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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Infuriating Left-Lane Lethargy

Do they not teach people to get out of the way in the left lane in Driver's Ed anymore?

I seriously doubt they still do, given the countless times I've been stuck behind two slow-poking drivers glued side-by-side in both lanes of a four-lane highway.

Frankly I don't care that you'll be turning left about 15 miles ahead...get out of the way! Some of us have a life we'd like to get on with living! If you want to take 80 years to get where you're going, that's your prerogative, but please, don't hold up the rest of us.

Apparently I'm not alone in my desire to get on with life, since MSN Money features a lengthy article on this issue.

This article says some law enforcement agencies are starting to crack down on slow-driving in the left lane, otherwise known as "impeding the flow of traffic."

Apparently not all states are equal on his issue. Some outlaw extended left-lane driving outright, while others are more, uh, tolerant:

- A few states -- for instance, Kentucky, Maine Massachusetts and New Jersey -- permit use of the left lane only for passing or turning left.

- Georgia, Colorado and Louisiana follow the Uniform Vehicle Code, requiring drivers to keep right if they're going slower than the speed of traffic.

- Wyoming prohibits blocking the far left lane of a highway "for a prolonged period," though it adds that the traffic should be "at a lawful rate of speed."

- In Arkansas and South Dakota, vehicles don't have to stay right.

- In Alaska, Maryland, North Carolina and Ohio, vehicles can drive in the left lane so long as they're moving at the speed limit.

- Florida is trying to join in: Lawmakers reintroduced a Road Rage Reduction Act this year, requiring motorists to stay out of the left lane on interstate highways except when passing. It passed the Legislature in 2005 but was vetoed by then-Gov. Jeb Bush, who questioned whether it was based on sound research.

Some enterprising citizens have come up with imaginative ways to fight this problem, such as the "REVO EVOM" windshield decal which, when seen in a rear view mirror, reads "MOVE OVER." Or the sticker which says "Slower Traffic" with an arrow pointing toward the right lane.

I think I see a sticker purchase in my near future...


Dr. Theo said...

I agree, Bob. Some folks set their cruise control precisely at the speed limit (or less) and then proceed to take whatever lane they darn well like, and who are you to complain?! They are going the speed limit and you have no right to pass!

Even more infuriating to me is to be moving along in the left lane, steadily passing slower traffic on the right, when some clod who thinks everyone should get out of his (often times her) way and advances on my rear at a high rate of speed and then slows just before slamming into my butt, and then nearly locks bumpers with me until I get out of his way. Mind you, I am moving at a rate well above the traffic to the right, usually with a line of other cars ahead of me going the same speed. The idiot gets me to move out of his way then proceeds to do the same to the next car ahead. After doing this five or six times he has actually gained a quarter mile on me. Wow! All that intimidation, frustration and increased risk of accidents for a quarter mile. It must be worth it to some people.

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