by Susan Frissell, PhD
A grass roots campaign is prodding slow drivers out of the left lane. As traffic becomes increasingly congested, Left Lane Drivers of America says it’s time for citizens to reclaim the left lane.
Spokesperson J.S. Tosti claims that more and more slow drivers are using the left lane, causing headache and frustration to those who have places to go and people to see.
Some of the offenders, Tosti says, are timid and tentative drivers. Some are completely oblivious to what is going on around them. Then there are those who are the self-appointed “hall monitors regulating what they alone have determined to be proper driving speeds.” Whatever the case, the organization claims it’s time to raise awareness and trumpet the message that slow drivers need to move out of the left lane.
The loosely affiliated, yet diverse group shares a common objective: to reduce left lane congestion on freeways and multi-lane highways by politely encouraging drivers to move over. To help drivers get the point, Left Lane Drivers of America offers a copyrighted decal that drivers can display on their windshields.
The $29.99 decal reads “MOVE OVER” and has a large arrow showing the offender where to move. Displayed backwards on the windshield, it can be read by the car in front. Though the sign doesn’t mince words, “it isn’t meant to be rude or pushy,” Tosti says. Rather, it is meant to remind slower drivers to either pick up the pace, or make room for those who choose to drive faster.
Moving over is a matter of courtesy and a matter of safety. It is the law in many states to stay to the right except to pass. Supporters of the grass roots organization believe their message has the potential to reduce instances of road rage, hazardous driving and deadly accidents.
Historically, the left lane has been designated for faster drivers and as a passing lane. Advocates complain that the left lane has been taken over by slower drivers, causing a lot of unnecessary stress. They believe that providing slower drivers with a polite but firm reminder in the form of a windshield decal will nudge them to pick up the pace, or move over to another lane.
Do slow left-lane drivers frustrate you? Is a grass roots group like Left Lane Drivers of America really necessary? Or are they just looking for an excuse to drive faster? I’d love to know your opinion.