I am amazed at how many people use the left traffic lane as the main lane, and they refuse to move over. Not only is it extremely frustrating, it’s dangerous. Why don’t we have reminder signs “Slower Traffic Keep Right?” Common sense isn’t working. The worst area is along Grandview. Sign me, Please Move Over Folks.
Since when does “common sense” and “driving” go together?
Just ask Mrs. Action Line, who suffered indignities during an extended road trip recently.
Picture U.S. Highway 285 through Fairplay. Now imagine some clueless guy in a junky old RV going 20 miles an hour.
Traffic backed up for miles. No one can pass. Can you see Mrs. Action Line’s head spinning?
Now visualize truculent truckers forming rolling roadblocks along the Nebraska interstate.
These thoughtful acts gave Mrs. Action Line even more quality time to enjoy the Cornhuskers State’s breathtaking scenery.
Should we require an IQ test when applying for a driver’s license? Sadly, it wouldn’t help much.
An estimated 10% of active drivers don’t bother getting a license. Moreover, 13% of motorists don’t have car insurance.
Maybe we should erect rude roadside rebukes such as “Pay Attention You Morons” or “Don’t Drive Like An Idiot.”
It would certainly raise some eyebrows. But it won’t raise awareness.
The morons and idiots would likely stop in the middle of the road to take duck-lip selfies next to the signs and then post them to Instagram while driving.
Regardless, here and in 28 other states, slower traffic must travel in the right lane.
State law is abundantly clear. According to Section 42-4-1013 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, you must not drive in the left lane, where the speed limit is 65 mph or more, unless you are passing another vehicle.
The only exception is when traffic volume does not permit a safe move to the right.
So that’s the good news.
Now for the bad: Colorado’s Left Lane Law doesn’t apply to the cluster-fest that is Grandview, where speed limits are 50 or 55 mph.
However, not all hope is lost.
There’s a provision in Colorado law in which tickets can be issued for “driving at such a slow speed that the normal and reasonable forward movement of traffic is impeded.”
A number of studies show that clogged left lanes slow all traffic down, creating needless backups and fueling road rage.
Michigan’s Traffic Operations & Safety Laboratory, moreover, found that cruising in the left lane directly results in thousands of accidents annually.
Another study showed that driving 5 mph slower than surrounding traffic is more likely to cause an accident than going 5 mph faster than drivers around you.
So what’s a road warrior to do?
You could get one of those stern windshield decals reading “Move Over” with a large arrow.
Letters are backwards so the decals read correctly when seen in a rearview mirror.
Problem is, left-lane hogs generally don’t ever bother to check their rearview mirror. Or their blind spot.
Maybe CDOT could put this message on the flashing signs: “Camp in the forest, not the left lane.”
Here’s an idea – string a banner across the Bridge to Nowhere shouting, “Hey slow drivers! Put the ‘GO’ in Durango!”
Because Durango is such an uppity progressive enclave, here’s a motoring motto:
“Just because your politics are far left, it doesn’t mean you have to drive in that lane.”
Email questions to email@example.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 80301. You can request anonymity if you visualize using your turn signal.