State Politics

Bennett’s highway safety bill advancing in Senate

MANATEE — For the past five years, Sen. Mike Bennett has tried to win approval of a bill that would require drivers in the left lane of a multi-lane highway to move out of the way when being overtaken by faster-moving traffic.

His “Highway Safety Act,” Senate Bill 482, last week won approval 8-1 in the Senate Judiciary Committee. It now is slated for consideration in the Senate Policy & Steering Committee on Ways and Means.

Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, was the only “No” vote, although Committee Chairman Joe Negron said he wasn’t a fan, despite liking some of the elements in the measure, which is carrying several other road-related issues, too.

A similar proposal passed both houses of the Legislature in 2005, but was vetoed by then-Gov. Jeb Bush.

“(Bush) wasn’t driving his own car then,” Bennett told Negron last week.

The proposal declares the Legislature’s finding that road rage and aggressive driving are a growing threat to the public’s health, safety and welfare, and its intent is to reduce road rage and aggressive careless driving and minimize crashes, according to an analysis of the bill.

Bennett said Wednesday he expected the bill to come up for discussion soon on the Senate floor.

— The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.