The "Slow Poke" Law: Slow drivers in the left lane will now be t - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

The "Slow Poke" Law: Slow drivers in the left lane will now be ticketed in Georgia

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Good news for Georgia drivers who get frustrated with people driving slowly in the left lane; not so good news for the ones driving slowly.

Many drivers will now need to pay attention to avoid getting pulled over in the left lane, thanks to one of the new Georgia laws that just went into effect on July 1, 2014.

The new "Slow Poke" law, officially known as House Bill 459, is made to reduce tailgating, road rage and traffic congestion while improving traffic flow.

This new law requires slow drivers in the left lane on a Georgia highway, interstate or expressway to move to the right when a fast car approaches them from behind. 

"The spirit of the new law is very simple," explained Al Barber with Barber's Driving School. "We want to reduce traffic congestion and other problems that cause collisions out there. The number one cause of collision in Georgia is people following too closely. And it's a domino effect when rear-ended collision happens. It causes problems for not just two vehicles, but multiple cars. I think the 'Slow Poke' law is a good law for the overall safety for the public."

The new traffic law also allows officers to give a ticket or warning to the slow drivers who disturb the flow of traffic by going too slow in the left lane.

"Officers understand not everyone will understand or remember this law right away," Barber said. "They will give out warnings for the first few days. But there are exceptions to this law. People can stay in that left lane when we have heavy traffic, and we are unable to switch lanes. Road construction and bad weather can also allow people to stay on the left lane."

Barber says it's a two way sword.

"Those who enjoy driving fast will say this law is great. But those who understand the maximum traffic law, and understand that it's there for our safety, are going to be irritated. But I do believe that the pros will outweigh the cons in this case."

Other new Georgia laws went into effect on July 1 as well.  

House Bill 60 allows licensed carriers to take their weapons into churches, schools, government buildings and bars with certain gun permits as long as the establishment permits them.

The Education bill provides full tuition coverage for technical college students who keep a 3.5 grade point average.

The Electronic Cigarette law makes it illegal to sell or give electronic cigarettes to anyone under  the age of 18.

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