Impeding traffic is typically defined as when a driver is not operating their vehicle reasonably and blocks the normal flow of traffic. The laws governing this violation vary by jurisdiction; however, they generally follow a standard of “reasonable operation”. An example of a state law statute is:
“No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law or except when the vehicle is temporarily unable to maintain a greater speed due to a combination of the weight of the vehicle and the grade of the highway.”
Another statute may read as follows:
“A person, without authority, shall not block, obstruct, impede, or otherwise interfere with the normal flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic upon a public street or highway in this state, by means of a barricade, object, or device, or with his or her person. This section shall not apply to persons maintaining, rearranging, or constructing public utility facilities in or adjacent to a street or highway. A person who violates this section is responsible for a civil infraction.”
The fines for an impeding traffic violation vary by state, but the average citations will cost a motorist anywhere from $80 to $150 depending on whether or not it contributed to an accident. If you end up paying the fine late, you’ll be assessed late fees in addition to the fine.
A violation of the slow speed statute is defined as a moving violation, which may result in a traffic citation and fine. In some states, moving traffic violations carry points against your driver’s license. This can result in your auto insurance company being notified and possibly increasing your insurance premiums. Other jurisdictions treat this as an infraction or a non-moving violation with a fine and zero points against your license. You should check with the laws governing your state to find out the exact fines and penalties for this violation.
If you were cited for impeding traffic while driving too slowly in the left lane, your defense could be that you were slowing down to make a left hand turn. The law states that you must drive at a reasonable speed so as not to block the normal flow of traffic, regardless of which lane you are in. This is a subjective call by the officer giving you the ticket. It is possible to argue that your speed was reasonable given the road conditions. Many conditions such as visibility and weather can affect how you were driving at a speed necessary for the safe operation of your vehicle. Most vehicle statutes don’t apply when the slow speed is necessary due to special conditions, such as ice, snow, or an emergency scene. With a skilled traffic attorney on your side, tickets for these types of violations can often be mitigated or dismissed.