Lovin’ the left-lane law | PostIndependent.com

Lovin’ the left-lane law

For many Garfield County residents the daily commute is a necessary evil ” a quality-of-life tradeoff.

Driving to and from work on Highway 82 or Interstate 70 isn’t considered by most people to be a high point of the day, but a new law should make the trip a little smoother.

The new law, which took effect July 1, prohibits drivers from using the left lane unless they are passing or making left turns on highways with a posted speed limit of 65 mph or greater.


It’s called the “passing lane” for a reason, and the left lane has always been intended as a faster lane. But a drive on virtually any roadway proves that either not all drivers know this, or certain people take a sadistic pleasure in slowing the progress of the daily commuter.

Is there anything more frustrating than being stuck in a long caravan of commuters with open road visible just ahead, save for that one driver in the left lane? The one who seems to have his or her cruise control set to the same speed as the semi in the right lane ” 5 or 10 mph below the speed limit.

The law’s aim is to quell that frustration, thereby reducing road-rage incidents, and improve traffic flow. Both goals ultimately lead to safer roads.

Of course, the argument can be made that the new law simply opens up the road for those drivers who want to treat Highway 82 like their own little Brickyard at Indianapolis.

High speeds are as dangerous as, probably more so than, low speeds. Ideally, the new left-lane law will be accompanied by more traffic enforcement. (It should make it easier to pick out the speed demons: Just look left.)

There’s no way to entirely eliminate bad drivers at either end of the speed spectrum, but the new law ” coupled with enforcement of all the driving laws on the books ” will lead to a safer, shorter commute.

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