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Bill targets slow drivers in fast lanes on Hawaii freeways


    Lawmakers are considering a bill that would require drivers in the far left lane to move over if they are going slower than the speed limit and if there are at least three cars immediately behind them.

State lawmakers are considering a bill cracking down on slow drivers in the fast lane.

The bill would require drivers in the far left lane to move over if they are going slower than the speed limit and if there are at least three cars immediately behind them. The legislation will go before the House transportation committee Wednesday, KHON-TV reported.

Honolulu police say that under the state’s current law, slow drivers should aim for the right-hand lanes of any roadway. They say driving at speeds of 5 miles per hour or more below the speed limit is permitted in only the far right lane.

The bill cites safety concerns as the need for stricter laws. It says slow drivers in the left-hand lane who force drivers to go around them can cause accidents.

Supporters of the legislation said it would help reduce traffic problems on the state’s highways, including jams and road rage. Others said the new rules might be difficult to implement.

“How would you put that on a sign on the road?” said driver Mara Alontaga. “It’s a little confusing if they were to make that a rule.”

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    • Hallelujah to what? Stupidity? Our lawmakers want to pass a law where you cannot go below the speed limit in the left lane… but you also cannot go ABOVE the speed limit because you’ll be speeding. So drive EXACTLY the speed limit? You just can’t make this stuff up. Only in Hawaii.

      • Cops aren’t going to pull you over for going 5 miles over the limit. Right hand lane is for invalids and other slowpokes. Middle lanes are for people who drive normally. Left lane is for people who are passing everyone else. This is how roads work everywhere else in the United States except for this godforsaken place.

    • If you are using the left lane to “drive carefully” then you are creating unsafe driving conditions. The left lane should be used as a passing lane. Anytime you are in it and a car comes up behind you, you should move over to the next lane. This is similar to when you are driving on a one lane highway. If you are “driving carefully”, and there is a line of fifty cars behind you, it’s a pretty good indication that you should pull over and let the unsafe drivers pass. The two worse groups of people that fall into this category are the city busses who even go to the extreme where they don’t pull all the way into the bus stop area on Kamehameha Hwy, keeping the line of cars stuck behind them, and us locals that are driving mini vans (especially Dodges and Fords).

      • Yes, and I also have been stuck behind those buses on Kamehameha. In fairness, often there is no room for them to pull over, in which case the bus stop should be eliminated. But yes, there are too many “Sunday” drivers who marvel at the open road before them while ignoring the long line of cars stuck behind them.

    • I believe the problem has a lot to do with many drivers using the left (passing) lane to make some kind of childish point: “I’m gonna enforce the speed limit even though I don’t really have to be in the left lane – so there!” I’m certain left lane hogs realize the dangerous situation they’re provoking by causing drivers behind them to make unnecessary lane changes; after the third or fourth car cuts around you, it’s pretty hard to ignore the possibility that you ought to move to the right. Instead of working out their passive-aggressive issues on the road, these drivers need to seek psychotherapy, join HPD’s Traffic Division, or both.

  • “Honolulu police say … driving at speeds of 5 miles per hour or more below the speed limit is permitted in only the far right lane.”

    This law’s been on the books forever. If it’s not being enforced already, a new, more complicated law that requires one to count the number of cars in the procession certainly won’t be enforced very thoroughly or well. If it is being enforced already, it’s perfectly usable as-is and we don’t need a gussied-up, complex law to supplement it.

    • Heck, I can remember when the “Freeway” (H-1) was first opened there were a certain type of driver (Not stating Whom) that seemed to be “Saving” their car by driving S L O W in the Fast lane (25 MPH). Many Locals seemed to not be used to the certain type of driving that is proper for a Freeway. Also some stopping (completely) at the entrance to it before entering to it.

  • Swear to the man above, that I seen a vehicle with the license plate NEIL-1 in the fast lane of the three lane H-1 East, going 50 MPH in the 60 MPH zone, near Kapolei. This slow stunt driving was done to attract attention to Neil, just for the sake of getting free publicity for the Governer-Elect Neil Abercrombie (or as some would say — Neil LegWeak). I slowed down to 35 MPH to make NEIL-1 slow down. When NEIL-1 could not stand anymore of this public display of displeasure, I ramped up to 60 MPH to leave NEIL-1 in the dust, limping along at 35 MPH. I had to get even with Neil for his bringing of Obama into our lives.

