Ever wonder why Police don't ticket Left-Lane Hogers?

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HighMileJon
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Ever wonder why Police don't ticket Left-Lane Hogers?

by: HighMileJon on
Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:42 pm

http://www.wheels.ca/Columnists/article/801674

Here's an interesting article regarding an angry columnist who is tired of left-lane hogs who travel in the left lane and will not move over for a vehicle behind them wanting to travel faster.

The writer just blames enforcement and the police for not taking the initiative and the time to ticket these offenders when he clearly fails to realize that the HTA section 147 is not adequate enough to ticket someone who will hog the left lane travelling at 110-115km/hr.

I researched this section myself and it is a problem.

In summary, the section says that if you're moving SLOWER than the flow of traffic that you should move over to the right when safe.

The problem is all the variables, what is considered the flow of traffic? 10km/hr over the speed limit? So if a person is travelling at 115km/hr in the left lane technically according to this section he is not required to move to the right.

For this section to be effective it needs to be re-written and not worry about flow. If the right lane is open move over, there will ALWAYS be someone who's wanting to go faster. Flow of traffic is way TOO big of a variable. Could be 105 in heavy traffic, could be 130km/hr, either way it just makes sense to move over regardless of flow of traffic.

What is your opinion on this Bear?

I'm sure you have experience with this sort of sitation. From what I've heard this specific section is only used if the person is travelling unusually slow in the far left lane. Ex. 90 in a 100km/hr and unwilling to move over.

I think it would be a very tough charge to prove in court given the way the current section is written if driver A was doing 115km/hr in lane 1 (left lane). In all honesty the officer would have an easier time locking in his speed of 115 and charging him with 15km/hr over the speed limit. Rather than the real charge he deserved. Unfortunately driver A going 115 in lane 1 is actually more dangerous than his speed itself because now you have many cars trying to recklessly pass him in lanes 2 and/or 3. But because of the way the section is written its very hard to enforce this violation.

So in my opinion as it stands now it's just a courtesy if someone moves over to the right in order for you to pass. To me it just makes sense, if the right lane is safe to move into and you know someone behind you was approaching you at a higher rate of speed be nice and move over. It's common sense, unfortunately most drivers lack common sense and that's why laws need to be written which are more clear and strict.


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Simon Borys
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by: Simon Borys on
Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:10 pm

If you are traveling the speed limit, say 100 km/hr in the left lane on the highway, I don't think the HTA contemplates that you should move over for someone who wants to break the law by going faster. As you said, I think this section only applies if someone is going particularly slower than the speed limit - as it should.
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HighMileJon
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by: HighMileJon on
Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:15 pm

Hence the problem with the section Simon.

You must agree that it is quite dangerous for a driver to drive in the far left lane @ 100km/hr.

Passing in lane 2 and/or lane 3 causes many accidents on our roads.

This article I referred to though suggests that it's officers fault for not properly enforcing this violation when in fact there is no violation.

There should be a new section written in there regarding this problem of common courtesy. I think its more than recognized that travelling at 110-115km/hr on the 400 series is not something you're going to be ticketed for given you are following all the other rules of the road and driving according to traffic/weather conditions which is why there needs to be a law that says plain and simple stay to the right most lane unless you are passing.


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by: HighMileJon on
Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:23 pm

Here's a very interesting link showing how each state in the United States deals with the issue of enforcing this law.

http://www.mit.edu/~jfc/right.html

The bottom paragraph is very interesting when it talks about transport trucks doing 60mph in a 55mph zone when traffic flow is travelling @ 65 mph and police will actually ticket the transport blocking the left lane doing 60mph.

I drive in the US regularly and this is a common issue. Most state thruways/highways are two lanes and sometimes trucks will block the left lane for 10 miles + while SLOWLY trying to pass another truck that is travelling 1-5 mph/hr slower than it. It can cause huge back ups as trucks lose a lot of speed travelling on any incline.

This is an interesting analysis.


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by: Simon Borys on
Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:26 pm

What you're suggesting is that we recognize that people routinely break the law and we should write another law to accommodate that. I disagree. If you want change, I think we should either raise the speed limit to accommodate the faster drivers and leave the section regarding left lane use as is, or we should start enforcing the speed limit in the left lane. I don't see how the change should be to rewrite or reinterpret the left lane section to legitimize speeding in that lane.
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by: HighMileJon on
Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:05 am

I think its pretty known that people "routinely" break the law of 100km/hr maximum speed. Don't you remember the high profile case of two drivers doing 100km/hr on the 401 driving side by side in the left and middle lane to protest a ticket he received earlier that month for travelling 115 in 100km/hr zone. They were both charged under this section. So no, it is not okay to travel at 100 km/hr in the far left lane.

