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If you’re a motorcyclist, odds are that you aren’t one of those car drivers that squats in the left lane plodding along exactly at the speed limit while everyone else stacks up behind you with their blood pressure nearing the bursting point. Then again, maybe you are one of those mouth-breathers who believes it is their God-given right to drive in whatever lane they want, no matter who it inconveniences. (If you are, we’ve got a special place in Hell carved out for you to spend all of eternity listening to the Barney Song turned up to 11.)

While we’ve all experienced the aggravation of the left lane squatter, it turns out that slowing down traffic in the left lane is also a safety hazard because it forces faster drivers to weave back and forth between lanes, which can cause a cascading wave of deceleration in the right lane that further slows and stacks up traffic. Oh yeah, it increases the odds of an accident, too.

So, next time you see some doofus online, bloviating about how safe he is going the speed limit in the left lane instead of sticking to the right unless he’s passing, point him in the direction of the video below. While it probably won’t change the blowhard’s behavior, you might just inform some less experienced driver, like the narrator in the video, about proper lane discipline.
Read more about The Safety-Based Case Against Left Lane Squatters at Motorcycle.com.
 

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I remember reading a letter in the San Diego newspaper from a California Highway Patrol district supervisor a few years ago that anyone who was blocking following traffic in the left lane would be given a ticket for obstructing traffic, even though they were driving at the speed limit.
 

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Then why have speed limits? Problem comes with selective enforcement of speed laws. Drive with traffic flow above speed limit, and get pulled over because you are from out of state. It is not a defense that you were driving with the traffic flow, you are exceeding the speed limit and will be fined. Some parts of the country are known for this type of enforcement.
 

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Then why have speed limits? Problem comes with selective enforcement of speed laws. Drive with traffic flow above speed limit, and get pulled over because you are from out of state. It is not a defense that you were driving with the traffic flow, you are exceeding the speed limit and will be fined. Some parts of the country are known for this type of enforcement.
In both California and Oregon especially on multilane highways the speed limits often are not strictly enforced, especially in good weather. Typically the state police and highway patrol will allow drivers an additional 4-5 mph as long as they are driving safely. The problem with left lane hoggers driving at the posted speed limit is that they cause backups behind them, which increases the possibility for accidents especially as drivers who wish to go a couple of miles per hour faster jockey to try to get around the lane hogger. The basic rule is, drive to the right except to pass, but of course that often is ignored.
 

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"The basic rule is, drive to the right except to pass, but of course that often is ignored." In Ohio and many other states, signs have been installed stating "KEEP RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS" offering all but the most ignorant (whom shouldn't be on the road in any form) zero ambiguity as to which lane to stay in (or out of). My favorite is the semi driver averaging 0.25mph faster than the semi driver they're trying to overtake, attempting a pass while approaching a hill only to loose ground (all at less than the speed limit & in the passing lane) and have to let the other semi pass them, allow for a safe following distance, then pull back into the slow lane.
 

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dpetrick asks a good question. "Then why do we have speed limits?"

The answer really has two answers.

First is why "we the people" allow speed limits; and that's driver safety.
No speed limit may work on the autobahn; but in the U.S. it would be abused and it would cause a significant increase in auto accidents & deaths.

Second is why are they set where they are; and that's to create a large pool of lawbreakers. Providing revenue to local governments and probable cause to law enforcement.
In moderate traffic 'not a jam' the flow of traffic is usually 10 to 15 mph above posted speeds with outliers exceeding 20mph above.
This 'conditions' drivers to accept the risk of being ticketed & fined as a normal part of being mobile.
It also provides a constitutional means of contact for law enforcement to evaluate if there is probable cause to suspect the average citizen of criminal behavior.

Ideally speed limits would be set based on what is safe and laws would be enforced in a consistent uniform manner. But, that ain't the world we live in. So, if you're not passing someone and the lane to your right is clear; move over.
 

