A solution for slowpokes

Proposed passing-lane law would improve highway driving

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We would have published this editorial earlier, but the person who wrote it was stuck behind a slow left-lane driver on River Watch Parkway.

If a bill working its way through the Georgia General Assembly becomes law, motorists might at least think twice
before clogging the passing lane.

House Bill 459, which has cleared the House and this week sits before the Senate Public Safety Committee, would make it a traffic offense to loiter in the left lane. Drivers who refuse to pull out of the lane to allow faster traffic to proceed could be charged with a misdemeanor citation.

“Keep right except to pass.” That simple five-word message appears in bold lettering on white rectangular signs posted throughout the state’s multilane highway system. Sadly, it’s a directive too many discourteous motorists can’t be bothered to follow.

If passed, the law will not be an immediate panacea for passing-lane impoliteness. But it could gradually nudge drivers toward compliance through increased public awareness, similar to how seat belt laws promoted more drivers to buckle up in the 1980s and ’90s.

Let’s face it: Left-lane loiterers slow the flow of traffic, impede emergency vehicles and inspire road rage.

Drivers might insist they should not have to move out of the left lane if they are traveling the speed limit. But they’re missing the intent of the law – to promote courteous driving.

If the motorist trying to pass you wants to travel faster than the posted speed limit, that’s their business, not yours.

“You need to make every effort to let (vehicles) pass,” Richmond County Sheriff’s Lt. Ramone Lamkin said. ”You never know what’s going on. It could be an emergency.”

Rep. Bill Hitchens, a Rincon Republican and a former head of the Georgia State Patrol, is sponsoring the bill. He compared the legislation to golf course etiquette, whereby slower players allow faster groups to play through.

“This is the good manners your mother should have taught you,” Hitchens said.

Or your driving instructor. Courtesy is a vanishing art among motorists, and it’s past time for it to reappear.

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oldredneckman96
5115
Points
oldredneckman96 03/11/14 - 01:21 am
4
9
Rep. Bill Hitchens wants to play golf on the Highway?
Unpublished

Well this is just going to be great. The motorist that cannot go with the flow is now going to have an assist from the GHP to race down the road while everyone else is weaving left and right to keep out of his way. This bill will not allow a multi-lane road to be used as designed, that is to spread traffic out over more than one lane, but will be used by the “elite” to feel empowered to drive in “their” lane at “their” speed. So, if I read this right, you will not get a speeding ticket if you are in the left lane and are being tailgated, you will ticketed for not trying to be the fastest. Yep this should work just great.

csrareader
1288
Points
csrareader 03/11/14 - 03:51 am
5
11
"That simple five-word

"That simple five-word message appears in bold lettering on white rectangular signs posted throughout the state’s multilane highway system. Sadly, it’s a directive too many discourteous motorists can’t be bothered to follow."

So your suggestion is that drivers ignore that other sign in big, bold letters? The one with the speed limit? This is the most ridiculous law proposed in quite some time, and the most ridiculous editorial recently published.

ymnbde
10662
Points
ymnbde 03/11/14 - 05:07 am
14
4
yep, slowpokes, stand your ground

it's the ultimate expression of passive aggressive behavior

csrareader
1288
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csrareader 03/11/14 - 06:18 am
5
12
"it's the ultimate expression

"it's the ultimate expression of passive aggressive behavior"

Thank you, Dr. Freud.

localguy55
5477
Points
localguy55 03/11/14 - 07:06 am
5
2
Watch the movie 2012. The

Watch the movie 2012. The world is falling apart and there is a scene where John Cusack's character gets behind 2 old ladies going 20 as the earth is crumbing around them.

John's character has to take drastic measures to get around them. Needless to say, the two old ladies don't make it.

The moral of the story is don't expect granny to change her ways because of this law and don't expect an officer of the law to cite an old lady that resembles his mother.

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 03/11/14 - 07:08 am
6
12
And flashing your lights at
Unpublished

And flashing your lights at someone and flipping them off to get out of your way, when they are going the maximum allowed speed (because your desire to break the speed limit is more important than their desire to use the highway as designed) is pretty passive aggressive as well.

ymnbde
10662
Points
ymnbde 03/11/14 - 07:28 am
13
2
no, flashing your lights and flipping people off isn't

passive aggressive
it's just aggressive
having traffic build up behind you because you're doing the speed limit in the left lane beside someone doing the speed limit in the right lane is passive aggressive
and quite dangerous

Fiat_Lux
16419
Points
Fiat_Lux 03/11/14 - 07:32 am
8
3
How stupid and narcissistic can drivers be?

Just look at some of the comments above to find the answer to that question.

Somewhere along the way, some of you simply did not absorb the concept that it's better to be kind than right.

Nevertheless, move your sorry patookus out of other people's way. Even if it churns your butter, at least it will help preserve the peace (and, despite your opinion, most likely even the safety) of those on the road with you.

And it's the law to keep right except to pass. Try observing that one along with the speed limit.

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 03/11/14 - 07:32 am
3
8
But what is more dangerous,
Unpublished

But what is more dangerous, not speeding, or speeding?

Pond Life
17682
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Pond Life 03/11/14 - 07:35 am
5
7
I understand that it's the
Unpublished

I understand that it's the law to keep right except to pass....so why are there highways with 6 or more lanes? Don't get me wrong. I get out of the way when I get a chance, but I should not be obligated by law to get over JUST to allow someone to break the law. It just seems absurd to me to pass a law that is designed for no reason other than to make it easier to break the law.

Fiat_Lux
16419
Points
Fiat_Lux 03/11/14 - 07:43 am
7
4
And flipping your brights is not aggression.

It's simply an attempt to alert the oblivious numbskull in front of you know that you would like to get around them.

Only a jerk doesn't make an attempt to accommodate another driver. But, as we know, there are plenty of jerks on the road these days, and they couldn't care less about other drivers. They won't let them into traffic, they won't let them turn across their lane when traffic is completely stopped and they darn sure won't let anyone around them.

That's a pretty sad commentary on a person's character, and you can see them showing exactly what they're really like every day on Riverwatch Parkway, the BJ and Washington Road/Calhoun Expressway.

You must be so proud.

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 03/11/14 - 07:41 am
3
8
I guess we should ban banks
Unpublished

I guess we should ban banks from employing armed guards. It just makes it more difficult and dangerous for people to rob them. Just get out of the way and let the law breaking happen and no one gets hurt. A bit hyperbolous (if that's a word), but you get the point.

localguy55
5477
Points
localguy55 03/11/14 - 07:43 am
9
2
Sorry Pond Life, I enjoy

Sorry Pond Life,
I enjoy most of your posts, but no one has the right to interfere with the flow of traffic, except Law enforcement. Two cars pacing at the speed limit along a 4 lane highway, two in each direction, is impeding traffic and is a violation of the law.

Also, people do have a choice to either abide by the speed limit or break the law. Breaking the law has consequences associated with it. But the driving public can't pull people over nor can they impede traffic by blocking both lanes and driving at the maximum speed allowed by law. That is impeding traffic and is a violation.

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 03/11/14 - 07:46 am
3
6
".Two cars pacing at the
Unpublished

"Two cars pacing at the speed limit along a 4 lane highway, two in each direction, is impeding traffic and is a violation of the law."

True, but speeding is a violation of the law as well, and dangerous. Why is one law valued over the other?

Like I said, I DO get over when I get an opportunity, but doesn't it seem strange to pass a law who's only purpose is to make it easier to break another law?

Fiat_Lux
16419
Points
Fiat_Lux 03/11/14 - 07:45 am
9
4
@Pond Life

Could you miss the point more completely?

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 03/11/14 - 07:47 am
3
6
Fiat...I do get the point. I
Unpublished

Fiat...I do get the point. I just wonder why breaking one law is frowned upon over the other with such passion.

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 03/11/14 - 07:48 am
3
7
Also...If I am doing the
Unpublished

Also...If I am doing the speed limit in the left lane, and a care behind me is doing the speed limit behind me, how would law enforcement be able to tell I was blocking traffic? It seems like a nearly unenforceable law to me.

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 03/11/14 - 07:52 am
3
7
If everyone followed the
Unpublished

If everyone followed the speed limit, it would be impossible to impede the flow of traffic in the left lane, therefore no law would be broken. In order for there to be a problem, it must start with someone breaking the law by speeding. That is the logical progression. I understand, however, that it seem that the majority of people are OK with allowing the speeding, therefore the law will most likely stand. It just defies logic though.

localguy55
5477
Points
localguy55 03/11/14 - 07:59 am
5
2
Pond Life

I know there are conflicts in law. Sometimes I have a hard time with it also. But you pick your fights where you have a better chance of consensus.

If you are in the left lane and cars are stacking up behind you, regardless if you are traveling the speed limit, if you have a chance to move to the right lane, that is expected.

I have gotten over and allowed a car go by at a high rate of speed. They passed over a hill and on the other side of that hill was law enforcement waiting. They were pulled over and I am sure they were cited.

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 03/11/14 - 08:10 am
2
8
The way this law is written,
Unpublished

The way this law is written, I can do 70 in the left lane, with no violation. There is no traffic to impede. It isn't until someone other than myself violates the law, that my actions become illegal. That is what makes no sense. And let's be honest. These people are not using the left lane just to pass someone. They stay in it for miles at a time.

Little Lamb
48948
Points
Little Lamb 03/11/14 - 08:18 am
8
2
If

Pond Life posted:

If everyone followed the speed limit, it would be impossible to impede the flow of traffic in the left lane, therefore no law would be broken.

Yeah, but we can't live life based on ifs. Some people will not follow the speed limit, so we've got to manage traffic the best way we can.

Fiat_Lux
16419
Points
Fiat_Lux 03/11/14 - 08:20 am
9
3
But, Pond Life,

Why in the world would you want to cause someone else grief just because you were in the right and believe them to be in the wrong? Exactly where does that get you, or anyone else for that matter?

The point that is being missed here and everywhere else these days is that we end up getting stupid laws because people have abandoned the basics of what once allowed us to coexist in relative peace: courtesy and respect for other people, giving each other the benefit of the doubt (ie, you actually don't know why someone is speeding), and pursuing life with the attitude of "live and let live".

When people can't be trusted any longer to do what is responsible, right and good, then laws have to be made to force them to do it. The Law has never made anyone good or responsible,even if it moderates and corrals their behavior out of fear of punishment.

seenitB4
97220
Points
seenitB4 03/11/14 - 08:22 am
8
3
Just move over!

GEEZ folks..

The only time I liked getting stuck behind a truck that wouldn't move over is when 2 big 18 wheelers kept a bunch of cars blocked from passing----we were all hot, TIL we saw 6 Highway Patrol cars waiting to catch speeders... be kind & move over.

Little Lamb
48948
Points
Little Lamb 03/11/14 - 08:23 am
7
2
Clarify

It would be helpful to know where this law applies and where it doesn't. I'm sure it applies to limited access highways; but what about four-lane highways running through cities with unlimited access?

Yesterday, my spouse gently suggested that I move from the left lane to the right lane up on Washington Rd. just west of Evans (it's four-lane, but no suicide lane). “But my next turn is left and it's just a half-mile ahead,” I politely replied. It was rush hour, and I worried that if I moved to the right, I might have a tough time moving back to the left lane in time to make my turn. What a dilemma!

seenitB4
97220
Points
seenitB4 03/11/14 - 08:28 am
2
1
Yesterday, my spouse gently suggested

BUT did you gently respond?? lol

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 03/11/14 - 08:30 am
1
6
Fiat, as I stated, I'm not
Unpublished

Fiat, as I stated, I'm not trying to xause grief. ?.I get over when I can. I'm just baffled by a law that requires someone else to break a law before my actions are illegal.

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 03/11/14 - 08:31 am
0
3
Darn autocorrect.
Unpublished

Darn autocorrect.

dichotomy
37406
Points
dichotomy 03/11/14 - 09:53 am
6
0
"Could you miss the point

"Could you miss the point more completely?"

Pond Life....Fiat_Lux is right. The point is that anyone coming up behind you who is already speeding is obviously an aggressive driver. If you are out there blocking the left lane you will force this aggressive driver to make dangerous moves to pass you on the right......and for no good reason. Speed limit or not, left lane drivers create MORE of a hazard than drivers who are exceeding the speed limit by 10 miles an hour. It's common sense. Move over and let the butt go on before he rams you in the rear or runs me off the road trying to pass you on the right. I don't care if he speeds. There is a speed cop up the road somewhere that will get him.

Why would they enforce one law over the other? My guess is because left lane drivers probably cause more accidents and road rage than 5 or 10 mph over the limit drivers.

It's a simple thing. JUST MOVE TO THE RIGHT AND LET THEM GO. Doesn't cost you a thing and it helps prevent road rage.

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 03/11/14 - 10:55 am
3
1
dichotomy, I agree with what

dichotomy, I agree with what you say and understand your and Fiat's point of view but I also understand Pond Life's thinking also. If this is about courteous driving and allowing speeders to pass by, is a law really going to change how people drive now. We have a law that says it's against the law to speed, but we still have those who speed. We have a law that says stay right except to pass, we still have those who drive in the left lane. Now we have a law that says it's against the law to impede speeding traffic coming up behind you, move over to the left...... the speeding laws aren't enforce, the stay right laws aren't enforce, do we really think this new law is going to be any different?

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 03/11/14 - 12:35 pm
2
1
Does it not seem absurd that
Unpublished

Does it not seem absurd that I can be doing something that is perfectly legal up until someone else breaks the law....then my perfectly legal behavior becomes illegal?

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