Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

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Aikanaro
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Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby Aikanaro » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:37 pm UTC

http://jalopnik.com/youll-love-the-police-for-giving-a-woman-a-ticket-for-453349894

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Jalopnik wrote:You'll Love The Police For Giving A Woman A Ticket For 2 MPH Under The Limit
Car Crime

There are a lot of little things that annoy me on the roads. One is a slow driver in the left lane on the highway. Seems like that annoys Maryland cops too, because they just ticketed a woman for doing 63 in the fast lane in a 65 zone. Good for them.

The driver, who has remained anonymous, said that she slowed down because of high winds in the area and she didn't feel safe. Winds were gusting up to 40 MPH on Friday, so I do understand why she'd slow down.

That's not the issue.

The issue is that she slowed down in the left lane which impeded traffic. If she had just combined that slowing down with a tap of the blinker and a few cautious moves to the right, there would have been no issue.

Cops pulled her over for failing to move right because she was going 63 in a 65 zone, which slows everyone else down as well.

Of course, the AAA thinks the ticket is "silly" and "sends the wrong message." It's actually the opposite. The message it sends is 100 percent accurate. If you feel you need to slow down due to road conditions, feel free to do so. Just don't do it in the left lane.

The driver is going to fight the ticket in court. I really hope it doesn't get overturned. This sets a great precedent.

Kudos to you, Maryland State Police, for standing up for what we've all been saying for years.


Can't find this on any major news sites just yet. Comments? As a fast and fairly aggressive (and, admittedly, bad) driver, I'm kinda okay with this.
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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:51 pm UTC

Yep. I agree with the ticket. Drive fast or gtfo of the fast lane.
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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby Thesh » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:56 pm UTC

I don't care if you are doing 70; if you are in the left lane, you better be passing the people to your right.
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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby engr » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:57 pm UTC

Why is this even news?
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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby Snark » Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:00 pm UTC

In theory it's a good idea. But I hate the way speed limits currently work. They're all actually equal to posted speed limit plus 5-15 mph depending on how the police are feeling that day.

I think the speed limit should be the actual speed limit. I'd support a change of most areas bumping up the "speed limit" 5-10 mph and then actually enforcing it. Then the left lane could have a minimum speed limit of the actual speed limit minus 5mph. Or km/h for all you people lucky enough to use the metric system.
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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby kiklion » Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:09 pm UTC

Aikanaro wrote:
Can't find this on any major news sites just yet. Comments? As a fast and fairly aggressive (and, admittedly, bad) driver, I'm kinda okay with this.


For what it's worth, I get into the right hand land and just chill as I drive home. Shifting into the middle/left lane only as I pass an on-ramp where people need to merge into the right hand lane, then shifting back to the right after passing the on-ramp or momentarily to pass people going very slow in the right hand lane. The ticket doesn't bother me too much, as I understand people speed in the left hand lane. But going 2 MPH under the limit is hard to justify a ticket. What is the margin of error on their speed guns? Would someone get a ticket for going 2 MPH over the limit? It is a limit after all. If you want people going faster, raise the limit. It's one thing for society to pressure people into breaking laws because 'everyone does it', it's another for the legal system itself to pressure people to break laws.

If you feel you need to slow down due to road conditions, feel free to do so. Just don't do it in the left lane.


So I guess everyone should be driving single file or at the speed limit during a snow storm/hurricane etc? As far as I know, you can be given a ticket for going under the speed limit, say 62 in a 65, if the road conditions are poor and require slower speeds. So it seems to be a very subjective punishment, where other cops may have pulled her over for going the speed limit because it was unsafe for the current road conditions. This is why I have difficulty assigning a 'speed' to the left hand lane. Between societies pressure to go over the speed limit, the legal systems support of breaking the speed limit, and requirements to drive at a speed correct for the road conditions, it is very unclear what the 'correct' action is in regards to your speed in the left/fast lane. Instead 'speed' shouldn't matter, as long as you are passing someone. If you are not passing someone, you should be able to be ticketed regardless if you are going 90 or 70 or 60 or 40 in a 65 (unless there is a posted minimum speed).

