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Letter: The rest of the highway bullying story

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  • embarrassed Utahn! Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2014 5:50 a.m.

    I love this argument! It is so funny that the arrogant people who ignore the speed-law try to bully those of us who ***gasp*** use their precious left-lane.

    Two words for you dude..."go around". I love the left lane. It provides relief from all the dangerous weavers and speeders that are prevalent in this state. For you, I'll go 66mph, how's that???

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 22, 2014 7:30 a.m.

    There will always be those who think that the world and all of its people revolve around them. They will drive at whatever speed THEY want regardless of the impact on others. Most days, I drive about 200 miles. I almost always drive in the right lane because I also believe that a speed limit is a limit, not a suggestion. It doesn't bother me that others are travelling 10, 15 or even 20 mph over the speed limit. I've seen many of them pulled over and given a ticket.

    Maybe if those who drove slowly in the left lane were also ticketed, those drivers would begin to realize that the world does not revolve around them.

    My first concern is safety. I've seen too many fatalities. Some were caused by excessive speed. Most were caused by inattentive drivers. The only thing that I can do is to continually drop back when others want to use the 50 or 100 yards that I keep between my car and the car in front of me. Getting older means slower reaction time which means greater spacing between vehicles.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    April 22, 2014 8:10 a.m.

    Re: ". . . arrogant people who ignore the speed-law try to bully those of us who ***gasp*** use their precious left-lane."

    While we're on the subject of arrogance . . . .

    Loving the left lane does not relieve you of the legal obligation to free it up for people that want to pass you, as you self-righteously amble, saunter, and tootle down the road, endangering all those around you for no better reason than to force your poor, benighted neighbors, anxious only to get home to their families, to bow to your obvious liberal superiority.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2014 8:12 a.m.

    I agree with Mike for once. The right lane is the lane that people going slower, no matter what the speed limit need to drive in. The drivers who stay in the left lane and block the flow of traffic are very dangerous.

    They have that attitude that they are driving the speed limit and should not have to move over. We see this every day and many are distracted by texting and cell phones.

    I was heading to the hospital one day with my flashers going. A motorist thought it was his duty to get in front of me in the left lane. He was pulled over by the Highway Patrol. The police had received notice that I was on the way to the hospital with a snake bite victim.

    That delay could have been devastating.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2014 8:22 a.m.

    embarrassed Utahn! I hope that you get a ticket for breaking the law. I think what you are saying is sad. As for others who arrogantly speed I agree they need to be ticketed also. But you need to obey the law. Staying in the right lane will avoid the darting cars also.

    I live in a neighborhood that if you wave at a driver to slow down they almost immediately use a hand gesture to "thank you". It is funny when you run into these same people at church or the store. and ask them why they did that? Usually it is..."Oh I didn't know that was you". It's quite embarrassing for some of these fine examples of Christian behavior.

    S

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    April 22, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    The previous letter said nothing about driving the speed limit in the left lane.
    It has about tailgating and bullying.

    I actually agreed with Mike Richards, and even "liked" his comment.

    I also consider myself a law abiding citizen, and drive the posted speed limit - with cruise control - in the far right lane.
    I do it for safety and for economy.
    [As an old man engineer - I took enough physics classes and have seen enough accidents to know what speed and metal does to human beings.]

    But I must admit, I do get irrate when I'm obeying the posted law of the land, in the far right lane as THIS letter writer is complaining about, and STILL getting tailgated, harrased and bullied.

    BTW -- complaining about illegal immigrants breaking the law and then speeding makes someone the epitome of hypocrite.

  • embarrassed Utahn! Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2014 10:04 a.m.

    Going from SLC to Eagle Mountain or Herriman or South Jordan at 65mph will take about 2 minutes longer than going 80mph. I hope your families can all wait that out because I'm hogging the left-lane.

    I love, love, love those rebuttals fellas! At least you got the "Liberal superiority" part right.

    I said I'd go 66mph, sheesh!

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    April 22, 2014 10:24 a.m.

    "Loving the left lane does not relieve you of the legal obligation to free it up for people that want to pass you, as you self-righteously amble, saunter, and tootle down the road, endangering all those around you for no better reason than to force your poor, benighted neighbors, anxious only to get home to their families, to bow to your obvious liberal superiority."

    Really?

    So how do you explain those folks who drive through Ogden at 35 mph in the left lane of Wall or Washington or Monroe, or those who are running 61 mph in the left lane of I-15 who have their cars plastered with MITT stickers or other GOP slogans?

    But to many Utahns, EVERYTHING is a liberal plot.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 22, 2014 10:41 a.m.

    The original letter was complaining about overly aggressive drivers. That's a valid complaint. But some comments exposed that some people think they are being uber-safe by driving slow, or maintaining the limit and standing their ground (regardless of the flow of traffic around them). But in fact... they add to the danger.

    We even had people suggest driving with one hand while taking pictures of aggressive drivers (to give to the police). VERY dangerous!

    The safest way to drive on modern freeways is for everybody to stay in their lane and go the same speed. Abnormal speed (super-fast, super-slow, changing lanes abruptly, hard breaking, etc) is dangerous.

