Getting stuck behind a left lane driver can be frustrating. Now, if you’re one of those drivers, it can also be expensive.
Illinois State Police say they want to keep drivers from improper use of the left lane. While improper lane usage violations have been around for years, the left lane law was passed by the state two years ago.
“It makes people mad,” said Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Brent Massingill. “When we get aggravated or mad behind the wheel, that can lead to some bad stuff, some aggressive driving or even a road rage situation.”
One of those frustrated drivers is Sean McCann, he says he sees drivers not using it as a passing lane on a daily basis.
“It’d be nice if that lane is open just for passing, like it should be,” said McCann. “That’s basically what that lane is supposed to be for. If people are camped out there, it just slows down all the traffic down.”
The law only applies in controlled access interstates and highways, like I-39, I-90 and Bypass 20 around Rockford. Massingill says drivers caught lingering in the left lane can be fined $120.
“It’s a traffic ticket,” explained Massingill. “Much like a speeding ticket or if you ran a stop sign. It is a moving violation and it’s going to affect your driving record and it’s certainly going to affect your insurance.”
Some drivers don’t like the idea of being ticketed, but do believe the law is reasonable.
“Every once in awhile when you are in a long trip and there is somebody who is sitting doing 55 in the left hand lane,” said Sheila Wilkening. “Then, I’m all for it.”
ISP says enforcing the left lane law won’t be a major priority for the department but something they will address if they need to.
“As far as what we’re actually going out and seeking out, speeding violations, people not wearing seat belts, unrestrained children, distracted driving violations and of course people driving under the influence,” said Massingill.