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South Carolina's new 'move right' law takes effect this month

A new state law taking effect this month requires drivers to move out of left lanes of highways when a faster driver is approaching from behind.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — In a couple weeks a new law will take effect that requires drivers to get out of the way for faster ones in the left lanes of highways. 

The so-called "move right" law will go into effect August 15.

“If somebody comes up behind you to pass you, it’s going to be your responsibility to move over,” explained South Carolina Highway Patrol Master Trooper David Jones.

The law will apply to all South Carolina highways.

“What we’re wanting to remind motorists of, is if you're on a two-lane highway, the left lane is for faster traffic," Jones said. "If there's a vehicle approaching you from behind that’s moving faster than you are, by law you’re gonna be required to move over.”

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Trooper Jones said the new law is meant to help keep drivers safe:

"What we see is, traffic becomes congested and then other motorists make poor decisions and road rage takes effect and some of those drivers make aggressive maneuvers, then collisions occur. So on our congested roadways, sometimes moving over, allowing traffic to get by, eliminates some of that congestion."

Leading up to the new law, SCDOT is making some changes of their own. “SCDOT’s role is to install the signs along the interstate. We’re also alerting drivers to the new change by using our electronic boards that you’ll see on interstates as well," explained Brittany Harriot, a spokesperson for the department.

The signs read "State law: Slower traffic move right" and will be posted every 35 miles or so on the interstates. 

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The first 90 days of the new law, state troopers will write warnings for violators, but after that a ticket can be given.

"We’re going to write warnings and try to educate and warn the public about the responsibility to move right to allow faster traffic to pass, but after those 90 days, then a 25 dollar fine can be written," said Jones.

This new law takes effect August 15th but there will be some exceptions to it including when there is heavy traffic or inclement weather.