  • The problem is not with slow drivers the problem is with people speeding. For every person driving 5 mph slower than the speed limit on the freeway there is at LEAST 100 people driving over the speed limit. Back ass-ward state thinking again.

  • Great thought, harder to enforce. How about making all the vehicles that requires CDL to drive, NOT be allowed in the far left lane as well as larger UHAL types of trucks. That would make more sense and easier to enforce.

    • The law says one can go up to 80 MPH without being charged for excessive spending. So please do not break the land speed record of 143 MPH, as given on a speeding ticket by HPD’s solo bikers.

  • Plain and simple bull-headed road hogs are individuals who want to exercise their ownership of the roadway by driving below the speed limit in the fast lanes. Purpose of driving below the speed limit is to create a gap with the car ahead, which the road hogs use as their private comfort zones. This act demonstrate the selfishness of the road hogs. The same can be accomplished in the rights lanes, but they select the fast lane to further demonstrate their ignorance of how to drive safely.

  • i’m okay with this bill. i drive the left lane occasionally and when i do it’s at the speed limit. if i drive at speeds lower than the speed limit it’s in the center or right lanes.

    of course if the bill provides that the posted maximum speed limit is also the minimum speed in the left lane, you are going to have drivers who feel justified in driving at higher than the posted maximum speed limit and they will tailgate and harass drivers already traveling at the maximum speed limit.

    • Don’t forget expired safety checks, expired insurance, expired registrations, dangerous lane changes, crossing solid lines, falling asleep at the wheel, having a Big Mac while driving, texting while driving, having the cell phone to the ear and talking while driving, however the worst of all, rushing through traffic to fight with your spouse at home. No wonder Traffic Court is filled, while Deedy went Scott Free!!

  • Most drivers in Hawaii are ignorant of the fact that slower traffic should be on the right lanes.I drove on the autobahn in Germany where there were no speed limits.The left lanes were used strictly for passing.Cars that were not passing were issued tickets.Despite having no speed limits,the autobahn is one of the safest highways in the world.

  • The intent of the law is good. However, when there is good traffic flow on the freeway, driving the speed limit in the fast lane is too slow for many drivers. Police should concentrate more on speeders, tailgaters, weavers, and people who pass on the right rather than the left when there are no obstructions on either side.

    • Good idea. Every rush hour there are 100s of guys going below the speed limit in the left lane. If we got rid of all of them, I could get to town in 20 mins. :0p

      • The Rush Hour is created by a vibrant economy. Hence the State needs more dough, so the State is looking for creative ways to fund their “Pau Hana parties” at Chili’s.

  • Once upon a time when I drove a State-marked vehicle, I thought I’d make a good example and keep to the speed limit on H-1 westbound. I wasn’t in the left lane at the time, but an HPD officer in a Crown Vic pulled up alongside me to ask why I was going so slow. The point, I guess, is to always keep up with the flow of traffic if one can safely do so. And truth be told, it’s the speed differential between vehicles that often makes for a dangerous situation.

    • Back when I drove a Full size And Dress Motor. I’d go down the Freeway at the “speed limit’ and watch (in my Rear Views) drivers come up behind me fast then see me and back off, and stay there. Te Heee

      • When I see a driver reach my rear bumper, the message is “get out of my way, as my wife is waiting at home”. Therefore what I do is to let off the gas pedal and coast. I see the speed dropping steadily until he can’t stand it and executes the “Z” change lane. As soon as he does this, I pedal to the floor, the gas pedal, to race forward, away in front of me, just like The RoadRunner.

  • There is a correct way and a “bully” way to get the slow driver off of the fast lane. The “bully” way is to tailgate the slow driver, to make said driver “make a move”.

    The correct way is to give yourself enough acceleration room between yourself and the slow driver, to get quickly into the adjacent right lane, then to “gun it”, so that one can speed oneself back into the open space in front of the slow driver.

    Enough drivers overtaking the slow driver will get the slow driver to act accordingly.

  • How do they plan to enforce this law when we don’t have a highway patrol? Talk about putting the cart before the horse. They need to give HPD funds to beef up the traffic division so there will be officers to patrol the freeways. And don’t we already have a law for drivers who impede the flow of traffic?

  • It a problem for sure but not high on HPD’s priority list, unless of course it’s a cop stuck behind the slowpoke. It’s tuff *hit for everyone else!

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