defensive driving, new jersey drivers

New JerseyState Sen. Donald Norcross is behind new legislation which would increase fines for drivers who do not keep to the right.

Yes, driving in the “passing lane” is illegal in almost every state, but drivers are not often ticket for it, and if they are the fines are quite low. This is unfortunate, because drivers who insist on driving slow in the passing lane not only frustrate other drivers, they risk causing an accident.

In places where traffic congestion is heavy these drivers cause unneeded delays and in some cases force other drivers to drive recklessly in order to get around them. It is also a known trigger for incidents of “road rage.”

That is what has led Norcross to suggest the fines for these “passing lane drivers” be increased. Under his suggested rule change minimum fines will be increased from $50 to $100 and the maximum fine from $200 to $300. This is still not as stiff as penalties for other types of driving infractions, but it might just be a wake-up call for some drivers.

Defensive drivers know that the passing lane, the left lane, is meant for drivers who are traveling faster than the flow of traffic, so they can move ahead. It is the law, yes, but it is also a matter of common courtesy. Driving in slow in the passing lane is like standing still on a staircase while other people are trying to get up and down. Do you have a right to just stand there? Yes. Does it mean you SHOULD just stand because have the right to do so? Of course not.

You might think that driving slow in the passing lane is simply a matter of having a little common sense and common courtesy, but for some New Jersey drivers that simply isn’t enough. If the new legislation passes they will have the added incentive of a rather hefty fine to deal with too.