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Author Topic: Left Lane Camping  (Read 18002 times)

webny99

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #250 on: April 17, 2019, 02:10:58 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.

Jeffandnicole was suggesting that he shouldn't have been driving so slowly/obstructing traffic, which is essentially a suggestion that he should tailgate and ride his brakes; that being the only other of two available options.



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.

I could care less about the legal definition. Here's what I'm going by:

im·pede /imˈpēd/
delay or prevent (someone or something) by obstructing them; hinder.

traf·fic /ˈtrafik/
1. vehicles moving on a road or public highway.
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yand

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #251 on: April 17, 2019, 02:14:56 PM »

"Laws are great until they inconvenience me."

That's a poor "gotcha". Hypocrisy comes in degrees. Unlike most drivers, I generally make a good faith attempt to comply with *all* traffic laws and have a higher compliance rate than the vast majority of drivers. Though I am not above breaking principle in a personal emergency, I also believe that I should not be able to. I am in favor of: speed cameras, increased traffic enforcement, mass adoption of law abiding self driving cars.

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.

Driving the speed limit when there's no passing lane is just a courtesy. People are allowed to drive slower if they feel like they need to.

No vehicle able to travel at maximum legal speed is being impeded. If speed limits on one route are "too low" and people are complying with it then take an alternate route with higher speed limits and/or passing lanes.

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.

I for one appreciate when people take the far left lane instead of passing on the next available right lane like they're supposed to. This keeps the 2nd right lane open for when I need it.
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J N Winkler

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #252 on: April 17, 2019, 02:36:45 PM »

I don't see where jeffandnicole suggested that.

My bold:

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.

It didn't seem to matter that other vehicles were able to pass me on the left or that it was the trucks that were impeding the traffic.
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kphoger

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #253 on: April 17, 2019, 02:38:06 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.

Jeffandnicole was suggesting that he shouldn't have been driving so slowly/obstructing traffic, which is essentially a suggestion that he should tailgate and ride his brakes; that being the only other of two available options.

Not at all.  Driving in the left lane without tailgating or riding his brakes could be another possibility.





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.

I could care less about the legal definition. Here's what I'm going by:

im·pede /imˈpēd/
delay or prevent (someone or something) by obstructing them; hinder.

traf·fic /ˈtrafik/
1. vehicles moving on a road or public highway.

Of course you could care less.  If you care at all, then you could obviously care less.

I, for one, couldn't care less about the dictionary definition of a word, because violating the law or not is determined by the legal definition of terms, not the dictionary definition.

Since you didn't feel up to the challenge of citing what the law actually says, I did it for you—for the place JNW was driving, since that seems to be the current of the discussion and the starting point of this particular sub-thread has been lost to the annals of time.

Quote from: Illinois Compiled Statutes — Vehicles (625 ILCS 5) — Sec. 11-606, Minimum speed regulation
(a)  No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation of his vehicle or in compliance with law.

(b)  Whenever the Department, The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, or a local authority described in Section 11-604 of this Chapter determines, upon the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation concerning a highway or street under its jurisdiction that slow vehicle speeds along any part or zone of such highway or street consistently impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, the Department, the Toll Highway Authority, or local authority (as appropriate) may determine and declare by proper regulation or ordinance a minimum speed limit below which no person shall drive except when necessary for safe operation of his vehicle or in compliance with law. A limit so determined and declared becomes effective when appropriate signs giving notice of the limit are erected along such part or zone of the highway or street.

So, you see, impeding traffic is defined by statute in (a) to be relative to "the normal and reasonable movement of traffic".  Good luck convincing anybody that the normal and reasonable movement of traffic is impeded or blocked by someone driving, say, 3 mph under the speed limit.  Or, better yet, good luck facing the judge if you're the cop who issues a ticket for such.

Later, in (b), a numerical lower bound to the legal driving speed only applies if such a minimum speed limit is signed.  I assume the stretch of highway JNW was driving on had a posted minimum speed limit of 45 mph (common in Illinois), in which case he was not in violation of that either.
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webny99

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #254 on: April 17, 2019, 02:55:07 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.
Jeffandnicole was suggesting that he shouldn't have been driving so slowly/obstructing traffic, which is essentially a suggestion that he should tailgate and ride his brakes; that being the only other of two available options.
Not at all.  Driving in the left lane without tailgating or riding his brakes could be another possibility.

