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Traffic travels east U.S. Route 50, or John Hanson Highway, in Bowie, Md., Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Maryland may fine drivers up to $250 for going slow in the left lane


Commuters, rejoice. 

Maryland may become the latest state to fine drivers who drive slow in the left lane, our partner at WBFF reports. The bill has already passed the state House and is pending in the Senate. If passed, the fine could be as high as $250.

Maryland is home to parts of major highways like Interstates 95, 270 and 495, all prone to nasty traffic jams. 

Not just annoying -- dangerous

The bill's sponsor, Republican delegate William Folden, told The Baltimore Sun slow left-lane drivers aren't just annoying. They can be dangerous. A slow left-lane driver forces drivers to pass them on the right, putting them in a driver's blind spot. It can also lead to more aggressive driving as people stuck in traffic get too close to their bumpers. 

My concern is this bill says, 'The left lane is the fast lane, and unless you're going fast, don't use it.'
John Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman

But some experts argue making slow left-lane driving illegal will only encourage people to speed. AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman John Townsend II said drivers shouldn't get a ticket just because some people want to drive above the speed limit.

People think they're causing people to slow down, but they're going to cause a crash.
Tom Didone, Montgomery County police

Capt. Tom Didone, commander of the Montgomery County police traffic division, supports the bill, which he says will help traffic stay safe by going at a consistent speed. 

Neighboring Virginia added a mandatory minimum fine of $250 for using the left lane when not passing.

Maryland drivers might have earned a reputation for going slow in the fast lane.

Should it be illegal to go slow in the left lane?
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