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Author Topic: Left Lane Camping  (Read 18011 times)

US 89

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #225 on: April 16, 2019, 11:08:08 AM »

Even in rural areas, there's at least one situation where passing on the right is probably OK, and that's at a merge. As a driver in the right lane of a rural freeway, if there's nobody in the left lane the proper thing to do is move over to allow them to merge without any difficulty. If they subsequently pass you before you have an opportunity to move back, I see no fault in that on either side.
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kphoger

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #226 on: April 16, 2019, 02:54:32 PM »


In some states the right lane is designated by statue for ... vehicles moving below the speed limit.

Go ahead and cite one single such statute.



CVC 21655 (a) Whenever the Department of Transportation or local authorities with respect to highways under their respective jurisdictions determines upon the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation that the designation of a specific lane or lanes for the travel of vehicles required to travel at reduced speeds would facilitate the safe and orderly movement of traffic, the department or local authority may designate a specific lane or lanes for the travel of vehicles which are subject to the provisions of Section 22406 (vehicles with a 55 mph speed limit) and shall erect signs at reasonable intervals giving notice thereof.

You can find these on the Grapevine and a bunch on I-15 from Cajon Pass north (and probably other places too) with markings of "Truck Lane: Slow Vehicles Only."

Then the correct assertion should be:  "In some states there is a statute which allows for specific places to be signed such that the right lane is for vehicles moving below the speed limit."  That is not the same thing as what was asserted.  In fact, even then, it might not be true, because all traffic is legally obligated to drive below the speed limit:  that's what a speed limit is, after all..  Moreover, section 21655(b), which you did not cite, restricts such slow traffic (that bound by a statutory 55mph speed limit) to use only that designated lane.  It does not actually prohibit other vehicles from using it.  (Such a prohibition might exist elsewhere in the statutes, or it might be how a court has decided the signs should be interpreted.)

CGS Sec. 14-230. Driving in right-hand lane. (a) Upon all highways, each vehicle, other than a vehicle described in subsection (c) of this section, shall be driven upon the right, except (1) when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction, (2) when overtaking and passing pedestrians, parked or standing vehicles, animals, bicycles, electric bicycles, mopeds, scooters, vehicles moving at a slow speed, as defined in section 14-220, or obstructions on the right side of the highway, (3) when the right side of a highway is closed to traffic while under construction or repair, (4) on a highway divided into three or more marked lanes for traffic, or (5) on a highway designated and signposted for one-way traffic.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic shall be driven in the right-hand lane available for traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the highway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.

(c) Any vehicle which exceeds the maximum width limitations specified in subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 14-262 and operates on an interstate highway with a special permit issued by the Commissioner of Transportation under the provisions of section 14-270, shall be driven in the extreme right lane of such highway, except (1) when such special permit authorizes operation in a traffic lane other than the extreme right lane, (2) when overtaking and passing parked vehicles, animals or obstructions on the right side of such highway, (3) when the right side of such highway is closed to traffic while under construction or repair, or (4) at such locations where access to or egress from such highway is provided on the left.

(d) Violation of any provision of this section shall be an infraction.

...

CGS Sec. 14-233. Passing on right. The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass upon the right of another vehicle only when conditions permit such movement in safety and under the following conditions: (1) When the vehicle overtaken is making or has signified the intention to make a left turn; (2) when lines of vehicles traveling in the same direction in adjoining traffic lanes have come to a stop or have reduced their speed; (3) upon a one-way street free from obstructions and of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles; (4) upon a limited access highway or parkway free from obstructions with three or more lanes provided for traffic in one direction. Such movement shall not be made by driving off the pavement or main-traveled portion of the highway except where lane designations, signs, signals or markings provide for such movement. Violation of any provision of this section shall be an infraction.

There has been a push recently in the General Assembly to eliminate this exception.
We also don't have a statute for "impeding the flow of traffic".  Sec 14-220 covers slow moving vehicles so I would assume that's what is used.

None of that says anything about vehicles driving below the speed limit.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #227 on: April 16, 2019, 03:05:46 PM »

This is true but my point still stands.  In CT there is no absolute requirement on a highway with three or more lanes and when moving with the  speed of traffic to keep right except to pass.

