Responses to "Slow Pokes Pulling Over"

The point:

I think there should be laws that require slow pokes on two lane roads when it is safe. By this I am not implying that that faster drivers have a "right" to intimidate slower drivers off the road. I am simply trying to reach a compromise. Does a slow poke have a "right" to hold traffic up? He shouldn't just as fast drivers shouldn't have the "right" to intimate slower drivers off the road.

The responses:

From: Donald P. Horst <>
Mon, 20 Nov 1995 15:10:02 -0400

Even if not "obligated" [to pull over] why not do it as a matter of
courtesy?  It costs you virtually nothing [it is actually very nice to
get the other driver off your back], and makes someone else happy. :-)

It is a strange phenomenon.  Most people get mad if they are stuck
behind a slower driver, but very few will pull over when they are the
slower driver. I almost always do when I am on rural roads with
relatively light traffic, partly because I do not like anyone on my
rear bumper, but partly just to be nice.  <VBG>

The funny thing is that this is so rare that many drivers do not know
what I am doing when I try to let them pass.

For some reason, our society does not teach people to be courteous on
the road.  We rage at the driver who is discourteous to us, then turn
around and do the same thing to the next driver.

I had such an experience with my sister [a pretty nice person <G>]
recently. I was following her on a winding road, and we were both
driving moderately in an attempt to reduce the level of car sickness
in our respective cars full of family members.  A faster car [a BMW as
I recall] overtook us, and I pulled over to let it by.  He sat on my
sisters bumper for several miles, obviously very irritated.  When I
mentioned it later [as only a brother would <G>], my sister had no
idea why I seemed critical, and was quite irritated with me.  It had
never occurred to her to pull over, even though the BMW was clearly
trying to pass.  In fact, she said that she wondered what in the world
I was doing when I pulled over.

The point is, our society does not teach you that you are a jerk if
you do not pull over [and you can probably think of a dozen other
things that people do to you that make you mad].  Instead, we learn
that we have just as much right to the road as the next guy, and a
*real driver* defends his/her turf, so the hell with the other guy.
The bottom line is that we have a lot of angry drivers for no good

This kind of problem could be addressed to some degree by appropriate
laws [adequately enforced], driver training and media campaigns, but
there does not seem to be any interest among drivers. :-(

[Note: This wasn't in direct responce to this point but it 
was so good I had to include it.]

From: Dennis Hutchins <>
Date: Thu, 24 Aug 1995 15:20:46 -0400

When I was in Germany that's the way it was.  They even had areas just
for people to pull over (mainly in the mountain roads).  I'm not sure if
it was the law or common courtacy.  But thats the problem isn't it...
common courtacy.  Hell there is alot of people who won't slow down and
move out of the way of an ambulance, so what would get them to obey a
different law about moving there slow asses out of the way?  It would be
nice but I just don't see it happening.

From: Mark <>
Date: Sun, 19 Nov 1995 00:31:54 GMT

Slow poke should be required to pullover, and in many
states it is a law.  The problem is the law isn't enforced!

From: Walker Armstrong <>
Date: Sun, 1 Oct 1995 13:59:40 -0700

I would go one step further than requiring slow drivers to pull over:  I
would have posted "minimum" speeds as well as posted "maximum" speeds.  I
would then require drivers that, due to unusual circumstances (ie, carrying
fragile cargo), drive below the posted minimum speed limit to get a permit
for their journey.  They would be further required to have a pace vehicle
1/10 mile behind them with flashing lights and warning banner, (Just like
wide loads are today).

From: Felix Bartl <>
Date: Sat, 18 Nov 1995 23:39:49 GMT

I understand your frustration, but I think we should go easy on this one.
Otherwise, we may have people harassing grandmas on our highways. There
should be a clear definition of a "slowpoke" speed, and maybe a time
frame (say, 5 minutes) in which a slowpoke should pull over if there is
more than a certain number of cars held up behind him/her. Even better,
this should be left up to drivers' curteousy. After all, if they're that
slow, you should be able to overtake them.

From: Richard Rogers <>
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 14:16:04 -0400

I think the back roads should be built like the Trans-Canada Highway,
with a nice wide paved shoulder so that people can do this.  You ever
drive there?  Notice how RV drivers pull onto the shoulder to let 
people go by.  Here, you CAN'T since there's no shoulder, and somehow
I always get behind a poke and then run up on people coming the other
way when I hit a passing zone (this happened many times yesterday on
US-501 in southern Virginia).  A shoulder lets people move over without
slowing down, which is key if you have a bigger vehicle that accelerates
poorly because these vehicles might have trouble getting BACK ONTO the
road if they had to pull off and stop.

