Responses to "Passing On the Right"

The point:

Passing on the right AND staying around in the left hand lane for no necessary reason (right lane open, no exits on left, etc. etc.) should be illegal on freeways ONLY. It should NOT be illegal to pass someone on the right on city streets or any other situation were one HAS to be in the left hand lane, like if there is a left exit, for example. It should also to be legal to pass someone in the left hand lane that refuses to budge (flashed you lights, etc., etc. and their is still no response). If you get caught passing a left lane hogger on the right than the left lane hogger would get the ticket, not you.

The responses:

From: Stephen Weinstein <>
Date: Sun, 24 Sep 1995 20:49:00 -0400

Under New Jersey law (where I learned to drive), it already is (1) illegal
to drive in the left-most lane except for when you are passing another
vehicle or about to make a left turn (2) legal to pass a car on the 
right if it is waiting to make a left turn and in certain other

Editors note: New Jersy is one of the few states that still had that law.

From: Eric von Eckartsberg <>
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 1996 11:29:45 -0400 (EDT)

You've identified what I believe to be the number one underlying cause
of most highway accidents.  In most cases, people who want to pass a
left lane hogger resort to two dangerous actions: they tailgate,
hoping to intimidate the hogger, or they pass on the right.

The solution is to reeducate drivers about the need for left only
passing, and to raise fines for offenders to increase police
incentives to do something about the problem.  Drivers should also be
allowed to flash their lights at hoggers since this is the only safe
way to let someone know you want to pass.  In Virginia, this is
illegal, and the result is rampant tailgaiting and right lane passing.

From: Shawn Labounty <>
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 20:50:52 GMT

What we need is for the "keep right except to pass" violators to be
ticketed for same, and then maybe the law will be more closely adhered
to.  Here in MA, people could care less who they aggravate, since they
appear to care about no one but themselves.  I travel up/down Route 495
every day, and find that the best lane to use is usually the right lane,
since that's the one that gets used the least by others.

Isn't it obvious that weaving is more dangerous than staying in a lane
and passing a line of cars from the same side [IE, the left.]?  And if
it's that obvious, why isn't there more visibility to the problem?
Probably because it's not as much of a revenue generator as that guy in
the left lane doing 20 over the limit.  Mind you, it very well should

From: Felix Bartl <>
Date: Sat, 18 Nov 1995 23:27:20 GMT

I basically agree, with maybe a couple of points to add. Driving in the
left lane should be allowed IF there is no traffic behind (say, 
200 meters/yards at least). This because the right lane is much often in
a far worse shape than the left, in Canada anyway. Fines for refusing
to yield the left lane to faster traffic should be drastic. To repeat
your point, this all refers to freeways only.

From: Mark Viola <>
Date: Sun, 19 Nov 1995 00:29:34 GMT

Passing on the right is necessary to get around the many left lane 
hoggers in this country.  I live in MA and go to school in AZ, so I get
a chance to see drivers all around the country.  The majority of them
do not move to get out of your way, and probably don't know a rear
view mirror exeists or how to use it.  I agree that the cops
should ticket the hogger's, but thy problem is there is no 
money, therfore incentive, to ticket them instead of the speeders
who create a tremoendous cash flow.

From: Ernest <>
Date: Sun, 9 Jun 1996 20:54:21 -0400 (EDT)

I believe we should do as the German's do; Make individuals that stay in
the left lane pay a fine.  I have had the privilage of driving in several
countries, although America is by far the best country in the world,
driving here pales in comparison to  other countries.  A lot of the
autobahn is like highways in this country an you can safely drive over
100MPH because drivers are courties and stay to the right except to pass or
allow people entering to merge.  The Police enforce this law but they do
not issue many ticket because Europians are trained to abide by the law,
and they agree that it benifits everyone not just a few.  Think about it
when driving in the left lane if someone is behind you wishing to pass, if
you have room allow them to pass if not pass ASAP and get over to allow
traffic to flow.  This will prevent traffic jams and will allow everyone to
reach their destination in the shortest, safest possible time.

From: Matt Zimmerman <>
Date: Sat, 4 May 1996 17:01:32 -0400 (EDT)

I agree strongly.  A friend of mine has always been religious about
passing only on the left (to the point of following left-lane hogs for
10-15 miles rather than passing on the right).  He set me to thinking
about it, and I've come to hold much the same opinion.  I do a lot of
driving on I-70 between Baltimore and Frederick, MD (mostly 6 lanes), and
while most lane hogs will move when flashed at, many remain oblivious.
Many other people will pass slower traffic on the right.  Still others
will drive in the left lane when there is little or no traffic
(though no noticeable difference exists in road condition).  I think a
lane choice/passing law in Maryland (or at the federal level) would be

From: Mark Chisholm <>
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 1995 12:52:47 GMT

I always pass on the right and so does everybody else I know, this is
because I live in Scotland where people drive on the left. However I get
annoyed by people hogging the right hand lane. I find the best solution is
to simply go close behind them and blast your horn. This soon gets them to
move out the way.

From: Anonymous
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 1995 23:04:17 GMT

What happens then is that the right most lanes get too much wear
and the left most lanes are still relatively "new" when it's 
necessary to re-surface the right lanes. Hence in some places,
e.g. Nevada, it's not unusual to see signs encouraging the use
of the left lane.

From: Jin Kim <>
Date: Fri, 3 Nov 1995 00:16:48 GMT

I live in Dayton Ohio and commute to Cincinati to work every day.
It's a 60 mile track on a three lane highway all the way.  I don't know
what it's like on many parts of the country, but the drivers here are
rude. At least once a day I get cought behind someone in the left most
lane with no other traffic refusing to move.  It's not because they don't
see me either. We can be passing a "Slower traffic stay to the right" sign
without any results.  Also, the condition of the left most lane is the
worst.  It's the only lane of the three with lane wide bumps periodically.
So It can't be because of the lane condition. If people were not allowed
to pass on the right, there would be more fingers flying, etc. 
There are stories here about how drivers giving other drivers the finger
only to be followed and BEATEN UP!!! "No Passing on the right" here would
be very explosive. I bet my life that the violent crime rate would rise.

P.S. Most of the drivers do let faster cars pass. It's one or two really
really rotten apples.

From: Anonymous
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 1995 00:02:05 -0400

Passing on the right is definitely already legal in Maryland (where I
allegedly learned to drive).  With the current speed differentials,
there's no need for a "no passing on the right" law.

From: Craig Conwell <>
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 06:19:04 GMT

Gee,  around Arkansas,  most of the people have never heard of 
slower traffic keep right.  It is truly amazing how many people 
will simply sit in the left lane and normally drive 0-5 miles per
hour under the posted limit.  When you flash your passing lights
to them,  normally they wave?!?!?  I have heard that a good percentage
of people from this area have never even left the state,  if they did
they would be run over.

Fell free to add your own response as long as it is Constructive! It can be anonymous if you want.

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