A simple tweet from an Indiana State Trooper got an overwhelming response after reminding people about the state’s so-called “slowpoke law.”
Sgt. Stephen Wheeles with the Versailles District in southeast Indiana tweeted a photo after pulling over a driver for going too slow in the left lane on I-65.
“I stopped this vehicle today for a left lane violation on I-65. The driver had approximately 20 cars slowed behind her because she would not move back to the right lane,” Wheeles tweeted Saturday.
“Again…if there are vehicles behind you, you must move to the right lane to allow them to pass.”
Wheeles’ tweet has nearly 15,000 retweets and more than 49,000 likes.
The state’s “slowpoke” or “move over” law went into effect in 2015. It says that drivers traveling in the left lane must move over if the car behind them is going faster. Police have said a driver going too slow in the fast lane can be just as dangerous for traffic as a speeding vehicle.
Wheeles was overwhelmed with responses to his post, with many applauding him for enforcing the law and expressing their frustration with drivers who go too slow.
In one response to a Twitter user, Wheeles acknowledged that the law can apply even if you’re going the speed limit—it all depends on how fast the traffic behind you is going.
“The spirit of the law is that since many people drive well above the speed limit, it creates an ‘accordion effect’ as traffic starts backing up behind the slower vehicle,” Wheeles wrote. “This is where many of our crashes occur on the interstates. It’s all in the name of safety.”
But he also said that the law isn’t intended to encourage anyone to break the speed limit.
“This is in no way encouraging people to speed. Those speeders are definitely in violation also. Vehicles all travel at different speeds. It was put in place to keep left lane drivers (or the family ten cars back) from getting run over by faster traffic while in the left lane.”
According to the Pennsylvania State Vehicle Code 3301 and 3303, all cars must drive on the right side of the road or right-hand lane of a multi-lane highway unless overtaking a slow moving vehicle. Slow moving vehicles are always required to drive in the right–hand lane.
§ 3301. Driving on right side of roadway. (a) General rule.–Upon all roadways of sufficient width, a vehicle shall be driven upon the right half of the roadway except as follows: (1) When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction where permitted by the rules governing such movement. (2) When an obstruction exists making it necessary to drive to the left of the center of the roadway, provided the driver yields the rightof-way to all vehicles traveling in the proper direction upon the unobstructed portion of the roadway within such distance as to constitute a hazard. (3) When and where official traffic-control devices are in place designating a lane or lanes to the left side of the center of the roadway for the movement indicated by the devices. (4) Upon a roadway restricted to one-way traffic. (5) When making a left turn as provided in sections 3322 (relating to vehicle turning left) and 3331 (relating to required position and method of turning). (6) In accordance with section 3303(a)(3) (relating to overtaking vehicle on the left).
(b) Vehicle proceeding at less than normal speed.– (1) Upon all roadways any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into an alley, private road or driveway. (2) This subsection does not apply to: (i) A driver who must necessarily drive in a lane other than the right-hand lane to continue on his intended route.