If the entire highway is somehow moving at the same speed, you are correct.  However, that doesn't happen.  If someone passes you on the right, then you are in violation of failing to keep to the right.
Found the person who has never driven a multi-lane urban freeway in moderate-to-heavy traffic.

Stuck in 14 mile traffic congestion situations every day.  But feel free to think what you want to think.
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jakeroot

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #228 on: April 16, 2019, 03:11:46 PM »

Then the correct assertion should be:  "In some states there is a statute which allows for specific places to be signed such that the right lane is for vehicles moving below the speed limit."  That is not the same thing as what was asserted.  In fact, even then, it might not be true, because all traffic is legally obligated to drive below the speed limit:  that's what a speed limit is, after all..

My understanding has always been that one must not drive below the speed limit (unless traffic is moving at a speed below the limit), nor above the limit (unless passing on a two lane road). So if the limit was 60, you can legally only travel at 60. You may go slower for safety reasons, or when traffic is moving slower; otherwise, you could be cited for "impeding the normal and reasonable movement of traffic". WA's law does not discriminate on left or right lanes for "impeding flow", except that all traffic must keep right except when passing, merging left to allow traffic to merge, or when turning left.
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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #229 on: April 16, 2019, 03:18:16 PM »

In most situations, driving below the speed limit by more than a few miles per hour is impeding traffic. However, I can think of two situations where it's not: if the speed limit is high enough (such as 85 mph on TX 130), or if you're the only car on the road.

nor above the limit (unless passing on a two lane road)

The passing exception only applies in a few states. Even though you're used to it, most of the country does not have that exception.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #230 on: April 16, 2019, 03:20:44 PM »

This is true but my point still stands.  In CT there is no absolute requirement on a highway with three or more lanes and when moving with the  speed of traffic to keep right except to pass.

If the entire highway is somehow moving at the same speed, you are correct.  However, that doesn't happen.  If someone passes you on the right, then you are in violation of failing to keep to the right.

"If someone passes you on the right, then you are in violation of failing to keep to the right."
That's not an absolute rule. Suppose you, a speed limit abiding driver, move to the left lane to accommodate the merge. Before you are able to move back to the right lane, the merged cars accelerate to above the speed limit. Cars behind them closely follow, all trying to pass you on the right. If cars in the right lane are are failing to maintain a sufficient gap needed for merging back to the right lane without tailgating or being tailgated, then you are not in violation of KRETP regardless of whether you are passing or being passed.

First of all - "a speed limit abiding driver" is just one of many laws on the highway.  It's by far not the only law.  Honestly, too much focus is put on that one law.  Why not mention the "turn signal abiding driver" or the "not drinking a beer while smoking a joint while driving abiding driver".

I can get your first point, that I could move over and suddenly the guy entering the highway speeds up and passes me.  Can't do much about that.  But suddenly everyone on the highway is passing me on the right?  Sounds like I shouldn't have moved over to the left lane in the first place, as now I'm being tailgated.  If you were able to move to the left lane and suddenly can't move to the right lane, then I kinda question that ability to move to the left lane in the first place.  Remember - the speed limit is a limit, not a mandate.  If it's better for the overall traffic flow for me to slow down, I should do that.  If I put myself in a position where everyone is passing me on the right, then you're just telling the entire highway that you're not interested in driving defensively, but rather that you own the highway.

I drive 41 miles to work every morning.  And 41 miles back home every afternoon.  I pass by about 20 interchanges each way.  I see a whole lot of this shit going on every day.  And the absolute vast majority of the time the slow driver failing to keep right is at fault.  When there are clear gaps to move over, they don't.  There's people that move over from the acceleration lane to the middle lane before the acceleration lane ends...and no traffic in front of them.
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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #231 on: April 16, 2019, 04:21:02 PM »

This is true but my point still stands.  In CT there is no absolute requirement on a highway with three or more lanes and when moving with the  speed of traffic to keep right except to pass.

If the entire highway is somehow moving at the same speed, you are correct.  However, that doesn't happen.  If someone passes you on the right, then you are in violation of failing to keep to the right.

"If someone passes you on the right, then you are in violation of failing to keep to the right."
That's not an absolute rule. Suppose you, a speed limit abiding driver, move to the left lane to accommodate the merge. Before you are able to move back to the right lane, the merged cars accelerate to above the speed limit. Cars behind them closely follow, all trying to pass you on the right. If cars in the right lane are are failing to maintain a sufficient gap needed for merging back to the right lane without tailgating or being tailgated, then you are not in violation of KRETP regardless of whether you are passing or being passed.

