June 19, 2018

"Indiana trooper wins praise for stopping driver going too slow in left lane."

The Star Tribune reports on a popular tweet.

That's one of the "most read" stories at that news site, which is located in Minneapolis (not Indiana). I guess it's a "man bites dog" story.

145 comments:

rhhardin said...

There's a Toronto radio station that warns elderly drivers of go-slow speed traps when they're set up.

MadisonMan said...

There should be more stories like this.

Expat(ish) said...

If you did that in the SWF you'd have a line of cars with Ohio plates lined up from Marco Island to Tampa.

-XC

mockturtle said...

About time. Few driving situations are more annoying than some clueless idiot cruising along in the passing lane oblivious to the buildup behind him. Worse, though, and more dangerous, are those who crawl onto the freeway going 30mph. If you are behind him, you are helpless. It's possible that these are the same people.

etienne said...

Those people need to have their license suspended, and only re-issued after a formal driving test.

End of story. Get them off the road before they kill someone.

Michael K said...

Some of these "too slow" drivers are drunk, a good reason to check them out.

In Arizona, you are going too slow at 85.

Curious George said...

A load of crap. 90% of the cars that do this in Wisconsin have MN plates.

Ralph L said...

In the 70's, the WaPo had a write-in column. A man named Nestor said he deliberately did the speed limit in the left lane of the Beltway to make everyone obey it. Huge firestorm resulted, and it became known as Nestoring.

Larry J said...

Not all heros wear capes. Good job, Trooper. May you be an example to all your fellow Troopers across the country.

Ralph L said...

For a long time, you could count on the driver being on his phone.
On I-95 in Virginia, it's always the middle of the 3 lanes that's clogged up.

Curious George said...

I swear in Wisconsin they teach people in drivers ed that if you are going one MPH over the limit that you are REQUIRED to stay in the left lane. It's terrible hear. In Chicago you could be going 100 MPH and if the guy behind you is going 101, you get outta the way.

It's so bad in WI that I heard a radio guy say on the weekend of a "Milwaukee" Packer game, "You don't have to drive in the left lane to and from the game."

Ken Prescott said...

"Not all heros wear capes."

"NO CAPES!" (/Edna Node)

Fernandinande said...

Slow driver defiant as crisis grows over slow driving in the left lane.

The driver on Monday voiced defiance and continued to falsely blame police for what he decried as a “horrible and tough” situation. But the driver is empowered to immediately speed up, or pull over, as a result of “zero tolerance” speed enforcement policy.

Jason said...

RESPECT THE ROAD HEAD LANE!

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Another law that just isn't enforced enough. Thank you thank you thank YOU!

Wince said...

Should a trooper really be tweeting-out about individual vehicle stops or arrests?

Bob Boyd said...

The driver must have been from Wisconsin.

DKWalser said...

In Arizona, you are going too slow at 85.

When I graduated and moved my family from a cold weather state to Arizona, one of the things I looked forward to were lower auto insurance premiums. My insurance costs went up -- dramatically. I asked the company (USAA) for an explanation. I was told that, yes, Arizona had far fewer accidents caused by driving on slippery streets, but that was more than made up by the fact we had a bad mix of drivers: A slew of young people who'd moved here because of the growing economy and a bunch of retired people. The young ones tend to drive fast and the old ones drive slow -- which combined to give Arizona one of the highest accident rates in the country. It also didn't help that I'd moved to Scottsdale, which meant that the likelihood of the accident involving an expensive vehicle (not mine!) had also gone up.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

It's man-bites-dog in the sense that people are cheering the application of an existing law, but it's not man-bites-dog in the sense that this is a law most people actually WANT enforced.

But listen: let's think deeply:

Our nation is covered with chickenshit laws and regulations that the average person believes serve no practical purpose or, at best, are more costly to have & enforce than the alleged purpose they serve.

Using the left lane for passing ought to be a matter of courtesy--of manners; a social norm. The fact that people are cheering the use of State power to enforce what ought to be a matter of manners tells you just how frustrated many people are with the lack of respect for that norm! People feel frustrated when they do what they understand to be the "right thing" but are repeatedly punished for it. That frustration can lead to support for heavy handed reaction--including to cheering as State power is used to punish those who violate the social rules.

There's a lesson here.

SDaly said...

One of my plans to protest if the swamp manages to get rid of Trump is for Trump supporters to jam up traffic in every urban area by following the speed limit. Go the minimum speed in all lanes but the far left, and "pass" going slightly faster than the guy next to you in the left lane.

A few years ago, a few youngsters pulled a similar stunt in Atlanta, and got an amazing photo from an overpass of the backed up traffic.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

EDH said...Should a trooper really be tweeting-out about individual vehicle stops or arrests?

Community education is part of the job. Making sure the public knows the law and understands both that and how the law will be enforced is an essential feature of "rule of law." Think deeply!

[Also in this case I think the tweet obscured the (alleged) offender's license plate and other identifiable features of their vehicle. ]

Michael K said...

"give Arizona one of the highest accident rates in the country."

I think Tucson is even higher. My daughter went to U of A and her insurance doubled from Orange County.

Of course, another daughter went to LA when she ent to UCLA and her insurance doubled, after she changed her address to LA.

Some of that is theft as Mexico is only 60 miles away.

One guy I knew had LoJack on his car. It was stolen and he went to the police to turn it on. By that time it was 60 miles into Mexico.

Blogger is crappier than usual today.

tcrosse said...

I read someplace that the safety of a stretch of highway is inversely proportional to the variance of the speeds of the vehicles. IOW those who drive slower than the mean are as dangerous as those who drive faster.

gilbar said...

in Wyoming, the roads signs say:
Keep Right Except to Pass

Of course, even counting all the tourists; there's only 14 cars in the entire state, so traffic* isn't much of a problem

traffic* except for cows. And sheep. And Bison.

dreams said...

Why not tweet about that, he didn't reveal a name. Slow drivers should learn that they need to drive in the right lane, it's a safety issue. And it's usually old people or a woman who are the offenders. It's not an insignificant problem.

hawkeyedjb said...

Left lane lollygaggers are a plague on highway travel. I liken them to neighbors with barking dogs - clueless, inconsiderate and self-centered.

dreams said...

I took a defensive driving class once and the instructor said that the safest way to drive on the interstate is to drive at the same speed as the other drivers rather than the posted speed limit.

Bricap said...

Michael K's comment about 85 being to slow in Arizona is no joke. The I-17 is nuts now.

I wish this kind of driving was ticketed more often. As Boss Hogg said long ago, "Speeding, impeding, same $50."

Fritz said...

I was once pulled over by a California State Trooper on Highway 1, who complained I was speeding too slowly in the left lane and impeding traffic. Rather than explain that on a ticket, he gave me a verbal warning.

Wince said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...
Community education is part of the job. Making sure the public knows the law and understands both that and how the law will be enforced is an essential feature of "rule of law." Think deeply!

You can accomplish the public education part without the singular focus of Tweeting an individual stop or arrest.

The problem: Cops have a "me too" mentality. Give one a freebie, and the rest quickly swarm to get theirs too.

A "free to tweet" policy will result in other cops wanting to capture this trooper's instant notoriety and praise, and likely result in someone going too far -- either prejudicing a case or resulting in a civil rights claim.

mockturtle said...

Left lane lollygaggers are a plague on highway travel. I liken them to neighbors with barking dogs - clueless, inconsiderate and self-centered.

And possibly passive-aggressive.

Martin said...

It's more than "man bites dog," people driving slowly in the left lane are a real irritant and here is someone in authority who cares.

Hunter said...

@Hoodlum

I'd liken it to the right-of-way order at a four-way stop. That should be a social norm, perhaps. But it's also codified. Many drivers simply have no clue how that order works, and by not following it they degrade the efficiency of an intersection, causing delays for other people. This is equally true of drivers who can't figure out how a roundabout works.

But it's worse, in that there are actually two competing norms. One norm says the left lane is for passing, the other says you should not be going faster than the speed limit (or some arbitrary amount like 5 or 10 over). This norm is also codified, and it's more well known due to being posted everywhere. And so you get some drivers who feel it's their duty to enforce a maximum speed by blocking traffic, and other drivers who assume there's no problem driving in any lane if they're already going whatever speed they consider "fast enough".

And, we have a pretty weak driver education and licensing regime in the US which leads to all these problems. People do not know all of the rules or necessarily even taught them. The speed limits are dumbed down and then selectively enforced, because we aren't able to have speed limits that make sense for skilled drivers and lousy drivers alike. There is a reason you don't see the same level of stupidity in aviation that you do in driving -- or the same level of oblivious driving on the Autobahn on American highways. Our approach to driving here is just not rigorous.

Michael K said...


Blogger Bricap said...
Michael K's comment about 85 being to slow in Arizona is no joke. The I-17 is nuts now.


You should see the I 10 at 5 AM between Tucson and PHX. I'm about to drive to OC today and will take the I 8.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

EDH said...A "free to tweet" policy will result in other cops wanting to capture this trooper's instant notoriety and praise, and likely result in someone going too far -- either prejudicing a case or resulting in a civil rights claim.

That's a valid concern and could probably be best addressed by having the tweet come from a shared department source/user instead of an individual/individually indenifiable account.

Levi Starks said...

The only problem I have with this story is that it will give 18 wheelers even more license to run over slower drivers In their way no matter which lane they’re in.

Fernandinande said...

Population, fatal motor vehicle crashes, motor vehicle crash deaths and motor vehicle crash death rates per state, 2016

Arizona is up there in the various metrics, but it's not the highest in any of them.

Jay Vogt said...

Haven't lived in Minnesota for a while, but when I did this was a common occurrence known to all as the "Minnesota Wedge".
All in all, Minnesota drivers are average however w/r/t this irritant, they are both extra-complicit and ultra-sensitive.
No wonder the STrib picked up the Indiana story.

Earnest Prole said...

On California freeways the right lane is now the one you use to pass slower drivers in the middle and (especially) left lanes.

traditionalguy said...

A State Trooper? Wow, I thought the faster cars that want to pass are supposed to ride your bumper and then pull around to the left and cut back in front of you nearly hitting you. But what do I know. It's those slow driver who are being aggressive.

In Georgia they give you the first 16 mph over the limit before writing a ticket. But the ticket price and points goes way up if you are 25 mph over the limit. However, if there is a marked road construction site, they enforce 5 mph over the much lower marked limit and they tack on double fines. That is the real money winner that gets enforced by teams of Sheriff cars.

As a rule, if I am 25 mph over the limit and that irritates the drivers behind me, it becomes a teachable moment for them.

Clyde said...

Good! The left lane is for passing. If you drive in the left lane and find that people are constantly tailgating you and passing you on the right, you don't belong in the left lane! Move over to the right.

Do you know how slow traffic is like an unplanned pregnancy?
It only takes one dick.

DanTheMan said...

>>If you did that in the SWF you'd have a line of cars with Ohio plates lined up from Marco Island to Tampa.

True!

Years ago, I stopped an elderly driver for going 35 in a 55, with a huge line of cars backed up behind her.

Her excuse: "I'm not in any hurry."

Expat(ish) said...

@DanTheMan - Also true - early bird starts at 5:30 and runs to 7pm. Plenty of time to eat dinner AND get to Baskin Robbins.

I joke, but I appreciate them paying all my taxes for me.

_XC

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Bricap said...

Michael K's comment about 85 being to slow in Arizona is no joke. The I-17 is nuts now.

Bullshit! I've see plenty days when you could go from the Mini Stack to the I-10 merge and never once go faster that 40 mph.

Of course, north of the Mini Stack it's every man for himself....

Hey Skipper said...

And, we have a pretty weak driver education and licensing regime in the US which leads to all these problems.

I have worked in Germany for several years -- had to through the whole rigamarole to get a German driver's license.

The theoretical test is 20 questions pulled from a 1100 bank of questions. The only way to pass the test is to memorize the questions and answers, because every question is written to be answered incorrectly.

Minimum driving instruction -- even for someone who has driven for more than 40 years -- is 15 hours. The driving exam costs $250. Each time, if you fail.

The Germans, while quite impatient, are almost exclusively very good drivers. And they hate left lane hogs. That, aside from the rigorous driver training, is probably why there aren't any.

Despite lengthy stretches of autobahn without speed limits (I've been doing 120 mph and gotten passed like I was on the verge changing a tire), the motor vehicle death rate in Germany is roughly a third of the US's rate.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Michael K said...

