Updated whenever Tom gets off his big wide duff.
Who told all the morons ambling along at less-than-the-general-speed of traffic that it is all right to hang out in the left lane, thus forcing everyone else to pass on the right?
I totally agree with you guys that passing on the right is a lousy idea. How do you like it when you are in the middle of a three- (or six-) lane highway, and one jerk decides to pass you on the right while another jerk is passing you on the left, and you know that at any minute they will both veer into the middle lane at the very spot where you are mellowly following the speed-limit-plus-five-or-10-miles?
If the cops would enforce the "obstructing traffic" rules, or if people would pay attention to the millions of dollars worth of signs that say Slow Traffic Keep Right or Keep Right Except to Pass, then I could pass on the left. As it is, I'm FORCED to pass on the right.
When I lived in Germany (1988-90), it was against the law to overtake on the right. You were allowed in the left lane only when you were overtaking slower traffic, then you moved back to the rightmost lane. That was the law. If a driver didn't follow the rules, other drivers could easily report him or her to the police by going to the local station and filling out a form. And the police were very willing to contact that person and explain the law to them, usually in person. If it happened more than once, they had to go to court to explain it to the judge.
So, like, if you're driving at 20 mph in the far left lane of a four-lane, one-way street, nobody is supposed to pass? Are you saying that nobody should never pass on the right nohow? Not even in the bank drive-thru?
People seem to choose which lane to use by asking their Magic 8-Ball. I can't even begin to count the number of times I've been stuck behind two cars driving parallel to each other -- sometimes for miles. Here's my suggestion: We need a national campaign for more courtesy, better concentration on the road, and education on the value of patience. A Presidential Blue Ribbon Panel could be convened. DOT could invest millions. Then, when that goes down the toilet and things don't improve, start giving tickets for driving too slow.
The reason we're passing Tommy on the right is that HE'S GOING TOO SLOW IN THE **LEFT** LANE! Wake him up and shove him into the slow flow, where he belongs!
I think the underlying problem is that police spend too much time monitoring how fast people are driving rather than how safe people are driving. On the highway, 80 mph in the right lane could be safer than 45 mph in the left.
My mother was in an accident several years ago because some bozo was zooming along, didn't see her turn signal for the half-mile it was on, and plowed into her while trying to quickly pass on the right. Thankfully she is alive to tell the story. The bozo pushed her into the oncoming traffic on a major U.S. highway.
Many drivers chug slowly along in the left lane, forcing everyone else to drop a lane or two to the right to get around the junk in the road. Some of these brain-dead idiots have even stated in the local opinion pages that people who come up behind them and flash their lights are aggressive drivers who should simply leave the house earlier so they won't feel the need to drive near or above the speed limit. Apparently they feel that, unlike the speed limit, Slower Traffic Keep Right is merely a suggestion they are free to ignore.
I can tell you exactly when passing on the right started: about two weeks after the 55 mph speed limit, when people lost their ability to proceed with the natural flow.