MTYT: Driving the speed limit and obeying the law - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

MTYT: Driving the speed limit and obeying the law

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Sometimes I feel misunderstood - or maybe I just did a lousy job writing the commentary last week about driving and road rage. Most of you got it. But many of you accused me, and people like me, of causing road rage and causing accidents. Those same people completely missed my attempt at humor, and those same people accused me of driving slow and intentionally clogging the passing lane.

Let me be clear, I don't do that. If I'm driving slowly in the passing lane, it's because the traffic in that lane is moving slowly in front of me.

Safety is important to me. That is why if I find myself driving along at the speed limit (and I stress at the speed limit), and a vehicle comes up behind me, and that person expects me to get out of their way - immediately - I'm not doing it.

You can flash your lights all you want. Go ahead make your hand gestures and honk your horn. But I'll be darned if I'm going to break the law to get out of your way so you can continue to break the law and drive fast and recklessly down the highway.

What I am going to do is enjoy the show that's playing in my rear view mirror. It's the best way I know of not letting rude and aggressive drivers drag me down to their level of behavior.

That's my turn. Now it's your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me a yourturn@wect.com.


 

Emailed comments from viewers:

Sir, It seem's to me that you don't get it. I feel as if you are talking down to me. I get the feeling that you don't understand the meaning of PASSING LANE. It is for PASSING, if you are not passing you should be in the right hand land. Saying you are doing the speed limit so you are not moving over well you are braking the law by impeding the flow of traffic. Ask the State Police. How do you know if the person in that car behind you isn't going to an emergency? What if something happened to a family member and he had to get to the hospital? You are not a police officer. If you are in the left passing lane and the lane to your right is full of traffic then you could not pull over.

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NC law says for SLOWER TRAFFIC to stay right, so if someone is behind you traveling at a higher rate of speed, you are supposed to move into the right hand lane. It does not say that you can stay in the left lane IF you are running the speed limit. Nor does NC law give you the right to penalize other drivers if you think they are breaking the law. People like you are what causes other people to get hurt.........

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I have been enjoying your commentaries on the show in the rearview mirror. We have actually been practicing that for some time up here in Hampstead. However, I thought I would pass on to you some facts we learned in our "Hampstead for a safe 17" meetings. When the folks brought up the speed through Hampstead and why was it not being better enforced. The state and local law enforcement told us that the posted speed is actually a "suggested" speed. They actually passed out a North Carolina brochure stating it in that way. If you are doing the "Speed Limit" and everyone else is trying to do 10 miles above the speed limit, you can be cited for "impeding the flow of traffic".  I checked, it seems North Carolina has not gotten Mr Webster to update the definition of "Limit"! Speeding is left up to the discretion of the officer. But, they did encourage us to follow the posted speed signs. Also, they and The Wilmington Metropolitan Planning committee told us that speeding is not the main problem here in Hampstead. It contributes to the severity of an accident, but the major cause is left turns. Not that the speeder arrived at the scene of the accident location sooner. So instead of enforcing speed and the reckless show in the rear view mirror, we are suppose to get medians to prevent left turns while speeding continued to ignore the word "Limit". A lot of frustrated folks have left these meetings. And, the show goes on.....

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  • The important thing you left out was – the left lane is a PASSING LANE, regardless of the speed limit.  I don't know where our driver's education system failed to educate people to this fact.  You should not be in the left lane unless you are going faster than the person in the right lane.  We need billboards to help educate people.
  • You say ‘Safety is important to me.' .  What is the most ‘safe' action if you are in the left lane driving the speed limit and someone comes up behind you and wants to go faster?  Continue to own you spot in the left lane or get out of their way?  We must note here that speedometers can vary and yours might not be correct.  I would think that by getting into the right lane, you would not be exposed to nor inflating their aggravation, which would have to be a more safe option.
  • I don't understand how you'd be breaking the law to get out of their way.  To get in the right lane IS THE LAW!
  • Just because I want to drive faster than you (assuming your speedometer is correct) does not make me ‘rude' or ‘aggressive'.  You do not know the reasons behind my urgency.  Until you know and understand my urgency, lest you judge.
  • Now, your point of being in a more relaxed and patient frame of mind during your commute and not letting the person that feels the need to pass you ruffle your feathers is a great concept.
  • Driving the speed limit is also a great concept.
  • There are many rude and aggressive drivers out there, but their driving is a matter for the police to address.  I don't believe that citizens occupying both lanes, traveling at the posted speed limit will solve this problem.

I think as a commentator, your job should be to help facilitate positive solutions to our day-to-day problems.  Your positive attitude philosophy is so noted, however I think your message gives drivers inspiration to hold up those that feel the need to drive faster than them and enjoy inflating their rage.  I think your message has magnified the problem instead of helping to solve it.

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You sir are the one breaking the law by driving in the left lane for no reason. If you ever take a driving class you would learn that it is basically a national law to " stay in the right lane except to pass "

. This quote is from a sign on 17 south in brunswick county.

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I am completely in agreement with you. The speed limit is the same in both lanes. If the frustrated law breaker is in that much of a hurry he or she can go around me. I always laugh at the lights ,horn, but mostly the wave failing to use all their fingers.

