Reminder: Left lane is for passing only
TAMPA (FOX 13) - It's one of the most frustrating parts of driving for many commuters -- drivers going too slow in the left lane, clogging up traffic. It's such a problem that Florida actually made it illegal, and Officer Roy Paz of the Tampa Police Department says you can get fined -- even for driving the speed limit.
"A lot of people want to get in that lane and drive the speed limit, but that's not what that lane is for. And it drives people absolutely crazy when they get in that lane and people are driving the speed limit. Now, that's not encouraging speeding, OK?" Paz explained. "That lane is used for passing."
Florida revised the law regarding the left lane back in 2014. Florida statute 316.081 makes it mandatory to let faster drivers by.
Paz encouraged drivers to read the law for themselves.
"If they're one of those ones that drive in the left and get frustrated because people are driving really slow, this statute will make them smile," he continued. "What it states is: You can drive in that left lane, however if you're being overtaken by another car going a faster speed, then you have to get out of that lane and allow that car to pass."
It's all about keeping traffic moving, Paz explained.
"The state of Florida put this law in place to allow traffic to flow as quickly and smoothly as possible. When people get over in that left-hand lane and they just drive the speed limit, it backs traffic up and causes a lot of congestion."
And it doesn't just include the interstate -- it includes any street or roadway with multiple lanes.
It also means that slower drivers -- going below the speed limit -- should stay to the right.
"If anyone is traveling less than the normal speed, they are supposed to travel in the right-hand lane," Paz continued. "That helps alleviate congestion also."
Failure to move over can cost you. You can be cited for a moving violation and fined $153.
Of course, speeding can also come with a price. So don't try to get in the way of speeding drivers -- just let them by.
"We hope there is a police officer down the street running laser or radar that will get them," Paz added.