First of all - "a speed limit abiding driver" is just one of many laws on the highway.  It's by far not the only law.  Honestly, too much focus is put on that one law.  Why not mention the "turn signal abiding driver" or the "not drinking a beer while smoking a joint while driving abiding driver".
You do understand I specify speed limit abiding driver, because if you didn't obey the speed limit you could just speed up to overtake and move back to the right lane. You can do this with or without being impaired, with or without using your turn signal. The speed limit is the only relevant law out of the 3.

I can get your first point, that I could move over and suddenly the guy entering the highway speeds up and passes me.  Can't do much about that.  But suddenly everyone on the highway is passing me on the right?  Sounds like I shouldn't have moved over to the left lane in the first place, as now I'm being tailgated.  If you were able to move to the left lane and suddenly can't move to the right lane, then I kinda question that ability to move to the left lane in the first place. 

Whether moving to the left lane is justifiable only depends on whether 1) you meet the criteria for a safe lane change, and 2) you meet one of the exceptions of the keep right rule.

If cars are bunched up and passing you on the right, then it's their fault as they should be obeying the speed limit and maintaining a safe following distance.

Let's say cars in the right lane are also at the speed limit and maintaining a safe 2 second following distance - you still wouldn't be able to move back without slowing down to re-establish following distance and forcing the car behind you to re-establish following distance as well. In this case, you are blocked from the right lane due to nobody's fault.

Remember - the speed limit is a limit, not a mandate.  If it's better for the overall traffic flow for me to slow down, I should do that.  If I put myself in a position where everyone is passing me on the right, then you're just telling the entire highway that you're not interested in driving defensively, but rather that you own the highway.
I should inconvenience myself just so illegal speeders can get to their destination sooner? Maybe not. Any vehicle able to travel at their maximum legal speed is not being impeded. Gains in traffic flow as a result of normalized violations (which facilitate selective enforcement and using traffic enforcement as a revenue source) are unjust and I refuse to participate unless I'm in a big hurry. If you want traffic to flow faster than the current speed limit, participate in the political process to raise the speed limits.

I drive 41 miles to work every morning.  And 41 miles back home every afternoon.  I pass by about 20 interchanges each way.  I see a whole lot of this shit going on every day.  And the absolute vast majority of the time the slow driver failing to keep right is at fault.  When there are clear gaps to move over, they don't.  There's people that move over from the acceleration lane to the middle lane before the acceleration lane ends...and no traffic in front of them.
I've listed the advantages of middle lane hogging in my previous reply. Middle lane hogging could reduce traffic flow, but that is just another example of safety having an inverse relation to efficiency. As I say, I don't hog the middle lane myself, but I do advocate for it, and I will when it is legal.
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kphoger

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #232 on: April 16, 2019, 04:42:41 PM »

My understanding has always been that one must not drive below the speed limit (unless traffic is moving at a speed below the limit), nor above the limit (unless passing on a two lane road). So if the limit was 60, you can legally only travel at 60. You may go slower for safety reasons, or when traffic is moving slower; otherwise, you could be cited for "impeding the normal and reasonable movement of traffic".

That's never been my understanding.  In fact, it's plainly wrong if you think about it:  what about an 18-wheeler whose rig is governed at 58 mph driving on an 80mph Interstate in Utah?  What about someone in a Suzuki Samurai who can barely maintain 65 mph with a tail wind on a good day?  Heck, I used to drive an Isuzu cab-over box truck that, with the pedal all the way to the floor on a downhill with a tail wind, could sometimes just barely break 73 mph.

Impeding traffic means actually preventing them from moving ahead normally.  It doesn't mean tractors can't drive on county highways, truckers with governors can't use the freeway, or any such thing.

In most situations, driving below the speed limit by more than a few miles per hour is impeding traffic.

No, not really.  If a car is driving 50 mph on a road signed at 60 mph, I am free to either drive 50 mph or pass him at 59 mph.  Now, if I choose to pass him and he tries to block me doing so, then he would be impeding me.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #233 on: April 16, 2019, 04:48:36 PM »

Note taken that "slowing down slightly" is never considered.
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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #234 on: April 16, 2019, 04:50:00 PM »

Gains in traffic flow as a result of normalized violations (which facilitate selective enforcement and using traffic enforcement as a revenue source) are unjust and I refuse to participate unless I'm in a big hurry.