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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:16 pm UTC

In most areas, posted speed limit is lower than the normal flow of traffic. In a few areas, it's higher. Realistically, it should be higher everywhere. Someone traveling at a significantly different speed to the normal flow of traffic is a danger regardless of if they're going faster or slower. So, what you really want to do is encourage everyone to travel more or less the same general speed.

Unfortunately, what we have is mostly a revenue generating system, not a safety system.

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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby yurell » Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:17 pm UTC

The difference between her actual speed and the signposted speed would fit within the legal uncertainty of a speedometer here (source), without even taking parallax into account. Maybe this would deserve a caution, but I don't think it would need an actual fine to 'teach her a lesson'.
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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby Xeio » Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:59 pm UTC

yurell wrote:The difference between her actual speed and the signposted speed would fit within the legal uncertainty of a speedometer here (source), without even taking parallax into account. Maybe this would deserve a caution, but I don't think it would need an actual fine to 'teach her a lesson'.
At least here, there are additional laws that govern the way you can use the passing lane. I.E. if you're in the left hand lane you should be passing.

That's PA law though, I don't know about Maryland specifically.

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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby omgryebread » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:08 pm UTC

You can pass on either side in Maryland, and you can be in the left lane as long as you aren't going 10 under the speed limit or impeding traffic. She got technically charged on the first one, which doesn't apply, but it does seem fair game to charge her under the second. Oddly enough, it seems you could be charged with the second even if you are going the speed limit. Which is fine with me, going the speed limit in the left lane of I-95 is honestly dangerous.
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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby faranim » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:53 pm UTC

From the Maryland Drivers Manual (bold emphasis is mine):

Understanding Vehicle Speed
The posted speed limit is the maximum legal
speed you can travel on a road under ideal
conditions. Maintaining a safe speed at all times is
a responsibility shared by all motorists.
It is safest to drive at the same speed that most
traffic is moving, up to the maximum speed limit.
In fact, traveling at a speed lower than other traffic
encourages other vehicles to constantly pass you
and increases the chances of a crash.

Appropriate Speed for Conditions
Drivers must recognize and adjust their speed to
adverse conditions. Maryland Vehicle Law requires
that motorists drive at a reasonable and prudent
speed and with a regard for existing and potential
hazards. You may drive slower than the posted
speed limit, based on road conditions, but it is illegal
to drive any faster than the posted speed limit.


Honestly, I think this woman should win. If the police think that traffic flow and driver safety is more important, and driving 2 mph under the posted speed limit is "too slow", then they should raise the damn speed limit. The way it works now, the official speed limit is set ridiculously low, so the police can essentially pull anyone over at any time for speeding, (I would go crazy trying to drive on I-95 at 55 mph). But obviously, drivers who actually drive at the speed limit are a safety problem because the speed limit is set too low.

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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby philsov » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:56 pm UTC

I'm fine with people getting tickets for going too slow in the left hand lanes, but 2 mph isn't enough of a gradient. The posted speed limit is 65. For all lanes. Going 66 is illegal and enforceable. And if 63 is as well, this means cops can bust you all the time for practically whichever reason they want.

Either establish variable, lane-based speed limits or let the lady off the hook imo.

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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby Роберт » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:56 pm UTC

Yeah, the ticket is dumb and shouldn't have happened.
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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby Fire Brns » Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:01 pm UTC

I'm torn, because half of me is shouting street justice while the other half of me is remembering the difficulty in maintaining a constant speed with my accelerator. Both feelings are personal so I can't objectively decide what is right from that. The other people here made good points.
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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby jigawatt » Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:06 pm UTC

True story: I was once exiting off one interstate onto another and the one-lane exit ramp (not the speed-up entrance part) had one of those exit ramp speed limits of a ridiculously low value, like 35. There was a cop right behind me so I slowed way down to almost the ridiculously low speed. The cop was in no hurry (he'd been behind me for a little while), but he momentarilary flashed his lights and squawked his horn AND I WAS STILL EXCEEDING THE POSTED SPEED LIMIT. I did speed up but I have regretted it ever since. If that ever happens again I'm slowing down to the limit.

