Long story short: House Bill 459 passes, declaring that it is now a misdemeanor to be puttering down in the left lane on a divided highway.
In other words, it is now a ticketable offense in the state of Georgia to be cruising in the left lane when there are faster cars that would like to pass. When this bill was initially proposed, I didn’t think it really had any chance to actually pass, as there was too much gray area, too much subjectivity, and too much room for error for it to be a viable law. It took pretty much an entire calendar year, but not only did it pass, it passed with a landslide margin of 162-9. Apparently, a lot of legislative talking heads are really passionate about the ability to drive without Driving Miss Daisy clogging up the left lanes.
The bottom line is that I guess I’m fine with this law being in existence since I, like everyone else, have been stuck around the noob cruising at 64 in the left lane with a speed limit of 65, and because everyone else are pricks, I can’t get around them in any seamless fashion. However, the creation of HB459 really isn’t going to change anything, because of all the things I listed above; even the dimwits at the AJC are aware of this as well.
Simply put, an officer has to see this infraction occur in order for them to enforce it. Additionally, a witnessing officer has to be aware of the existence of HB459, and then finally, the witnessing officer will have to actually want to enforce it.
And then there’s going to be the argument of when a person is actually going 70 in the 70 zone; why should they yield the lane to accommodate someone going an illegal 80, 90, or 100 mph+? Imagine how many tickets will go to court at the discretion of the accused, with people frothing at the mouth going to be claiming that they were going the speed limit, and were pulled over because they weren’t letting someone going unlawfully fast to pass them?
As I said, there’s too much gray area, and too much room for error. Despite the existence of HB459, it’s going to turn into something that’s a vastly larger pain in the ass to enforce and dispute in court than it would be to just ignore. It’s basically going to be a law that a cop in a really bad mood, or who really wants a reason to pull someone over and ruin their day will actually enforce.
Otherwise, chalk HB459 as another state law that’s going to be ignored and forgotten. Did you know that there’s a truancy law in Georgia (HB1190) that states that basically, parents of students who are repeatedly caught for skipping school can be jailed? Yeah, that law is never enforced either. Welcome to the club, HB459.