Ah, so now the truth comes out.

"Laws are great until they inconvenience me."
« Last Edit: April 16, 2019, 04:54:38 PM by MNHighwayMan »
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yand

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #235 on: April 16, 2019, 04:57:49 PM »

Gains in traffic flow as a result of normalized violations (which facilitate selective enforcement and using traffic enforcement as a revenue source) are unjust and I refuse to participate unless I'm in a big hurry.

Ah, so now the truth comes out. It really is all about you.

I can count on one hand the number of times I've intentionally driven the regular speed of traffic, due to running late, in the past 12 months.
And yeah, I don't like cops having any excuse to pull me over at all. It is all about me.

Note taken that "slowing down slightly" is never considered.
Slowing down slightly, or significantly, is what happens if the leftward lane is not available.
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Flint1979

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #236 on: April 16, 2019, 07:18:51 PM »

This is true but my point still stands.  In CT there is no absolute requirement on a highway with three or more lanes and when moving with the  speed of traffic to keep right except to pass.

If the entire highway is somehow moving at the same speed, you are correct.  However, that doesn't happen.  If someone passes you on the right, then you are in violation of failing to keep to the right.

"If someone passes you on the right, then you are in violation of failing to keep to the right."
That's not an absolute rule. Suppose you, a speed limit abiding driver, move to the left lane to accommodate the merge. Before you are able to move back to the right lane, the merged cars accelerate to above the speed limit. Cars behind them closely follow, all trying to pass you on the right. If cars in the right lane are are failing to maintain a sufficient gap needed for merging back to the right lane without tailgating or being tailgated, then you are not in violation of KRETP regardless of whether you are passing or being passed.

First of all - "a speed limit abiding driver" is just one of many laws on the highway.  It's by far not the only law.  Honestly, too much focus is put on that one law.  Why not mention the "turn signal abiding driver" or the "not drinking a beer while smoking a joint while driving abiding driver".

I can get your first point, that I could move over and suddenly the guy entering the highway speeds up and passes me.  Can't do much about that.  But suddenly everyone on the highway is passing me on the right?  Sounds like I shouldn't have moved over to the left lane in the first place, as now I'm being tailgated.  If you were able to move to the left lane and suddenly can't move to the right lane, then I kinda question that ability to move to the left lane in the first place.  Remember - the speed limit is a limit, not a mandate.  If it's better for the overall traffic flow for me to slow down, I should do that.  If I put myself in a position where everyone is passing me on the right, then you're just telling the entire highway that you're not interested in driving defensively, but rather that you own the highway.

I drive 41 miles to work every morning.  And 41 miles back home every afternoon.  I pass by about 20 interchanges each way.  I see a whole lot of this shit going on every day.  And the absolute vast majority of the time the slow driver failing to keep right is at fault.  When there are clear gaps to move over, they don't.  There's people that move over from the acceleration lane to the middle lane before the acceleration lane ends...and no traffic in front of them.
I agree with you 100% and have this same problem and say the same thing you do. I always question why someone even gets into the left lane in the first place. It seems to me that a lot of people seem to think that the left lane can be used like the other lane or lanes.

I remember one incident about a year ago I was on NB I-75 about 30 miles north of Detroit and in the middle lane going with the flow of traffic and then suddenly traffic for no reason at all starts moving about 45 mph all because of one slow driver.
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RobbieL2415

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #237 on: April 16, 2019, 07:27:22 PM »


In some states the right lane is designated by statue for ... vehicles moving below the speed limit.

Go ahead and cite one single such statute.



None of that says anything about vehicles driving below the speed limit.

I've already addressed that and said I was wrong.
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kphoger

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #238 on: April 16, 2019, 07:32:03 PM »

I've already addressed that and said I was wrong.

Ah.  Apparently "This is true but my point still stands" is equivalent to "I was wrong".

M'bad.
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1995hoo

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #239 on: April 16, 2019, 09:12:01 PM »

Then the correct assertion should be:  "In some states there is a statute which allows for specific places to be signed such that the right lane is for vehicles moving below the speed limit."  That is not the same thing as what was asserted.  In fact, even then, it might not be true, because all traffic is legally obligated to drive below the speed limit:  that's what a speed limit is, after all..

