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williel williel is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: AZ then, IL now
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New Left Lane Law in IL

FYI. Everyone should be paying attention to this new IL law in hopes of it going national:

Left-lane slowpokes face tougher time under new Illinois law
By Rick Popely
Tribune staff reporter

January 4, 2004

Drivers who think they own the left lane on expressways and interstate highways will have to move over for faster traffic or risk a $75 fine under a new Illinois law that took effect Jan. 1.

The law, one of several new measures affecting Illinois drivers, prohibits motorists from running in the left lane on limited-access highways for more than half a mile if they are holding up traffic.

State Rep. John Millner (R-Carol Stream), who introduced the legislation in the General Assembly, says the law is designed to get slowpokes out of the left lane, where they block faster traffic and encourage other drivers to tailgate and pass on the right.

"So many accidents are due to people staying in the left lane and blocking traffic. That leads to road rage and people whipping around them to pass on the right," said Millner, a former Elmhurst police chief.

Highway signs have advised motorists for decades to stay right except to pass, but Millner says too many drivers ignore the warning and disrupt traffic flow.

Some drivers set their cruise control at 55 m.p.h. and try to enforce the speed limit by staying in the left lane. Millner says that creates a ripple effect, forcing other drivers to hit the brakes and change lanes.

"It's not their job to enforce the law," he said. "Their speedometer might say they're doing 55 m.p.h., but how do they know? They may actually be going slower."

Master Sgt. Rick Hector, an Illinois State Police spokesman, says the law could curb some of the anger on expressways caused by slow drivers hogging the left lane.

"For years in our defensive driving course we've been teaching that the left lane should only be used for passing," Hector said. "If you go out driving, it's easy to tell when there is someone who gets out there [in the left lane] and just doesn't move over. The intent of this law is to prevent the road rage incidents that happen as a result of that."

The law doesn't apply when there isn't another vehicle directly behind one in the left lane, when traffic is congested, inclement weather makes it necessary to ride in the left lane, an exit is on the left side of the road or at tollway plazas and in construction zones.

"The bottom line is that you can drive in the left lane all day long until somebody wants to pass you. Then you have to move over," Millner said.

He dismisses suggestions that the new law will encourage speeding.

"People are speeding already, and they'll keep speeding, and police will continue issuing tickets to speeders," he said. "If they're blocking traffic, this will encourage them to use a little courtesy and common sense."

Hector adds: "By no means does this law make it easier for those who want to fly out there. We will be placing a priority on [speeding] enforcement."
Old 01-05-2004, 08:02 PM
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