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Speeding is Against the Law in Georgia, But So Is Being a “Slow Poke”

Posted on - Wednesday, November 18, 2015 under Car Accident

If you are rolling down a Georgia highway over the speed limit and you see a state trooper’s flashing lights coming up behind you, you likely know that you are about to be ticketed for speeding. But did you know that you can also get ticketed for driving too slow?

In July, 2014, Georgia’s “slow poke” law went into effect. The law actually addresses an issue that you have probably faced on any road trip or long highway drive. You are in the right lane rapidly approaching a slower vehicle in front of you. You want to pass him in the left lane, but as you activate your turn signal and change lanes, you find your path blocked by a car driving as slowly in the left lane as the one you’re trying to get around.

Sometimes, that slow driver in the left lane will get the clue and return to the right lane where he or she belongs. Sometimes, though, that less-than-swift driver will continue along in the left lane oblivious to the rule of the road we all know: that the left lane on an interstate or other highway should be for passing only.

That rule of the road is now the law of the road in Georgia. A driver oblivious to his slow speed who remains in the passing lane for too long is now subject to fines and penalties, not just honking horns or flashing headlights.

O.C.G.A. 40-6-184, Georgia’s “Slow Poke Law,” provides that:

  • No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation.
  • On roads, streets, or highways with two or more lanes allowing for movement in the same direction, no person shall continue to operate a motor vehicle in the most left-hand lane at less than the maximum lawful speed limit once such person knows or should reasonably know that he is being overtaken in such lane from the rear by a motor vehicle traveling at a higher rate of speed, except when such motor vehicle is preparing for a left turn.

Exceptions to the requirements of the law include situations where:

  • traffic conditions or congestion make it necessary to drive in the passing lane;
  • inclement weather, obstructions or hazards make it necessary to drive in the passing lane;
  • compliance with the law or with an official traffic control device makes it necessary to drive in the passing lane;
  • a vehicle must be driven in the passing lane to exit or turn left;
  • on toll highways, when necessary to pay a toll or use a pass;

A violation of the “Slow Poke Law” is a misdemeanor that could cost you up to $1,000 and 3 points on your driving record. In the first nine months the law was in effect, Georgia State Patrol wrote up 269 “Slow Poke Law” violations and will continue pulling over shocked drivers who are unaware of the existence of the law.

The law was passed with the hope of reducing incidents of road rage and tailgating, both of which can lead to car accidents and serious injuries. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a Georgia car accident, The Parian Law Firm practices personal injury law exclusively and is ready to pursue the compensation and justice you need and deserve. Please give us a call at (770) 727-5550 or chat live online with a member of our staff today.