You should see the I 10 at 5 AM between Tucson and PHX. I'm about to drive to OC today and will take the I 8.

And it's just going to get worse now that they're getting rid of 4 exits so they can run the Loop 303 through.

Achilles said...

For everyone complaining about blogger:

If you hit the refresh key when the conflicting edits page comes up it will post your message.

Sometimes you have to confirm resubmit.

I haven't had a problem for months.

It is just an internal server issue most likely when 2 asynch calls hit the server. Blogger controls a lot of content.

Pianoman said...

California's Basic Speed Law says that you need to drive with the flow of traffic.

So if you decide to plant yourself in the fast lane, and go 60 MPH, you could be cited.

CA is a wacky place, but at least there's some common sense on the roads.

MadisonMan said...

That this happened on I65 makes the story even better. That is the worst interstate in Indiana. I am so glad they are working to make it 3 lanes now, about 15 years too late.

Achilles said...

Earnest Prole said...
On California freeways the right lane is now the one you use to pass slower drivers in the middle and (especially) left lanes.

In Seattle you use the exit only lanes.

There are two kinds of drivers: The jerks who drive up the exit only lane and cut in at the end and the people that get mad at them.

Achilles said...

Fortunately this will all be moot sooner rather than later.

Self driving cars are going to reduce an immense amount of stress.

Big Mike said...

Numerous states have “keep right except when passing” laws. Nice to see one enforced.

Bricap said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bricap said...

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Bricap said...

Michael K's comment about 85 being to slow in Arizona is no joke. The I-17 is nuts now.

Bullshit! I've see plenty days when you could go from the Mini Stack to the I-10 merge and never once go faster that 40 mph.

Of course, north of the Mini Stack it's every man for himself....



I should have been clearer. I had the drive to and from Flagstaff on my mind when I wrote that. Especially the return going all downhill. I grew up in north central Phoenix, and every holiday season I come back to visit, there is rarely a shortage of changes.

jimbino said...

Those who are here advocating strictly enforcing a "keep to the right except for passing" are not only speeders but ignorant of the facts of road traffic. There are many cars, like a vintage VW van, that cannot go over 65 and on many of our freeways and toll roads, there are exits to the left, as on I-294, that require the driver to drive in the left lane, regardless of the "keep right" sign and the power of his car.

Likewise, if that driver needs to pass a slow truck, he has every right to drive slowly as long as he observes the minimum speed limit, since he is paying the same road taxes and tolls as these idiot tailgaters are. If you don't like minimum speed limits, you have every right to agitate to try to have them raised to suit your V-8's speed, but you don't have the right to threaten a person observing the posted rules with your vehicle.

I expect in future the ubiquitous cameras and radar/lidar will enable us careful and lawful left-lane drivers to successfully sue those tailgaters who threaten us with their cars. And what do these idiot tailgaters propose to do about the driverless cars that are programmed to follow the speed limit?

MarkW said...

The obvious solution to the problem is to make the right lane the passing lane on freeways. The slower vehicles/low-attention/low-functioning drivers get on, move over, and stay out of the way of both passing and merging until they get to their destinations. Faster, more able and attentive drivers who are doing the passing also have to watch for merging traffic, which makes sense. Truck also drive in the left lane, which eliminates the problem of trucks not having room to move over for vehicles entering the freeway.

But of course it'll never happen.

bagoh20 said...

If there is any crime that deserves the death penalty, driving slow in the fast lane is it.

I drive a lot, and I have spent a lot of time observing this. Going slow in the fast lane is a primary cause of traffic jams and accidents. The slow car on the left cannot be safely passed, becuase you need to go around to the right where cars are already going slower. This forces everyone to slow down and bunch up with people looking backward over their shoulder to maneuver, getting too close, and being distracted not looking forward. This propagates backward down the road creating a wave of slowing and danger affecting hundreds of cars and innocent people who are placed at much higher risk. If an accident occurs, the person who originally caused it may be miles ahead.

Off with his head after a few months of waterboarding.

Earnest Prole said...

I don't want to disrespect your big, beautiful country, but in France and Germany this is not a problem.

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robt C said...

"I'm not in a hurry" . . . I often wonder why old people are notoriously slow drivers. You'd think they'd want to speed up, since they won't be around much longer.

bagoh20 said...

Some people get mad at drivers who speed past them, but I honor the speeders. They open up the congestion, stretching out the traffic, and creating more average space between cars. The slow drivers force us to be too close. No matter what the speed limit is, most people will drive just above it. Those who insist on staying at or below it are creating congestion and danger. Being self-righteous about making things more dangerous and wasting the time of everyone is hardly justified. Adopt a puppy to polish your self-esteem instead, but walk to the shelter.

Achilles said...

One interesting thing about the difference between 65 and 75 miles per hour or even 60 and 80. In actual time of arrival difference it is negligible.

In a 2 hour drive you might save 10 minutes, but you will burn 25-50% more fuel. After 55 MPH you start pushing atmosphere and the fuel cost curve gets very steep.

The right lane is where the exits are. The left lane is a stupid carpool lane. Most of the time just hang out in the middle somewhere.

Getting all bent about driving 90 vs 70 or 75 instead of 60 is kinda silly. Leave 3 minutes sooner on a 30 minute drive and you will get there at the same time.

The actual big time losses are at stop lights and finding parking. Design your strategies around avoiding left turns at stop lights and you will get there before the guy honking his horn in the left lane trying to go 10 MPH faster.

Jay Vogt said...

Hey Skipper said: "The Germans, while quite impatient, are almost exclusively very good drivers. . . . . the motor vehicle death rate in Germany is roughly a third of the US's rate.

This!!!! And we're getting worse here for some inexplicable reason. I am absolutely mystified as to why driver's education and licensing is getting worse, when it would be so cost effective and beneficial to improve it.

PM said...

Rule of Thumb: Beware of hats driving cars.

Michael K said...


Blogger Earnest Prole said...
I don't want to disrespect your big, beautiful country, but in France and Germany this is not a problem.


No, you get out of the way. I was driving on the Autostrada some years ago. I had rented a Mercedes to have enough power to keep up. You come upon these little Fiats with a "60" window sticker in the back window that lets them go less than the minimum speed.

