EDITED: Left lane law on US-Highways (NOT INTERSTATES)

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by MatthewLTL, Jun 14, 2015.

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  1. MatthewLTL macrumors 68000

    MatthewLTL

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    #1
    Watching Dashcam videos makes me wonder, EVERYONE has their opinion of the "Slower traffic keep right" law and you ask anyone of these dashcammers not one will tell you the same thing.

    The law states the SLOWER traffic keep right, but HOW SLOW does this traffic have to be? I assume its slower than the speed limit. We'll say the speed limit is 55 for the example of this thread.

    Does this law only apply on Interstates?
    Does this law only apply to LIMITED ACCESS highways?
    Does this law apply if there is only 2 lanes in each direction?

    When people "hog" the left lane preventing cars from going 70MPH why do they get pissed off and illegally honk the horn and/or flash the highbeams when THEY are the ones going 70 in a 55?

    Why do people have to drive so agressively?

    Honking at someone for being "Slow" is a violation of the horn law and flashing the high beams at someone for going slow (expecially at night) is illegal use of highbeams AND endangerment.

    I personally get pissed off at agressiveness and I will not tolerate it
     
  2. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    #2
    I think it varies on a state to state basis. In Connecticut, the left lane is the passing lane. If you are going slower than the the "normal rate of traffic" (not speed limit) you are required to be in the right lane. Technically it's illegal to hang out and travel in the left lane, but no one ever follows that- especially considering the amount congested traffic. I know Mass has that law as well.

    When it's bumper to bumper rush hour traffic on the Merit Parkway (goes from CT to NYC - 2 lanes in each direction, no brake down lanes), there's no way everyone will be staying in the right lane. I can tell you from experience, the Conn State Police and especially the Mass State Police love pushing people out of the fast lane who aren't going fast enough. In CT they'll turn on their lights, act like they're pulling them over, move them to the right, and then speed off like nothing happened. In MA the cop will tailgate until the person moves over. I don't think I've ever seen someone actually pulled over for traveling in the left lane or driving too slow.

    Why do people drive so aggressively? It's usually a way of coping with stress, they're running late, or they want to have fun. American culture has such a focus on efficiency people feel obligated to get from point A to B as efficiently as possible.

    My 535 I believe is limited to 150mph. The fastest I've gone was 130mph (not on a road). I have a speed alarm usually set to 73mph (speed limited is 65+/-10mph). Sometimes driving, especially out to Cape Cod, you can frequently get stuck in moderately heavy traffic with everyone traveling 80mph hour traffic in 2 lanes. In that case it can feel difficult to go much slower. I've been driving for 10 years and have never had a speeding ticket (or any ticket for that matter), knock on wood.
     
  3. MatthewLTL thread starter macrumors 68000

    MatthewLTL

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    #3
    I have never been pulled over even and i did at one point go 60 in a 30 for 2 reasons, 1 to see how fast i could get in a .5 miles stretch of residental road, and 2 to show off to my then-girlfriend, I could have made up to atlest 80 but i was too afraid to go that fast and I only stayed at 60 for a split second.
    Since My car says i am driving between 5-10 faster than what I really am, I mainly rely on my GPS' speed readout. If it says 30 and the GPS says 30 if I look down at my speedometer it usually shows 35-40

    Why have the "move over" and "Slower traffic keep right" when no one enforces it anyway?
     
  4. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    #4
    Although it is a law, it's a guideline to keep traffic moving safely and bring order to the roadways. If everyone passed on both sides and the lanes weren't speed specific, I'd imagine the roads we be much more chaotic then they already are.

    Interestingly in CT, say the speed limit is 65 and you're driving 65 in the center or left lane but everyone else is driving 75, technically you could be pulled over for driving in the wrong lane. Or they could pull over the people speeding.

    The whole thing with prohibiting the left lane for travel (passing use only) is that in heavy traffic it's not practical. If everyone stayed in the travel lanes there would be that much less space on the road.

    Cars typically display their speeds 3-4mph faster than the actual speed. I know BMWs are programmed for 3mph over but this can be turned off. I figure if I see I am going 73mph, I'm actually going 70, which gives me +5 in the +/-10 tolerance allowed.

    There are those weird roads in the world where the limit is 65 yet everyone drives 50-55, even with zero congestion. I hate to look like I'm speeding by, but I'm sorry you're driving too slow.
     
