Thank you, Glynn Moore

…and Georgia Rep. Bill Hitchens. Why? For bringing attention to a pernicious plague upon our society: slow and/or habitual left lane drivers. Glynn Moore’s Augusta Chronicle column today is about this topic, and Rep. Hitchens’ proposed House Bill 459 to make it illegal to drive in the left lane except for overtaking and passing another vehicle or turning left.

Law or not, the left lane is for faster traffic, for passing, or for vehicles preparing to turn left. Period. That’s what Georgia and South Carolina law already says. Everyone knows this. It applies to all roads, even if they don’t have a friendly reminder sign like this one posted. Remember the blockbuster movie Fast Lane and all its sequels? Does anyone not know what the term “fast lane” refers to?

The Medical Examiner has, appropriately enough, examined this topic twice in front cover feature stories over the past couple of years. How does this subject fit in with our three-word raison d’etre? (The three being: health, wellness, and medicine.) In several ways. First and foremost, drivers of emergency vehicles like ambulances and fire trucks are trained to always use the left lane. I have personally witnessed an ambulance with lights and siren on, tailgating a truck which refused to leave the left lane. That’s illegal (on the truck’s part), dangerous, and insensitive. Do health, wellness, and medicine ever fit in with illegal, dangerous and insensitive? No, they do not. What if one of your loved ones was in the back of that ambulance, slowed by an idiot blocking its path? But it illustrated a point: some people seem to view the left lane as their personal property. Slow down in the left lane to prepare for a turn and some drivers will whip around you and back into the left lane, almost clipping your front right bumper in the process. They show their anger by cutting around and past you with inches to spare. That, in turn, angers the driver using the left lane properly. Indeed, studies have shown that left lane infractions are one of the top causes of road rage, a phenomenon that often leads to deadly consequences. It is maddening (and illegal in dozens of states) for a left-lane driver to stay in the left lane when a vehicle behind him wants to pass. (No wonder this is an I Hate Monday post.) Yet these rolling obstacles are seen every day. Below, we provide for our safe-driving readers a simple summary of existing law – and common sense.

This explains things nicely.

Leave a Comment