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Cracking down on left lane drivers

Posted at 9:10 AM, Mar 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-04 09:10:06-05

If you hop into the left lane on the highway, police ask that you make it quick.

"If you're not passing anyone and there's no traffic in the right lane, you should be moving over," explained Lt. Kyle Bowman with the Michigan State Police.

There are even signs to remind you that it's a passing lane, not a travel lane. But, Lt. Bowman tells us people just don't pay attention.

"It never fails that we can find that that person usually is distracted, texting, doing something else," he explained. "And, they aren't even aware of the fact that they maybe initially got in the left lane to pass a car, but they have long since passed that vehicle."

So, State Police are constantly on the lookout for offenders, especially with the high number of complaints from fellow drivers.

"The big offenders," he said. "You see 'em coming from a half a mile out and there's not another car in the right lane, a lot of times we make contact and we educate the people."

If an officer catches you driving in the left lane for too long, you could actually get a ticket. That'll cost you around $135.

"I didn't know it was a traffic offense at all, I always thought it was just a courtesy that they recommend for safe and effective driving. So that's good to know," said driver, Debbie Jamieson.

She admits she's sometimes guilty of hogging the left lane. And, she's pleased something is being done about what she fears can become a dangerous situation.

"It holds up traffic. I think people tend to weave around too much and it actually, I think, tends to create an accident or people that are just angry driving because they're frustrated with people sitting in that left lane who are going to slow," Jamieson said.

So, to avoid the fine and help out your fellow drivers, pay attention and move over.

Lt. Bowman added there's only one exception. You can stay in the left lane, provided there's an equal amount of traffic in both lanes and both are moving at the same speed.