Local senator pushing anti-road rage law

Senator acknowledges history of traffic citations

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - State Sen. Jeff Clemens says if you're in the left lane, you should be required by law to move over if someone comes up behind you.

He says that'll stop conflict before it starts.

Driver Liz Ruotolo's eyes lit up when we told her.

Reporter: "So the law should be to get out of the way?"

Ruotolo: "Yes, otherwise I am going to obscenities at you. And I am going to flip you off and I'm going to scream and honk my horn at you to move out of the flipping way."

Clemens told us via Skype from Tallahassee that his bill can help avoid those outbursts. He says faster drivers in the left lane shouldn't be forced to risk accident by passing on the right.

He wants the drivers in front to be the ones who move over.

"This is about common courtesy. If you are driving 65 or driving the speed limit and you're passing somebody, no problem," said Clemens. "But if you're not passing somebody, you really shouldn't be in the left lane anyway."

He says the bill was born of his own road experiences - which we found includes at least fifteen traffic tickets and citations over eight years.

About half were dismissed, but he has paid fines for running a red light, not wearing a seat belt and speeding.

"Where do we get our experiences from in life? From the mistakes that we have made. I'll try to learn from my mistakes and make it easier for everyone else to get where they're going, " said Clemens.

Veteran driving instructor Chenry Baughman says the "move over" law is common in other countries and might be productive in lessening reasons for people to get mad at one another.

"If they want to take a chance of getting a speeding ticket, why not let them go ahead and pass on the left where it's safer?" said Baughman.

But driver Lynne Kransberg says Clemens' law seems like it rewards bad behavior.

"It's like saying it doesn't matter, go as fast as you want, get out of their way, they're entitled to go as fast as you want so it's kind of like sending the wrong signal," said Kransberg.

Clemens says former Gov. Jeb Bush vetoed a similar bill in 2006.

This iteration bill still has several committees to get through before it can be voted on.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments