Left Lane Hogs
Every state in the United States has a law relating to the left lane. While worded differently, they all have the same intent, which is intended to keep traffic flowing smoothly.
No matter how it is worded, the laws require passing on the left on highways with 4 lanes or more, and slower traffic to keep right.
Why then, does it seem as if more and more drivers are unaware of this rule of the road? Is it a continuation of the “me generation”, where people just look out for themselves? Is it because some areas don’t teach proper driving procedures as well as others?
It could be a combination of both. When I travel the highways around the northeast US, I notice plates from certain states and provinces on cars operated by younger drivers staying in the left lane more than others. This includes New Jersey and Ontario.
The New Jersey plates I seem to understand as NJ parkway culture, where the lanes seem to have flipped purposes. If you have not driven in NJ recently, people fly by in the right lane, and go the speed limit or below in the left lane. It makes no sense.
It is not just interstates and major highways either. Locally, there are a few 4 lane business roadways. People will stay in the left lane for miles before they need to get into the let turn lane cut outs to turn left. The reasoning I can see as they know there are many others in the left lane that won’t allow them in when they need to move over. I know you have seen it… you turn on your turn signal to move into the available space in the lane next to you, and the car that you will get in front of decides they won’t stand for proper driving, and speed up to block you.
How do we get back to responsible and safe driving when it comes to the left lane? Law enforcement often has more important things to handle both on the road and elsewhere. Can we reinstate drivers ed? Should we have a drivers test every time we renew licenses? Something does need to be done. It will save gas, save people time, and probably save lives.