Heh. Maybe drivers are nicer and a bit more relaxed in rural Illinois, but when trucks start bunching up like that on the Thruway, that is definitely not a potential option. I've seen people try it and fail more times than I can count. They get passed on the right like crazy and still end up doing just as much braking as everyone else.
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J N Winkler

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #255 on: April 17, 2019, 03:03:06 PM »

Not at all.  Driving in the left lane without tailgating or riding his brakes could be another possibility.

If I had done that, I would have had traffic wishing to pass the trucks stacking up behind me, and it could have been argued I was creating a secondary clog purely for my own convenience in being among the first four-wheelers to finish an overtake once the elephant race ended.  I feel this would have been far less considerate than hanging back at 60 and letting others go first.

Later, in (b), a numerical lower bound to the legal driving speed only applies if such a minimum speed limit is signed.  I assume the stretch of highway JNW was driving on had a posted minimum speed limit of 45 mph (common in Illinois), in which case he was not in violation of that either.

It did--though, in truth, I didn't take the 45 minimum into account; I just pegged the cruise low enough to guarantee slightly increasing headway and checked that the resulting speed was greater than speed limit minus 15 MPH.  I am not sure I have ever seen a minimum greater than 50 except on the uphill length of I-70 westbound out of Denver where lane-by-lane minimum speeds are used with the left lane being 65 with minimum 55.
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webny99

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #256 on: April 17, 2019, 03:13:01 PM »

So, you see, impeding traffic is defined by statute in (a) to be relative to "the normal and reasonable movement of traffic".  Good luck convincing anybody that the normal and reasonable movement of traffic is impeded or blocked by someone driving, say, 3 mph under the speed limit.  Or, better yet, good luck facing the judge if you're the cop who issues a ticket for such.

I don't necessarily believe that drivers should be ticketed for driving below the speed limit, nor do I believe that there is or should be a legal basis for ticketing them. But there are cases where they are indeed impeding traffic by doing so. If they are inconveniencing a significant number of other drivers, they should change their behavior; speed up, or slow down and move to the shoulder to let others pass. Not because it is in accordance with the law, but because it is common courtesy.
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J N Winkler

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #257 on: April 17, 2019, 03:23:53 PM »

Heh. Maybe drivers are nicer and a bit more relaxed in rural Illinois, but when trucks start bunching up like that on the Thruway, that is definitely not a potential option. I've seen people try it and fail more times than I can count. They get passed on the right like crazy and still end up doing just as much braking as everyone else.

Where this particular thing is concerned, I think behavior is basically the same on the Thruway and on free Interstates in rural Illinois.

Ultimately, this conversation is about what counts as good citizenship on the road.  The only 100% sure way to win is to stay at home and thereby remove yourself from the competition for roadspace.  Given that recorded maximum per-lane throughputs correspond to average following distances well under the two seconds recommended for safety, it could be argued that it is antisocial behavior not to tailgate under LOS E conditions.  (Indeed, we have had people make that argument on this forum.)  Since Jeffandnicole comes from New Jersey, a state with a decades-long history of underprovision of highway infrastructure, I suspect that is what is lying behind his suggestion I am being selfish by hanging back at 60 and relaxing.
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kphoger

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #258 on: April 17, 2019, 03:25:31 PM »


Not at all.  Driving in the left lane without tailgating or riding his brakes could be another possibility.

If I had done that, I would have had traffic wishing to pass the trucks stacking up behind me, and it could have been argued I was creating a secondary clog purely for my own convenience in being among the first four-wheelers to finish an overtake once the elephant race ended.  I feel this would have been far less considerate than hanging back at 60 and letting others go first.

Perhaps it could have been argued.  My only point is that it wasn't argued:  jeffandnicole never said you should have tailgated or ridden your brakes.  For the record, I have no beef with what you did, and it seems prudent to me.  It isn't what I would have done—I likely would have joined the line in the left lane with probably a 1½-second headway—but I certainly can't find fault with what you did.  For what it's worth, I don't worry as much about headway when trailing large trucks, as their stopping distance is generally much greater than my own.
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TechZeke

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #259 on: April 17, 2019, 03:47:38 PM »

Here in San Antonio, my trick is to move right one lane and pretend you're making an atempt to pass on the right. It gets the camper to pay attention and speed up 75% of the time.

