Left lane violations going up

BENTON, FRANKLIN COUNTIES, Wash. -- You've no doubt experienced someone driving slowly in the left lane. Troopers tell us it isn't just annoying. It's dangerous. That's why they write tickets for this. We learned those violations are going up.

Troopers pulled over one man who was camped in the farthest left lane on 240 Thursday afternoon.

Troopers say a driver could easily come up behind him, tailgate and then make an unsafe lane change, putting everyone at risk. We talked to that very driver after he was pulled over.

"Yeah, I knew about it but it's not something you think about every day," said Tri-City driver Craig Hewitt.

When we went out with WSP, troopers caught two people for left lane violations in the span of an hour, which troopers say is pretty average.

In fact, troopers pulled over almost 50 percent more drivers last year than the year prior. WSP says the law is simple. If you hang in the left lane without passing somebody, get over. If you're the only one on the road, stay in the right lane. They're trying to avoid sudden swerves.

Reporter: "Why are those unsafe lane changes so dangerous?"

"Well, they obviously are a huge factor in causing collisions for us in these multilane highways, which then cause backups," said Washington State Patrol Trooper Rob Morris.

WSP says they see this violation most frequently along Highway 240, especially in the stretches where it's narrowed to just two lanes.

Troopers will keep pulling people over, trying to make the roads safer.

Officials say the rise doesn't necessarily mean more people are committing the infraction. It could be due to an increase of traffic, or improper categorizing in years prior. A ticket for a left lane violation costs you $124.