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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby Tirian » Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:35 pm UTC

Fire Brns wrote:I'm torn, because half of me is shouting street justice while the other half of me is remembering the difficulty in maintaining a constant speed with my accelerator.


I think that cruise control is table stakes these days. Personally, I think it's past time that we integrated it with forward-mounted sonar so that you can maintain the flow of traffic and safe braking distances rather than just maintaining speed.

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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby Роберт » Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:39 pm UTC

I never use cruise control. I assume my car has it. However, in other cars I've driven that had it, they were WORSE at maintaining a constant speed than I was.
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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby Diadem » Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:42 pm UTC

Was she given a ticket for her speed, or for driving in the wrong lane?

Here in The Netherlands if you are driving in the left line, while the right lane is free, you can be ticketed. Doesn't matter if you're under, at or over the limit. You don't belong in the left lane if the right lane is free, or if you are going slower than the people to your right.
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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby Xeio » Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:51 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:I never use cruise control. I assume my car has it. However, in other cars I've driven that had it, they were WORSE at maintaining a constant speed than I was.
Malfunctioning cruise control maybe? I've never noticed any deviation and I almost exclusively drive using it on highways (unless there's a lot of traffic or something). The downside usually being I notice other people deviating in speed more often.

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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby faranim » Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:56 pm UTC

I guess it's worth repeating. There is no passing law in Maryland. It is perfectly legal to drive in the left hand lane of any roadway, as long as you are not going less than 10 below the speed limit (and you aren't an 18-wheeler truck, etc).

I understand that the left lane should be for passing only, and that slower traffic should be required to move right. But it's not the law in Maryland. People should not be punished for actually following the laws. If the laws are dumb, they need to be changed.

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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby Роберт » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:11 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:
Роберт wrote:I never use cruise control. I assume my car has it. However, in other cars I've driven that had it, they were WORSE at maintaining a constant speed than I was.
Malfunctioning cruise control maybe? I've never noticed any deviation and I almost exclusively drive using it on highways (unless there's a lot of traffic or something). The downside usually being I notice other people deviating in speed more often.

Maybe your area is less hilly?
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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby Derek » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:56 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:Maybe your area is less hilly?

My cruise control maintains my speed well on hills (though it can gain speed going down if the hill is steep enough). I do see a lot of other people lose more speed on hills though, so I assume their cruise control isn't as good (or they're not using it at all).

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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby Роберт » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:13 pm UTC

Derek wrote:
Роберт wrote:Maybe your area is less hilly?

My cruise control maintains my speed well on hills (though it can gain speed going down if the hill is steep enough). I do see a lot of other people lose more speed on hills though, so I assume their cruise control isn't as good (or they're not using it at all).

Yeah, the cruise controls I've seen would easily drop five mph on a steeper hill before they would realize they really need to do something about it. And easily go five mph over when going down hill.

Which I think plays into my thoughts on how ridiculous it is to ticket someone going only two mph below the limit. They could have easily set their cruise control above the limit and had this happen.

EDIT: also, I mostly drive manual transmission cars these days, so it really doesn't make much sense to bother with cruise control.
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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby DaBigCheez » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:41 pm UTC

Snark wrote:In theory it's a good idea. But I hate the way speed limits currently work. They're all actually equal to posted speed limit plus 5-15 mph depending on how the police are feeling that day.

I think the speed limit should be the actual speed limit. I'd support a change of most areas bumping up the "speed limit" 5-10 mph and then actually enforcing it. Then the left lane could have a minimum speed limit of the actual speed limit minus 5mph. Or km/h for all you people lucky enough to use the metric system.