It's funny, because here in Texas, a quarter of the time the far right lane is a better passing lane than the left.(On 3+ lanes obviously)

On I-35E South of Waxahachie through Italy where the rural 6 lane section is, I've gone upwards of 5-8 miles just speeding down the far right lane except moving left for entering traffic.

Seeing an opening on the far right lane has helped me get around *countless* left lane campers.
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J N Winkler

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #260 on: April 17, 2019, 03:51:35 PM »

For the record, I have no beef with what you did, and it seems prudent to me.  It isn't what I would have done—I likely would have joined the line in the left lane with probably a 1½-second headway—but I certainly can't find fault with what you did.  For what it's worth, I don't worry as much about headway when trailing large trucks, as their stopping distance is generally much greater than my own.

I confess I do have a particular dislike for waiting in line.  I also find that stone chip hazard is generally worse with 18-wheelers (tires can pick up larger stones, rear guards flap and offer inconsistent protection to following vehicles), so I tend to prefer following distances in seconds that are equal to 9% of the vehicle speed in MPH.  Also, since a tractor-trailer (depending on mirror position) has a blind zone to its rear about equal to the usual two-second following distance at highway speed, it makes sense to increase following distance for that reason as well.  AAA's Sportsmanlike Driving textbook used to recommend four seconds, and I personally regard that as a minimum.

I acknowledge that I would have found the situation less relaxing if I were not the only person who chose to drop behind and sit on cruise control.  But I don't believe it is wrong per se to be countercultural.  If I had had a sense that I was creating real inconvenience for other drivers, let alone actual hazard, I would have looked at modifying my behavior accordingly.
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kphoger

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #261 on: April 17, 2019, 04:01:49 PM »

Here in San Antonio, my trick is to move right one lane and pretend you're making an atempt to pass on the right. It gets the camper to pay attention and speed up 75% of the time.

I avoid I-35 through Texas these days, but my favorite lane on the four-lane and five-lane sections north of San Antonio always used to be the second from the right.
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jakeroot

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #262 on: April 17, 2019, 05:52:17 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.

I did not state that it was illegal to travel below the speed limit, full stop. I stated, directly, two situations where it's necessary: for safe operation, and when the speed of traffic is below the limit. But beyond that, the way the law is written in most states, travelling at a speed below the normal and reasonable movement of traffic would constitute a ticket. I assume, the way most left-lane laws are written, you would be much more likely to receive a ticket for "impeding flow" in the passing lane than the general-purpose lane. But I'm sure there are exceptions, at least in practice: licenced farm vehicles, damaged vehicles incapable of a reasonable speed, etc.

There is also a law (at least in WA, probably similar laws in most states) that requires drivers to pull off the road to allow faster drivers by (RCW 46.61.427) once five vehicles have accumulated behind the lead vehicle. The law states that a slow-moving vehicle is "one which is proceeding at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place." Though I'm unsure about situations where the "normal flow" is above the limit, if it's at the limit, travelling below the limit (eg 64 in a 65) would certainly require someone to pull off and wait.

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.

Good point. Not sure why it's not a more common exception.
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kphoger

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #263 on: April 17, 2019, 06:10:04 PM »

There is also a law (at least in WA, probably similar laws in most states) that requires drivers to pull off the road to allow faster drivers by (RCW 46.61.427) once five vehicles have accumulated behind the lead vehicle.

I specifically remember that law from a family vacation to Washington when I was a kid.  Washington is the only state I'm aware of that has such a law on the books.  I'm not saying there aren't others, just that I've never actually heard of any other state with one.  I was under the impression that Washington's law applied regardless of actual speed (just going by the signs, not having looked up the statute until now), but I see that's not actually the case.

The law states that a slow-moving vehicle is "one which is proceeding at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place." Though I'm unsure about situations where the "normal flow" is above the limit, if it's at the limit, travelling below the limit (eg 64 in a 65) would certainly require someone to pull off and wait.

I don't think that's certain at all.  It would require both a police officer to determine and a judge to agree that a difference of 1 mph constitutes an aberration to the normal flow of traffic.  I rather doubt that, in fact.  Besides which, how exactly does the officer or judge determine what the "normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place" is anyway?
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jakeroot

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #264 on: April 17, 2019, 06:39:46 PM »

I also find that stone chip hazard is generally worse with 18-wheelers (tires can pick up larger stones, rear guards flap and offer inconsistent protection to following vehicles), so I tend to prefer following distances in seconds that are equal to 9% of the vehicle speed in MPH.