My understanding has always been that one must not drive below the speed limit (unless traffic is moving at a speed below the limit), nor above the limit (unless passing on a two lane road). So if the limit was 60, you can legally only travel at 60. You may go slower for safety reasons, or when traffic is moving slower; otherwise, you could be cited for "impeding the normal and reasonable movement of traffic". WA's law does not discriminate on left or right lanes for "impeding flow", except that all traffic must keep right except when passing, merging left to allow traffic to merge, or when turning left.

I'm astonished by this idea, especially because some roads have both maximum and minimum speed limits posted (two examples: South Carolina Interstates frequently have signs giving a speed limit of 70 mph and a minimum of 45, and Quebec's autoroutes often have signs saying "Maximum 100/60 Minimum"). It seems to me that if there's a minimum posted, clearly it must be OK to drive slower than the speed limit as long as you don't go below the minimum.

In Virginia we don't have numeric minimums, although the statute allows them. Instead, the general rule applies: "No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law." The word "reasonable" is an important part of this provision. Without it, I could see someone arguing that I drive at an unlawfully slow speed on the Beltway when I go 65 mph in a 55 zone where most people do 70–80. But when the speed limit is posted at 55, it's "unreasonable" as a matter of law to suggest 65 is unlawfully slow. (I make a point of staying out of the left lane whenever possible, BTW, recognizing that urban traffic is a different situation from rural Interstates.)

Of course, I had a college roommate who referred to the number on the speed limit sign as "the minimum."
« Last Edit: April 16, 2019, 09:16:27 PM by 1995hoo »
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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #240 on: April 16, 2019, 10:35:18 PM »

Quote
Then the correct assertion should be:  "In some states there is a statute which allows for specific places to be signed such that the right lane is for vehicles moving below the speed limit."  That is not the same thing as what was asserted.  In fact, even then, it might not be true, because all traffic is legally obligated to drive below the speed limit:  that's what a speed limit is, after all..  Moreover, section 21655(b), which you did not cite, restricts such slow traffic (that bound by a statutory 55mph speed limit) to use only that designated lane.  It does not actually prohibit other vehicles from using it.  (Such a prohibition might exist elsewhere in the statutes, or it might be how a court has decided the signs should be interpreted.)

Well having "only" on a black and white sign seems pretty clear that vehicles moving at a normal speed shouldn't be there. Black and white signs at other truck only lanes such as at the 5/99 junction and Sylmar do not specifically state they are only for trucks, but these lanes do. I don't see why else they'd bother to put "only" on the signs. The latter part of section (b) only refers to spots where such lanes have not been designated where 55 mph vehicles can use either of the right two lanes, but are not allowed any farther to the left; there's "Trucks OK" signs above the third-from-right lane in some urban areas when the right lane is clogged with merging and exiting traffic.

There probably is one but I can't think of another similar instance.
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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #241 on: April 17, 2019, 09:47:40 AM »

In most situations, driving below the speed limit by more than a few miles per hour is impeding traffic.
No, not really.  If a car is driving 50 mph on a road signed at 60 mph, I am free to either drive 50 mph or pass him at 59 mph.  Now, if I choose to pass him and he tries to block me doing so, then he would be impeding me.

Given free flowing traffic on a two lane road with no passing allowed, I would certainly consider anyone driving below the limit to be impeding traffic.

In fact, there are a number of roads that come to mind where I would consider anyone doing less than 10 over the limit to be impeding traffic - mostly in cases of exceptionally low speed limits.
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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #242 on: April 17, 2019, 11:41:58 AM »

It looks to me like the statutory language people are citing relative to "slow vehicle only" lanes on the right is designed to address climbing lanes.  The giveaway is that, at least in California, they are required to be explicitly signed.