  5. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

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    #5
    Quite the "controversial" list of questions.

    Wrong, "slower traffic" is traffic that is traveling slower than the majority of vehicles around or overtaking them, over the speed limit or not.

    On a 2-lane interstate, the left lane is for passing, and many states have signs posted saying "Keep right except to pass". On 3-lane sections of limited access highways in NY, trucks buses and trailers are restricted from using the left lane. If you're going to putter along AT the speed limit, that's actually MORE dangerous if you're doing so in the left lane. It doesn't matter what speed an overtaker is going, if it's safe to move right you're much better off doing that than playing traffic cop.

    Actually, it's not. There's a feature on your light stalk called "flash to pass". When you push forward it clicks and engages the highs for long-term use while pulling toward you is a momentary switch where the stalk bounces back and the lights go back off, this is "flash to pass" and is intended for EXACTLY the situation is illegal. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headlight_flashing

    See above, it's not illegal to flash headlights to indicate the intention to pass, not to mention it's ILLEGAL to drive the speed limit in the left lane when not overtaking (which is likely the case if you're going the speed limit or less and playing traffic cop).

    Your horn can also be used to indicate a dangerous situation, including indicating to someone traveling in the left lane in that manner that they're acting dangerously. Normally it's used to indicate an imminent collision, which is entirely possible when a "left lane hog" is in the mix.


    Based on this and your other threads, you have VERY much to learn about life and how to handle situations.
     
  6. Suture macrumors 6502a

    Suture

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    #6
    On the way to Woodstock '94, we were pulled over in NJ on the Turnpike. The officer just politely told us to move over to the right when we're not passing a slower car. We had never heard of this as we were all from Virginia.

    I'm not sure which states have this law; Since that day, I just stay out of the left lane as a courtesy unless I'm passing slower traffic.
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #7
    Here in Massachusetts, you need to stay in the right lane unless you're passing. I've known people who got pulled over for traveling in the left lane. That said, those incidents are a minority and most of us (including me) travel in the left lane.
     
  8. OLDCODGER macrumors 6502a

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  9. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #9
    At least in Kentucky, the only "left lane" laws I know of apply to interstates and possibly to 4-lane state roads(I'd have to check on that).

    On roads in-town, this would be very difficult to enforce, especially in moderately heavy traffic. In my case, if I know I have a left turn coming up in a few blocks I'm going to go ahead and get left. At 5:00 in Louisville, you take the chance to move over when you get it.

    In any case, as said if you're going faster than the cars in the right lane, you're fine to move left to pass. There are "pull over or stop for emergency vehicles" laws that are enforced much more so than "keep right except to pass" laws. Basically, if you're on the interstate and see blue lights(or red lights) on the side of the road, get the heck over if you can do so safely. No officer is going to pull you over for traveling in the left lane if your purpose is to put a 1-lane buffer zone between yourself and the stopped police car.

    One other thing-as far as I know, on 6-lane interstates you're only restricted from traveling in the left most lane for any reason other than passing. Traveling in the center lane is fine.

    As said, the left lane is also reserved for those going faster than the dominant rate of traffic. I usually cruise along at somewhere between 70 and 75(per my speedometer), but will go faster if I'm in a clump of traffic also going faster. If the traffic were going 80, it would be really bad to go 70 in the left lane.

    For someone who claims to be such a safe driver, this was really stupid. 30mph zones are generally residential, and fast driving is dangerous because of pedestrians and other cars pulling out.
     
  10. MatthewLTL thread starter macrumors 68000

    MatthewLTL

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    Rochester, MN
    #10
    Strangly not the case for me. My Daewoo shows the speed to be 5-10MPH FASTER than what I actually am going (perhaps that's why i'm always passed?) the Impala on the other hand, shows EXACT speed, if the speedometer says I am goin 30 i AM going 30.
    I am talking about LOCAL highways not interstates. More Specifically US Highways and County Roads. For example, I drive almost daily on US-14 and Olmsted County Road 1 and i drive one US-63 once a month and on rare occasions, County Road 22. All of these roads have 2 lanes in each direction (excluding right/left turn lanes)

    I use the "Flash to pass" feature all the time, seeing ******** driving with NO LIGHTS when its piss-pouring rain or raining in general (state law) so when i see someone without lights on I flash them when they are head-on or ill flash them as they pass with cross traffic. Also if I drive at night ill hold the "Flash To Pass" position on so i can see the road (since high AND Low beams are on in this mode) I makes it brighter.
    1. IN-Town highways/county roads is what this thread is about. I have no need to ever drive on an interstate and i avoid Highway 52 like the plague! I can get everywhere i need to go (abit longer timespan) by taking backroads.
    2. I know this was stupid, However, This particular stretch of road has no predestrians to speak of and not much traffic either. It may have been stupid, BUT, it was never unsafe otherwise I wouldn't of done it.

    In winter I let the ass of the car steer. (start turning a corner than yank up the ebrake and fishtail the corners) I don't have a vary entertianing life so i have fun when i can. Weather its to hold the brake and burn out on a patch of ice or fishtail turns, It's always done in a safe manner.
     
  11. Gutwrench macrumors 65816

    Gutwrench

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    #11
    In California you must exit the #1 lane to permit faster cars to pass, if you are going slower than the posted limit. So if the freeway is posted 70 and you're in the #1 going 70 you have no legal obligation to move right. (21654 VC)

    Also, on a two laned roadway where passing is unsafe due to oncoming vehicles, a slow moving vehicle, including passenger cars, must turn off the road at the first safe location and allow faster vehicles to pass when there are five or more vehicles line up behind it. (21656 VC)
     
  12. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    Kentucky
    #12
    I never saw "no interstates" mentioned in the thread. I talked about them because it's where find the most "left lane hogs." The same rules go to 4-lane divided limited access highways even if not part of the interstate system. The best example of this I can think of is New Circle Road in Lexington, KY, although that's probably meaningless to most folks on here.

    4-lane state highways are the same way-in fact around here they are signed the same as interstates(i.e. keep right except to pass, move over or slow down for stopped emergency vehicles).

    As far as I know, it's not the case in town for a variety of reasons.

    I don't make a habit of passing on 2-lane state roads-about the only thing I will pass is a tractor.

    I just told Siri to remind me to call the Rochester, MN DMV and police in the morning.
     
  13. MatthewLTL, Jun 14, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2015

    MatthewLTL thread starter macrumors 68000

    MatthewLTL

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    #13
    LOL funny. DMV wont do anything car's not in my name. Plus it's not even being driven right now the brakes blew out (again), remember?

    I don't tend to pass at all, unless I am required by law to pull over for emergency vehicles or move over for emergency vehicles (which on 2 of the times its happened, the ******** in the left lane wouldn't let me over so i was forced to slow down and proceed with caution.

    EDIT: IDC if people pass me but if they cut me off or pass me ILLEGALY i will not hesitate to lay on the horn did if for 45 seconds nonstop ealier this year on some idiot ilegally passing

    EDIT 2: I should also stat the burnout's are in my driveway not on the roads.
     
  14. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    Boston
    #14
    Are you surprised? It doesn't sound like much does, why would the speedometer be any different? Generally tolerances of 10% considered acceptable.

    It's called "flash to pass for a reason". According to the Flash to Pass wikipedia article MN allows headlight flashing. I imagine keeping your high and low beams on simultaneously is not legal, as there is a reason that is not allowed in the first place (too bright?).

    Until that unexpected car or pedestrian walks out. :rolleyes:

    Fishtailing is always safe :rolleyes:

    This is your way of "not tolerating" aggressive drivers? Isn't this improper use of your horn? Wouldn't a 2-3 second honk convey the same frustration without being obnoxious and bothering everyone you're driving by?

    תודה לך אלוהים - Toda lecha elohim - Thank you God
     
  15. senseless macrumors 68000

    senseless

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    #15
    I don't recall seeing signs to keep right except for the Pa turnpike. It seems to be a courtesy rather than a strict rule on other highways.
     
  16. MatthewLTL, Jun 15, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2015

    MatthewLTL thread starter macrumors 68000

    MatthewLTL

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    #16
    1. No, but that could explain Why I get passed.
    2. This is on a dark stratch of road where there IS no streetlights and i avoid driving at night if i can help it.
    3. Back when i did that, my car could stop on a dime.
    4. I do it in a controlled manner. If the intersection is busy or the conditions are too bad to do it, I don't I mostly do it pulling out of my driveway or turning corners on side streets not on major roads.
    5. Nope, That particular person just pissed me off, they rode my ass for a mile had PLENTY of chances to pass LEGALLY bt waited until it was a no passing zone to pass. I usually just speed up if they try passing and slow down when they ride my ass!
    6. HUH?!