I assume there's a reason you didn't choose the much-more-easily-calculable-at-speed 10% rating?

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+.

You seem to be exacerbating the situation.



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.)

I swear I've heard of drivers being ticketed for driving above the limit, but also below the speed of traffic. But I cannot find the article.
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jakeroot

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #265 on: April 17, 2019, 06:51:59 PM »

There is also a law (at least in WA, probably similar laws in most states) that requires drivers to pull off the road to allow faster drivers by (RCW 46.61.427) once five vehicles have accumulated behind the lead vehicle.

I specifically remember that law from a family vacation to Washington when I was a kid.  Washington is the only state I'm aware of that has such a law on the books.  I'm not saying there aren't others, just that I've never actually heard of any other state with one.  I was under the impression that Washington's law applied regardless of actual speed (just going by the signs, not having looked up the statute until now), but I see that's not actually the case.

California has a similar law (CVC 21656), as does Idaho (~49-639), and Oregon (ORS 811.425, strangely as it's written). I'm sure other western states have it as well.

The law states that a slow-moving vehicle is "one which is proceeding at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place." Though I'm unsure about situations where the "normal flow" is above the limit, if it's at the limit, travelling below the limit (eg 64 in a 65) would certainly require someone to pull off and wait.

I don't think that's certain at all.  It would require both a police officer to determine and a judge to agree that a difference of 1 mph constitutes an aberration to the normal flow of traffic.  I rather doubt that, in fact.  Besides which, how exactly does the officer or judge determine what the "normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place" is anyway?

I'm not going to get into specifics of enforcement. My point is simply that the law does not explicitly defend drivers going below the speed of traffic, which is legally allowed to proceed at the limit*.

*RCW 46.61.400: " Except when a special hazard exists that requires lower speed for compliance with subsection (1) of this section, the limits specified in this section or established as hereinafter authorized shall be maximum lawful speeds, and no person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed in excess of such maximum limits.
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J N Winkler

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #266 on: April 17, 2019, 06:53:28 PM »

There is also a law (at least in WA, probably similar laws in most states) that requires drivers to pull off the road to allow faster drivers by (RCW 46.61.427) once five vehicles have accumulated behind the lead vehicle.

I specifically remember that law from a family vacation to Washington when I was a kid.  Washington is the only state I'm aware of that has such a law on the books.  I'm not saying there aren't others, just that I've never actually heard of any other state with one.  I was under the impression that Washington's law applied regardless of actual speed (just going by the signs, not having looked up the statute until now), but I see that's not actually the case.

Washington is not unique in attempting, on some part of its highway system, to cap the number of vehicles that may legally be in a platoon on a two-lane road with restricted passing opportunity.  Other states have used such restrictions in connection with turnouts on two-lane roads where engineering and economic factors make it inexpedient to build full passing lanes.  Idaho has used turnout signing that specifies the maximum number of vehicles that may be delayed, and I think California has as well.  Where Washington may be unique--I have not checked this in detail--is writing a global cap into state law.

Colorado has also tried turnouts, notably on US 34 in Big Thompson Canyon, but I am not aware that their use has been made compulsory.  I think there may be other states that have used them, but these four are the ones that come to mind.
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US 89

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #267 on: April 17, 2019, 10:55:21 PM »

There is also a law (at least in WA, probably similar laws in most states) that requires drivers to pull off the road to allow faster drivers by (RCW 46.61.427) once five vehicles have accumulated behind the lead vehicle.

I specifically remember that law from a family vacation to Washington when I was a kid.  Washington is the only state I'm aware of that has such a law on the books.  I'm not saying there aren't others, just that I've never actually heard of any other state with one.  I was under the impression that Washington's law applied regardless of actual speed (just going by the signs, not having looked up the statute until now), but I see that's not actually the case.

Washington is not unique in attempting, on some part of its highway system, to cap the number of vehicles that may legally be in a platoon on a two-lane road with restricted passing opportunity.  Other states have used such restrictions in connection with turnouts on two-lane roads where engineering and economic factors make it inexpedient to build full passing lanes.  Idaho has used turnout signing that specifies the maximum number of vehicles that may be delayed, and I think California has as well.  Where Washington may be unique--I have not checked this in detail--is writing a global cap into state law.

Colorado has also tried turnouts, notably on US 34 in Big Thompson Canyon, but I am not aware that their use has been made compulsory.  I think there may be other states that have used them, but these four are the ones that come to mind.

