There are at least two states involved in passing (hopefully) new legislation to ban drivers from using the far left lane on major highways, unless they’re passing someone. Because I have to drive through 12 to 15 states, twice a year, this is one my pet peeves when it comes to highway driving etiquette…but understand if you would, my deep-seated pet peeve when it comes to drivers…. is most drivers in most states. I remember a bunch of years ago I was doing a feature story on why Massachusetts has the highest car insurance rates in the country, and someone assured me, “it’s not because all the bad drivers in the country decided to move to Massachusetts.” Well that may well be true, but I’m here to tell you for sure and certain, if you want to find an idiot behind the wheel of a car, you won’t have to spend much time looking for one…..in ANY state! BTW, the answer to my question years ago was……”Massachusetts has the highest rates in the country because we’re the biggest thieves. We have perfected the art of ripping off insurance companies……not more accidents…..more claims.” But I digress.
My thoughts today are on drivers on multi-lane highways who get into the far left lane and stay there……at the speed limit, below the speed limit, above the speed limit, it doesn’t matter. To them it’s not a passing lane….it’s a travel lane with their name on it and no amount of tailgating or one-finger-waving is going to change them. I spend a lot of time every year driving in Florida. They are the worst….in America…..so declared…..by me. They either don’t know or don’t care that it’s a passing lane and it’s scary the number of accidents these people cause, day-in and day-out. There’s an incredible amount of octogenarians driving in Florida and folks that’s a little frightening. They concentrate so hard on keeping their boxcar size automobile on it’s planned route and destination, it really doesn’t matter what’s going on around them. It doesn’t matter what lane they’re in, the direction is right, it doesn’t matter how fast they’re going, it’s the speed at which they feel safe, red lights are not really there because the sun is too bright and STOP signs are only a suggestion. Actually now that I think about it, the “stuck in the left lane syndrome” may be the least of Florida problems. A neighbor of mine who cannot see over the steering wheel, just got her license renewed for another 8-years. She’s 89!
Anyway, Florida is trying to make hoggin’ the left lane a punishable offense, and so is the state of New Jersey. There’s not much redeeming social value to New Jersey for sure, but the left lane ban could be a tiny step in the right direction.