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Pass Left, Drive Right

By Ron Shaffer
Thursday, October 14, 2004; Page AA08

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

My boyfriend and I recently moved to the area from New York and northern New Jersey.

One thing we have had difficulty with is that drivers on Maryland highways completely ignore the fact that the left lane is for passing.

I am often stuck behind a driver in the left lane who is traveling at the same speed as the driver to his right, causing a back-up. In addition, Maryland drivers simply ride in the left lane when no one is in the right lane.

Although I am not a tailgater, it is frustrating when I wish to pass, but can't because drivers don't respect the passing rule.

Everyone complains about people weaving in and out of traffic, but if this rule were respected, the drivers wishing to pass would simply be in the left lane doing so while the slower drivers would be in the right lanes.

I don't condone aggressive driving, but I do believe people should set their pride aside and stay to the right unless they intend to pass.

Save us all the frustration of watching tailgaters, aggressive drivers and others weaving in and out of traffic to get around the car that won't get out of the way.

Linette Henry

Laurel, Anne Arundel County

Left-lane cruisers annoy plenty of drivers here. They should use the left lane for passing, then move right. If they did so, as you point out, there would be less lane-weaving and other dangerous maneuvering.

Is it any different in New York and New Jersey?

Tip Thwarts Tailgater

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I usually pull over when it is safe and let tailgaters go by. After reading your Thursday column on the subject in Southern Maryland Extra, I told my husband, and he had occasion to try it that evening. It worked.

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