    The Woolfpack of congestion that builds behind even a single slow driver, and the jockeying to get around him... is as dangerous as a speeding over-aggressive driver.

    It's Utah law to change lanes when faster traffic approaches.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 22, 2014 10:49 a.m.

    When passing... it's OK to temporarily exceed the posted limit (especially on single lane highways). Get left, accelerate and pass as quickly as you can, get back in your lane and resume normal driving speed.

    Same on multi-lane highways... get left and pass as quickly as you can and then get back into your lane, leaving the left lane open for others to use to pass slower drivers.

    Don't just sit in the left lane for miles smug in your impression that you are making the world safer by slowing everybody down.

    Drivers in the left lane are SUPPOSED to go faster than other traffic (IMO).

    When traffic gets congested and ALL lanes are slow... this rule becomes harder to observe and the left lane becomes just another traffic lane (not the passing lane). But that's not the "norm" on Utah highways...

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 22, 2014 10:53 a.m.

    One more rule of courteous driving...

    People in the HOV lane should be prepared to keep up a good pace, because there is no passing in the HOV lane, so EVERYBODY in that lane is trapped behind you and can't legally pass... so don't get in there if you want to go slow...

    This is the rule of thumb I use when driving in the HOV lane...
    If you have a big pile of traffic on your tail... and miles of open road in front of you... you are probably a problem and need to get over and let them pass the next opportunity you get.

    The HOV lane works best if it's moving at least as fast as the other lanes. It's not supposed to be the slow-lane. If you intend to drive slow... stay in the right lane (not the HOV lane).

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    April 22, 2014 11:36 a.m.

    This highway bullying is so prevalent among Utah's entitlement mentality. Everyone believes it is their birthright to drive as fast as they want on the highways. It's ironic that a state which focuses so much on obeying and sustaining the law seems to completely ignore the law when it comes to driving.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    April 22, 2014 11:50 a.m.

    "Utah does have signs posted on the freeway that say 'slower traffic move right — it's the law.'"

    For your info, driving the speed limit is not 'slower traffic' and, thus, 'move right' does not apply. 'Stay right unless passing' is a whole 'nother story.

    Too bad the cops aren't on the freeways pulling the real bullies over, speeders. The state could make a mint in fines... and hundreds of lives would be saved each year, as a bonus.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    April 22, 2014 11:58 a.m.

    FreedomFighter41
    Provo, UT
    This highway bullying is so prevalent among Utah's entitlement mentality. Everyone believes it is their birthright to drive as fast as they want on the highways. It's ironic that a state which focuses so much on obeying and sustaining the law seems to completely ignore the law when it comes to driving.

    11:36 a.m. April 22, 2014

    ======

    Agreed.
    Even more iron for them to deride illegal immigrants for not obeying the law,
    when they themselves are no different.

    "Don't judge me because I sin differently than you." ~ Pres. Uchtdorf

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    April 22, 2014 12:18 p.m.

    @Mike Richards:
    "The only thing that I can do is to continually drop back when others want to use the 50 or 100 yards that I keep between my car and the car in front of me."

    Good for you... A good rule of thumb is to leave one vehicle length for every 10 miles of speed between you and the vehicle in front of you.

    "Getting older means slower reaction time which means greater spacing between vehicles."

    And getting older does not mean you have to stay off freeways, as some contend.

    @procuradorfiscal:
    "Loving the left lane does not relieve you of the legal obligation to free it up for people that want to pass you, as you self-righteously amble, saunter, and tootle down the road, endangering all those around you..."

    The folks endangering all those around you are those who ignore speed limits. If they need to get somewhere faster, start earlier.

    "..anxious only to get home to their families..."

    Some speeders don't make it home to their families. The next time their families see them is in a mortuary, as they sob and wonder 'what happened?'

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 22, 2014 12:37 p.m.

    @wrz,
    Utah has signs posted on the freeway that say 'slower traffic move right', but this is not the law I'm talking about. This rule has been around for a long time. The law I'm talking about is a new law, passed in 2008, that if a faster vehicle is overtaking you... you have to get over and let them by.

    Google "State keep right laws" and find Utah in the table. Utah law is "Must move right to let faster traffic pass"...

    This is the law...

    41-6a-704. Overtaking and passing vehicles proceeding in same direction.
    On any highway: the operator of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall:
    (A) except as provided under Section 41-6a-705, promptly pass the overtaken vehicle on the left at a safe distance; and
    (B) enter a right-hand lane or the right side of the roadway only when safely clear of the overtaken vehicle;

    (ii) the operator of an overtaken vehicle:
    (A) shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle; and
    (B) may not increase the speed of the vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    April 22, 2014 12:41 p.m.

    It's interesting how so many repub posters are bashing people driving in the left. Everything revolves around the left for them. The left this the left that. Interesting

  • Mr. Bean Phoenix, AZ
    April 22, 2014 1:07 p.m.

    @2 bits:
    "Drivers in the left lane are SUPPOSED to go faster than other traffic (IMO)."