I am looking at this issue from purely a safety and traffic management stand point. (Cars passing on the right at a higher rate of speed) It would literally be impossible to ticket every driver on the 401 that does 110+ in the fast lane. So I don't think it's wrong to write a section that takes into consideration law breakers, because there will always be law breakers, in the name of safety. Something as simple as keep right except to pass. The current section as you reiterated in your previous post says that if a driver is moving with the flow of traffic (should be 100km/hr on 400 series) then he/she has no obligation to move to the right (it has nothing to do with passing). If you noticed though, MTO overhanging signs will routinely read, "keep right except to pass". It is something we want to make drivers aware of but unfortunately it's unlikely to change unless there are some sort of consequences involved with impeding flow of traffic in the left lane.

I work at the MTO and this is an important matter being analysed. If such a section (keep right except to pass) were to be created it would increase safety and traffic flow. I understand your position about telling people its okay to break the law and suggesting that the speed limit should be raised. Unfortunately it is very unlikely you will see that happen. It is the age old problem, if you raise the speed limit to 110 then you will have people travelling at 130/140 more regularly.

My standpoint is not about "legitimizing" speeding. It is purely from a traffic management and safety standpoint. Which I think it would be hard to argue against if this new section were to be created or rewritten.

With a "keep right except to pass" section in the HTA, traffic flow would be increased by maximizing physical space on our highways and safety would be increased because you would no longer have traffic ever passing on the right at a high rate of speed (especially dangerous on 3 lane highways).

And finally, if that left lane was left more open police would actually have an easier time ticketing those speeders who are travelling at 115+ in a 100km/hr zone because there would be less traffic blocking that lane impeding their speeding.


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by: julietsierratango on
Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:07 pm

This is a serious problem.

Ever drive down the 401 late at night when it's empty; in the right lane of course, and see someone merge on from the on ramp and immediately move as far left as possible for no reason?

Simon I like the idea of the speed limit being raised (hint hint MTO) to pre 1972 levels or higher; but that would still not solve the irresponsible behavior I notice on the roads (like rolling roadblocks in the passing lane).

The flip side is that I am pretty sure during some protest convoys when people were doing a strict speed of 100km/h they were ticketed for going too slow. So you cannot go the speed limit, but you cannot speed. Welcome to Ontario Highways. I hope somebody profits off of this.


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by: iFly55 on
Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:37 pm

i too feel that maximum posted signs are completely useless, if your given this arbitrary +20 buffer

what's the point?

i feel that either drivers should have their vehicles scrapped + drivers license taken away for life for driving even 1 above a posted maximum ... or... not enforce it whatsoever, and let people choose to kill themselves in their mother's minivan

i feel we should raise the limit, and simply enforce it draconian style or not at all

just because the new limit is 150 or unlimited does not necessarily mean you have to drive at those speeds, if you don't feel comfortable you can choose to drive at a slower speed on the right hand side

i find the 407 is the worst in terms of motorists being given buffers, you drive by camped cruiser at 140-145 and still no flashing lights... they wait for the 150+ for the stunt tow

why are motorist knowingly allowed to break the law? might as well drive at night with an amber beacon and remove all the posted limit signs


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by: Squishy on
Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:38 am

Simon Borys wrote:I don't think the HTA contemplates that you should move over for someone who wants to break the law by going faster.
I believe it does, through 148 (2). Paraphrasing, it says to the effect of "vehicles overtaken must turn to the right". Meaning if faster traffic is approaching you, you must move to the right to allow them to pass.
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by: hwybear on
Sun Dec 25, 2011 12:56 pm

there are many problems on the roads with how people drive and many things would aid in the traffic. Here are a few things, not just limited to the topic at hand
- keep right except actively passing a vehicle (be within 60m) in order to move to a lane to the left (in zones over 70km/hr)
(60m is referenced in the HTA for several other sections)
- prohibit passing on the right, except to overtake a vehicle making a left hand turn
- follow distance minimum 60m from vehicle in front at speeds over 60km/hr = same as trucks
- mandatory use of signals at all times
and could add in some wordings to support other bad driving habits
ie: strike a vehicle from behind, drive off roadway
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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by: Bond1 on
Sun Dec 25, 2011 6:28 pm

Thank for your article, as this to is a frustrating experience on a ;'':'"@' daily basis.

But bear in mind nothing prevents the officer from giving 2 tickets in this situation - 1 for speeding and failure to pull over for faster vehicles.
The only conclusion is that the officer is oblivious or not aware of this possibility - name me an officer that would not like to give 2 tickets as opposed to one


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