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IMO, all lanes are equally subjugated to traffic laws. A person in the right hand lane has just as much of an opportunity to speed -and be ticketed for it- as someone in the left hand lane. Additionally, assuming the left lane is the "fast lane" is just that, an assumption. Nowhere does any law indicate that it's "legal" to drive above the posted speed limit in the left lane (or any lane). IMO, if a person's vehicle is incapable of maintaining the legal speed limit, then they should use the right lane as much as possible; otherwise, any lane is free game. Kansas has an actual law that prohibits using the left lane except to pass. However, it is widely unclear when and where this law is active. I would "assume" that law is active outside city limits on multi-lane roads.

As an ex-truck driver, my perspective on lane usage might be slightly different than others. In larger cities which utilize multi-lane roads, the furthest left lane is usually designed for drivers who are simply passing through the city and do not plan to stop. Additionally, left lane usage helps avoid on on/off ramp [email protected]#ks. I use the left lane alot in my city just to avoid the on/off ramp traffic. But ultimately, it really doesn't matter which lane I use, I am never going fast enough for the lead foot behind me which leads me to my final point. Multi-lane roads are enablers for speeders. Don't want to hang behind someone going the speed limit? Just move to another lane and stomp the gas. They don't care what the speed limit is, the driver just wants to get ahead of the person they were behind. It's like the highways in my area are freakin' race tracks. Seems almost everybody is in a hurry around here. They don't care if they advance one car before their exit. They gotta get ahead. Some folks even go as far as exiting from the left lane cutting across two lanes of traffic and taking the shoulder just to get to where they want to go.

IMHO, the current train of thought about the left lane is asinine. IF everybody drove the posted speed limit, there wouldn't be a need to pass; thus, there wouldn't be a need for the left lane, except to pass under limited conditions. Honestly though, if DOT really wanted to enforce speed limits, none of our vehicles would have the capacity to go above them, ever.
 

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IMO, all lanes are equally subjugated to traffic laws. A person in the right hand lane has just as much of an opportunity to speed -and be ticketed for it- as someone in the left hand lane. Additionally, assuming the left lane is the "fast lane" is just that, an assumption. Nowhere does any law indicate that it's "legal" to drive above the posted speed limit in the left lane (or any lane). IMO, if a person's vehicle is incapable of maintaining the legal speed limit, then they should use the right lane as much as possible; otherwise, any lane is free game. Kansas has an actual law that prohibits using the left lane except to pass. However, it is widely unclear when and where this law is active. I would "assume" that law is active outside city limits on multi-lane roads.

As an ex-truck driver, my perspective on lane usage might be slightly different than others. In larger cities which utilize multi-lane roads, the furthest left lane is usually designed for drivers who are simply passing through the city and do not plan to stop. Additionally, left lane usage helps avoid on on/off ramp [email protected]#ks. I use the left lane alot in my city just to avoid the on/off ramp traffic. But ultimately, it really doesn't matter which lane I use, I am never going fast enough for the lead foot behind me which leads me to my final point. Multi-lane roads are enablers for speeders. Don't want to hang behind someone going the speed limit? Just move to another lane and stomp the gas. They don't care what the speed limit is, the driver just wants to get ahead of the person they were behind. It's like the highways in my area are freakin' race tracks. Seems almost everybody is in a hurry around here. They don't care if they advance one car before their exit. They gotta get ahead. Some folks even go as far as exiting from the left lane cutting across two lanes of traffic and taking the shoulder just to get to where they want to go.

IMHO, the current train of thought about the left lane is asinine. IF everybody drove the posted speed limit, there wouldn't be a need to pass; thus, there wouldn't be a need for the left lane, except to pass under limited conditions. Honestly though, if DOT really wanted to enforce speed limits, none of our vehicles would have the capacity to go above them, ever.

Not criticizing your opinion; there are definitely too many erratic speeders on the roads.

But, I do think courtesy is something that should be added to the conversation. And really for all driving situations not just left lane campers/speeders.

If you're in the left lane with someone behind you that wants to go faster and it's safe and reasonably convenient to move right; do so.
It's inconsiderate to do otherwise.

