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To Pass or Go Really Fast … That Is the Question!

December 1, 2011

Today was just like any other day en route to work. Massive amounts of traffic interspersed in sections of the freeway that really didn’t make any sense. My drive to work is a neverending cycle of the scene from Office Space. You change lanes to the one that’s moving faster, which then stops while your old lane picks up. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s best to just bite the bullet and stick to the lane I’m in unless I want to experience massive amounts of road rage.

Now the thing with my drive is that once I pass through a tunnel on my route, traffic magically disappears into nothingness. After my thrilling hour long wait in traffic to get through the tunnel, I found myself in the fast lane going 10 MPH slower than the posted speed limit. There was a certain individual in the fast lane who decided today was not the day to use the fast lane properly.

I’m sure you’ve all experienced this many times and the typical responses involve flashing your high beams or tailgating, the latter of which is illegal. Now don’t get me wrong—I’m not advocating for people to break the speed limit. However, as I’m sure you all know here in California, we deem the far left lane as the “fast” lane and all vehicles not going the “flow of traffic” are suppose to drive in other lanes.

Across the United States and even in some other countries, they deem the far left lane as a “passing” lane as opposed to the “fast” lane. Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maine, Illinois, and Pennsylvania (to name a few) actually make it illegal to fail to yield to traffic that seeks to overtake in the left lane. Due to this law, heavy trucks are generally not allowed to use this lane to pass other vehicles. I’m a very strong advocate for that because this would do wonders for my drive down I-5 from NorCal to SocCal.

Should we roll out this nationwide? Do you think freeway/highway driving would be much safer if we designated the far left lane as a passing lane as opposed to just a fast lane? I personally think it would cause a lot less road rage, which can get pretty ugly sometimes.

What are your thoughts?

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