Passing Fail

2009-09-29 14:19:01 by jdixon

I've heard all sorts of stereotypes about bad drivers. Usually they're racist or sexist (or both). And although it's politically incorrect to agree with them, there's almost always a sliver of truth hidden inside. But it's pretty rare to hear a specific criticism about an entire state of drivers (other than "they suck").

Maryland drivers are quickly gaining a reputation for cruising in the Passing Lane. This might sound like a minor gripe, but you have to consider that the entire state of Maryland is the size of a pimple on Virginia's forehead. Most of the highways are two- or three-lane affairs, not including interstate 95 or the Baltimore and DC perimeters. Monopolizing the Passing Lane can have a significant affect on the normal flow of traffic, and not just during rush hour.

Sometimes I try to consider what they might say if I confronted one of them. I bet they would argue that "I'm already going the speed limit in the fast lane, you're just trying to go faster. You're the unsafe one!". Therein lies the crux; it's not a fast lane, it's a Passing Lane (excessive and redundant emphasis mine). There's nothing subjective about the intended purpose of that lane. It's intended for passing slower traffic. It's not there as your personal safety zone, and it's certainly not yours to do with as you please. You're free to use it for the purposes of Passing vehicles. Once that's over, GTFO of my way.

That is all. Safe motoring, everyone.


at 2009-09-30 14:31:14, jhuldtgren wrote in to say...

This is one of my pet peeves too. Some states have passed "passive aggressive" driving laws where you're not allowed to cruise in the passing lane. I think that there is quite a large portion of the driving population out there that drives slowly in the passing lane, for the sole purpose of slowing down traffic; they probably even think they're doing something good. Fuck them.

at 2009-11-17 13:29:42, Gerald wrote in to say...

Here in Vancouver the radio stations have taken to describing the freeway lanes as 'fast lane' and 'slow lane'. Of course no one wants to be in a slow lane. Especially that new driver who is blissfully unaware of things like turn signals, and rear view mirrors. Don't even get me started on lane changing.

at 2010-11-17 23:27:26, Wil wrote in to say...

We were debating why this behavior was far more prevalent in MD than elsewhere. From this guy's neat chart, a likely explanation is legislation (

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