Reader: Denver's Traffic Is a "Mini-L.A." — and Left-Lane Drivers Are the Problem

Does that car in the left lane need to move?
Does that car in the left lane need to move?
Vox YouTube
Road rage is getting worse in Denver — and after Bree Davies recently realized she'd caught the fever, she came up with ten ways to stop road-raging in Denver. One of her top ten? Learn the rules for driving/passing in the left-hand lane, and then observe them. Which means, if you're driving slow, move to the right. But Melissa doesn't agree:

EXCUSE ME? Driving at or below the speed limit in the left lane? You sound like a big part of the problem out there. If I'm doing the speed limit in the left lane, I have NO LEGAL or MORAL obligation to get out of the way of people who want to exceed the speed limit ( i.e., facilitate law-breaking!).

Responds Ben: 

Yes you do. Colorado (since 2004) and many other states require cars to use the left hand lane only when actively passing.

“A person shall not drive a motor vehicle in the passing lane of a highway if the speed limit is sixty-five miles per hour or more unless such person is passing other motor vehicles that are in a non-passing lane or turning left, or unless the volume of traffic does not permit the motor vehicle to safely merge into a non-passing lane.”

Back to Melissa:

If the speed limit is 65 or more, fine. So we have to get out of the way of people who want to do 85 in a 65 zone. Let them ticket me for doing the speed limit, and I'll plead in court that I have no obligation to facilitate law breaking.

You're essentially advocating road bullying, and that law was apparently written by, and for road bullies.

Concludes Tony:

Thank you for writing this. In the last seven years I've been here, I've seen traffic go from "quite friendly and not that congested" to "mini-L.A." I really think the traveling in the left lane issue is one of the biggest causes of traffic in the Front Range and in the mountains. It's to the point where it would behoove us to spend the money on huge highway signage and maybe allow Colorado State Patrol to pull people over for it.

What do you think of Colorado's left-hand-lane rule? Do you stick to the right unless you're passing?


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