Slow Poke Law Took Effect July 1, Police Now Enforcing It Statewide
Tennessee’s “Slow Poke” legislation became a state law on July 1, and law enforcement officers throughout the state are now enforcing it on interstates and multi-lane highways.
According to a report by WKRN.com, drivers will now only be able to use the left lanes of interstates and highways for passing other vehicles. Drivers who stay in these lanes without passing can be cited with a misdemeanor charge and a $50 fine.
A spokesperson with the Tennessee Highway Patrol says that the law will help reduce traffic congestion on interstates and highways, and that both state troopers and local law enforcement officers will be on the lookout for anyone who violates the new law.
He went on to say that the new law could also help improve safety for drivers throughout the state. When a vehicle is traveling slowly in the left lane, it can cause traffic to begin backing up behind it. That can lead to rear-end collisions due to the reduced space that drivers have to brake and slow down to avoid accidents.
Exceptions to the new “Slow Poke” law include driving in inclement weather, obstructions in non-passing lanes, or when highway designs require that drivers stay in the left lane to exit or make left turns.
Tips for Controlling Your Speed When Driving in Tennessee
Everyone knows that driving above the speed limit can be dangerous, but Tennessee’s new “Slow Poke” law also highlights the fact that driving too slowly can also put you and other drivers at risk of accidents.
The best way to stay safe on highways and interstates in the Volunteer State is to maintain a steady speed and do your best to follow these tips:
- Avoid using cruise control in heavy traffic or during inclement weather.
Cruise control is a convenient feature, but it can be dangerous. Cruise control should only be used when driving on open roadways with minimal traffic and during ideal weather conditions. When traffic is heavy, it can put you at risk of an accident due to the lack of control it gives you over your vehicle’s speed in response to stop-and-go situations. In addition, cruise control can also cause your vehicle to suddenly accelerate when road conditions are slick or icy, increasing your risk of losing control.
- Move over for fast-moving vehicles.
Even when you’re not traveling in the left lane, you may see fast-moving vehicles approaching you on interstates and highways. Staying in front of them can be dangerous—especially if the driver is likely to attempt to pass you on the shoulder or by weaving in and out of traffic. If you see a vehicle traveling significantly faster than the speed limit or the speed that you’re traveling, move over and let the driver go around you to reduce your risk of an accident.
- Maintain a safe speed that fits the flow of traffic.
Driving too fast is dangerous, but driving well below the speed limit can also increase your risk of being involved in a collision. When traveling with others vehicles nearby, do your best to maintain a similar speed—provided they’re staying close to the posted speed limit. When all vehicles are traveling at roughly the same speed, accidents are less likely to occur.
The Nashville auto accident attorneys at Matt Hardin Law have handled countless car accident claims over the past 20 years, and we know that speeding plays a major role in a large percentage of them. That’s why it’s so important for drivers to always be aware of their speed, regardless of where they’re driving. In addition, Tennessee’s new “Slow Poke” law also makes it important for drivers to move over for faster vehicles to avoid getting a citation and to avoid creating congestion.
If you or someone you love was injured in an accident because another driver was speeding or engaging in negligent driving behaviors, you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation for things like your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. To find out how our legal team can assist you during this time, dial (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online consultation form. We’re ready to fight for your rights.