From: Everette Lemons &lh;>
Date: Mon, 2 Oct 1995 00:17:17 -0400

You need to be more specific about what you call a 'slowpoke'.  Does this
mean 10, 20, 30 etc., mph under the speed limit?  I agree with minimum 
speed limits, but having people pullover to the side of the road is 
ridiculous.  First of all in a lot of places you can't, and it also can
create further hazards having people pull off then on, off then on.  I 
think everyone just needs to slow down and take it easy, relax. Wherever 
you are going will be there when you get there. It is not the end of the
world, but it will be if you keep speeding.

Editors Note: I just hope I don't get stuck behind you!

From: Jim Herring <>
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 1995 00:46:22 -0400

When i lived in California, the law on two lane highways was if there were
five cars stacked up behind you, to pull over (when safe) and let them
pass. i don't know if this is still the law. [It is]

The CHP would also ticket you for driving too slow for traffic, regardless
of the speed limit. if the flow of traffic was 70 and you were doing 60 in
a 55 you got a ticket. CHP defensive driving taught that you traveled with
flow of traffic.

Date: Mon, 25 Sep 1995 12:54:55 -0400

I believe Colorado has a law that makes it mandatory for any vehicle 
travelling slower than the posted speed limit on a two lave highway to 
pull over when there are 5 vehicles following. Violation is termed as 
obstructing traffic. I think this is as good as it's going to get, I 
can't envision giving tickets to someone doing the speed limit and not 
pulling over for someone exceeding it. Annoying as speed limits may be
they are still a law, and we're not supposed to break it, so they guy 
doing 55 in the mountains can legally bug the heck out of those of us 
that want to go faster....

From: Dusty Moer <>
Date: Sat, 20 Jan 1996 02:42:59 GMT

Driving on many 2 lane roads in Texas, I have found that most people
actually are nice enough to pull over to the right an let you pass. 
However, there are some that will not do it to save their lives.  Namely,
Albertsons Grocery trucks.  Most semis happily pull over so you can pass. 
These fellows working for Albertsons will not.  As a matter of fact, they
will not even move 1 mph over 55.  (The speed limit signs on TX 6 have not
been changed yet.)  However when they do change to 70/65 and 60/55 for
trucks, we are going to have a real problem on our hands.

From: Kenneth Van Valen <>
Date: Fri, 8 Dec 1995 08:40:00 GMT

I think that all the "slow polks" should get tickets. I drive a Trans Am. A
car made for speed. It really pisses me off when I have to come to what
feels like a crawl on the highway when there is a "slow polk" driving at
the posted 55MPH. I admire there attatude for obeying the speed limit but
the limits are out of date just like the driver driving the speed limit!

From: Kathy Jay ><
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 1996 06:56:27 GMT

Hey, wait a minute.  What IS a slow poke to you?  I'm getting the
feeling that a slow poke is any care ahead of you that's not driving
the speed YOU wish to drive.

Forget the posted speed limit?  The speed limit is posted for many
reasons, one of which is safety.  Another could be the fact that
you're driving through an area inhabited by people who are annoyed
with speeding.

For pitty sakes, people, slow down and stop being so aggressive.  Bad
drivers don't impress me one bit; they just follow me at the speed
limit.  If I pulled over very time I had five cars (California law)
behind me while driving to work, I'd never get anywhere.

And, there are cars behind me BECAUSE THEY ARE SPEEDING.  Conversely,
when towing the boat over a mountain, I always pull over if traffic
begins to stack.  I never pull over, however, for TransAms, especially
automatics ;)

Editors Note: In general California 5 or more rule is ment to 
apply for 2 lane highways--not residential streets

From: Anonymous
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 1996 02:26:56 GMT

It is so frustrating when slow drivers drive in front of you,
especially if you are in a rush.  Drivers who drive slow should move
out of the way from another car if they can or if they are holding up
traffic.  I hate the way most slow drivers think. They think that
because they drive slow in front of you then they are helping you out
by keeping you from exce- eding thier speed.  They need to learn how
to be comfortable driving, and then maybe we can also sart to raise
the speed limits.

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

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