Christie signs increased penalty for left-lane drivers, craft distillery bills

TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill into law Wednesday that will increase fines for drivers who sit in the left lanes of highways.

The governor gave his approval to A2277, which increases the penalty against motorists who fail to keep right unless overtaking other traffic. It increases the fine from between $50 and $200 to between $100 and $300.

“State law is very clear – a vehicle shall normally be driven in the lane nearest the right-hand edge when that lane is available for travel, except when overtaking another vehicle or in preparation for a left turn,” said Assemblyman Gilbert “Whip” Wilson (D-5), the bill’s sponsor, in a statement.

“A driver who is not obeying this law can be aggravating, but it’s also unsafe to obstruct traffic flow. This updated law is, quite simply, a public safety issue and common sense,” he said.

The law also establishes a $50 surcharge for both failure by a motorist to keep right, and failure by a motorist to observe traffic lanes. The surcharge will be placed into a fund to pay for signs that remind motorists when entering New Jersey to keep to the right of the roadway and to observe traffic lanes.

Craft distilleries

Christie also signed into law a bill that will allow the creation of craft distilleries in New Jersey.

Sponsored by Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-15) and Assemblywoman Connie Wagner (D-38), the proposal creates a craft distillery license in the state, which permits licensees to manufacture up to 20,000 gallons annually – roughly 640 barrels – of distilled alcoholic beverages, according to lawmakers.

Under the law, licensees are permitted to sell the distillery’s products for consumption on premises to groups touring the distillery. Christie signs increased penalty for left-lane drivers, craft distillery bills