Indiana police have a new weapon in their arsenal of legal plunder.
Going into effect in July, a new state law will authorize officers to ticket motorists up to $500 for failing to get out of the way of other drivers passing them in the left lane, even if they are speeding.
This obvious scheme of revenue generation – the idea of ticketing someone who is driving at the speed limit and fails to move over for an approaching speeder – has predictably drawn ire from Indiana lawmakers and residents.
One Indiana lawmaker said, the law, upon its proposal was the “silliest and most unjustifiable proposal of the session.”
Another said it “didn’t make sense to make the law-abiding citizen the bad guy.”
Even in the wake of mounting public pressure against, the measure effortlessly passed the Indiana House, and narrowly made its way through the Indiana Senate.
Now signed by Gov. Mike Pence, the law goes into effect on July 1.
The law would allow police to issue $500 fines to drivers in the fast lane if they fail to move to the right lane when another vehicle is trying to pass them.
The law exempts drivers:
- If the far-left lane is a designated carpool lane
- If they are exiting the road on the left
- If they are paying a toll at a toll plaza
- If another traffic law requires them to be in that lane at the time
- Or if they are in the left lane due to traffic congestion or inclement weather.
An Indiana State Rep. who sponsored the law, Republican Jud McMillin, said the measure was about “making sure people driving slower than other traffic in the passing lane are incentivized to get out of the way.”
The great French philosopher and economist Frederic Bastiat defined legal plunder as “the act of appropriating, under the laws, the property of others.”
While road-ragers and speeders in the state rejoice, at $500 a pop, we can expect Indiana highway men and road pirates of all stripes to be out salivating at the prospect of “just enforcing the law.”