Speed limits apply to slow drivers, too, on highways li... Speed limits apply to slow drivers, too, on highways like the New Jersey Turnpike. (Photo courtesy Doug Kerr, Flickr).
Get moving or get out of the way.

That's the message a New Jersey lawmaker wants to send slowpokes who block the flow of faster traffic in the left lanes of the state's highways and aggravate their fellow motorists.

State Senator Donald Norcross (D) has sponsored a bill that would toughen the penalties for clogging the left lane.

"Being trapped behind a slower vehicle is one of the biggest triggers for road rage," he told the Philadelphia Inquirer last week. "Some people have told me the fines we're proposing are not high enough. They said, 'It should be execution.'".

Not one to get carried away, Norcross's bill merely proposes an increase in the minimum penalty from $50 to $100 and a boost in the maximum penalty from $100 to $300. The state's Senate Transportation Committee approved the measure last week in a 3-1 vote, and Senate Bill 530 should reach the state's Senate floor within the next two weeks.

Police officers wrote 5,127 tickets in 2011 under the state's existing failure-to-keep-right laws.

Without endorsing the new measure, a spokesperson for the New Jersey State Police tells the Chicago Tribune that slow motorists in the left lane "definitely is a problem." The Triple-A Mid-Atlantic organization has voiced support for the Norcross bill.

Noting that many of the offenders are from out of state, Norcross said some proceeds from fines would be earmarked for signs at New Jersey's borders educating out-of-state drivers on expectations for driving speed and left-lane behavior.

So, for those visitors following the pleading of Simon and Garfunkel to go "counting cars on the New Jersey Turnpike," feel free to do so. Just don't take too much time, and do it from the right lane or a rest area.

Read more: Check out our Techsplanation article on today's collision avoidance systems; once only available on expensive luxury cars, they are turning up on family sedans and SUVs.

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