SENATE BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
As of January 19, 2016
Title: An act relating to creating a new offense of aggravated left lane driving to address obnoxious, inconsiderate, and dangerous behavior.
Brief Description: Creating a new traffic offense of aggravated left lane driving.
Sponsors: Senators Baumgartner and Dansel.
Committee Activity: Transportation: 1/18/16.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION
Staff: Kim Johnson (786-7472)
Background: On all roads that have two or more lanes for traffic travelling in the same direction, vehicles must be driven in the right-hand lane unless: (a) the vehicle is overtaking and passing another vehicle driving in the same direction; (b) the vehicle is traveling at a speed greater than the traffic flow; (c) the vehicle is moving left to allow traffic to merge; or (d) the vehicle is preparing for a left turn at an intersection, exit, or into a private road or driveway when a left turn is legally permitted.
Generally, vehicles or a combination of vehicles over 10,000 pounds, and vehicles towing a trailer may not be operated in the left-hand lane of a limited access roadway that has three or more lanes for traffic moving in one direction unless preparing for a left turn at an intersection, exit, or turn into a private road or driveway that is legally permitted.
High occupancy vehicle lanes are not considered the left-hand lane of a roadway.
It is a traffic infraction to drive continuously in the left lane of a multilane roadway when it impedes the flow of other traffic. The total penalty for this infraction is $136.
Summary of Bill: Aggravated left lane driving fines are added to the penalty for the traffic infraction of driving continuously in the left lane of a multiline roadway when it impedes the flow of other traffic.
Aggravated left lane driving fines are based upon the miles per hour the vehicle is continuously traveling under the maximum posted speed limit as follows:
Miles per hour under the speed limit
1 to 5
6 to 10
11 to 15
16 to 20
Fiscal Note: Requested on January 15, 2016.
Committee/Commission/Task Force Created: No.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect on August 1, 2015.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony: OTHER: This is something that our officers see frequently on the roads. We do have some concerns with the way the bill is drafted. We can already take enforcement action on people who drive continuously in the left hand lane. We had around 14,000 contacts with people about this activity last year. Should this bill move forward, we would like to work with you on some clarifying language related to how an officer determines when a vehicle is being operated continually in the left lane.
Persons Testifying: OTHER: Melissa Van Gorkom, WSP.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: No one.