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On 24 Mar 2004 at 21:28, Kevin Guarnotta wrote:

> Actually in the US you are supposed to only pass on the inside lane, and
> travel on the right lane. Unfortunately people rarely travel in the far left
> lane, it ends up empty, then folks drive in the middle lane, and the passing
> lane gets clogged...

I don't think there are very many states in the US which actually have laws on 
this. When I was growing up and learning to drive in Indiana I heard that you 
could get ticketed for staying in the left lane too long (two miles, maybe?) 
but I never heard of that law ever being enforced. There's no such law in 
Wisconsin, and the time that I've came across a thread on this topic in one of 
the automotive newsgroups I as astonished to find how adamant some people were 
who claimed the right to just sit in the left lane as long as they liked.  

To me it's clearly a matter of courtesy, but I think that concept is completely 
lost on most people. I hear that the situation is worst in California, where 
everyone wants a lane to themselves, so that if you ever got 5 cars on a 5 lane 
highway, they would STILL block the whole road. My daughter reported this after 
a trip to Cal a couple of years ago, and after a wasted effort trying to 
explain the point to her co-driver, who was from there.

It's odd, but I don't remember things being like that when I lived there in the 
early 70s.

It's interesting driving across the US, because you may notice different 
amounts of driving care and courtesy as you move from state to state. I have no 
idea what makes the difference, but it's there, and someone ought to figure out 
what the good states are doing right so that we can all start doing it.

Jim Adney, jadney@vwtype3.org
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

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