Consideration applies to the person wanting to go faster too. Don't run right up on someones bumper like it's their 'obligation' to move immediately; because it isn't.
If you're passing cars to your right 'at more than a couple miles an hour' sit tight and wait.

Impeding the flow of traffic doesn't mean; get out of the way of a single driver wanting to break the land speed record. Traffic is multiple cars and if someone is passing a group of cars on the right; they're not impeding.
 

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One issue with the speed limit argument is this; there's a cascading effect. If you're doing 70mph, 5 or 6 cars behind you may be doing 63mph. Microadjustments, speeding up and slowing down, adjusting following distance, and changing lanes slows everyone down.

A recent study actually found that we could eliminate rush hour traffic more than half the time if we didn't change lanes too much. Many traffic jams, as it turned out, are just caused by the domino effect of people changing lanes constantly. When people are weaving around in traffic, it causes a ripple effect through traffic.

The left lane is for passing other vehicles; the right lane is for driving. While we're at it, make sure you're merging like a 'zipper' onto the highway. You shouldn't be driving alongside cars that are merging. Like a zipper, it should be left-right-left-right. That might mean, while driving in the right lane, you may have to slow down a bit to let a car that's ahead of you merge slowly, or that the car merging needs to slow just a bit to filter in behind you; depending on who is ahead of who. Another great annoyance of mine is people who drone in the right lane with the cruise control on, completely ignoring oncoming traffic. Especially big trucks who are difficult to get around when merging. Sometimes a small adjustment in speed can be the difference between the merging traffic having to dart around, accelerate hard, or brake hard; and both parties being able to make small adjustments to merge safely and simply.
 

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One issue with the speed limit argument is this; there's a cascading effect. If you're doing 70mph, 5 or 6 cars behind you may be doing 63mph. Microadjustments, speeding up and slowing down, adjusting following distance, and changing lanes slows everyone down.

A recent study actually found that we could eliminate rush hour traffic more than half the time if we didn't change lanes too much. Many traffic jams, as it turned out, are just caused by the domino effect of people changing lanes constantly. When people are weaving around in traffic, it causes a ripple effect through traffic.

The left lane is for passing other vehicles; the right lane is for driving. While we're at it, make sure you're merging like a 'zipper' onto the highway. You shouldn't be driving alongside cars that are merging. Like a zipper, it should be left-right-left-right. That might mean, while driving in the right lane, you may have to slow down a bit to let a car that's ahead of you merge slowly, or that the car merging needs to slow just a bit to filter in behind you; depending on who is ahead of who. Another great annoyance of mine is people who drone in the right lane with the cruise control on, completely ignoring oncoming traffic. Especially big trucks who are difficult to get around when merging. Sometimes a small adjustment in speed can be the difference between the merging traffic having to dart around, accelerate hard, or brake hard; and both parties being able to make small adjustments to merge safely and simply.
In any kind of traffic or short on ramps; you're 100% right.
I'm not usually in the right lane so I guess there could be a point there about always adjusting speed for mergers or at least expecting to make speed changes based on the entry/exit of other drivers.

But, a couple of years ago I was in the left lane with my cruise set. There was very light traffic but driving in the right lane would have meant switching lanes a couple of times a minute.
Anyway, there was a place where the highway I was on and another highway crossed. The attributes of the area caused the civil engineers to create a left hand merge lane; they did at least make it LONG.

As I said traffic was light. There was 100 yrds or more between cars in the left lane.
A woman merging from the other highway ends up directly to my left with her blinker on. She drives the same speed as me for about half a mile. 30 seconds or so. Then as the merge lane runs out she starts honking and flipping me the bird. She finally hits the gas hard, drives on the shoulder, and pulls in front of me.

The point being; when merging into open traffic with plenty of time, it should be treated as any other lane change.
Identify the open spot you want to occupy, indicate your intentions, adjust speed, move smoothly & quickly into position, re-adjust speed to the flow of traffic.
 

