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williel's Avatar
 
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New Left Lane Law in IL

FYI. Everyone should be paying attention to this new IL law in hopes of it going national:

Left-lane slowpokes face tougher time under new Illinois law
By Rick Popely
Tribune staff reporter

January 4, 2004

Drivers who think they own the left lane on expressways and interstate highways will have to move over for faster traffic or risk a $75 fine under a new Illinois law that took effect Jan. 1.

The law, one of several new measures affecting Illinois drivers, prohibits motorists from running in the left lane on limited-access highways for more than half a mile if they are holding up traffic.

State Rep. John Millner (R-Carol Stream), who introduced the legislation in the General Assembly, says the law is designed to get slowpokes out of the left lane, where they block faster traffic and encourage other drivers to tailgate and pass on the right.

"So many accidents are due to people staying in the left lane and blocking traffic. That leads to road rage and people whipping around them to pass on the right," said Millner, a former Elmhurst police chief.

Highway signs have advised motorists for decades to stay right except to pass, but Millner says too many drivers ignore the warning and disrupt traffic flow.

Some drivers set their cruise control at 55 m.p.h. and try to enforce the speed limit by staying in the left lane. Millner says that creates a ripple effect, forcing other drivers to hit the brakes and change lanes.

"It's not their job to enforce the law," he said. "Their speedometer might say they're doing 55 m.p.h., but how do they know? They may actually be going slower."

Master Sgt. Rick Hector, an Illinois State Police spokesman, says the law could curb some of the anger on expressways caused by slow drivers hogging the left lane.

"For years in our defensive driving course we've been teaching that the left lane should only be used for passing," Hector said. "If you go out driving, it's easy to tell when there is someone who gets out there [in the left lane] and just doesn't move over. The intent of this law is to prevent the road rage incidents that happen as a result of that."

The law doesn't apply when there isn't another vehicle directly behind one in the left lane, when traffic is congested, inclement weather makes it necessary to ride in the left lane, an exit is on the left side of the road or at tollway plazas and in construction zones.

"The bottom line is that you can drive in the left lane all day long until somebody wants to pass you. Then you have to move over," Millner said.

He dismisses suggestions that the new law will encourage speeding.

"People are speeding already, and they'll keep speeding, and police will continue issuing tickets to speeders," he said. "If they're blocking traffic, this will encourage them to use a little courtesy and common sense."

Hector adds: "By no means does this law make it easier for those who want to fly out there. We will be placing a priority on [speeding] enforcement."

Old 01-05-2004, 08:02 PM
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Man I hope this sweeps the country. We could use this kind of thing.
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Old 01-05-2004, 08:27 PM
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Amen
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Old 01-05-2004, 08:32 PM
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The same left lane law is supposedly taking place over here in MD with I270. One can only wonder if its being enforced, kinda like the cell phone law. I still see everyone using their cell phones while driving, causing dangerous driving conditions .
Old 01-05-2004, 08:42 PM
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Unfortunately a lot of signs read:"Slower traffic keep right". That confuses the slow thinkers. They maintain that, as long as they go the speed limit, this does not concern them. That habit has been going on for a long time because it is too easy to obtain a drivers licence in the states without any highway driving. In Europe, the "drive right, pass left" is drilled into drivers training. The fines for staying in the left lane are pretty hefty on the Autobahn.
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Old 01-05-2004, 08:50 PM
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Gotta say, after driving the autobahns for several years, it makes sense. Traffic moves smoother, everyone knows the rules so they let you know if you've been in the left lane too long...and according to stats, the autobahns are safer!

Every state should adopt this policy!
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Old 01-05-2004, 09:06 PM
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OK, Cali boys! Write the governator asking for a law like this. With all his Hummers he must be a driver like us. Well, maybne not LIKE us. Actually probably not much like us at all. Oh, forget it. Maybe Maria drives a sports car?
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Old 01-05-2004, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by masraum
Man I hope this sweeps the country. We could use this kind of thing.
Yeah its terrible here in Texas with all the darn SUVs and Dualie Trucks.
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Old 01-05-2004, 10:12 PM
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That would never happen here. I saw a news report last summer where the police were taking unmarked cars and purposely driving slow in the left lane. They were ticketing anyone that flashed their lights, or passed on the right, thinking that they were combating road rage. They were too stupid to realise they were creating it.
Old 01-05-2004, 11:13 PM
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Over here we're only supposed to use the TWO right lanes (that's left to you in the US) for overtaking...keep left (inside lanes) at all other times.

Its stated as such in the Highway Code, which as drivers we are supposed to know, and noted on all motorways etc etc.

Does it help.. Like F##k.

Between the middle lane hogs ( running at 69mph) and the BMW bandits who tihkn that the outer lane is BMW only, the inside lanes ia usually clear...and its illegal to 'undertake' over here...

So what happens, traffic is nose to tail at 90mph on the outer lane. If you move across the guy behind just moves to take your place and will not let you back in...especially when in the P car.

You also get used to the 100mph double lane pull outs and returns to overtake somebody cruising along in the middle lane with their heads up their a####.

Sorry about the rant but unless the drivers are actually forced inot good lane discipline as opposed to obeying a notionally 'safe' spped the habits will not really change.
Old 01-06-2004, 02:31 AM
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Quote:
Left-lane slowpokes face tougher time under new Illinois law
Wow, that's a wonderful development!

Quote:
That habit has been going on for a long time because it is too easy to obtain a drivers licence in the states without any highway driving.
Excellent point...when we lived in FL, 16 year old kids could obtain a drivers license without ever driving on a public street, much less the highways. Driver's Ed was conducted in the school parking lot, and my son was not required to take a road test. Simply amazing. And FL had (or has) a helluva lot of left lane hogs.

