South Carolina’s ‘Slow Poke’ law is now in effect

Southeast

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) — South Carolina drivers who hold up traffic in the far left lane on certain roads will soon be breaking the law.

The state’s new “move right” law — dubbed the “Slow Poke” law — took effect Sunday.

Troopers say they are only issuing warnings for the first 90 days the law is in effect. Come November, a ticket could cost you up to $25.

“People have a tendency to go pretty slow in the left lane, and that’s not what it’s meant for, so I am glad this law is being enforced so people can use it the right way,” said Brooke Hendrickson, a local resident.

The new law is now only for passing or letting first responders go by. In addition, troopers say it only applies to interstates and highways.

“This is not a law for people to speed if the speed limit is 70 miles an hour, you can go 70 miles an hour, but if you go 1 mile over, you’re speeding,” said Nicholas Pye, SCHP Region PIO.

First responders say under the old laws, people did not necessarily hear them coming up behind them.

“It’s hard to hear EMS vehicles coming behind me,” said Alex Moses, a tourist.

“They are focused on other things and don’t realize there is an emergency vehicle behind them until the last minute, then they are unsure what to do,” said Carl Fehr, division chief with Charleston County EMS.

The goal of the law is to keep the left lane open for first responders.

“We know that those seconds matter, and with people not paying attention and it’s slowing our progress down to get to the scene,” said Fehr.

Most people say they support the new “Move Over” law.

“I don’t like driving with slow drivers, so if you’re driving slow, you should move over to the right, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, you should be ticketed,” said local resident Burke Fahling.

“I don’t want to get pulled over for driving too slow, and there weren’t enough signs telling us to speed up,” said local resident Emma Arnold.

The Department of Transportation is installing signs along highways to remind people not to drive in the left lane continuously.

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