicles coasting in the passing lane and not using the left lane to pass or overtake other cars.

Griffo says drivers who “impede the flow of traffic by using the left lane for right lane purposes pose a safety risk to other vehicles, disrupt the flow of traffic and can lead to accidents and incidents of road rage.”

Under the proposal, drivers found occupying the left lane for one-and-a-half miles would be subject to a violation. A police officer would have to be present and make a judgment call if someone is violating the law or not, similar to how speeding violations are handled.

The bill would establish a $50 fine for a first violation and a $100 fine for subsequent violations. Drivers found in violation would not be subject to points getting added to their license.

“Many drivers in New York have experienced the frustration of vehicles traveling at the same or lower speed in the left lane as those traveling in the right lane on the Thruway and other interstates,” said Griffo, who is also the Deputy Minority Leader of the State Senate. “This legislation is a potential remedy to address this issue, reduce potential impediments of vehicles and ensure the orderly flow of traffic. "

Griffo’s legislation has been referred to the state Senate’s Rules Committee.

"If this bill were to be signed into law, I am hopeful that it will encourage better behavior among motorists and that they will become more cognizant of their surroundings and follow proper etiquette when on the road," Griffo said.

Similar laws have been enacted in more than a dozen states, including Maine, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.