Sunday, February 24, 2008

Oregon Drivers....

This is not a rant about Oregon Drivers being bad. Actually, I see less accidents here than ANY state i'v ever lived in. Also, I generally think the drivers here are really good. For me, having lived in NC, IN, AL, NM, OR, and PA, one constant I observed is that people think 'the drivers here are awful', and 'the drivers from the nearest neighboring state' are even worse. Its the same little localized urban legend everywhere.

However, one thing I've noticed for quite awhile about Oregon drivers that has just baffled me is this: they seem to not understand that the slow lane is on the right, the passing lanes are on the left. You don't get to decide which lane you get to drive in: the law states you drive in the right lane if you are moving slower than the other traffic. Additionally, for traffic moving up behind you, it is against the law to pass on the right. You create such a dangerous situation, and its like nobody seems to even notice their in the wrong, its baffling.

In oregon, I am just blown away by the number of people who think that the right thing to do is spread out across 3 lanes of traffic then drive either the same speed or SLOWER in the fast lanes. This is very dangerous and very illegal. Once you pass, you are supposed to get back to the right as soon as its safe...why does nobody seem to know this? don't we take the same driver's exam?

I've noticed new posted signs on most major highways now that state 'slower traffic keep right'. These signs are new and prolific throughout the highway systems near portland. I hope they have their intended effects. I recommended this in a face to face conversation 2 years ago to the head of PDX Metro (its like the local version of ODOT and they are also in charge of the MAX, streetcar plans, etc.). Maybe they actually listened. I even offered to pay for the signs on highway 26, in addition to one that says 'Maintain your speed uphill'. My offer still stands.


Nico said...

"Move to the right-most lane" is a traffic rule that is being taught in Belgium from day 1 in driving school. In Belgium, it is a traffic violation not to be in the right-most lane if you have a choice (i.e. no traffic jam) or if you are not passing somebody.

Somehow, observing traffic on highways in the US, I always assumed that this was not an official rule. And I'm not speaking of OR exclusively.

Andy said...

having lived in both- Washington drivers are worse.

Mostly because the state patrol is happy to prey on anyone going 5 over the limit.