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Author Topic: Left-lane driving (was PA Turnpike News)  (Read 3877 times)

qguy

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Left-lane driving (was PA Turnpike News)
« on: May 10, 2012, 09:35:25 PM »

The thing I do like on the Pennsylvania Turnpike is that I feel like people keep to the right better on that road than on most roads I frequent, and they also seem more willing to move to the right to let faster traffic past. Of course there's not 100% good behavior in that respect, but I think on the whole it's far better than it is in Virginia or Maryland, for example.
Pennsylvania interstates are generally well disciplined in that regard.  There's left lane bandits from every state, but Pennsylvanians aren't too bad in this dept.  Of course, I drive mostly in NJ and so Pennsylvania seems like a breeze to me compared to what I'm used to.

That's funny. The left-lane pokeys drive both my wife and me nuts. I hadn't noticed it was any better in PA than elsewhere.

You may very well be right, however. Years ago, the PA legislature repealed a law that mandated slower traffic to the right. It got really bad there for a while. Five or ten years ago, however, at the urging of the PA State Police, the legislature again passed a similar law. The Turnpike posted "KEEP RIGHT, PASS LEFT" signs throughout the system. PennDOT posted the same signs along PA's other freeways as well. So that may explain the improvement relative to other states.

BTW, here's an MIT web page that lists slower-traffic-to-the-right laws by state: www.mit.edu/~jfc/right.html
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agentsteel53

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Re: Left-lane driving (was PA Turnpike News)
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2012, 09:46:11 PM »

BTW, here's an MIT web page that lists slower-traffic-to-the-right laws by state: www.mit.edu/~jfc/right.html

I have driven many hundreds of thousands of miles in my life, and the total quantity of times I've seen someone pulled over for obstructing traffic is ...

zero.

there are no slower-traffic-to-the-right laws, in any state.
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signalman

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Re: Left-lane driving (was PA Turnpike News)
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2012, 03:24:45 AM »

That's because it's much easier for a cop to nail someone for traveling above some arbitrary number.  It's also easy to stop an impatient person who passes on the right or tailgates the slow turd holding up the process.  Although I've said since I began driving, that if police began targeting left lane bandits and those who are just oblivious to the fact that there's other motorists, a lot of this aggressive driving would go away on its own.

qguy

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Re: Left-lane driving (was PA Turnpike News)
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2012, 10:43:00 AM »

…I've said since I began driving, that if police began targeting left lane bandits and those who are just oblivious to the fact that there's other motorists, a lot of this aggressive driving would go away on its own.

I've often thought that a lot of so-called road rage incidents don't actually involve aggressive drivers. They're often the result of driver frustration building to the point of boiling over when another driver, oblivious to their surroundings, continues to drive for a length of time in a way that prevents other drivers from driving normally.

The roadway is not the only place this is seen. As any psychologist can point out, some of the most "aggressive" behavior is seen when a typically nonaggressive person is pushed to the point that they "explode."
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agentsteel53

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Re: Left-lane driving (was PA Turnpike News)
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2012, 10:54:37 AM »

oblivious to their surroundings

this is the sort of behavior that needs to be cracked down on, hard.  I believe Germany has had success in policing this into nonexistence, because the German driving population, in my observation, is extraordinarily capable.

the best reason why there aren't Autobahn-style no-speed-limit sections in the US, with speed of traffic averaging 120mph in moderate traffic, is because the average US driver is too brain-dead to handle it.
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Beltway

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Re: Left-lane driving (was PA Turnpike News)
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2012, 12:52:09 PM »

The roadway is not the only place this is seen. As any psychologist can point out, some of the most "aggressive" behavior is seen when a typically nonaggressive person is pushed to the point that they "explode."

That's pop psychology.  A true psychologist would say that if a person "explodes" with aggression, that they own that behavior, that they cannot blame their aggression on another person.
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Re: Left-lane driving (was PA Turnpike News)
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2012, 01:42:46 PM »

This is silly. Why is the Turnpike special? Other roads in the state can handle it.