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Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!  I have had this argument with tons of friends and aquaintances for years. I was taught in high school drivers ed, that the posted speed limit is the MAXIMUM SPEED LIMIT WITH EXCELLENT DRIVING CONDITIONS!  Any rain, fog, heavy traffic, should be at a lower speed limit. The "fast lane" is for this MAXIMUM SPEED LIMIT. Any drivers traveling below the posted speed limit, should use the right ( SLOW LANE). I don't drive slower than the posted speed limit in the fast lane. Like you, I DO NOT move over for these idiots that run up behind me traveling at twenty or thirty mph over the speed limit. The speeding driver will have to move over. I will not be the one making constant lane changes in heavy traffic. Thanks for giving me "My Turn". My wife, Donna and I really like your "MTYT" spots on the evening news. Keep up the good work.

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If you really want to frighten the malcontents, look as if you are calling on your cell phone (to Hiway Patrol, of course) and describing and reporting their activity--one particularly aggressive woman completely turned around and went the way from which she had come...

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Sir... Right on old chap, I'm with you. If I am in a "train" like that and "Hurry up John" pulls up behind and fusses

I think " Sonny ,you should have  left home ten minutes sooner" 

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Gary, All I have to say is HERE HERE and God bless you for having the guts to speak out and tell it like it is, I agree with you 1,000%.

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It is not your viewers that do not get it; it is you.

The law in NC is "Slower Traffic Keep Right".  For your benefit and the benefit of all the other "traffic monitors"; they even put up signs along the road.

You need to do some research.  The original road rage cases were in California.  The reason for the shootings?  People like you who would not move over for people who wanted to pass.

You are the problem.  I hope you re-think your position and work to make the roadways safer from the rudeness of people like you.

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when I took drivers ed. I remember on a 4 lane road that slower traffic was to keep right, meaning move over if you are the slower traffic,

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Amen brother and it happens more and more every day

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I'm sure you received your fair share of negative commentary because it appeared that you were endorsing Driving While Stupid in the passing lane. The clarification from today doesn't clarify much. Just because we disagreed with you doesn't mean we didn't get it.

"Safety is important to me. That is why if I find myself driving along at the speed limit (and I stress at the speed limit), and a vehicle comes up behind me, and that person expects me to get out of their way - immediately - I'm not doing it"

Let's be realistic. You probably usually drive at least 3 to 5 mph over the posted speed limit, conditions permitting. I will buy you dinner at the Wilmington restaurant of your choice if you can honestly tell me that you usually drive at or below the posted speed limit. 

You shouldn't have a problem with someone coming up behind you if you complete your pass and move over out of the passing lane. Should you find yourself stuck at the speed limit in the passing lane with no one in front of you and someone behind you flashing their lights, then you are guilty of DWS because you weren't paying attention. Either speed up or slow down, but move over immediately as it is the safe thing to do. We hired the police to enforce the speed limit, not you. 

There. Thank you for allowing me to vent my spleen.

I may disagree with you on occasion, however, I do admire what you do.

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The ones that missed your perfectly humorous point were the exact same drivers you were making your point about! I am impressed daily by the number of "Very Important Person's" in the Port City. If it were to be a life or death situation wouldn't these important people be traveling via ambulance to their destination? We all need to slow down a bit, life will not pass us by in the fast lane. Nothing is as important as the life you may save which could very well be your own.

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I understand your frustration with drivers who come up on you while you are in the passing lane. But, with safety being the No. 1 concern, the best thing to do is increase speed a bit and get out of the way of the driver who is exceeding the speed limit. Obey the law but don't enforce it on other people! A short time over the speed limit is safer than driving close to other cars.
 
I am 70 yrs. old and have driven many a mile on our highways in all 50 states, yes even Hawai'i and Alaske. I believe the safest thing to do is pass as quickly as possible to prevent traffic from building up behind me and to put space between me and the car I pass. My greatest pet peeve is someone who has his/her cruise control  set 1 or 2 mph higher than me. They stay in my blindspot for quite a bit of time. It takes forever for them to pass me and traffic invariably builds up behind them. I think the safest way to travel is to have as much space between my car and other vehicles (over which I have no control). If it means increasing my speed a little to pass I will and then when I have a cushion of space I will decrease my speed to what it was before I passed.
 
If you drive the interstates enough you will see that much of the traffic is "bee swarm" type. A group of cars will invariably group together, passing and repassing each other as the swarm approaches. I let them pass, even slowing a little to let them get past. The safest way to travel is to have a good amount of space between you and other cars.

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The sign said, slower traffic keep right, in some states it is against the law to ride in the left lane unless passing. This is not Deutschland, however on the autobahn you must get out of the way even if you have to apply the breaks to do it. If you are checking your rearview mirror every 7 seconds, as you should be doing, you will see who is closing on you so you can take appropriate action not to impede traffic. Don't be so narrow minded as to think that if you are doing 70 mph while passing someone doing 69 1/2 mph that you should ride there for as long as it takes regardless of how much traffic is on the road. Be considerate and conscientious as you are not the only one trying to get somewhere. Big trucks do this all the time as they do not have the power to pass faster. Move over, let'm go the highway patrol will take care of them, it is not your or my job to block traffic just because someone wants to pass and is exceeding the limit.