Montana has turnouts on US 191 near Yellowstone, and possibly other routes as well. I don't remember if there were signs stating the number of cars behind you that you had to pull over for.
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Bickendan

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #268 on: April 18, 2019, 06:42:15 AM »

I was driving toward downtown Portland on the 84/30 during the tail end of rush hour last night, so traffic was starting to slow down around the tight curves near 33rd Ave. No biggie, a bit annoying, but expected. I was in the left lane, actively passing traffic in the other two. A slow down happens near 21st Ave, and as traffic starts to debunch and clear up a bit, a car in the middle lane merges in front of me... and proceeds to drive slower than the cars in front of it. At this point on the Banfield, the lane I'm in is in planning for where I'm going: Auxiliary lane to exit at Lloyd Blvd (Lloyd Center, Convention Center, bypass bad freeway congestion to get to Rose Quarter or Steel Bridge via surface streets); right lane for Rose Quarter, Steel Bridge, or I-5 north; middle lane for Morrison Bridge, or I-5 south; or left lane to move into the far left lane of I-5 south as quickly as possible to transition to I-405 north.
With that said, 21st Ave is still a mile east of the 84's end, and slower traffic still has time to observe lane discipline (and the 84 -> 5 south ramp is two lanes); I wound up needing to pass the car that merged in front of me on the right and get back into the left lane.
A quirk about the ramps from the 84 to the 5 is that they're still in the 55 zone for the 84, and there are no advisory speeds posted, yet traffic routinely tends to go 45 through there.

Speaking of advisory speeds, Portlanders seem to take them as gospel, most annoyingly on the I-205 south -> US 26 west ramp under Division St.
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Flint1979

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #269 on: April 18, 2019, 07:08:02 AM »

Ya know this doesn't really have anything to do with left lane camping but it's something that really annoys me when I'm driving on a certain stretch of state highway around my town.

In Saginaw Township along M-84 between Weiss and Shattuck there is a train crossing in between that has a small climb uphill as you are going SB. Well instead of busting it up to the speed limit everyone seems to slam on their brakes at the train crossing because they are going uphill. I have never understood why you'd even touch your brakes right there. Last night I was in the left lane and just went through the light at Shattuck and was approaching the train crossing, three cars in front of me for no reason at all decided to hit the brakes and I'm thinking instead of slowing down why aren't we speeding up because the speed limit is 40 and everyone was going between 25-30 with no obstructions in traffic ahead. I had my cruise set on 43 mph but that went for not when I had to hit my brakes because everyone in front of me was scared of the train crossing that has nothing wrong with it.
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webny99

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #270 on: April 18, 2019, 08:31:41 AM »

I swear I've heard of drivers being ticketed for driving above the limit, but also below the speed of traffic. But I cannot find the article.

I have heard tell of this happening on the QEW, but never seen it happen myself. As a driver, it is easy to do on roads like that, because you could be going 120 kph, passing at a reasonable speed differential, and still have a line of cars stacked up behind you in seconds. In the absence of a driver hanging out on the left, traffic in the left lane will move at 140-150 kph, because it is general knowledge in Ontario that you can go the speed limit +50 kph without fear of a ticket (the OPP only bothers with ticketing drivers going over by 50 kph or more because then they can suspend your license and seize your vehicle roadside).

All that is to say, if you are pulled over for speeding, but less than 50 kph over, they probably do have a secondary reason; driving below the speed of traffic / obstructing the left lane being the most likely one.
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webny99

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #271 on: April 18, 2019, 08:37:57 AM »

Heh. Maybe drivers are nicer and a bit more relaxed in rural Illinois, but when trucks start bunching up like that on the Thruway, that is definitely not a potential option. I've seen people try it and fail more times than I can count. They get passed on the right like crazy and still end up doing just as much braking as everyone else.
Where this particular thing is concerned, I think behavior is basically the same on the Thruway and on free Interstates in rural Illinois.

Ultimately, this conversation is about what counts as good citizenship on the road.  The only 100% sure way to win is to stay at home and thereby remove yourself from the competition for roadspace.  Given that recorded maximum per-lane throughputs correspond to average following distances well under the two seconds recommended for safety, it could be argued that it is antisocial behavior not to tailgate under LOS E conditions.  (Indeed, we have had people make that argument on this forum.)

