We’ve all been stuck behind that driver in the left highway lane who is perfectly pacing a car in the right lane, as if it’s a synchronized swimming event rather than a high-speed traffic situation. Traffic bottles up behind them, creating unnecessary hazards for everyone involved. We were all taught in driver education that the left lane is the “passing lane” for a reason.
The purpose of the left lane of a highway is to allow for a smooth flow of traffic at multiple speeds. For this to work, everyone needs to use the left lane only for passing, then move to the right lane, allowing other drivers to pass. This doesn’t work well inside cities, but it’s a good system for highway driving because it reduces congestion and therefore auto collisions.
In 2009, Kansas and Oklahoma adopted “left-lane laws,” as many other states already had, making it illegal to linger in the passing lane when you’re not passing another vehicle on highways outside city limits.
If that’s what it takes to get everyone driving more safely, we say “bravo.”