I checked my rear view mirror and passed him. I was doing 130 Km/hr at the time. Before I got past him, there was a Ferrari on my tail, leaning on his horn. He must have been going 200. He was not visible when I began to pass the Fiat.

The Autobahn is similar but not as wild west as the Autostrada.

I have driven in France and never had an issue with speeders.


A friend lost his parents on the Autobahn. It was one of those fog banks where cars keep going in but none come out.

Arizona has fast drivers but not the nuts like the Autostrada or the Autobahn.

Michael K said...

I am absolutely mystified as to why driver's education and licensing is getting worse, when it would be so cost effective and beneficial to improve it.

Do you know what percentage of drivers are illegals and drunk at the time ?

I ran a trauma center for 7 years.

Jay Vogt said...

I don't

To take a break for being negative, it does seem to me as a lay observer the drunk driving in diminishing as an issue and enforcement of it is improved.

No comment on you other assertion.

Jay Vogt said...

Certainly the social stigma of drunk driving is much different than it was when I was a youth.

bagoh20 said...

This driver had 20 cars backed up behind her. I drive a lot out west where trips are multiple hours, and you can often see the road for miles ahead. I've seen slow drivers with far more than twenty cars struggling behind them when all they need to do is simply move over one lane. They are either oblivious to what is happening around them or stuck on their "right" to go that speed. We all have a right to do things that are very selfish.

Achilles said...

Hey Skipper said...

Despite lengthy stretches of autobahn without speed limits (I've been doing 120 mph and gotten passed like I was on the verge changing a tire), the motor vehicle death rate in Germany is roughly a third of the US's rate.


Apples and oranges.

Germany has a restrictive policy that doesn't allow poor people to drive.

Miles driven per capita is far lower in Germany than the US. I would be willing to guess accidents per mile driven in the US are lower.

Additionally if they ever let their illegal immigrants drive like we do here in the US those statistics will change very quickly.

CJ said...

Damn I’m surprised how many people are taking this personally. I’m a fast driver and always move over if someone is behind me in the left lane but it’s not as dangerous as you people make it out to be.

Everybody just calm down and get where you’re going safely. Damn.

bagoh20 said...

This topic is giving me virtual road rage.

bagoh20 said...

"Everybody just calm down and get where you’re going safely. Damn."

Slow drivers in the fast lane make people angry and unsafe, so the best way to do what you want is for them to move the hell over.

mockturtle said...

The Germans, while quite impatient, are almost exclusively very good drivers. And they hate left lane hogs. That, aside from the rigorous driver training, is probably why there aren't any.

A German scientist who worked in my lab was racking up speeding tickets at an alarming rate but told us that he was willing to pay the fines if it meant getting to his destination faster. We had to break the news that he could lose his drivers license. He had no idea.

Achilles said...

bagoh20 said...
This driver had 20 cars backed up behind her. I drive a lot out west where trips are multiple hours, and you can often see the road for miles ahead. I've seen slow drivers with far more than twenty cars struggling behind them when all they need to do is simply move over one lane. They are either oblivious to what is happening around them or stuck on their "right" to go that speed. We all have a right to do things that are very selfish.


This happens more in rural driving.

There are several stretches I drive often that are two way two lane where there are double digit backups behind a slow driver who skips numerous pull outs.

I agree it is ridiculous.

But there are two circles. In one are things you can control and in the other are things you can't control.

If that person pulled over and stopped being a retard you would go get stuck behind the next goofball a minute up the road.

In the end the math if very poor above 60-70 MPH. 40 to 60 saves you far more time than 60-100 for a variety of reasons.

In the end getting mad about adding 2 or 3 seconds per mile to you trip just isn't worth it.

A lot of times that guy who pulls out and passes a line of cars so he can go 20 MPH faster will end up passing me again farther down the road. Rest Stops and coffee stops are the real killer on long trips.

Achilles said...

Earnest Prole said...
I don't want to disrespect your big, beautiful country, but in France and Germany this is not a problem.

As mentioned above France and Germany don't let poor people drive.

Achilles said...

mockturtle said...

A German scientist who worked in my lab was racking up speeding tickets at an alarming rate but told us that he was willing to pay the fines if it meant getting to his destination faster. We had to break the news that he could lose his drivers license. He had no idea.


He was also bad at applying math.

Nonapod said...

CJ said...Everybody just calm down and get where you’re going safely. Damn.

Yeah. I mean this should be obvious, but always ask yourself: Is it worth you're life and limb (or someone elses) to get to where you're going a few minutes earlier? Unless someone is literally dying in your back seat, the answer is always gonna be "no".

I consider myself a fairly sensible driver, not too fast and not too slow. On major highways I generally go with the flow of traffic which usually means I'm going maybe 8 or 9 mph above the limit (so if it's 65mph I'll be going 73-74mph). Even if I'm running late I refuse to speed beyond that. If I'm late, I'm late.

mockturtle said...

On many two-lane highways in the west it is illegal to hold up five or more cars behind you. There are turnouts and you are required to use them. Whether or not anyone has ever had this enforced I'm not sure. The biggest culprits [in my experience] are old men wearing hats. Not baseball caps but other kinds of hats. Women are more apt to pull over and let cars pass.

langford peel said...

It is true that the Germans are very good and safe drivers.

Of course this gives them a better chance of quickly getting to where they have to go so they can be raped and murdered by a Muslim refugee.

DanTheMan said...

>>I joke, but I appreciate them paying all my taxes for me.

Ex- My question was "How do they get all the way down to Florida from Michigan driving that slowly? You'd think when they get here, they'd look around, see an orange tree or two, and then it would be time to turn around and go back!

But Michiganders pale in comparison to Canadians when it comes to driving slowly. The next Canadian I see speeding in Florida will be the first.

Wilbur said...

I've lived in Miami and its environs since 1986. Since moving here I've been rear-ended (or sideswiped, once) eight times. Only two of the drivers had insurance. That's not unusual, it's the norm. Even if a ticket is written, if you show up in court with some semblance of PIP insurance, the court will dismiss the ticket.

When I'm King, driving without insurance will be a min-man felony.

All will bow to King Wilbur.

mockturtle said...

But Michiganders pale in comparison to Canadians when it comes to driving slowly. The next Canadian I see speeding in Florida will be the first.

