Maryland Driver Ticketed for Going too Slow?

published by Andrew Flusche on March 20, 2013

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By now the story about the Maryland driver who was ticketed while going 63 in a 65 mph zone has made lots of headlines.

But what’s really going on here?

She impeded traffic.

It’s as simple as that. I don’t know the specific Maryland laws at issue, but the exact same violation could have been validly written in Virginia.

46.2-877 specifies that “No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.”

On one hand, it’s hard to imagine that 63 in a 65 mph zone is impeding traffic. But the Maryland driver was on I-95 in the left lane. Depending upon the flow of traffic at the time, going below the speed limit could certainly cause quite an issue on a busy interstate.

This would be a very different case if she was driving in the right lane. Slower traffic is always supposed to keep to the right, and if she did that, the trooper in question probably wouldn’t have even noticed her. But since she didn’t, she was charged with failing to move to the right.

She certainly deserves a vigorous defense, as does anyone who is charged with a crime or traffic ticket. But I think the news outrage is misplaced in this case.

photo credit: emdot

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