Move over slowpokes or be ticketed

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 11, 2010

VIDALIA — Slow traffic backing up travel lanes on U.S. 84 has become a problem, and the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office announced Monday it would crack down on violators.

In Louisiana, by law vehicles are only allowed to drive in the left lane of multi-lane highways when passing vehicles in the right lane or when making a left turn. The law, which first went into effect in 2009, forbids vehicles in the left lane from traveling at a slower pace than traffic in the right lane.

Concordia Parish Sheriff Randy Maxwell said in a statement Monday that people have been given time to adjust to the new law and now it will be vigorously enforced.

“The highways in Concordia Parish — particularly in the early morning and late afternoon — are terribly congested,” Maxwell said. “People who are in that left lane and driving along at approximately 40-miles-per-hour or thereabouts are causing havoc on the roadways. This can only lead to chaos and tragedy.”

A similar law prohibits drivers from creating “rolling roadblocks,” in which the driver in the left lane drives at the same speed as the vehicle in the right lane, effectively blocking all traffic from passing.

“The left lane issues become an enormous problem on Concordia’s highways,” Maxwell said. “All of our deputies are being advised to vigilantly watch for violations of this law. Citations will most definitely be issued.

“Without that, the results will be a major increase in traffic accidents — and we absolutely don’t need that.”

The concentration of the enforcement will be on the portion of U.S. 84 known as the Ferriday-Vidalia highway between the two municipalities.