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Open Letter to the City of Miami: Why You Should Kerb Left-Lane Slow Pokes

Dear City of Miami,

We at SpeediMango have a complaint to make on the subject of highway lane discipline in Miami.

Please understand, we have nothing against you, even when your police officers give us angry little tickets for going a tick faster than we ought to be going.  We’re only human and we understand that those tix are a part of keeping law and order and driver-safety on public roads.

Lane-Discipline Linked to Accidents

However, you appear to miss the fact that a large number of accidents in Miami have something to do with the fact that highway lane discipline is about as real here as Justin Bieber’s cranial matter. When was the last time that I-95 had no accidents somewhere along its path through the greater Miami area for more than 30 consecutive minutes and which didn’t cause a traffic jam the length of Jack’s bean-stalk reaching up to the skies? I-95 is just one of Miami’s highways and of course, we exaggerate, but you get the point.

Poor and Aggressive Driver Behaviour

You see, left-lane slow-pokes cause chaos on our roads.  Firstly, they bring out the worst driving behavior in their fellow road-users, such as tailgating, cutting people off and weaving in and out of traffic to find pockets of empty road where they can move more swiftly.  This also compels drivers to pass on the right, a move that is illegal in Europe because it’s intrinsically unsafe.  Needless to say, an increase in these behaviours, coupled with a large immigrant population perhaps used to driving under different rules and conditions and are you surprised that you have an accident faster than you can say “move over, mate?”  And accidents don’t just cause loss of life, injuries and inconvenience to other road users.  They’re also a huge waste of police and medical resources along with tax-payer money.  They also cause huge traffic jams.

Traffic-Jams

Mind you, it doesn’t take only accidents to cause traffic-jams.  Drivers moseying along in the left lanes of highways, with the right lanes moving no faster, cause traffic to move far more slowly than it otherwise might, also causing large backlogs.  Sometimes, we wonder why some highways even have four lanes in certain places.  Surely, traffic would move just as fast in a two lane road if the left-lane hogs were confined to the right lane.  Case in point are the Express Lanes along I-95.  A slow-moving vehicle in the left lane is enough to reduce traffic on the Express Lane to the same speed as the non-Express Lanes, rendering the idea of an Express Lane utterly useless.

You Have Laws Against Hogging the Left-Lane

Well, might we remind you, City of Miami, that there are laws in practically every state regarding lane discipline? Lane discipline is the far-fetched notion of keeping to the right to let faster moving traffic pass on the left.  As for the laws on Lane Discipline, they’re the sort of things that exist, but seem to be ignored, like the fact that potato chips are actually bad for you and that the Prius might be the most boring car on the planet.

Specifically, according to the newly revised Florida State Statute 316.081, Section (2), “Upon all roadways, any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic..”

Section (3) continues:”…a driver may not continue to operate a motor vehicle in the furthermost left-hand lane if the driver knows or reasonably should know that he or she is being overtaken in that lane from the rear by a motor vehicle traveling at a higher rate of speed.”

Despite this clearly existing legislation, when was the last time an officer dutifully handed out a ticket to rickshaw-like pickup driver for doing 45 in the left lane of a 65mph highway, while being passed on his three right-hand lanes?

Enforce Lane Discipline Like the Germans 

The fact is that you could probably reduce the number of accidents on public highways by just enforcing the lane discipline laws.

If you think we’re being a bit draconian, we would humbly point out that in Germany, they manage to keep their highways fairly accident free, with cars travelling at excess of 100 mph because lane discipline is enforced.

If you happen to be ambling along at 10 below the limit in the left lane of the Autobahn in your Porsche 911 Turbo S, you will be quickly face the wrath of drivers behind you who you’re holding up.  This is assuming that Der Polizei doesn’t pull you over first for a quick heart-to-heart and a nice little fine.  This is because Germans take driving far more seriously than Americans, as do most European nations.  This is evident from the fact that obtaining a driving licence can take up to two years in some countries.

An Idea For You

So City of Miami here’s an idea for you.  How about you redeploy some of your finest to handing out tickets to people not going too fast, but to people going too slowly in the left lane.  The shock value of such a ticket will cause the news to spread like wildfire, “I got a ticket for going too slow!” leading to a change in driver behavior and hopefully, safer and more expedient roads.

And one more thing.  Do you need to raise a little tax revenue to fix those broken road surfaces? Handing out tickets for going too slow might be a much better way to raise revenue than issuing speeding tickets.  Set up a few speeding cameras as used on British highways, measure motorist speed, pop a few tickets in the mail and Bob’s yer uncle!

 

Me Blog

    By Farra Majid, August 5, 2015

 

Ps. If you agree with us, why not forward this to your friends to help them avoid getting a ticket one day?

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Posted by: Farra Majid on Wednesday, August 5th, 2015 at 5:52 pm in LIFESTYLE