As regards the exchange upthread about the legality respectively of driving over or under the speed limit, the difference is that driving over is a strict-liability offense in most states, while driving under is subject to a reasonableness test (in the absence of any minimum speed limits).  I personally will not hesitate to drive well under the speed limit if that is what I need to do to preserve an adequate forward space cushion.  For example, I found myself on I-55 near Lexington, Illinois a couple of summers ago when multiple 18-wheelers decided to stage an elephant race.  The speed limit was 70, so I just set my cruise control at 60 (low enough to ensure I wasn't catching up with the slowest truck in the clog) and took it easy for fifteen minutes or so while impatient drivers stacked up in the left lane.  Once the truckers sorted themselves out and the four-wheelers finished their own overtakes, I passed them at 80+.
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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #243 on: April 17, 2019, 12:14:13 PM »

Well having "only" on a black and white sign seems pretty clear that vehicles moving at a normal speed shouldn't be there.

But that all depends on what is meant by "slow".  Because all traffic is legally obligated to drive at the speed limit or slower, then the speed limit cannot be the determining factor in what vehicles the right lane is for.  What about a '71 Dodge Ram with the cargo bed fully loaded and the driver can't get up above 50 mph?  What about a car that had one bank of the ignition coil go out and isn't firing on all cylinders?  Etc.

Black and white signs at other truck only lanes such as at the 5/99 junction and Sylmar do not specifically state they are only for trucks, but these lanes do. I don't see why else they'd bother to put "only" on the signs.

You said the signs say "TRUCK LANE" and "SLOW VEHICLES ONLY" — not "TRUCKS ONLY".  In other places, routes have black and white signs that say "TRUCK ROUTE", yet other vehicles are perfectly free to drive on those roads.



Given free flowing traffic on a two lane road with no passing allowed, I would certainly consider anyone driving below the limit to be impeding traffic.

It's a good thing you don't make the laws, then, because it would be impossible to obey the speed limit without impeding traffic under that sort or reasoning.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #244 on: April 17, 2019, 12:25:59 PM »

It looks to me like the statutory language people are citing relative to "slow vehicle only" lanes on the right is designed to address climbing lanes.  The giveaway is that, at least in California, they are required to be explicitly signed.

As regards the exchange upthread about the legality respectively of driving over or under the speed limit, the difference is that driving over is a strict-liability offense in most states, while driving under is subject to a reasonableness test (in the absence of any minimum speed limits).  I personally will not hesitate to drive well under the speed limit if that is what I need to do to preserve an adequate forward space cushion.  For example, I found myself on I-55 near Lexington, Illinois a couple of summers ago when multiple 18-wheelers decided to stage an elephant race.  The speed limit was 70, so I just set my cruise control at 60 (low enough to ensure I wasn't catching up with the slowest truck in the clog) and took it easy for fifteen minutes or so while impatient drivers stacked up in the left lane.  Once the truckers sorted themselves out and the four-wheelers finished their own overtakes, I passed them at 80+.

Were you driving 60 in a 70 in the left lane or the right lane?

Either way, intentionally congesting traffic for your own benefit seems to be an obvious case of obstructing traffic.

Again, another person that doesn't care about the laws that they find inconvenient.
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kphoger

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #245 on: April 17, 2019, 12:40:39 PM »


It looks to me like the statutory language people are citing relative to "slow vehicle only" lanes on the right is designed to address climbing lanes.  The giveaway is that, at least in California, they are required to be explicitly signed.

As regards the exchange upthread about the legality respectively of driving over or under the speed limit, the difference is that driving over is a strict-liability offense in most states, while driving under is subject to a reasonableness test (in the absence of any minimum speed limits).  I personally will not hesitate to drive well under the speed limit if that is what I need to do to preserve an adequate forward space cushion.  For example, I found myself on I-55 near Lexington, Illinois a couple of summers ago when multiple 18-wheelers decided to stage an elephant race.  The speed limit was 70, so I just set my cruise control at 60 (low enough to ensure I wasn't catching up with the slowest truck in the clog) and took it easy for fifteen minutes or so while impatient drivers stacked up in the left lane.  Once the truckers sorted themselves out and the four-wheelers finished their own overtakes, I passed them at 80+.

Were you driving 60 in a 70 in the left lane or the right lane?

Either way, intentionally congesting traffic for your own benefit seems to be an obvious case of obstructing traffic.

Again, another person that doesn't care about the laws that they find inconvenient.