    THANK YOU! Way I see if driving the speed limit make you legally allowed to be in the left lane. Why? Because speeding is illegal.
    EDIT: If I will be making a left turn AT ALL I will be in the left lane. Don't matter if my turn is in 1 block or 4 miles. I was taught that in Minnesota, you get in the lane you NEED the second you turn onto the road because people will not let you in.
    I have yet to ever see such a sign, I also have yet to see a "Minimum" speed limit sign. I have seen No Passing Signs however and I DO lay on the horn for illegal passers.
     
  17. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #17
    For the OP, my understanding is that slower traffic should be in the right lane, is more of a guideline especially when traffic is heavy. However, if hanging out in the left lane in such a manner that traffic is backed up, you might get cited if the police are especially bored. I don't think it really applies if you are 5 over the speed limit, because are you supposed to give the right-a-way to speeders? But if there is an opportunity with a large space, you should move to the right. Some highways post the minimum speed.

    There have been cases when it's heavy traffic and bunches of semi tractor trailers in the right lane, and if I am moving faster than them, I'll stay in the left lane to pass. For this case in a 70mph zone, I'll be doing 75, so those who want to go 80+ can wait their turn to pass. There is judgement involved, but as a rule I won't allow myself to be locked in behind a slow(er) moving truck.
     
  18. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

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    #18
    I'm to the point I don't even go on the left land anymore because 90% of the time, it's the slowest lane. People go to the far left lane as soon as they go on the highway for some reason, even though the middle or right lane is empty.
     
  19. MatthewLTL thread starter macrumors 68000

    MatthewLTL

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    #19
    Personally, I don't mind being behind trucks. I hate being beside them they scare me, what I hate is when they think they can park in a right lane or cut you off.
     
  20. MatthewLTL thread starter macrumors 68000

    MatthewLTL

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    #20
    Unless they are going under the speed limit (BY MORE THAN 5MPH) sounds like you need to slow down!
     
  21. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

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    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    #21
    It definitely varies from state to state, and some countries enforce it rigorously. Funny story....

    Years ago when I lived in NY and worked in NJ (and the top speed limit was still 55), I was heading to work one morning at about 70 mph. I passed a guy going 60. He was in the left lane and I was in the right. A cop appeared out of nowhere - and pulled over the guy was traveling in the passing lane.
     
  22. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #22
    You need to get out a bit more.

    At least here in KY, the interstates(and roads built to interstate standards, such as the Parkways) effectively have three signs you'll see repeated: the speed limit, "Keep right except to pass" and "Move over or slow down for stopped emergency vehicles." The prevailing speed limit is 70mph on interstates, although this is reduced(depending on traffic amount) in urban areas. The slowest interstate speed limit in the state that I know of is at the Kennedy Interchange(aka Spaghetti Junction in local parlance) in downtown Louisville where I-64, I-65, and I-71 all come together. The speed limit through there is 50mph. Constructions zones are also 55mph, or 10mph lower than the regular posted speed limit, whichever is lower. Currently, the Kennedy Interchange(with serious construction/reconfiguration going on) is at 40mph.

    I can't rattle off specific states for most of these, but I have seen minimum speed limit signs, lower speed limits for semis(I think Ohio) and lower speed limits at night(Texas off the top of my head). They're out there. Virginia also has the infamous "speed limit enforced by aircraft" posted near the "radar detectors illegal" sign.
     
  23. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #23
    As a rule, I don't see this in the U.S.
     
  24. MatthewLTL thread starter macrumors 68000

    MatthewLTL

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    #24
    It's not like that here. The only Interstate we have around here is I-90, which i never drive on and have no reason to. The fastest i've ever been while driving is 65MPH, This is due to the varying speed limits on US-63. It will vary between 30MPH and 65MPH. (It's 30MPH though downtown) I only travel this road once a month. Southbound the speed limit is 65 northbound its 55. My exit always comes up just as the speed limit hits 65 so i never have the chance to go above 55.
     
  25. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a

    z31fanatic

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    #25
    OP, shut up and move over. That's all you need to know.
     
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