MOBILE, ALA. (WALA)- You may have already seen the signs on the Bayway: "Keep right except to pass. It’s the law”. It has been the law since the 80's, but on September 1st, the law is getting an update. It's called the anti-road rage act.
If you've ever been behind a car driving super slow in the fast lane, it's annoying right? For some though, that annoyance can turn into road rage.
Law enforcement officials say it's too common and hopefully a change in the law can stop it!
Lt. Joe Piggott said, "We talk to a lot of people actively engaged in road rage type accidents."
Alabama is third in the nation for the most fatal accidents involving road rage in 20-16, according to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration.
A worrisome, but not surprising statistic to Lt. Joe Piggott with the Alabama Highway Patrol.
One driver said, “Because they ride so slow in that lane, people are using the two right lanes to get through. It’s faster riding in the slow lane than it is the fast lane now."
Driving too slow in the fast lane seems to really bring out the worst in drivers.
Lt. Piggott said, "The left lane drivers is a big thing, we hear it a lot, we see it a lot on social media. we know that it aggravates people and there is a law that prohibits people from being in the left lane and impeding the flow of traffic.”
But that law remained somewhat vague, until this legislative session. An amendment taking effect Sunday really put some specifics to the law.
Lt. Piggott said, “The intent is to try to get people out of the left lane on any roadway, but particularly the verbiage that went into it prohibits you from driving on the left lane for more than a mile and a half without executing a pass and just simply stated, that just means when you're not passing somebody, drive in the right-hand lane.”
There’s some hope the change to the law could help. Taking a look at similar laws in nearby states, Louisiana doesn’t have a mile and a half guideline, but its law does say you should only enter the left lane when passing.
According to the NHTSA statistics, Louisiana had no road rage deaths in 2016.
Still, some people we spoke to say the new regulation sounds great, but they’re skeptical it will actually work.
Lt. Piggott said, “If we could just get people to apply some common sense and adhere to the laws, we believe we could save some lives."
If you are pulled over for driving more than a mile and a half in the left lane, because of a difference in court costs for each county, you could be looking at a fine around $189 in Mobile County and $230 in Baldwin County. Don’t freak out just yet, after Sunday, you’ll be given a 60 day grace period and only hit with a warning.