Local News

DOT Watching Motorists In Passing Lanes

Posted August 17, 2004

— The state Department of Transportation is taking a new road test to keep the fast lane moving.

Painting "Pass Lane Only" on the road is a new approach to an old problem. Traffic engineers say slow drivers in the passing lane can clog traffic, fray nerves and cause road rage. They said the old road signs, "Slower Traffic Keep Right," do not seem to work.

The idea is to study how drivers react to the pavement markings. DOT engineers will watch each test site from vantage points like bridges.

Motorists can expect to see "Pass Lane Only" markings in Wake, Lee and Pender Counties. Johnston County drivers are the first to take the test.

"I know when I get on that interstate, I'm going to drive the speed limit and you get beside somebody, behind somebody that's going that slow, it is pretty annoying," motorist Danny Clifton said.

"I try not to run the passing lane unless I'm in a hurry, but then I try to do the speed limit," motorist Emily Stewart said.

The state Highway Patrol said it can only ticket drivers if they are going below the minimum speed limit while in the passing lane, assuming a minimum speed limit is even posted.

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