George Krehel of Olathe has a bone to pick with his fellow highway drivers.
See, he hasn’t always lived in Olathe. Although he has lived in Kansas for 15 years, he hails from the East Coast, where, he says, people keep to the right on the highway unless they’re passing.
He can’t figure out why drivers in Missouri and Kansas aren’t forced to do the same as the rest of the “civilized country.” Shouldn’t they be in the doghouse?
When crossing over the state line to Missouri on Interstate 435, it amazes him that in all of the lanes, cars are going the same speed, not allowing anyone to pass.
So how does it work here in the middle of the country? Are we really that different than our Eastern counterparts?
In Kansas, it depends whether you’re a city mutt or a country mutt.
“The left lane lingering law doesn’t apply in the city or metro areas,” said Kansas Highway Patrol trooper Charles Lovewell. “We have four or five lanes, so we’re not going to make everyone stay in the right lane.”
But when drivers leave the metro area, Lovewell said, they’re supposed to be using the left lane only to pass. Signs along the highways say just that.
Things work a little differently on the other side of the state line, said Sgt. Bill Lowe of the Missouri Highway Patrol.
“The law says if you’re driving in the left lane, you need to be passing,” he said.
Lowe noted that some Kansas City area highways have left-hand exits, which might cause some non-passing drivers to stay on that side.
As for the ticketing?
“It’s up to the officer’s discretion, but if you’ve been driving in the left lane for three or four miles, you’re probably going to get pulled over,” Lowe said.
The Watchdog says that, of course, slower traffic should keep right. But he hopes officers use their discretion to avoid wasting urban pavement during rush hour.
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