DeSantis slams the brake on left-lane law

by | Jun 24, 2024

Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed a bill on Friday intended to regulate left-lane usage on high-speed roads, citing concerns about its broad language potentially leading to unnecessary traffic stops and increased urban congestion.

Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed legislation on Friday aimed at regulating the use of the leftmost lanes on Florida’s high-speed roads.

Under the measure, drivers would have been prohibited from operating vehicles in the leftmost lane on roads with speed limits of 65 miles per hour or higher except for overtaking another vehicle, preparing to exit the roadway, or when directed by traffic control devices. Emergency vehicles and vehicles engaged in highway maintenance or construction operations would have been exempt from this rule.

In his veto letter, DeSantis expressed concerns about the bill’s broad language, suggesting it could result in drivers being pulled over, ticketed, and fined even when they are not impeding traffic or when there are few or no other cars around. The governor further argued that the bill could potentially increase congestion in urban areas, reasoning that drivers might avoid using the leftmost lane altogether out of fear of being ticketed, thereby reducing the overall capacity of the roadways and exacerbating traffic issues in already congested areas.

“The language of this bill is too broad and could lead to drivers in Florida being pulled over, ticketed, and fined for driving in the furthest left lane even if they are not impeding the flow of traffic or if there are few or no other cars in the immediate area,” DeSantis wrote in his veto transmission letter. ““In addition, the bill could potentially increase congestion in Florida’s urban areas as drivers may decide to not utilize the furthest left-hand lane at all for fear of being ticketed.”

This decision comes after the bill received overwhelming support in the state legislature, passing the House with 113 votes in favor and only 3 against, and subsequently clearing the Senate.


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