Many people in the area have complained lately about motorists driving in the inner lane of a four-lane road. The problem is a real one: the number of slow inner lane drivers will likely increase. That is because roads are increasingly congested, and also because suicide lanes used for turning are no longer routinely approved in new construction.
Rather than focusing on the slow inner lane driver or criticizing any driver for slowness, it is more profitable to look at the real causes of nearly all crashes: exceeding the speed limit, weaving from lane to lane, driving too fast for conditions, cutting across more than one lane, not signaling ahead of time, and following too closely.
Signed in April 2001, HB 385 addressed forms of aggressive driving such as following too closely, the most common cause of crashes. It also prohibits driving unnecessarily slow in the inner lane, per Georgia Law Enforcement Handbook 40-6-184: No person shall continue to operate a motor vehicle in the most left-hand lane at less than the maximum lawful speed limit once such person knows or should reasonably know that he is being overtaken in such lane from the rear by a motor vehicle traveling at a higher rate of speed, except when such motor vehicle is preparing for a left turn no person shall drive at such a slow speed as to impede the normal flow of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation.
In summary, one should maintain the speed limit in the inner lane if that is a safe speed to drive in the given conditions, or attempt to get in the right lane when there is a car approaching from the rear.
Tragically forgotten by many, slow inner-lane driving is necessary in order to turn left. Also, when traffic is congested in the right lane, it is prudent to drive at the speed limit in the inner lane to keep from further crowding right lane traffic. The prevalence of speeding may be at the core of the angst with slow inner-lane drivers, and it is sometimes our own (albeit moderate) speeding. With all the variables involved, one can only realistically expect enforcement of not driving fast enough in the inner lanes to occur on interstates.
Safe Communities Coalition
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