I'm hoping that someday Virginia becomes as enlightened as Illinois.
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Old 01-06-2004, 03:30 AM
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YESSSSS!

I live in Southern Illinois and I've been hoping for this for years! I took the Carrera to Chicago on Jan. 2, and I did notice that drivers seemed to be aware of the new law and were being much better about keeping to the right lane (myself included). Had to flash a couple of dimwits but at least now I feel justified with the new law in place.

IMO, poor lane discipline is the biggest cause of road rage in the US. I have always tried to set a good example by keeping right unless I'm passing.

BTW, you should hear the outrage around here from those who believe that as long as they're going the speed limit, they should have every right to cruise in the left lane. Our papers have been filled with letters to the editors and editorial commentary against the new law. I would think that these people would be happy, because now almost everyone in the left lane will be exceeding the speed limit, making it easier for the ticket-writers. Time for a new Valentine!
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Last edited by Wavey; 01-06-2004 at 05:49 AM..
Old 01-06-2004, 05:44 AM
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But what if you're obeying the law (driving the speed limit) and are in the left lane?

It's not posted anywhere that left lane is just for passing. What's the point of even posting a speed limit then.
this is crazy.

This new law will ticket you and fine you for obeying the law in the first place, HAHA
if they want to get it right, they should change the law to: no cruising in the PASSING lane and SPEED LIMIT 90 (cause that's how fast people go these days anyway, without getting fined)

(devil's advocate)

Last edited by on-ramp; 01-06-2004 at 06:15 AM..
Old 01-06-2004, 06:11 AM
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Now if we could teach drivers that the accelleration lane is exactly what it there for....not putt up the lane at 35mph then try to ram their way into a 55mph line of traffic (thus creating the accident).
Accelleration and decelleration lanes are named for their purpose.
And with the new law...so we don't get to sail a slug through the back window of the idiot anymore?(to wake them up)...LOL
Bob
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Old 01-06-2004, 06:12 AM
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Having just moved here from AZ where the speed limit was 65/75 (ouside metro areas), it was great relief to find they're generally ignoring the 55/65 limit in IL but you'll always see idiots in the left lane unless this law is utilized.
I believe part of the reason the law was justified here was due to lack of HOV lanes and emergency vehicles such as fire trucks have a hard time getting through the traffic.
Old 01-06-2004, 06:18 AM
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In Washington, the signs say Keep Right Except To Pass and reference a Washington RCW (law). This morning, the left lane campers were pretty obvious, since we have a blizzard going on out there and the RIGHT lanes are the clear (plowed) ones. So you see, there can be law but no enforcement and no compliance.

And law enforcement is not for the purpose of public safety. That is, I hope you Pelicanheads understand that it's about revenue, not safety. Besides, a lane violation of this type is a judgement call, allowing more discussion in a court room. Speed violations are 'brute fact' violations for which there is little defense. Speeders are the "low hanging fruit."

I have little hope that our constabulary will enforce these sensible and important laws. I have even less hope that drivers will be required to have knowledge, skill and awareness as a condition of being permitted to operate a motor vehicle. If you'll forgive my regress to things political....the oil companies and auto makers would simply not stand for a reduction in single occupancy vehicles. Again, it's not about public safety, or even people at all. It's about revenue and earnings.
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Old 01-06-2004, 06:32 AM
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You are probably right Superman, but if there is a law all we can hope is that it makes the drivers aware of proper use of the left lane. I often wonder as i am hovering behind someone in the left lane, if they are even aware that I am there and if they know that the left lane is for passing. Then when I finally pass them on the right, they stay over there and don't realize that they were hogging the lane.
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Old 01-06-2004, 07:05 AM
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Yes, technically if you are going the speed limit in the left lane it doesn't matter. But since we all know that seldom is everyone going the speed limit that doesn't really matter. I have spoken to people who said they had friends that would intentionally cruise the left lane just to enforce the law themselves. I have trained my wife to stay out of the left lane by explaining that regardless if she is going the speed limit or over if she holds someone up in the left lane it is going to piss them off and create or potentially create road rage. Most people have control issues and won't just let people by. Instead of getting mad I just pass on the right. It may not be right, but it's the norm. Since I can't teach them to do things right I just adapt to the way things work.

Shoot, around here so many people drive in the left lane that the far right lane is often empty.

I think people feel safer in the left lane because there are no cars next to them.
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Old 01-06-2004, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
But what if you're obeying the law (driving the speed limit) and are in the left lane?
Keep right. The left lane is for passing, not cruising.
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Old 01-06-2004, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by on-ramp
But what if you're obeying the law (driving the speed limit) and are in the left lane?

It's not posted anywhere that left lane is just for passing. What's the point of even posting a speed limit then.
this is crazy.

This new law will ticket you and fine you for obeying the law in the first place, HAHA
if they want to get it right, they should change the law to: no cruising in the PASSING lane and SPEED LIMIT 90 (cause that's how fast people go these days anyway, without getting fined)

(devil's advocate)
You're missing the point - with the new law, if you're cruising at the speed limit in the left lane, you're NOT obeying the law.

The Interstates in Illinois used to have signs posted stating "Slower Traffic Keep Right" but some time in the mid-70's they took them down. I think with this new law they should repost the signs.

Staying in the right lane except to pass has nothing to do with the speed limit - they are 2 separate issues.

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Old 01-06-2004, 07:26 AM
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