BC drivers are a notable exception.

Jim at said...

Few driving situations are more annoying than some clueless idiot cruising along in the passing lane oblivious to the buildup behind him.

Worse are the ones who know what they're doing and think they're the speed police.

Typical passive/aggressive bullshit and Puget Sound is full of 'em.

If I want to exceed the speed limit? That's on me and I'll pay the price. Wanna be a Trooper? Go to the Academy. Until then, obey the damn law and move the eff over.

bagoh20 said...

Even if you prefer to drive slow, you should appreciate the faster drivers who get out of your way and open up the congestion. If the slow drivers simply stayed right everyone could drive the speed they prefer and we would all be happy.

An average trip for me from LA to Vegas is about 300 miles. At 55mph it would take 5.45 hours. At 85mph it would take 3.52 hours.

Original Mike said...

If you want to see clueless drivers causing horrendous traffic backups, go to New Zealand. It’s becoming over run by tourists, mostly from China. Two lane roads (and one lane bridges!), no shoulders, driving on the left (which the tourists aren’t used to), the popularity of large camper rentals, and clueless drivers create quite the goat rodeo. I’ve been going for years and the situation has really deteriorated.

DanTheMan said...

>>Even if a ticket is written, if you show up in court with some semblance of PIP insurance, the court will dismiss the ticket.


That's because the vast majority would never pay, and then the next time they get stopped, it's off to jail for driving on a suspended license.
You'd need a dozen new jails just to hold them all.

When you become King Wilbur, my suggestion: Pay the ticket on the spot with a debit or credit card. If you can't, by Royal Decree they take your car and you don't get it back until you pay.
If you don't pay in 60 days, they put your car in the Royal Woodchipper.

PS Consider this post my application to become Your Majesty's Lord High Vehicular Executioner.

SeanF said...

Achilles: Miles driven per capita is far lower in Germany than the US. I would be willing to guess accidents per mile driven in the US are lower.

I had the same thought. According to Wikipedia (2013 data), Germany's motor vehicle fatality rate per distance driven is 69% of America's.

Big Mike said...

As mentioned above France and Germany don't let poor people drive.

In Europe the illegal immigrants burn people's cars. In the US they acquire a forged drivers license (or get a legitimate one using identity theft) and buy a poorly-maintained beater.

Fernandinande said...

Watch a few of these Russian car accident videos and you won't want to drive in Russia anymore, even though you've learned how to cuss in in Russian.

daskol said...

American President Wins Bigly by Going Too Fast for Slow People

JaimeRoberto said...

My last drive on I-5 between the Bay Area and LA made me want to create a bumper sticker that says "Visualize Lane Discipline".

Yancey Ward said...

You have to adjust your speed to the general average speed of the cars around you. I don't want to spend an inordinate amount of my time on the highway changing lanes and passing people which will usually entail accelerating- I like using cruise control as much as possible on the highway.

Achilles said...

bagoh20 said...
Even if you prefer to drive slow, you should appreciate the faster drivers who get out of your way and open up the congestion. If the slow drivers simply stayed right everyone could drive the speed they prefer and we would all be happy.


It would be awesome if people were conscientious of others.


An average trip for me from LA to Vegas is about 300 miles. At 55mph it would take 5.45 hours. At 85mph it would take 3.52 hours.

Doing math like this at opposite ends of a bell curve is lying with statistics. Average speed for a trip is never going to vary that much.

If your top speed is 85 and you get stuck behind some joker going 55 for 20 miles the effect on your average speed is minimal. It would be closer to the difference between 4:30 and 4:43. Much of the time in a trip is spent at the local level leveling out average speed curves greatly.

People spend more time trying to find parking or unloading their stuff. If you can pack in such a way that you only need one trip from the car to the destination you just saved more time than you lost.

Meanwhile if you have women/kids in the car you can plan on at least 1 trip to starbucks and one bathroom stop each adding 15 minutes apiece.

I absolutely understand your frustration. But you should apply it to things you can control.

I understand this is like telling women to stop worrying/nagging. I raged at slow drivers who camped out in the passing lane. I remember the emotion. It still comes over me at times. The indignation! They are wasting my time! But now that I don't rage at them they are still camped out in the passing lane and they still don't use the numerous ample pull outs. I still get places faster than most and I never really get to 70.

Paying cops to go pull over slow drivers would also end badly.

jimbino said...

@Wilbur

When I'm King, driving without insurance will be a min-man felony.

I don't know the laws of all the states, but in CA, TX and WI you are not required to carry liability insurance at all. It is merely one of several options in showing "financial responsibility."

hawkeyedjb said...

What's the state vehicle of Arizona? A Buick with its turn signal stuck permanently on.

Generally driven by a Hat.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Bricap said...

I should have been clearer. I had the drive to and from Flagstaff on my mind when I wrote that. Especially the return going all downhill. I grew up in north central Phoenix, and every holiday season I come back to visit, there is rarely a shortage of changes.

Well, I will agree with you there, PHX to Flag is pretty bad. At least you don't have the road debris like you get going from PHX to Tucson. I'll never forget the time I saw a washing machine, new in the box, sitting in the middle of one of the south bound lanes somewhere around Eloy.

Big Mike said...

even though you've learned how to cuss in in Russian.

Yes, the Russians have a way of calling someone a motherf****r that is almost poetic.

FullMoon said...

I suspect the old slow drivers were once young slow drivers.
Any of you geezers here drive slower when you got older.

As to man with hat, I heard also that growing up. Must be true, supposedly even worse if hatman smoking a pipe.

Curious George said...

"hawkeyedjb said...
What's the state vehicle of Arizona? A Buick with its turn signal stuck permanently on.

Generally driven by a Hat."

If you come to a light and the car in the left lane is driven by a grey haired man in a Buick, and in the left lane an Amish family in a buggy, stay behind the Amish.

FullMoon said...

I don't know the laws of all the states, but in CA, TX and WI you are not required to carry liability insurance at all.

Wrong. Cannot register in Ca without proof of ins. Ins and lic provided every time cop pulls you over.

Unknown said...

but was the driver black?

GRW3 said...

The other blue ribbon would go to the police officer that pulls over and tickets bicyclists that just ignore traffic laws.

Earnest Prole said...