From a motorists' perspective, I'd say it's cause you're paying a premium to use the damn thing.

And if the mainline can handle it, the PTC should certainly also do this to their expansion roads in the western part of the state (43 / 66 / Their section of I-376).  The roads themselves are better than the mainline / NE Extension, and are much less crowded.
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signalman

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Re: Left-lane driving (was PA Turnpike News)
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2012, 03:36:24 PM »

the best reason why there aren't Autobahn-style no-speed-limit sections in the US, with speed of traffic averaging 120mph in moderate traffic, is because the average US driver is too brain-dead to handle it.
I couldn't agree more with this statement, well said. 

qguy

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Re: Left-lane driving (was PA Turnpike News)
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2012, 08:53:13 AM »

The roadway is not the only place this is seen. As any psychologist can point out, some of the most "aggressive" behavior is seen when a typically nonaggressive person is pushed to the point that they "explode."

That's pop psychology.  A true psychologist would say that if a person "explodes" with aggression, that they own that behavior, that they cannot blame their aggression on another person.

I never said that they could blame someone else. A person is still responsible for their own actions. So no, that's not pop-psych.

If I wasn't clear enough, I meant that casual observers (the media, for example) often suppose that the cause of a so-called "road rage" incident is an already obnoxious driver driving aggressively when in my observation (admittedly anecdotal, not empirical, evidence), the cause is just as likely to be a dopey driver with relatively normal drivers around them responding out of frustration.
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Beltway

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Re: Left-lane driving (was PA Turnpike News)
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2012, 01:22:43 PM »

The roadway is not the only place this is seen. As any psychologist can point out, some of the most "aggressive" behavior is seen when a typically nonaggressive person is pushed to the point that they "explode."

That's pop psychology.  A true psychologist would say that if a person "explodes" with aggression, that they own that behavior, that they cannot blame their aggression on another person.

I never said that they could blame someone else. A person is still responsible for their own actions. So no, that's not pop-psych.

If I wasn't clear enough, I meant that casual observers (the media, for example) often suppose that the cause of a so-called "road rage" incident is an already obnoxious driver driving aggressively when in my observation (admittedly anecdotal, not empirical, evidence), the cause is just as likely to be a dopey driver with relatively normal drivers around them responding out of frustration.

But you turn right around and shift the blame for "road rage" to someone other than the person manifesting the "road rage" ...
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kphoger

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Re: Left-lane driving (was PA Turnpike News)
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2012, 01:28:02 PM »

Surely at least some of the blame for left-lane-related road rage does belong on the guy hogging the left lane.  That's just common sense.  In an ideal world, both drivers would get a ticket.
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Beltway

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Re: Left-lane driving (was PA Turnpike News)
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2012, 01:41:40 PM »

Surely at least some of the blame for left-lane-related road rage does belong on the guy hogging the left lane.  That's just common sense.  In an ideal world, both drivers would get a ticket.

No, an angry person 100% owns their anger.  He alone decides whether will he/she becomes angry let alone manifest it publically.

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qguy

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Re: Left-lane driving (was PA Turnpike News)
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2012, 01:45:03 PM »

The roadway is not the only place this is seen. As any psychologist can point out, some of the most "aggressive" behavior is seen when a typically nonaggressive person is pushed to the point that they "explode."

That's pop psychology.  A true psychologist would say that if a person "explodes" with aggression, that they own that behavior, that they cannot blame their aggression on another person.

I never said that they could blame someone else. A person is still responsible for their own actions. So no, that's not pop-psych.

If I wasn't clear enough, I meant that casual observers (the media, for example) often suppose that the cause of a so-called "road rage" incident is an already obnoxious driver driving aggressively when in my observation (admittedly anecdotal, not empirical, evidence), the cause is just as likely to be a dopey driver with relatively normal drivers around them responding out of frustration.

But you turn right around and shift the blame for "road rage" to someone other than the person manifesting the "road rage" ...

I'm not shifting the blame. I'm identifying the initator. If someone responds inappropriately to an initiating factor, they are still responding inappropriately and are to blame for their own actions.