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I wonder how many of these "road rage" people would change their behavior if they thought that their wife, young daughter or son (or any loved one) was in the car  that is "impeding" their progress.  Simply thinking about this should lead to a change in their behavior.  Obviously these folks do not value their lives, much less anyone else's...and are so disorganized that they find it necessary to endanger lives to keep their "I'm more important than you", selfish schedule.  Like you, I allow ample time to arrive on a local trip, so as to not be required to speed.  It is actually a luxury to have time to calmly drive to my destination.  Like you, I find other drivers' behavior somewhat amusing, since they rarely accomplish anything other than getting to the next stoplight a few seconds before me.  I have turned watching others' frantic and ridiculous driving habits into a game, providing amusement rather than rage.  Also, with the cost of gasoline you'd think they would slow down!  Rotary's rules even apply to driving!

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The left lane is predominately for passing.  You should stay right except with passing. You should NOT camp in the right lane if you are going slow, the speed limit or faster.  Keep to the right!

The law is simple.  Slower traffic keeps to the right.  With your  "stick in your face" attitude you WILL cause accidents and you are in violation of the law!

I haven't seen traffic anywhere in the state of nc on a 55 mph road that maintains 55. The flow of traffic is typically 60 to 65 at least.  If you want to drive 55 stay in the slow lane.

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Bravo!!!!  You Rock!!!! Thanks for standing up to those idiots that have no regard for their life and the other drivers on the road.  I go the speed limit, follow all of the "rules of the road", have respect for all other drivers, and expect the same from them.  The drivers that tailgate and when they speed up, cut in front of me just to immediately make a right hand turn.  They could have stayed behind me and safely made their turn,but they crowd in and risk a rear end collision.

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Your comments were ridiculous!  You are only responsible for driving your car -- not the car behind you.  If you are going the speed limit but not passing other vehicles you do not belong in the "passing" lane.  If the car behind you wants to pass, no matter what speed he is going, you need to get out of the way and let him go. You are not responsible for how fast he is going.  By the way,  I sincerely hope that while you are watching "the show" in your rear view mirror that a deer/dog/or other animal, or God forbid, a person does not enter the highway in your lane and you have an accident.  You will surely wish you had kept your eyes on the road ahead of you.  AGAIN, YOU ARE ONLY RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR DRIVING -- NOT ANYONE ELSE'S.

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If you're doing the speed limit in the left lane and someone approaches you from behind AND you can move to the right lane.......DO IT.  Don't be so self serving and think your status is so high it will be lowered be changing back into the TRAVEL LANE

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I totally agree with you. I drive the speed limit and enjoy the sport of irritating "self-important" drivers especially 18 wheelers who seem to think they have the right to go 45-50 in a 35 zone. I find that the most offensive are young females talking on their cell phones, and probably texting! They will ride right up your bumper. I had a young girl runa a stop sign and almost hit me. As I slammed on the brakes, I blew my horn. She stuck her arm out the window and I got the finger. I guess it was rude to blow my horn.

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I will not say my age, but driving has become a big problem. The subject of "road rage" has taken humanity to the level of someone pulling a Gluck on somebody if they get angry over somebody's driving.  Angry is the problem.  Should a driver be checked for anger problems before getting their license?  This is an invasion of privacy.  Maybe after so many infractions, they should under go "anger management." Just a though.

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Mr. McNair I Liked The Segment On Aggresive Drivers. I Too See It Everyday, People Speeding To Get Nowhere. I"am Not Going Any Faster Than The Speed Limit.  Years Ago You Would Get A Ticket For Speeding Five MPH Over The Limit. Now It Looks Like There Is No Limit To How Fast You Want To Go.

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It isn't your job to remain in the left lane taunting people while thinking you are preventing another speeder from speeding, that's for law enforcement. I try to be adamant about left lane use and leave it open to those that feel the need to speed. I do not enjoy people pushing on me with their vehicles, following too closely or showing angry and vulgar gestures. That only intensifies the stresses I already have. I just move over and let them have the lane. It's simple and it's courteous. There have been many times I've spotted people in a hurry, only to see them pulled over up ahead. It's always good to have someone in a bigger hurry than I, run point.

Your article seems to dictate that you like to agitate people while on the road and gain pleasure from the discomfort you induce. You contradict yourself by stating that you are slow in the left lane because the traffic in front of you is slow, then you state breaking the law as a reason for remaining there. While I agree that you don't need to break the law and speed up to move over, you really should make every effort to clear the left lane for faster traffic, especially on highways. Speeding up 5-10mph to unclog the left lane won't usually get you a ticket and is quite courteous. However, taunting drivers these days because you seem to think you can drive in whatever lane you want can buy you a whole lot of unnecessary trouble. Can't simple courtesy just override being a purposeful, agitating jerk? Courtesy and kindness is what we need on the roads these days. Those two will cure a lot of our problems, including taking enjoyment in observing others frustration!

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