The Safety-Based Case Against Left Lane Squatters - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 88 Old 08-29-2016, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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The Safety-Based Case Against Left Lane Squatters



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

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

So, next time you see some doofus online, bloviating about how safe he is going the speed limit in the left lane instead of sticking to the right unless he’s passing, point him in the direction of the video below. While it probably won’t change the blowhard’s behavior, you might just inform some less experienced driver, like the narrator in the video, about proper lane discipline.
Read more about The Safety-Based Case Against Left Lane Squatters at Motorcycle.com.
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post #2 of 88 Old 08-29-2016, 03:37 PM
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The left lane squatters are trying to slow people down in order to save the planet from climate change. They don't care if it puts others at risk.
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post #3 of 88 Old 08-29-2016, 03:54 PM
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These are the same people who call child services if your children play in their own back yard without a parent within six feet. They have nothing better to do than get in peoples way. They were probably hall monitors in elementary school.

Years ago I had a co-worker who did this. One morning she came in furious - The CHP had ticketed her for obstructing traffic. Only time I ever enjoyed one of her tirades.
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post #4 of 88 Old 08-29-2016, 04:00 PM
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Spokane has started an emphasis patrol on I-90 for this. Tickets are being given to anyone using the left lane and and not pulling back to the right after overtaking another vehicle(No matter your speed.). This only applies if someone is approaching from the rear at a greater speed.
Seems to be working, as I've noticed a reduction in offenders.
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post #5 of 88 Old 08-29-2016, 04:33 PM
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I'm glad it's not just me. That annoys the heck out of me.

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post #6 of 88 Old 08-29-2016, 04:41 PM
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The Calif book of road rules recommends scanning your mirrors every few seconds, not every couple hours.
I followed a bone head down San Gabriel Canyon to day with my blinkers going and the silly driver was never aware of my presence.
Some folks are just oblivious to everything but themselves. It's not just the passing lane, fast lane but the whole friggin road way.
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post #7 of 88 Old 08-29-2016, 06:14 PM
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Down here, on multilane roads with a speed limit of 80 km/h (50mph) or more, the law requires drivers to keep left (equivalent to you keeping right) unless overtaking.

The law also applies on roads with lower speed limits if the road is so signposted.

I just wish it were better policed.

I've seen drivers enter the motorway and immediately move across three lanes to sit in the fast lane and below the speed limit. Gahhh!

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post #8 of 88 Old 08-29-2016, 06:15 PM
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I had an aunt (uncle's wife) who was the quintessential left lane squatter. She'd put the cruise on 1 to 2 mph below the limit and just park there. It was the "limit" of course so no need to edge quite to the limit. No amount of considerate constructive explanation to outright ridicule by friends and family could change her driving habit. This was during the Carter administration when the max limit was 55 mph! My folks would not ride with her after the first episode.

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post #9 of 88 Old 08-29-2016, 06:21 PM
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The left lane hog is a problem in some areas. Especially places where passing on the right is discouraged.

Perhaps even worse is / are the tractor trailer trucks that will not move into the right lane (where they belong) on a multi-lane (more than 2 in the same direction) limited access highway. They insist on hanging in the 2nd lane even when the 1st lane is empty, which means that autos either have to pass on their right or left. They do this so they don't have to deal with inept motorists that can't manage a merge onto a limited access highway and think their left blinker is a free pass to just come on in with no regard to matching speed with the existing traffic.

Most auto drivers won't pass a tractor trailer truck on their blind, right side, which in effect reduces a 3 lane highway to 2, or a 4 lane highway to 3.

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post #10 of 88 Old 08-30-2016, 05:03 AM
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I'll open myself up to tremendous criticism here by taking a lightly opposing viewpoint. One thing that people seem to disregard is the fact that generally the speed limit is the same for all lanes. Yes, I know that most states have some sort of law that says stay right except to pass. Washington does. I believe the original intent of the law was that IF YOU ARE UNABLE to maintain the posted speed limit, then you must stay in the right hand lane, UNLESS YOU ARE PASSING another SLOW vehicle, hence the verbiage on most signs that says "Slower traffic keep right" or the equivalent.

Over time that has gotten bastardized and misintrepretted by almost everyone (including LEO's) so that people think the right lane is for driving the posted speed limit and then the other lanes are for going progressively faster than the posted limit. Hence the term "fast lane". There is no "fast lane". All lanes have the same speed limit, unless otherwise posted as such. Using the far left lane for passing is correct and proper, but passing doesn't necessarily mean staying at 20 or more over the posted limit for miles and miles. It means pulling into the left lane, passing the car on front of you and then getting back into the right lane.

If you cannot maintain the posted limit, then yes, by all means you must stay in the furthest right lane so as not to impede traffic legally driving traffic, but if someone else wants to break the law and go 80 MPH in a posted 60 MPH zone, then why should they have a special lane resereved for their illegal behavior?

I stay in the right hand lane because I generally don't pass much and I drive the speed limit, or the little bit over that means keeping up with the traffic flow. I don't need a "fast lane" in which to disregard the speed limit all day long.

It's not my job to try and slow others down, but on the other hand, I see no reason why we should make special allowances for law breakers.

If you get angry with me for driving 60 MPH when you want to go 70, should the other guy be angry with you when he wants to go 80? And should that guy be angry at the next guy who wants to go 90? Or is it all just a free-for-all, and we all go as fast as we want?

The term "left lane campers" can be used two ways: For those who stay in the left lane while NOT passing, and for those who stay in the left lane at 20 over the posted limit for miles and miles without getting back into the right lane once they have passed the slower drivers.

Flame away.

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