One of the biggest causes of frustration on Washington’s roadways is getting the attention of lawmakers.
A new bill is working its way through the Legislature that aims to finally get after those left lane campers.
It is against the law to camp in the left lane, unless you’re passing. However, Senator Michael Baumgartner says the $136 ticket isn’t changing behavior. He wants to up the ante.
Baumgartner introduced a bill that will hit those offenders with additional fines if they are camping in the left lane and going below the speed limit. The slower you are the more you will pay. It could be an additional $27-$67.
It’s a behavior Senator Baumgartner sees all the time on the way home to Spokane.
“People will sit in the left lane … and they just won’t move,” he said. “You’re forced to pass on the right and then the person speeds up. Easy solution: get over. If you’re not passing you should not be in the left lane.”
Not only do left lane campers slow down traffic, they cause other drivers to make risky passes and lane changes, and they can create road rage behind them.
If you ask anyone who has moved to Washington about our left lane camping problem, get ready for a rant.
“This problem is worse in Washington state than other states by my anecdotal experience,” Baumgartner said.
Baumgartner says he doesn’t know anyone personally that has been pulled over for this, but the Washington State Patrol does go after drivers for it. Last year, troopers pulled over about 14,000 people for left lane camping. They wrote about 2,300 tickets.
Another part of the existing law that tends to be ignored: big rigs or trucks with trailers that are more than 10,000 pounds are not allowed in the left lane at all on freeways with three or more lanes.