Left lane hogs are driving illegally

Home Forums West Seattle Rants & Raves Left lane hogs are driving illegally

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    Ok it’s time to re-rant about how frustrating it is to drive on a road and be boxed in because of all the people driving in the left lane. Move over to the right and let people pass you on the left the way the law states. If you stay in the left lane you force me to pass you on the right which is illegal.

    Last time many said this law is just for highways so the WS bridge didn’t fall under it but they are wrong. And West Marginal way south of the bridge- MOVE TO THE RIGHT LANE Sheesh!

    “Upon all roadways having two or more lanes of traffic moving in the same direction all vehicles shall be driven in the right hand lane …” RCW 46.61.100 app.leg.wa.gov

    • This topic was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by  aa.


    While I agree that driving slow in the left lane is illegal, especially if you’re impeding traffic. Passing in the right lane isn’t illegal.
    RCW 46.61.115 states:
    (1) The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass upon the right of another vehicle only under the following conditions:
    (a) When the vehicle overtaken is making or about to make a left turn;
    (b) Upon a roadway with unobstructed pavement of sufficient width for two or more lines of vehicles moving lawfully in the direction being traveled by the overtaking vehicle.



    “SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP RIGHT” especially on the interstate/highway but if you’re passing me in the right lane on the WSB it’s because I’m lining up in the left lane to get on I-5 N and I’m not moving right so you can pass me on the left.



    If I am queued in the left lane of the WSB/Spokane viaduct, it’s because traffic to get into that lane is heavy. Note the only double-white lane you-shall-not-pass divider for folks in the RH lane from merging is unique in the state (and in my mind it should back extend to the 4th Avenue exit). The left-lane camper rule is meant for normal highway speeds. Trying to go NB on I-5 on the Spokane viaduct from the RH lane is wrong, and anyone who does it should know it is wrong. Flame out.



    It’s frustrating and has been for decades, but there are too many people that don’t know the law, or ignore it. Focus your energy on something you can change.



    thank you, JayDee…If I am on the Spokane St. Viaduct, I am headed to Beacon Hill, not I-5…and it’s just as frustrating when people drive up past the line going to the 5, and then stop with signal on trying to get in the line to the freeway and downtown, blocking the flow of traffic to southbound I-5, and /or going up to Beacon. And always fun to watch people jockeying for position on the highrise. I’m surprised there aren’t more accidents than there already are. Know where you’re going ahead of time, pick a lane, and stay there…traffic will flow.



    Daveb- this is the rant section. Please don’t tell me to do otherwise.

    JanS- pick a lane and stay there is the problem in my opinion. For example- Leaving I5 going to WS and you know you will be heading up Fauntleroy- that is NOT the time to get in the left lane and stay there! You drive in the right lane and then when you get close you veer to one of the two left lanes. Yes, I often move to the left by the 1st Ave on ramp to make room for oncoming traffic, and then I move back over to the right. That’s the law. Not pick a lane and stay there.


    2 Much Whine

    You could always move to Italy (I’m not telling you to do so – it’s just an option). Using the left lane for passing is one of the few laws they actually obey. Seriously – they’ll blow through stop signs, park in a crosswalk or on a sidewalk and not give it a second thought but they understand how beneficial it is to have the left lane for passing only and it works great. It seriously makes driving a pleasure there – I haven’t figured out why we collectively can’t seem to manage it.