    Drivers in the left lane are supposed to obey speed limits. Just because you're in the left lane does not mean traffic laws have been suspended and you can drive as fast as you want.

    "People in the HOV lane should be prepared to keep up a good pace..."

    What pace? The one dictated by the guy on your rear bumper? If you're traveling the speed limit in the HOV you don't have to move anyplace to accommodate anyone.

    "This is the rule of thumb I use when driving in the HOV lane..."

    Rule of thumb? There's your problem. You should be driving according to the traffic laws of the state.

    "If you have a big pile of traffic on your tail... you need to get over and let them pass the next opportunity you get."

    If they wanna pass let them wait til the next dashed line.

    "The HOV lane works best if it's moving at least as fast as the other lanes."

    Traffic laws determine how fast you can drive.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2014 1:18 p.m.

    @embarrassed utahn
    "Two words for you dude..."go around""

    How? Passing on the right is against the law (at least in most states, I assume it is here too).

  • stuff Provo, UT
    April 22, 2014 2:55 p.m.

    In some areas of the world, it is socially normal and acceptable to signal slower drivers in the fast lane that a faster car is approaching in the fast lane. The signal usually is simply flashing headlights a few times and is considered a polite request for the slower car to change lanes to the right and allow the faster car to drive through.

    Unfortunately, that is considered very rude here in Utah. There needs to be some norms established for polite communication on our freeways such as those that exist in other states and countries. Even legislation and a whole lot of signs on the freeways.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    April 22, 2014 4:26 p.m.

    @2 bits:
    "@wrz, The law I'm talking about is a new law, passed in 2008, that if a faster vehicle is overtaking you... you have to get over and let them by."

    If you (or others wishing to pass) can break the speeding law with impunity, I can break other traffic laws such as the one you cite with the same degree of impunity. Fair is fair wouldn't you think?

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2014 6:30 p.m.

    When did rude or aggressive driving become a political issue? When everything is viewed through the lens of politics, It's little wonder we are mired in gridlock.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2014 7:29 p.m.

    I'd love to see how people who park in the passing lanes would react to their treatment by fellow drivers if they tried that stunt in most European countries.

    Not only would they suffer the flashing lights and horns of people riding their rear as they rightly indicate their displeasure at encountering someone in a passing lane while other people are forced to pass them on the right, they would also quite likely be ticketed by the police.

    In most of Europe, unlike here in the states, impeding traffic by clogging passing lanes is considered a fairly serious infraction, for several reasons. And, driving licenses are highly prized and require a fair amount of formal training to obtain.

    Which probably helps explain why drivers there are, generally speaking, much more proficient and aware of their surroundings and, consequently, far less likely to be found dawdling in a passing lane.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    April 23, 2014 10:25 a.m.

    The safest thing to do when transiting the freeways is to go with the traffic flow. Whether it is 10 MPH over or 10 under. Granted most people in Utah drive 5 to 10 MPH over the speed limit. It's the fatheads that drive in the "fast lane" that come up behind you, flash their lights at you, tail gate you, etc are causing the problem. My solution? Tap my break pedal and they generally back off.

  • stuff Provo, UT
    April 23, 2014 11:32 a.m.

    @wrz and @flashback: Those attitudes and behaviors are contributing to the problem. It's rude and discourteous. Stop it. Simply move over when it's safe and let them go by. It's no skin off your nose at all. I try to pay attention and move over for faster drivers. Please do the same for all others. You'll probably find that moving over makes your driving experience more calm and enjoyable, like I do.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    April 23, 2014 12:45 p.m.

    What in the world is wrong with you?!

    The law says pull over to the right! It doesn't matter if you "love" the left lane, or if you think because other people are breaking the speed limit you too should break the law.

    If you think you should follow all the laws to a tee, then great do it. Follow the law that slower traffic should pull to the right. Follow that law. And then follow the law and do the speed limit.

    The dangerous driver IS NOT the driver that is speeding, it is the driver that is not going with the flow of traffic. Guess what? That is you if you are in the left lane doing the speed limit.

    Modern cars can more then handle the speeds of modern freeways quite easily and safely. 70 mph for traffic flow on a freeway is quite common if you are sitting in the passing lane doing exactly 65 (most likely a little less) YOU are the problem.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    April 23, 2014 3:46 p.m.

    Its funny…. this really has nothing to do with the law because as WRZ correctly states, you are both breaking the law by either speeding or failing to move over… both are wrong.

    But here is the other side. Only one is intentionally doing something overt to the other person. Yes, a speeder can pose a higher accident risk… but the one who fails to get over for others is blatantly telling all the other drivers that they are more important then the rest of the drivers. Rather than trying to get along… they are saying deal with me… I am not moving for you. It is an outward and intentional act of arrogance and self importance. You might as well drive down the road giving the international signal that you don't care…. if you know what I mean.

    Intentionally creating traffic situations because you don't want to get over… its all about you…. much bigger problems than just breaking the law going on here.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    April 28, 2014 2:06 p.m.

    Breaking a traffic law is NOT A CRIME. It's a traffic violation. Big difference.