Didn't we do that about a decade ago, where the speed limit used to be 55 but everyone actually drove 60-65, so we bumped it up to 65 with the understanding that 65 was the real, hard, enforceable speed limit? (And then, unsurprisingly, the same thing happened with the new limit?) Or was that a local thing in the Midwest/am I making that up?
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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby Adam H » Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:04 pm UTC

DaBigCheez wrote:
Snark wrote:In theory it's a good idea. But I hate the way speed limits currently work. They're all actually equal to posted speed limit plus 5-15 mph depending on how the police are feeling that day.

I think the speed limit should be the actual speed limit. I'd support a change of most areas bumping up the "speed limit" 5-10 mph and then actually enforcing it. Then the left lane could have a minimum speed limit of the actual speed limit minus 5mph. Or km/h for all you people lucky enough to use the metric system.

Didn't we do that about a decade ago, where the speed limit used to be 55 but everyone actually drove 60-65, so we bumped it up to 65 with the understanding that 65 was the real, hard, enforceable speed limit? (And then, unsurprisingly, the same thing happened with the new limit?) Or was that a local thing in the Midwest/am I making that up?

Either start ticketing people who go 2 mph OVER the speed limit, or change the speed limit. Seriously.

I'm a reckless speeder just like everyone else and when I get stuck behind a slowpoke in the left lane I scream at them, but I like to think that my rage is really towards the stupid lawmakers and law enforcers that have created such a broken and inane system.
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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby Dark567 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:09 pm UTC

DaBigCheez wrote:
Snark wrote:In theory it's a good idea. But I hate the way speed limits currently work. They're all actually equal to posted speed limit plus 5-15 mph depending on how the police are feeling that day.

I think the speed limit should be the actual speed limit. I'd support a change of most areas bumping up the "speed limit" 5-10 mph and then actually enforcing it. Then the left lane could have a minimum speed limit of the actual speed limit minus 5mph. Or km/h for all you people lucky enough to use the metric system.

Didn't we do that about a decade ago, wire the speed limit used to be 55 but everyone actually drove 60-65, so we bumped it up to 65 with the understanding that 65 was the real, hard, enforceable speed limit? (And then, unsurprisingly, the same thing happened with the new limit?) Or was that a local thing in the Midwest/am I making that up?
Some places in the Midwest have bumped out to 70, for that reason. I generally drive 80 and have gotten pulled over. I wonder if they would for 5?
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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby yurell » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:16 pm UTC

For those advocating cruise control, how does it fair in 60km/h wind gusts? Does it change speed by less than 3 km/h?
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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby BattleMoose » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:54 pm UTC

The expectation that someone is required to drive between 63 and 65km/h, is plainly absurd. Takes a lot of attention to maintain such a constant speed and that's attention not spent on things that may actually cause an accident. /2cents

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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby Isaac Hill » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:03 pm UTC

Something similar happened to me last November. There were two lanes heading north, and I was in the left one with my cruise control set to the speed limit. A cop pulled me over and gave me a written warning (no fine or ticket) for a left-lane violation. He said I was stopping people from passing. I pointed out that I was doing the speed limit, so no one should be passing me. He said something about speeders with road rage. Apparently they've been doing that a lot, since now on that highway I often see the left lane virtually empty.

That seems like a waste of a lane, especially given that there's only two. Everyone driving in the right lane now has to constantly decelerate and accelerate (or change lanes and quickly change back) everytime someone gets on the highway and isn't up to 65mph yet. Plus, all the cars are closer together, so people have less reaction time if something happens to the car in front of them. If your highway is sparsely populated enough that you can afford to keep one lane unused, it's sparsely populated enough that it doesn't need to be micromanaged.
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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby PhoenixEnigma » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:27 pm UTC

This is silly. Wait, no, it's not silly. It's scary. It's "we can ticket you regardless of how you're driving." The answer to laws/speed limits that need to be updated is to update them, not to have police start enforcing what they think is right.
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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby Xeio » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:58 pm UTC

Isaac Hill wrote:Something similar happened to me last November. There were two lanes heading north, and I was in the left one with my cruise control set to the speed limit. A cop pulled me over and gave me a written warning (no fine or ticket) for a left-lane violation. He said I was stopping people from passing. I pointed out that I was doing the speed limit, so no one should be passing me. He said something about speeders with road rage. Apparently they've been doing that a lot, since now on that highway I often see the left lane virtually empty.

