"Slower" drivers in the center lane.
CHUCK BRAMLET (chuckb@AZTEC.ASU.EDU)
Sun, 10 Sep 1995 01:13:12 -0700
Date: Fri, 08 Sep
Editor of Highways magazine:
On April 27th, I sent the following letter to the Highways e-mail
address. It has been several months now, and I still haven't seen
it published. It is now almost past the point of being timely.
My reason for writing again, at this time, concerns highway safety.
Labor Day weekend, we took a trip from Phoenix to Flagstaff to go
camping. During the time that we were on the road, we went through
close to 50 miles of bumper to bumper traffic, often comming to a
complete stop. We also passed no less than six accenten sites.
There was no alternate route to get from where we were, to where we
wanted to go.
Virtually every one of them was caused by the driver traveling too
fast for the road conditions. Some _may_ have also involved other
unsafe practices, such as tailgating. At one point, a trailer
loaded with ATVs being hauled by a "blazer" type vehicle several cars
in front of us began to fishtail so badly that it was actually vearing
5 feet _either_ side of it's lane. He was driving 70 mph downhill with
I don't know what editorial consideration that you have had about my
letter. Perhaps you feel that I am personally attacking Mr. Koesters.
My letter was not intended to be a personal attack. It was intended to
point out the fact that _very_often_, the person complaining about the
traffic moving to slowly is actually trying to travel at a speed that
is unsafe for the road conditions.
As an example of this, a number of years ago, we were traveling across
the Navajo Indian reservation in northern Arizona. I had a CB on, and
tuned to Ch 19, the trucker's channel. We began to hear reports of "black
ice" on the road, in specific places. Naturaly the vehicles that were CB
equiped began to slow down as they approached these points. More than a
few times, I saw someone try to pass "those ____ ____ slowpokes", only to
slide off to the side of the road. It was a wonder to me that none of
ended up in a serious accident.
That is the main reason that, today, even with all the vugarity and crude-
ness exhibited by the truckers (and other drivers) on the CB, I _always_
use it when traveling out of town, and keep it on as much as possible.
I have enclosed my original letter, so you need not go thru the trouble of
trying to find it. I have somewhat corrected it.
In his letter in the May issue, Carl Koesters finds fault with those
drivers who drive slower than he in the center lane of a 3 lane freeway.
I learned to drive in California, from a driver training program taught by
my local high school. I was taught the following about freeways (or multi-
1. The right lane is for entering or exiting the freeway, and for the
2. The Left lane was for passing _only_.
3. The center lane(s) is where most of the driving should take place.
As I still drive that way after 30 years, I must be one of the ones that Mr.
Koesters complains about. But, to me, driving that way is a matter of safe
driving. I have yet to see anything to contradict what I was taught. If
your vehicle can travel at normal freeway speed (which is much slower than
most of the cars, or commercial trucks, travel anymore) you should be in
the middle lane. You should travel in the right lane only if you can't
keep up to the posted speed, or are entering or exiting the freeway.
Also, if the guy in the center lane (that Mr. Koesters has to change lanes
to pass) is traveling at the posted speed, maybe Mr. Koesters is traveling
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City