My last drive on I-5 between the Bay Area and LA made me want to create a bumper sticker that says "Visualize Lane Discipline".

Three-fourths of my passing on I-5 is done in the right lane. Once you accept it as the fast lane it works pretty much the way the left lane was originally intended.

MadTownGuy said...

Oklahoma has signs posted on the major highways next to the speed limit signs that say "No Tolerance." They aren't kidding, especially if you have out-of-state plates.

readering said...

I shall now bore all with my pet peeve.
Three lanes end in T junction. Middle lane can go left or right. Right on red. Left lane open or just one car. Car planning to make left goes to middle lane thus blocking cars behind it from making right on red.
End of pet peeve.

Hunter said...

jimbino said...
There are many cars, like a vintage VW van, that cannot go over 65 and on many of our freeways and toll roads, there are exits to the left, as on I-294, that require the driver to drive in the left lane, regardless of the "keep right" sign and the power of his car.
Left exits suspend any rule against being in the left lane, as do left turn opportunities on city streets.

Likewise, if that driver needs to pass a slow truck, he has every right to drive slowly as long as he observes the minimum speed limit, since he is paying the same road taxes and tolls as these idiot tailgaters are.
And if you are in a slow car using the left lane to pass an even slower car, that is fine. That's what the lane is for -- passing!

Stipulate that you can execute the pass in a timely manner, and don't just creep at 1 mph or pace the slow truck, creating a rolling roadblock for miles. And stipulate that you get back over once you are done passing instead of continuing to cruise along in the passing lane.

Yes, there are drivers who will tailgate slower cars passing, and aggressively drive through the gap a passing car is building before moving right. This is exacerbated by the tendency of slow traffic to camp out in the middle lane when they ought to be in the right lane. Otherwise those drivers would have a lane in which to pass the slow-passers.

Fritz said...

FullMoon said...
I don't know the laws of all the states, but in CA, TX and WI you are not required to carry liability insurance at all.

Wrong. Cannot register in Ca without proof of ins. Ins and lic provided every time cop pulls you over.


Unless you're illegal. Then they just let you go because there's nothing they can do. I hope they at least pay a small bribe they way they would in their home country.

Original Mike said...

”Three lanes end in T junction. Middle lane can go left or right. Right on red. Left lane open or just one car. Car planning to make left goes to middle lane thus blocking cars behind it from making right on red.”

I’m guessing you don’t live in Wisconsin, where a right turn on red from the middle lane would be illegal.

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

Worse, though, and more dangerous, are those who crawl onto the freeway going 30mph. If you are behind him, you are helpless. It's possible that these are the same people.

6/19/18, 8:09 AM

They're beat by the people who speed like hell to pass you up, move in front of you - and then slow down. You were in a big rush to get ahead of me until you actually got ahead of me, bud.

Driving in Phoenix is a headache, in part because the signage is terrible. Or at least it seems that way to me.

traditionalguy said...

Angry drivers are mostly being frustrated by their imaginations. They seem to expect others to pull off the fast lane that they are in and let them by as a rule. Meanwhile they are making it impossible by insisting on going as fast as they can as close as they can to the car in front. This leaves no lane changing courtesy space on signaled changes over and than back.

When the highway has 3 lanes it gets easier. But 2 lane interstate stretches still exist like I-20 going east out of Atlanta to Augusta.

They refuse to imagine that slowing down to mere 85 mph in a 65 mph zone does them no harm.

Think said...

"Those who are here advocating strictly enforcing a "keep to the right except for passing" are not only speeders but ignorant of the facts of road traffic."

In Utah, and I believe most states, it is you who is ignorant. Utah's statute states that the person in the left lane must move to the right to allow faster traffic to pass. It says nothing about this not applying if the faster traffic is speeding. It says nothing about hippies in VW vans having the right to slow down everyone else. It is infuriating to see comments like this. Look up the law before lecturing like my grandpa.

jimbino said...

@Fritz
Cannot register in Ca without proof of ins. Ins and lic provided every time cop pulls you over.

You wonder why Al Gore went to all that trouble to create the internet when people like Fritz can't find

"Requirements of Section 16056 of the California Financial Responsibility Law. California's Financial Responsibility Law mandates that drivers in the state must have valid liability insurance, a $35,000 bond, or a certificate from the Department of Motor Vehicles stating the driver has $35,0000 in self-insurance.

jimbino said...

@Think:

Utah's statute states that the person in the left lane must move to the right to allow faster traffic to pass. It says nothing about this not applying if the faster traffic is speeding.

Here's what to do: when you are passing a truck in your VW van at 65mph and are threatened by a small-dick, big-engine dude flashing his lights right behind you, slow way down so that you can pull back in behind the truck. This won't work if you need to take a left fork off the freeway, which, apparently, Utah is too impoverished to provide for in either concrete or traffic rules.

bagoh20 said...

Here is another pet peeve about slow drivers. When you change lanes, accelerate. Slowing down to move to the right is retarded and dangerous. You are looking backward trying to dodge cars coming up on the right. Sit back, accelerate, use your side and rear view mirrors to keep the right lane in view and move ahead of the cars to your right. Slowing down to change lanes clogs up the lane you are leaving and the one you are moving to. Giddy up.

Jim at said...

Jimbino is proud he deliberately pisses off other drivers.

That's a recipe for success.

Think said...

Jimbino - nice. As someone else posted, there is exceptions for left exits. But having a piece of shit car doesn't excuse you from the fast lane laws. Look it up and stop calling others ignorant.

gadfly said...

Under Indiana's Major Moves 2020 project approved back in 2014, $200 million is being spent to build third lanes on both sides of the interstate and to widen bridges from Frankfort to Southport in the Lafayette neighborhood and another $62 million spending further north to improve traffic flow and add capacity on I-65 between S.R. 2 and U.S. 30 and to completely replace and widen the Kankakee River Bridge.

So yellow barrels will block lanes and polite Hoosier drivers obeying reduced speed postings will worsen traffic speeds until the long project is completed. Pressure on I-65 will dissipate when I-69 between Indianapolis and the Tex-Mex border is completed through Indiana.

If we could keep rude Chicago-area drivers off of I-65, safety would dramatically improve

Brian said...

On long drives and rural 2 lane highways, the cause of this problem is one simple thing.

Cruise control.

