Another day, another left lane hogger obstructing traffic flow on an expressway. Such is the case when I was driving down SLEX this morning, as I weaved through two lanes just to get past a slow car blocking the overtaking lane. All of us have already pointed out for countless times already that blocking and traveling slowly on the left lane is an obstruction to traffic flow, but we want to further emphasize that it’s a traffic violation, too.
Firstly, why is it dangerous? Well, since the slower car is technically causing a traffic obstruction, other faster vehicles need to navigate through multiple lanes just to get past the slower car. Now, you might say that the impatience of the faster car is what will cause an accident to happen, but that couldn’t be any further from the truth. If the slower car would have done the right thing by immediately moving to the right instead, the chances of an accident would have been greatly reduced in the first place.
At this point you might ask, but what if we’re both traveling at 100 kph? Then slow down a bit and return to the right lane. As a follow-up, you might say that you’re just trying to prevent cars from overspeeding. Well, you’re probably not part of SLEX’s or NLEX’s enforcers, which means it isn’t your job to play traffic cop. And again, even at 100 kph, you still need to go back to the right lane. It isn’t called a “100-kph only lane,” but an overtaking lane, for a reason, so the only thing you should be doing on the said lane is overtaking other cars.
Lastly, at least in SLEX’s case in these recent months, you may then ask what if you need to go to the counterflow lane or the newly-built temporary steel ramp, which are both in the leftmost lane? Start by slowly positioning yourself towards the left lane as you get nearer the steel ramp or counterflow lane, or the moment you start seeing the road signs that SLEX has placed indicating that you’re already near the counterflow lane or temporary steel ramp.
Now, as for the violations, SLEX and NLEX constantly remind motorists on social media, their road signs, as well as its LED boards—if equipped, that violating the overtaking lane rule will land you an apprehension. They didn’t exactly say in these road signs how much do you need to pay or what are the other penalties you will incur, but it certainly wouldn’t be cheap, nor would the penalties be light.
So, the next time you’re in NLEX or SLEX, be sure to respect other motorists by not obstructing the leftmost lane.