    aa…are you saying then that on the highrise we should all be over in the right lane, the one that takes you to Hwy. 99?. Nope, doesn’t work. And then there’s the bus lane…can’t hang in there either. So, that leaves the two left lanes. Specifically, if you are headed for I-5 north, get in the left lane. If you are headed to Beacon Hill, or 1st Ave. S, 4th Ave. S, or I-5 south, then you get in the second from the left lane. There are no other options. I abhor drivers that get in that lane and then get to the Spokane St. viaduct, and nearing the double white lines that you cannot cross, they simply stop with signal on, trying to get in the lane to I-5, blocking the lane that doesn’t. It’s absurd. Go wait in the left lane with the rest of them. That’s what I’m talking about, especially in rush hour in the morning. Coming the other way, for me, I live in Admiral, so I get in the right lane, no problem…and then deal with those in the next lane to the left trying to jockey into the right lane, again slowing, blocking the traffic that would be headed up Fauntleroy. Yes, I’ll do that zipper thing there, and let someone in, but not all of them. While I understand the law, and try to abide by it, it’s difficult on the WS bridge in places. I suppose maybe I should have said know where you are going ahead of time, and don’t wait until the last minute to get into whatever lane you need to get there at the last minute. That’s how I drive. I don’t have to hurry up and then try to get over so I can be ahead of the others, saving what? 10 seconds? Nah, not worth the aggravation.



    keeping the left lane clear for passing only works if everyone uses it only for passing…
    and i am not talking about passing all of those cars in line to get into the correct lane for their turn so that you can jump the line.
    a little courtesy would drastically change the way our traffic flows.. but don’t try to tell that to the person who either thinks jumping the line in front of you is somehow moving anyone but them along or those who think that letting any car merge in front of them will slow them down :(
    all i can say is thank god i have always driven defensively.. it’s given me habits that keep me as safe as anyone can be in Seattle traffic



    Saw this story today and thought of this thread.

    Notice how many times in the quotes and the video they say the word “highway.” I don’t believe the Bridge nor Marginal Way qualify. And TBH the speed cars are going there, when you could actually move unimpeded, are pretty darn high already. So if you’re so all-fired-up to pass you are most likely exceeding the speed limit which makes your desire for left lane clearance moot.

    And even if you’re not speeding, is the little amount of time gained worth it? For example, if you got on the Bridge at 35th/Fauntleroy and proceeded to I-5 North, that’s three miles. If you’re doing 40mph it’ll take you approximately 4.5 minutes. If you’re doing 45, it’s 4 minutes. 30 seconds.

    I completely agree on interstates and highways the left lane should be kept clear but surface streets don’t warrant the same treatment.



    Today, on my way back from Redmond I had this happen on I-90. Jerk in the left lane going 50, holding up multiple cars that wanted to go at least the speed limit (60 at the time, no slower traffic notice until the I-5 SB off ramp) but because of equally slow drivers in the center lane and even slower drivers getting off on Mercer Island it was a cluster-f.

    As soon as we cleared the off-ramp slowdowns, I and about a dozen other cars had to merge to the far right to get around the slower middle cars then we could get back to the speed limit.

    Jerks are jerks and I hope they realized that so many drivers giving them the finger did NOT mean “You’re number 1 in our books!”. I don’t see it this brazenly every day but when I do, I am more than happy to honk at them. If you are in the left lane, speed up or get out of the way especially if you are going well under the speed limit. Although I wish PD would pull them over and ticket them instead. We need to put up more signs around the area stating the left lane is for passing, not camping.



    Ya’ll cry like little kids with skinned knees. If this is what you have to get all riled up about you should perhaps, take a good long look at your life and reassess your priorities. Meanwhile I’m sure me and my bicycle will keep your blood boiling.



    as long as you are obeying traffic laws i am more than happy to look out for you


    Lisain WSea

    This topic has certain been in the top of the news cycle recently. Here’s a couple thoughts I have:
    1. I think part of the problem is that people use the terms “passing lane” and “fast lane” interchangeably. “Fast lane” implies priority to whoever wants to go the fastest. You should have every right to pass and get back over to the right when you’re done; even if you’re going slightly slower than the guy behind you.
    2. Regarding the I-5 North merge from the West Seattle bridge. I’ve always thought it funny that the “illegal to cross double white line” is at the same point in the road that the first signs showing what lanes head in what direction for I-5. I pity the poor fool that doesn’t drive this road every day and has to rely on road signs. People that know what lane they need to be in 1 mile prior to any signage and be pretty ruthless.

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