Almost every car has it now (the exception that VW microbus discussed above). What speed to a majority of drivers set it to? (Assume a 70MPH speed limit).

Answer? 72-77 mph. They think, "the speed limit is 70, and I don't want to get a ticket, so I'll set my cruise to just a little over." "I read somewhere you won't ever get a ticket for 7 over so I'll just set my cruise to that speed".

So now you have cars driving a varying speed, gauranteed to meet up with each other at some point. But none of the cars are going much faster than each other. Typically the difference is walking speed! You have trucks that are maximizing fuel efficience going the speed limit or slower. They are good about staying in the right lane.

But the cruise control driver doesn't want to have to constantly turn off their cruise control when they run into a truck they need to pass, so instead they just drive in the left lane. Causing 10-15 mile backups behind them. Sometimes it will take 10-15 minutes! to pass a single truck. Then instead of getting into the right lane they'll see another truck in the right lane and decide they'll just stay in the left lane since they are going to need to pass that truck soon anyway.

Rinse and repeat. Cars bunch up. Frustrated drivers then try to pass on the right lane. Shooting the gaps between slower traffic, all so slower drivers can use their cruise control. This results in more danger to both drivers.

Cruise control is for light traffic. If you are going to have to constantly change speed don't use it! We don't use cruise control on city streets. Why? Because we'll constantly be changing speed.

Adapt to the flow around you. Drive in the right lane. Pass in the left lane.

This goes for "fast" drivers too. Drive in the right lane! Pass in the left.

And if you are passing, it should be at a minimum of 5mph than the car you are passing. You want to minimize the amount of time you are passing. It's a dangerous time on a two lane road. Neither of you has an out in the event of an issue: blown tire, road debris, road hazard, etc. Yes that may mean speeding to pass the slower vehicle. No cop will pull you over for speeding for the 30 seconds it takes to pass another vehicle.

For those of you that insist on cruise control, remember that you can apply the gas pedal and speed up without turning off cruise control or changing your set speed. Just drive faster for the pass, then take your foot off the gas once you are back in the right lane and cruise control will resume.

gilbar said...

Jimbo imagines that there are left lane exits in Utah
This won't work if you need to take a left fork off the freeway, which, apparently, Utah is too impoverished to provide for in either concrete or traffic rules.

Can you give a mile mark for one Jimbo? Utah's not my state; but it's hard to visit the cousins in Cali without driving through it. I don't believe there's on in the whole state. If there is one, it must be in Salt Lake City

ps. You know,don't you; that the speed limit on most utah interstates is 80mph?

here's Wyoming's min speed law:
Minimum speed law:

Section 31-5-304(a) and 31-5-201(b) states:
“No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.”
“A person driving at less than the normal speed of traffic shall drive in the right-hand lane then available for traffic or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.”

Brian said...

I would add:

I drive weekly about 300 miles. I have automatic headlights. They turn on when the light level goes below a certain threshold, (rainy days, tunnels, etc).

I've found that turning on my lights for the entire trip results in at least 30-50% more of the slow left lane drivers at least noticing me coming up behind them and then they'll move over. They know they are supposed to be in the right lane, they just forgot, or like to be in the left lane because they are kings of the road.

There are other drivers though that must never look in their rear view mirrors. I can come up on them with my lights on. Even flashing high beams at them and they will be oblivious until I pass them on the right.

jimbino said...

@Think

But having a piece of shit car doesn't excuse you from the fast lane laws.

It may not excuse you from the fast-lane laws, but it should excuse you from paying highway taxes. In any case, there is a minimum speed posted for freeways, something like 40mph. There are many reasons for driving that slowly; for example, you're driving a vintage VW bus worth $175,000 (https://classiccars.com/listings/view/1073180/1959-volkswagen-bus-for-sale-in-costa-mesa-california-92626) or pulling a trailer in high wind, or riding a 150cc motorcycle.

You need insurance to ride a motorcycle on a freeway that allows small-dick big-engine tailgaters, like a 9mm.

Earnest Prole said...

Speaking of speeding, in the early 1980s I was pulled over by a Montana Highway Patrol officer for driving something north of 80 MPH on a state highway, at a time when the speed limit nationwide was set by Washington at 55 MPH. The officer wrote me a $5 ticket not for speeding but for "wasting a national resource."

gilbar said...

Jimbino fails to pay attention, and says: there is a minimum speed posted for freeways, something like 40mph.

Not in Wyoming there isn't

jimbino said...

Driving is a civil right of all Amerikans, regardless of age, sex or race. (http://realtruth.biz/driving/supremecourt.htm)

Older Amerikans suffer various infirmities, such as compromised eye-sight, smell, hearing and strength. We expect them to drive competently.

Part of competent driving is to try not to exceed your abilities, which implies that you may well be wise to drive more slowly than average. Road speeds, like turn-signal tones, are geared to the young driver. Just like there is no reason to expect a senior driver to notice a turn-signal at frequency above 10 kHz, there is no reason to hold him to speed minima suited to the abilities of youngsters. It's a flaw in general that modern gizmos and rules are designed by the young for senior members of our society.

Since lane-changing is a major cause of accidents and injury, an older driver is well advised to avoid it, especially if his vision and reaction time are compromised.

You may easily say that driving should be prohibited after a certain age, but when it comes to a vote, I imagine that it might well be the young who would instead lose a lot of what they consider their rights, since it is likely they are the greater cause of human misery.

jimbino said...

@Gilbar

Montana law provides for minimum speed limits.

cf. https://leg.mt.gov/bills/mca/title_0610/chapter_0080/part_0030/section_0110/0610-0080-0030-0110.html

Whether or not one is posted depends on action by local authorities.

Christy said...

Drove to lunch with my 85 year old aunt recently. She never got above 31 miles an hour on the local two lane highways, but upped it to 41 on the interstate. I chose to feel grateful she was driving safely in the right lane.

Cops would ticket slow left lane drivers on the PA Turnpike back in the day.

Think said...

Jimbino:

That is a nice point, but, just like disabilities in the workplace, you don't lower basic standards to accommodate age. I have zero problem with the elderly driving a bit slower on frontage roads and side streets. But the freeway is no place for someone who isn't alert, and can't safely switch lanes. The freeway is per se exceeding their abilities in those cases. There is no need for someone in that condition to put everyone's life at risk, let alone drive in the fast lane, which is after all, the topic of the blog post. Your elderly post is a strawman. Please, stay out of the fastlane in your $150K bus.

jimbino said...

