An Indiana State Trooper has become the internet's latest hero after he tweeted about pulling over a woman for violating the state's so-called "slowpoke law" on I-65.
Sgt. Stephen Wheeles with the Versailles District in southeast Indiana tweeted a photo of the white mini-van he pulled over after the driver was spotted going too slow in the left lane.
“I stopped this vehicle today for a left lane violation on I-65. The driver had approximately 20 cars slowed behind her because she would not move back to the right lane,” Wheeles tweeted Saturday. “Again…if there are vehicles behind you, you must move to the right lane to allow them to pass.”
Wheeles' tweet quickly went viral, gathering nearly 20,000 retweets and 60,000 likes.
In 2015, Indiana passed a a "slowpoke" or "move over" law that says drivers traveling in the far left lane must move over if the car behind them is moving faster than they are. Police say a driver driving too slow in the left lane can be just as dangerous for traffic as someone who is going too fast.
People applauded the state trooper for pulling over the violator, asking Wheeles if he could freelance in their state for a day to help out with their far-left lane slowpokes.
Some people used the viral tweet to ask the state trooper about the law and if it applied to people who were driving the speed limit.
“The spirit of the law is that since many people drive well above the speed limit, it creates an ‘accordion effect’ as traffic starts backing up behind the slower vehicle,” Wheeles wrote. “This is where many of our crashes occur on the interstates. It’s all in the name of safety.”
Of course, lest you think this gives you permission to lay on the leadfoot while driving through Indiana, Sgt. Wheeles said the law doesn't work like that.
“This is in no way encouraging people to speed. Those speeders are definitely in violation also. Vehicles all travel at different speeds. It was put in place to keep left lane drivers (or the family ten cars back) from getting run over by faster traffic while in the left lane.”
Photo: Getty Images