A bill to help reduce road rage incidents in Maryland went before the House Environmental Matters Committee on Tuesday for a hearing. The Road Rage Reduction Act of 2014, sponsored by Frederick County Delegate Patrick Hogan, would require the State Highway Administration to place signs on Maryland roadways of more than two lanes, reminding motorists traveling in the left lanes to move to the right if a vehicle behind them is traveling at a higher rate of speed.
"I got a pretty good reception from the Committee," says Hogan. "One of my committee members came up to me afterwards and said he thinks it's a good idea; actually, several of them did."
The signs would be set up every five miles on state highways. It's estimated to cost SHA about $23,000.
Hogan says this bill would help cut down on road rage incidents, and ease congestion. "It's a common sense thing that most drivers should know. But clearly and unfortunately, many drivers don't understand that they should be moving to the right to allow someone to pass on the left," he says.
Hogan says the legislation will need to pass on the committee level before it goes to the full House of Delegates. "The tricky thing, I think, will be in the Senate," says Hogan. "A similar, although it didn't relate to signage, has passed the House in previous years, but it's failed in the Senate. But my bill is more about signage and driver awareness than about the statute."
Hogan says the legislation has bipartisan suppport. "I've gotten a couple of e-mails from folks who say 'thank you for putting this in. I'm one of the slower drivers in the right or the center lane, and when the left lane is blocked, you have people weaving in and out, and I end up getting cut off in the center and the right lane,'" he says.