I, for one, certainly find it frustrating when drivers insist on leaving excess space, i.e. not tailgating, when there is a queue forming to pass one or more trucks. This gives the impression that they are intent on left lane camping, when in fact they may not be. This further invites passing on the right and opportunities for road rage to occur. When passing on the right and cutting back in occurs, drivers intent on maintaining a large space cushion will often fall back even more to resume their previous following distance, meaning everyone behind them - often miles long strings of cars, in the case of the Thruway - will have to hit the brakes.

In short, yes, I do believe that maintaining a large space cushion in the left lane on four lane highways operating at or near capacity just doesn't work well; too much valuable space is being wasted. It could be hundreds of miles before one finds a gap large enough to maintain the same space cushion in the right lane; my preference actually would be doing what you did - hanging back until all is clear - or maintaining a leaner following distance so as not to invite others to pass you on the right.



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+.
You seem to be exacerbating the situation.
[img snipped]

I enjoyed your visual  :D

Just wanted to note that his following distance had increased to about a mile (?) after 15 minutes. During that time -- probably for at least the second half of those 15 minutes -- others shouldn't have been passing him in conjunction with the trucks. They should have been moving right and then left again, the disruption ahead on the road notwithstanding.
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roadfro

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #272 on: April 21, 2019, 01:46:24 PM »

There is also a law (at least in WA, probably similar laws in most states) that requires drivers to pull off the road to allow faster drivers by (RCW 46.61.427) once five vehicles have accumulated behind the lead vehicle.

I specifically remember that law from a family vacation to Washington when I was a kid.  Washington is the only state I'm aware of that has such a law on the books.  I'm not saying there aren't others, just that I've never actually heard of any other state with one.  I was under the impression that Washington's law applied regardless of actual speed (just going by the signs, not having looked up the statute until now), but I see that's not actually the case.

Washington is not unique in attempting, on some part of its highway system, to cap the number of vehicles that may legally be in a platoon on a two-lane road with restricted passing opportunity.  Other states have used such restrictions in connection with turnouts on two-lane roads where engineering and economic factors make it inexpedient to build full passing lanes.  Idaho has used turnout signing that specifies the maximum number of vehicles that may be delayed, and I think California has as well.  Where Washington may be unique--I have not checked this in detail--is writing a global cap into state law.

Colorado has also tried turnouts, notably on US 34 in Big Thompson Canyon, but I am not aware that their use has been made compulsory.  I think there may be other states that have used them, but these four are the ones that come to mind.

Montana has turnouts on US 191 near Yellowstone, and possibly other routes as well. I don't remember if there were signs stating the number of cars behind you that you had to pull over for.

Regarding slow-moving vehicles turning out, Nevada has a similar law: NRS 484B.630.

It also appears to apply anywhere along a two-lane road, not just where signed turnouts exist, so long as the slow vehicle can safely turn out. Also, the statute defines 'slow-moving vehicle' as "a vehicle that is traveling at a rate of speed which is less than the posted speed limit for the highway or portion of the highway upon which the vehicle is traveling."
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Flint1979

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #273 on: April 21, 2019, 09:15:05 PM »

I saw a perfect example of left lane camping tonight on SB I-75. I was in the next lane over from the left lane (8 lanes in this stretch 4 in each direction just outside of Bay City between MM 161-160) I was approaching a Lincoln Navigator that was cruising in the left lane doing about 70 mph most likely, I was doing 80 and passed him pretty easily, so I kept looking back in my rear view mirror and he's still in the left lane and I'm getting farther and farther away from him. I really don't get these people that think the left lane is for cruising in it's like you just got passed on the right because you were going slow passing nobody with no other traffic in the left lane, what in the hell are you doing in the left lane?
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skluth

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Re: Left Lane Camping
« Reply #274 on: April 23, 2019, 04:22:22 PM »

I saw a perfect example of left lane camping tonight on SB I-75. I was in the next lane over from the left lane (8 lanes in this stretch 4 in each direction just outside of Bay City between MM 161-160) I was approaching a Lincoln Navigator that was cruising in the left lane doing about 70 mph most likely, I was doing 80 and passed him pretty easily, so I kept looking back in my rear view mirror and he's still in the left lane and I'm getting farther and farther away from him. I really don't get these people that think the left lane is for cruising in it's like you just got passed on the right because you were going slow passing nobody with no other traffic in the left lane, what in the hell are you doing in the left lane?

Ignorance is bliss and that person you passed on the right is one of the happiest people on the planet
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