I interpreted his story as two truckers side-by-side going roughly 60 mph on a highway signed for 70 mph.  Traffic stacked up in the left lane behind the ever-so-slightly-faster truck but JNW stayed in the right lane, matching the trucks' speed, until the left lane was clear enough to pass without tailgating someone or encouraging anyone else to tailgate him.  Then, when the left lane opened up, he passed the trucks at the prevailing speed of traffic, then went back to his usual cruising speed once he was back in the right lane again.

That's reasonable behavior, if I interpreted it correctly.
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J N Winkler

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #246 on: April 17, 2019, 01:22:15 PM »

I interpreted his story as two truckers side-by-side going roughly 60 mph on a highway signed for 70 mph.  Traffic stacked up in the left lane behind the ever-so-slightly-faster truck but JNW stayed in the right lane, matching the trucks' speed, until the left lane was clear enough to pass without tailgating someone or encouraging anyone else to tailgate him.  Then, when the left lane opened up, he passed the trucks at the prevailing speed of traffic, then went back to his usual cruising speed once he was back in the right lane again.

That's reasonable behavior, if I interpreted it correctly.

Yes, this is more or less what I was doing, except I was going slow enough compared to the slowest truck in the clog that the headway was gradually increasing.  I think it was about a mile after about fifteen minutes, which translates to about 4 MPH slower.

For purposes of evaluating reasonableness, I think in terms of the U-curve relationship between speed and accident rate.  Research in the 1950's by David Solomon and others established that the bottom of the curve runs from about 15 MPH below to about 15 MPH above the 85th percentile speed or the speed limit (conceptually the same if the agency has the freedom to set the speed limit at the 85th percentile).  I felt I was staying safe and not unduly obstructing traffic at 60 in a 70, especially with a clog visible in the road ahead.  I would have felt much differently at 50.

I utterly reject Jeffandnicole's suggestion that I should have been tailgating and riding my brakes like the other drivers who were stacked up behind the trucks waiting to pass.  Each of us has the prerogative to choose to drive in a resource-conserving manner.
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kphoger

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #247 on: April 17, 2019, 01:37:51 PM »

I utterly reject Jeffandnicole's suggestion that I should have been tailgating and riding my brakes like the other drivers who were stacked up behind the trucks waiting to pass.

I don't see where jeffandnicole suggested that.

I felt I was staying safe and not unduly obstructing traffic at 60 in a 70, especially with a clog visible in the road ahead.  I would have felt much differently at 50.

The slowest I've had to drive on the Interstate were as follows:

48 mph for 54 miles on I-64 in eastern Illinois, which was 65 mph back then and most traffic drove around 70 to 75 mph.  This was due to my delivery truck having blown its turbo hose several times in the same day and my hoping driving slowly would reduce the chance of it blowing again till I could make it to a truck stop.  I drove with my hazard lights on the whole time and rode the shoulder every so often, although I wasn't quite slow enough for my riding the shoulder to make much sense to the other drivers.

Never going above 50 mph in Wichita on two occasions:  for about a week the first time and one trip down the canal route the second time.  Kellogg and the canal route are both signed at 60 mph and most traffic drives around 60 to 70 mph.  The first time was due to my car only firing on four out of six cylinders due to a bad computer, until such time as I had it repaired.  The second time was due to a blown radiator and I wanted to keep the revs down on my way to the mechanic.  In neither case did I feel the need to drive with my hazard lights on, although I did occasionally do so to signal to entering vehicles that I wasn't going fast enough to bother waiting for.
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webny99

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #248 on: April 17, 2019, 01:57:29 PM »


Given free flowing traffic on a two lane road with no passing allowed, I would certainly consider anyone driving below the limit to be impeding traffic.
It's a good thing you don't make the laws, then, because it would be impossible to obey the speed limit without impeding traffic under that sort or reasoning.

If it's just one driver that wants to go exceptionally fast, that would need to be considered case by case. But if a whole string of traffic is getting antsy and stacking up behind you in a no passing zone, then you are by definition impeding traffic, regardless of the speed limit.

If I made the laws, speed limits would be set reasonably. As most limits would be increased by between 15 and 25 mph, anyone going any existing speed limit outside of a residential area would indeed be impeding traffic.
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kphoger

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #249 on: April 17, 2019, 02:06:12 PM »

But if a whole string of traffic is getting antsy and stacking up behind you in a no passing zone, then you are by definition impeding traffic, regardless of the speed limit.

Please cite that legal definition so I can judge the accuracy of your statement.
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