If person A slaps person B and in response person B shoots person A, I'm not blaming person A for getting shot. I'm blaming person B for the inappropriate response. But I still identify person A for initiating the chain of events.

Merely identifying the initiator does not necessarily imply they are to blame.

Get it now?
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kphoger

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Re: Left-lane driving (was PA Turnpike News)
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2012, 02:51:27 PM »

If my son hits another kid, and in turn that kid hits him back, I'm going to be (a) less sympathetic to my son's cry that he got hurt, and (b) less severe in punishing the other kid.  My son had it coming, and the other kid didn't instigate the fight.  Of course, I still work very hard to instill the value of nonretaliation, but, in responding to the situation, I make an allowance for basic human nature.
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Beltway

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Re: Left-lane driving (was PA Turnpike News)
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2012, 06:06:27 PM »

If my son hits another kid, and in turn that kid hits him back, I'm going to be (a) less sympathetic to my son's cry that he got hurt, and (b) less severe in punishing the other kid.  My son had it coming, and the other kid didn't instigate the fight.  Of course, I still work very hard to instill the value of nonretaliation, but, in responding to the situation, I make an allowance for basic human nature.

That is a rather disturbing comparison, to say that someone traveling in a lane that another wants to use, is likened to them committing assault and battery.  The legal system would not share that view...
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Re: Left-lane driving (was PA Turnpike News)
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2012, 06:46:30 PM »

Especially because there's often no way the back driver has of knowing why the front driver is there. Maybe there's a left exit. Maybe the right lane is potholed to hell. It's like punching someone who accidentally steps on your foot.

qguy

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Re: Left-lane driving (was PA Turnpike News)
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2012, 06:47:40 PM »

If my son hits another kid, and in turn that kid hits him back, I'm going to be (a) less sympathetic to my son's cry that he got hurt, and (b) less severe in punishing the other kid.  My son had it coming, and the other kid didn't instigate the fight.  Of course, I still work very hard to instill the value of nonretaliation, but, in responding to the situation, I make an allowance for basic human nature.

That is a rather disturbing comparison, to say that someone traveling in a lane that another wants to use, is likened to them committing assault and battery.  The legal system would not share that view...

…which is why I used the term "responds inappropriately."

I suspect we're talking past each other. Part of the problem may lie in the notorious limitations of communicating via text. No inflection, body language, facial expression, and that sort of thing. I actually agree that personal responsibility is paramount. Believe me, no one who knows me has ever accused me of going easy in that department. Like you said: you do it, you own it. Understanding why a person did somthing is not the same as agreeing that they should have done it.

Then too there's the matter of degree. What some label road rage I sometimes don't think is road rage at all. Say there's the aforementioned poke in the left lane, keeping pace with a poke in the right lane. No one can get by either of them. I think it's perfectly fine for another driver to drive closely behind the left-lane poke (but not so close as to be a huge safety risk) and flash their lights and sound their horn until the left-lane poke wakes up, looks in the rearview mirror, and realizes there is a line of 15 vehicles behind them trying to pass.

If the left-lane poke pulls into the right lane and the light-flasher-horn-sounder continues on their merry way, I don't thing road rage has occurred. Some label this road rage. I don't. I think it's an appropriate response, an attempt to communicate with an oblivious driver in a manner likely to succeed if other attempts have failed.

If, however, the light-flasher-horn-sounder pulls into the right lane behind the poke and continues to flash their lights and sound their horn to get back at them out of anger or spite, then that would be a case of road rage.

Maybe I'm stating the obvious (now that I really HAVE been accused of), but no one should be ashamed of their response in the first case while in the second they have no one to blame for their response but their self.
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qguy

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Re: Left-lane driving (was PA Turnpike News)
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2012, 06:51:42 PM »

Especially because there's often no way the back driver has of knowing why the front driver is there. Maybe there's a left exit. Maybe the right lane is potholed to hell. It's like punching someone who accidentally steps on your foot.

