Friday, July 22, 2011

My Pet Peeve!

My pet peeve is drivers that insist on driving in the left, or passing lane, when driving on a four lane divided roadway or highway.

Doesn't matter if it is an inter state highway or a State Road, nor does it matter if the roadway is "controlled Access or limited Access. There is no reason to hang out in the passing lane when traffic behind you is traveling at a higher rate of speed and there is an opportunity to move to the right lane.

In truth, there is a State Law that prohibits driving in the left lane when there is no reason not to move to the right lane. So unless you are passing a line of slower traffic, you can not legally stay in the left lane if there is an opening to move to the right. State Police can write a traffic ticket for staying in the passing lane when there is no reason for you not to move to the right.

During rush hour on Hwy 22 both lanes of 22 are jammed with traffic, and if those in the passing lane are maintaining the speed of the cars in front of them, there is no reason to move to the slower right lane. However, if you are not matching the speed of others in the passing lane, you should move to the right.

The worst example for people driving in the left lane is the 222 By-Pass. Granted the 222 By-Pass has a posted speed limit of 45 MPH, and this is the cause of a lot of confusion. But, there is no reason to travel in the passing lane at 45 mph for an extended period because you plan to exit on Mill Creek Road to go to WalMart.

PennDot has acknowledged that 45 mph on the By-Pass is insanity, but they maintain that under state law they had to mark it as 45 mph because it is not a "controlled Access" highway. Granted, every mile or so there is a traffic light and cross traffic, but 45 mph is ridiculous.

The State Police are in agreement and have indicated that they will not enforce the 45 mph limit. They state that they will only issue citations when a vehicle exceeds 65 mph, or is driving erratically.

There in lies the problem. Most drivers on the 222 By-Pass are traveling between 60 and 65 mph, while others are traveling at 45 mph. This would not be a problem if those traveling 45mph were in the right or slow lane, leaving the left lane to those that might be exceeding the posted speed limit. But that is seldom the way it works. Many traveling at 45 mph, stay in the left lane because they want to get into the left turn lane several miles down the road.

Forcing faster moving traffic to pass on the right is dangerous. The rules of the rode require slower moving vehicles to move to he right lane, even if those in the left lane are exceeding the posted speed limit.

“Keep Right, Pass Left. It’s the Law.” You will find these signs on the PA Turnpike.

"Pennsylvania makes it illegal to fail to yield to traffic that seeks to overtake in the left lane [or to create any other “obstruction” in the passing lane that hinders the flow of traffic. As a result, heavy trucks are often prohibited from using the passing lane."

2010 Pennsylvania Code
Title 75 - VEHICLES
Chapter 33 - Rules of the Road in General
3313 - Restrictions on use of limited access highways.

"(d) Driving in right lane.--
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) and unless
otherwise posted, upon all limited access highways having two
or more lanes for traffic moving in the same direction, all
vehicles shall be driven in the right-hand lanes when
available for traffic except when any of the following
conditions exist:
(i) When overtaking and passing another vehicle
proceeding in the same direction.
(ii) When traveling at a speed greater than the
traffic flow.
(iii) When moving left to allow traffic to merge.
(iv) When preparing for a left turn at an
intersection, exit or into a private road or driveway
when such left turn is legally permitted."

So there you have it:

“Keep Right, Pass Left. It’s the Law.”

And so it goes...

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