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Eye On Boise

Divided Senate endorses House-passed bill to crack down on freeway fast-lane slowpokes

The Idaho Senate has voted 22-13 in favor of Rep. Lance Clow’s bill, HB 471, to crack down on freeway fast-lane slowpokes by making it illegal go slower than the speed limit in the fast lane “for a period of time,” impeding those who want to drive at “a lawful rate of speed.” Violations could bring a $90 ticket.

There was no debate, but two senators asked for 60 seconds to explain their “no” votes. Sen. Jim Guthrie, R-McCammon, said, “I feel bad because I’m usually the guy in the left lane holding traffic up, but I’m doing it at 82 or 83 mph and I have to do 88 or 90 to get around. I don’t see a problem with this.”

Sen. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, read from current state law that already says “no person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic,” and said, “So it already exists in code. I’m confused as to why we’re adding this other language.”

The bill earlier passed the House on a similarly divided 41-28 vote, and now heads to Gov. Butch Otter.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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