That seems like a waste of a lane, especially given that there's only two. Everyone driving in the right lane now has to constantly decelerate and accelerate (or change lanes and quickly change back) everytime someone gets on the highway and isn't up to 65mph yet. Plus, all the cars are closer together, so people have less reaction time if something happens to the car in front of them. If your highway is sparsely populated enough that you can afford to keep one lane unused, it's sparsely populated enough that it doesn't need to be micromanaged.
So the scenario this causes a problem is when the highway is both crowded, and every person on it wants to go exactly the speed limit? Why is it not common sense to move into the non-passing lane if you're not passing in other situations?

Also, if you're passing someone coming off an on ramp... that's still passing isn't it...?

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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby Decker » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:01 am UTC

Can't speak for anyone else, but on my commute home, I need to make an exit in the left lane. Personally, I don't like shifting over at the last second, because sometimes it's busy and I can't.
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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby Diadem » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:12 am UTC

An exit in the left lane???
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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby Decker » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:13 am UTC

More of a fork, I guess. The result is the same.
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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby phlip » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:18 am UTC

Yet more evidence to my theory that whenever you see a sign in America that has a number on it, you need to add about 20% to that number. Whether it's a price that doesn't include taxes and tips, or a speed limit.
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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby Decker » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:20 am UTC

phlip wrote:Yet more evidence to my theory that whenever you see a sign in America that has a number on it, you need to add about 20% to that number. Whether it's a price that doesn't include taxes and tips, or a speed limit.

Also, waist size for jeans.
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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby Tirian » Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:17 am UTC

Isaac Hill wrote:Something similar happened to me last November. There were two lanes heading north, and I was in the left one with my cruise control set to the speed limit. A cop pulled me over and gave me a written warning (no fine or ticket) for a left-lane violation. He said I was stopping people from passing. I pointed out that I was doing the speed limit, so no one should be passing me. He said something about speeders with road rage. Apparently they've been doing that a lot, since now on that highway I often see the left lane virtually empty.


When I went through driver's ed quite a few years ago, I was taught that it was part of the Uniform Vehicle Code that slow traffic had to keep right on two-lane roads but not necessarily highways with more than two lanes.

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Metaphysician
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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby Metaphysician » Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:59 am UTC

Why ticket? Just pull her over and politely inform her that if she feels the need to slow down, she should do so in the right lane.
What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.
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Zcorp
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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby Zcorp » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:02 am UTC

Her driving slow in the left lane is more dangerous than what police generally ticket and I wish that traffic cops focused on the more dangerous things more often. However, as much as my initial reaction supported the ticket it certainly isn't reasonable. I'd say we should work to change our laws to decrease the dangers of driving and make it so that tickets weren't just income and a way to measure job performance for police, but before that will realistically happen Google will be driving everyone anyway.

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Xenomortis
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Re: Ticketed for going 2 MPH under limit in fast lane

Postby Xenomortis » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:03 am UTC

As annoyed as I get for people forcing me to slow down in the outside lane, ticketing for being 2MPH under the limit seems stupid; that's well within the error-limits for someone's speedometer. I know mine reports at least 5mph over my actual speed when in the 60-70mph mark, and it only gets worse from there.

phlip wrote:Yet more evidence to my theory that whenever you see a sign in America that has a number on it, you need to add about 20% to that number. Whether it's a price that doesn't include taxes and tips, or a speed limit.

You can do that on British motorways and, so long as you're not going past speed-camaras (which exist in some sections of a few motorways), nobody really cares. As far as I can tell, the police don't care until you reach 100mph.
I don't know how different things are on the other side of the Atlantic.
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