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Personally, I believe all the bull crap we see on the roads attributes to the fact that the general motoring public doesn't have a clue on how to drive or understand traffic laws. After I completed truck driving school, I firmly believe any person who wants to drive should go through something similar. The training it takes to obtain a Class C license is stupidly simple. Heck, Kansas doesn't even retest anymore. Just pay a renewal fee, get your mug shot and wait for your new license to come in the mail.

Oh, and I'm not going to move over if some jerk wad wants to go faster than me in the left lane. If I am already exceeding the speed limit by 5 MPH, they can move their sorry butt around me. Shoot, I've had retards come up behind me with their left turn signal on just to get my attention. That just makes me want to slow down to the speed limit and piss them off. The way people drive is pure psychological. Some people think they own the road and don't care what they do. Other drivers see this and do the same. Then you have other drivers who are comfortable driving below the speed limit. Oh, let's not forget the retard truck drivers who compete to pass one another in governed trucks (LOL, they'll all be governed before long). Why do think so many people road rage? You got one person trying to obey the laws and some butt wipe who thinks they are above them.

We can sit here and armchair banter about this subject all we want. The truth of the matter is, as long as we have total control of our vehicles, people are going to do whatever they want while driving them. No, I am not supporting self driving death traps.
 

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Personally, I believe all the bull crap we see on the roads attributes to the fact that the general motoring public doesn't have a clue on how to drive or understand traffic laws. After I completed truck driving school, I firmly believe any person who wants to drive should go through something similar. The training it takes to obtain a Class C license is stupidly simple. Heck, Kansas doesn't even retest anymore. Just pay a renewal fee, get your mug shot and wait for your new license to come in the mail.

Oh, and I'm not going to move over if some jerk wad wants to go faster than me in the left lane. If I am already exceeding the speed limit by 5 MPH, they can move their sorry butt around me. Shoot, I've had retards come up behind me with their left turn signal on just to get my attention. That just makes me want to slow down to the speed limit and piss them off. The way people drive is pure psychological. Some people think they own the road and don't care what they do. Other drivers see this and do the same. Then you have other drivers who are comfortable driving below the speed limit. Oh, let's not forget the retard truck drivers who compete to pass one another in governed trucks (LOL, they'll all be governed before long). Why do think so many people road rage? You got one person trying to obey the laws and some butt wipe who thinks they are above them.

We can sit here and armchair banter about this subject all we want. The truth of the matter is, as long as we have total control of our vehicles, people are going to do whatever they want while driving them. No, I am not supporting self driving death traps.
The U.S. does need more stringent licencing requirements.
People do let psychological issues impact the way they drive.
Too many people 'think they own the road' and drive like a jerk just because they think others are jerks.

So 5 mph over huh... in for a pound in for a dollar you know.
In other words if it's ok for you to drive 5 mph over; you're not it much of a position to berate the guy who wants to drive 10 mph over.

Also as far as drivers thinking they are above the law; Kansas law requires that vehicles should not be driven in the left lane (with a list of exceptions), notably "pissing the guy off behind you" is NOT on the list)
K.S.A. 8-1522

There's also a LOT of insults in your post that make it sound like you're angry at other drivers. You even stated that you want to alter the way you drive just to "piss them off".

I'm not going to say that I never get angry on the roads or call some driver a jerk. But, being an ass when someone has not been discourteous to you creates problems. It doesn't solve them.

So, if you really want to make the roads better; try being a bit more courteous to other drivers, follow the law, and move right.

Scott
 

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Personally, I believe all the bull crap we see on the roads attributes to the fact that the general motoring public doesn't have a clue on how to drive or understand traffic laws. After I completed truck driving school, I firmly believe any person who wants to drive should go through something similar. The training it takes to obtain a Class C license is stupidly simple. Heck, Kansas doesn't even retest anymore. Just pay a renewal fee, get your mug shot and wait for your new license to come in the mail.