I agree. That's why it's so important for a driver to be hyper-aware of surroundings and judicious when responding to other drivers. I've learned over the years to double-check for mitigating factors before I even beep my horn when someone is slow off the mark at a green light.
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Re: Left-lane driving (was PA Turnpike News)
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2012, 01:56:43 PM »

No excuses.  It won't hurt someone to run a few extra mph for less than a minute until someone can get past.  If I can do it, anyone can.
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kphoger

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Re: Left-lane driving (was PA Turnpike News)
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2012, 03:25:51 PM »

Especially because there's often no way the back driver has of knowing why the front driver is there. Maybe there's a left exit. Maybe the right lane is potholed to hell. It's like punching someone who accidentally steps on your foot.

And sometimes it's a six-lane freeway with smooth pavement, no left exits, and moderate traffic where very few unexpected things happen, and the left-lane poke is a local who does it every day.  Oh, wait, we weren't talking about my daily commute, were we?
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SteveG1988

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Re: Left-lane driving (was PA Turnpike News)
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2012, 02:19:44 PM »

My cousin got a ticket for using the left lane in NJ, according to the cop the law only applies to roads other than the turnpike.
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signalman

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Re: Left-lane driving (was PA Turnpike News)
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2012, 05:07:18 PM »

My cousin got a ticket for using the left lane in NJ, according to the cop the law only applies to roads other than the turnpike.

I wonder what makes the turnpike special?  I've never seen anyone pulled over for camping in the left lane in NJ.  Most who encounter a trooper move out of the way.  Although, I once paced along  as a trooper tailgated a left lane bandit for 7 miles on I-80.  Obviously the guy was not paying attention, as no one would be dumb enough to not move over for a cop.  Eventually the trooper put on his lights and I thought he was gonna pull over the LLB, but no.  He moves the van over two lanes into the right lane, turns off his lights, darts right out into the left lane and takes off.  Never stopped the vehicle or anything.  I'm sure it scared the hell out of the driver though.

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Re: Left-lane driving (was PA Turnpike News)
« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2012, 08:20:40 PM »

BTW, here's an MIT web page that lists slower-traffic-to-the-right laws by state: www.mit.edu/~jfc/right.html

I have driven many hundreds of thousands of miles in my life, and the total quantity of times I've seen someone pulled over for obstructing traffic is ...

zero.

there are no slower-traffic-to-the-right laws, in any state.
I have seen a vehicle stopped for this at least once. Colorado has a keep right except to pass law on highways with speed limits 65 mph or higher. I saw a car proceeding southbound in the left lane up Monument Hill on I-25, and when he saw a Douglas County sheriff car in the right lane - doing slightly under the 75 mph limit - he slowed and stayed steady with the cop. After a mile or so the sheriff car pulled him over. I've also seen accounts in the newspaper of drug busts along I-25 in southern Colorado when State Patrol stopped a driver for a left lane violation.

I don't believe enforcement is anal, and if traffic is heavy then both lanes will fill with the left lane not necessarily able to pass the traffic in the right, but where a vehicle is clearly out of order and not completing a pass when room is available it can be stopped.
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JREwing78

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Re: Left-lane driving (was PA Turnpike News)
« Reply #23 on: May 28, 2012, 12:31:35 PM »

A lot more left-lane discipline would make those overloaded interstates with 2 lanes each much more tolerable.

It's comparatively easy to boot a left-lane hog in a car or pickup. Forget getting a semi out of the left lane with flashing lights and a honk. And what is I-39/90 in Wisconsin full of? Yep - semis.
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Re: Left-lane driving (was PA Turnpike News)
« Reply #24 on: May 28, 2012, 01:54:48 PM »

A lot more left-lane discipline would make those overloaded interstates with 2 lanes each much more tolerable.

It's comparatively easy to boot a left-lane hog in a car or pickup. Forget getting a semi out of the left lane with flashing lights and a honk. And what is I-39/90 in Wisconsin full of? Yep - semis.

The reason for this is road speed governors set at absurdly low speeds - usually 58-63 - they say it has a lot to do with "safety" but it's really about saving fuel at any cost - road rage caused by 62 mph drag races be damned.
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