@Think,

What do you recommend to an elderly grandma in her $150K bus who, driving 65, needs to pass a truck going 64 or who needs to veer left from the right lane to enter another freeway?

Big Mike said...

A friend lost his parents on the Autobahn. It was one of those fog banks where cars keep going in but none come out.

Waaaaay back in the day I had a girlfriend who was an army nurse and who received orders for Germany. She had a V8 Camaro and could handle Autobahn speeds, but her car got totaled — fortunately she was uninjured — when she slowed down for fog but the car behind her didn’t.

bagoh20 said...

Simple. Accelerate. You just push down on that little peddle on the right.

Think said...

Jimbino:

Did you miss the post about left-lane exceptions? If you are literally going 1 mph faster than the truck, you have no business passing unless there is no other traffic. You can slow down 1 mph. But, again, you are missing the point entirely.

Fritz said...

jimbino said...
@Fritz
Cannot register in Ca without proof of ins. Ins and lic provided every time cop pulls you over.

You wonder why Al Gore went to all that trouble to create the internet when people like Fritz can't find

"Requirements of Section 16056 of the California Financial Responsibility Law. California's Financial Responsibility Law mandates that drivers in the state must have valid liability insurance, a $35,000 bond, or a certificate from the Department of Motor Vehicles stating the driver has $35,0000 in self-insurance.


Having lived in California for only 21 years (not recently, but I visit often), I'm aware the law exists, but how is it enforced? Are illegals hauled in if caught driving without one? Not in a sanctuary state; it would make them subject to deportation. And frankly, for an officer, not even worthy of a ticket; it's unlikely the illegal would show up to court.

Illegals getting in accidents and not having insurance is a long-time and well known hazard of driving in California.

jimbino said...

@Think

I've seen no such "left-lane exceptions" in many of the state passing rules I've researched.
cf. https://law.justia.com/codes/maryland/2010/transportation/title-21/subtitle-3/21-301/

And who invented the "1 mph" minimum passing rule?

And one of the exceptions in the Maryland rule cited above allows you to drive as slow as you want above the minimum in the left-hand lane if the road is divided into 3 or more clearly marked lanes(!)

Bad Lieutenant said...

You need insurance to ride a motorcycle on a freeway that allows small-dick big-engine tailgaters, like a 9mm.

9mm? Whatever.

You seem to have other guys'dicks on your mind a lot. Guess you're a catcher not a pitcher.

Baelzar said...

Stay the fuck out of the left lane unless you're actively passing and not impeding traffic.

I don't care what the speed limit is; that's a completely separate law, with completely separate penalties.

Flow of traffic. If you impede it, you are a danger.

Fernandinande said...

Fritz said...
Having lived in California for only 21 years (not recently, but I visit often), I'm aware the [insurance] law exists, but how is it enforced? Are illegals hauled in if caught driving without one? Not in a sanctuary state; it would make them subject to deportation.


A friend of mine had dual citizenship w/Mexico, and also Mexican and Colorado drivers' licenses, which he'd use in the opposite country: Mexican license in the US, and vice-versa.

He got stopped for something-or-other, got a ticket for no insurance, they took his Mexican license away, and then he got it back in the mail a week later - "We can't confiscate foreign licenses".

Howard said...

The most common and absolute worst crawlers in the fast lane are driving a Prius.

Left Bank of the Charles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Left Bank of the Charles said...

I personally prefer 3 lane highways where I can drive down the middle of the road, faster than the cars on the right, slower than the cars on the left.

When people complain about "slow" drivers in the left lane of a 2 lane highway, they usually mean someone like me who is traveling faster than the cars in the right lane in moderate to heavy traffic where it is not practical to pass on the right, which is what the impatient drivers who are irritated by not-quite-so-fast drivers always do when they are able to.

And what incentive do not-quite-so-fast drivers have to change lanes? Changing lanes is inconvenient, slows you down to getting where you are going, and exposes you to the risk of getting hit by an impatient driver passing you on the right. Often the impatient driver is tailgating you, which makes it dangerous to slow enough to change into the slower lane in traffic. And if there is a line of cars, you have to let them all go by even though many of them are not driving any faster than you are, which you know from all the times you did give up the left lane.

Here's what fast drivers could do to incentivize us not-quite-so-fast drivers:

(1) Give us a friendly thank you wave when we change lanes so you can pass.
(2) Let us back into the left lane to get around the truly slow vehicle in the right lane.
(3) Give us the confidence our blind spot is clear of faster traffic coming from behind by never passing on the right.
(4) Stop tailgating.

Until those rules become the social norm, don't be surprised if I continue to go about my business of being a not-quite-so-fast driver who sometimes gets out of your way and sometimes doesn't.

gilbar said...

What do you recommend to an elderly grandma in her $150K bus who, driving 65, needs to pass a truck going 64 or who needs to veer left from the right lane to enter another freeway?
license revocation. If you can't drive; don't! And please don't use the excuse that you're rich enough

gilbar said...

Clueless Jimbino says:@Gilbar
Montana law provides for minimum speed limits.

Guess what? Montana is NOT Wyoming. It's like they're two completely different places.
I'd recommend NOT telling Wyo Game&Fish; but but it's legal to wade fish on people's land in Montana!

Comanche Voter said...

Must have been a Florida retired person coming North to visit the great grandchildren.

Jon Ericson said...

The Star and Tribune is the New York Times of Minnesota. Yuck.
They lurves them some Somalis. They ignore Killer cop Somalis, Somali daycare corruption (suitcases of cash flown to Somalia), now pushing Somali bigamist for U.S. House of Representatives, while Keith Ellison goes for Minnesota Attorney General. (Thanks George!)
It is featured at least a couple of times a week at Power Line Blog, a blog you might like.

Doug said...

Slightly off topic, but it's motor traffic related, so here goes:
When you are in that slowed down interstate traffic caused by 2 Lanes meeting into 1, and everyone in the world can see that everyone is going to have to get in the right lane, do you have your car out in the left lane going at a crawl to discourage idiots from rushing down there (mostly open) left lane to the merger point in order to get in front of anyone else? I do.