When most people think about speed limits, they think of driving too fast over the speed limit. You have certainly seen other drivers being pulled over by Atlanta police officers for speeding, or maybe you have even been guilty of the offense yourself. Speeding is dangerous and can lead to serious accidents on highways and roads in the greater Atlanta area.
But did you know that a speed limit also means that there is sometimes a limit as to how slow Georgia drivers can go on any given road, street, or byway? You might also be surprised to learn that Georgia even has what is called a “slowpoke” law and that many drivers unwittingly violate this law every day. Driving too slow or violating Georgia's “slowpoke” law can also cause dangerous accidents that can injure you or other drivers.
Slowpoke Law and What It Means
According to OCGA §40-6-184,
(a) 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.
(c) Upon 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 passing lane once such person knows or should reasonably know that he or she is being overtaken in such lane from the rear by a motor vehicle traveling at a higher rate of speed. For purposes of this Code section, "passing lane" means the most left-hand lane other than a high occupancy vehicle lane.
In other words, drivers may not hang out in the left-hand lane of traffic, even if they are driving the posted speed limit. The left-hand lane is only meant for passing other vehicles. This may seem like common sense, and maybe you even learned this rule when you took a driver's education course.
Proponents of the Law
Other states such as New Jersey, Florida, and Tennessee also have slowpoke laws. Advocates say that drivers who choose to stay in left-hand or passing lanes can be as dangerous as those who recklessly speed. First of all, as any Atlanta driver knows, traffic congestion is a problem in Georgia's metro areas. The slowpoke law was designed to keep the flow of traffic moving smoothly by punishing those who willfully or unknowingly impede it.
The slowpoke law can also help curb people from weaving in and out of traffic, where they could either suddenly speed up or slow down into a slower-moving lane, which could cause other drivers to brake suddenly and cause a chain-reaction, rear-end collision event.
Finally—and maybe you have witnessed this—the slowpoke law can also keep road rage incidents from flaring up. If you are moving along slightly above the speed limit, and then you decide to pass a semi-truck but find yourself stuck behind someone lagging in the left-hand lane, you might be tempted to flash your lights or even honk at them, which could eventually lead to an issue far more serious.
John Hadden, Accident Attorney
Driving can be dangerous anywhere in Georgia. If you were involved in an accident that was caused by some other driver's negligence, or in an accident caused by a road-rage incident that stemmed from someone violating the slowpoke law, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries and property damage. Call The Hadden Law firm at 404-939-4525 or fill out a contact form to get started on your case today.