Oh, and I'm not going to move over if some jerk wad wants to go faster than me in the left lane. If I am already exceeding the speed limit by 5 MPH, they can move their sorry butt around me. Shoot, I've had retards come up behind me with their left turn signal on just to get my attention. That just makes me want to slow down to the speed limit and piss them off. The way people drive is pure psychological. Some people think they own the road and don't care what they do. Other drivers see this and do the same. Then you have other drivers who are comfortable driving below the speed limit. Oh, let's not forget the retard truck drivers who compete to pass one another in governed trucks (LOL, they'll all be governed before long). Why do think so many people road rage? You got one person trying to obey the laws and some butt wipe who thinks they are above them.

We can sit here and armchair banter about this subject all we want. The truth of the matter is, as long as we have total control of our vehicles, people are going to do whatever they want while driving them. No, I am not supporting self driving death traps.
The U.S. does need more stringent licencing requirements.
People do let psychological issues impact the way they drive.
Too many people 'think they own the road' and drive like a jerk just because they think others are jerks.

So 5 mph over huh... in for a pound in for a dollar you know.
In other words if it's ok for you to drive 5 mph over; you're not it much of a position to berate the guy who wants to drive 10 mph over.

Also as far as drivers thinking they are above the law; Kansas law requires that vehicles should not be driven in the left lane (with a list of exceptions), notably "pissing the guy off behind you" is NOT on the list)
K.S.A. 8-1522

There's also a LOT of insults in your post that make it sound like you're angry at other drivers. You even stated that you want to alter the way you drive just to "piss them off".

I'm not going to say that I never get angry on the roads or call some driver a jerk. But, being an ass when someone has not been discourteous to you creates problems. It doesn't solve them.

So, if you really want to make the roads better; try being a bit more courteous to other drivers, follow the law, and move right.

Scott
Looky here folks, the classic armchair know it all.

FYI, Kansas does not enforce the left lane rule. At least not within city limits.

Yeah, there is a difference between driving 5 mph over and 10 mph over. 5 over won't show on your record, 10 will.

As they say, everything is bigger in Texas. That must include egos, too.
 

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Looky here folks, the classic armchair know it all.

FYI, Kansas does not enforce the left lane rule. At least not within city limits.

Yeah, there is a difference between driving 5 mph over and 10 mph over. 5 over won't show on your record, 10 will.

As they say, everything is bigger in Texas. That must include egos, too.
Just like your last post.
Everything you're bickering about here, better represents yourself than the intended target.

We got another saying in TX that goes "he's all hat and no cattle".
It refers to someone that is impressed with themselves and tries to act like others should be impressed with them too; but there's just nothing there to be impressed about.
 

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I'm glad you don't know what you're talking about. Just because I speak a certain way doesn't mean I act that way. Also, I really don't care for the high and mighty attitude. You're no better than anyone else here.
 

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I'm glad you don't know what you're talking about. Just because I speak a certain way doesn't mean I act that way. Also, I really don't care for the high and mighty attitude. You're no better than anyone else here.
Still swinging for the bleachers and knocking a foul ball into your own dugout.
 

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At least I'm swingin'...

Why don't you get back on topic instead singling me out because of my opinion. Can you do that high and mighty?
You don't want to be single out; then don't throw around the insults. Can you do that low & insignificant?

Your opinion isn't the problem. It's the insults you've made to any driver on the road that doesn't meet your; very inconsistent (tailored to your personal driving habits); idea of following the law.
 

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Triggered much? I don't care. What are you going to do, come get me? I think not.

I don't care if the little insults hurt your feelings. They weren't aimed at you specifically. If you can't handle it, look in the mirror and deal with it.
 

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Triggered much? I don't care. What are you going to do, come get me? I think not.
It's really funny how you keep projecting your own issues onto others.

When you started the insults it became clear that a rational discussion with you wasn't going to happen.
The best that could come from the situation was to give you a little prod and let your attitude show through.
That way others who might think you have a point can see your way of thinking for what it really is.

An angry, petty, self important view of how the world should treat you.
 
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