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House Bill 459 targets left lane lurkers

9:09 AM, Feb 26, 2013   |    comments
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The Downtown Connector

ATLANTA -- Spending time on Atlanta metro interstates will drive you frustrated.

Where to begin? Let's start with those drivers who hover slowly in the left lane, the so-called passing lane. Are those drivers self-absorbed or too oblivious to the gestures and horns around them?

On Monday evening, Jeff Hullinger spoke with a state representative who wants to help these doddering souls along the roadways.

Rep. Bill Hitchens is a Republican from Rincon in Effingham County near Savannah. Hitchens must drive four hours to get home from his duties under the Gold Dome, meaning he practically lives in his car.

"I always thought it was good manners. Your mama taught you,  when somebody comes up behind you, you get out of the way," he said.

But not everyone's mama is well versed in the rules of the Georgia road. Thus, Rep. Hitchens introduced House Bill 459, which would make it illegal to drive in the left lane except for overtaking and passing another vehicle.

An offender could be ticketed for slowing down traffic in its rear view mirror. And yes, this bill is similar to what already stands as law.

"The thing I worry about the most is the fact this is close to what was there before but this one has more attributes to it," Hitchens said. "It exactly says you stay out of the left lane and it gives 10 examples when you shouldn't be there, one of them is when nobody else is out there -- when no one is behind you."

If Rep. Hitchens' name sounds familiar, it should. He used to head up the Georgia State Patrol. He says both his friends in law enforcement and his constituents like this idea.

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