TED Conversations

Jesse Breedlove

Keep Right USA

This conversation is closed.

How best to educate the public as to the importance of the Slower Traffic Keep Right laws in respect to public safety?

Slower Traffic Keep Right is the law in most states. Failure to keep right has a negative effect on traffic safety, traffic congestion, emergency response, aggressive driving, air pollution, fuel consumption, direct and indirect medical costs and much more.

There are many traffic safety laws, Slower Traffic Keep Right may be the most important. Not only is it a law, but also a guide on how to maintain order on today’s busy roads and freeways. With an ever increasing amount of vehicles and usually between two and four lanes, this is the only way that motorists of differing speeds can share the road safely and orderly.

If all motorists obeyed the Slower Traffic Keep Right laws at all times there would be a reduction in traffic accidents, traffic fatalities and traffic congestion. Emergency response would also be improved resulting in even more lives being saved.

The main argument against enforcing this law is that it promotes speeding. The fact is that this is not a speed issue, but a safety issue. It is the responsibility of the police to enforce the speeding laws, not other motorists. Motorists that impede the free flow of traffic force faster motorists to pass on the right. Impeding the free flow of traffic is a very dangerous practice and a leading cause of aggressive driving and road rage.

Undisciplined motorists that impede the free flow of traffic through ignorance, inattention, or just being inconsiderate show a disregard for public safety and the normal practice of defensive driving. Driving is a privilege, not a right. Whether you drive fast, slow, or moderate, people that drive slowly in the passing lanes cause a hazard for all of us.

Slower Traffic Keep Right is a basic driving technique. How do we get politicians, law enforcement and the motoring public on the same page as to the importance of this law? There is a grass roots campaign that is addressing this issue, Google America Keep right.

Help further this conversation with your ideas.

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Nov 7 2012: Lejan,

    Thank you for your input. Can you elaborate more on your experience with the 'German Autobahn'? Would you consider it safer than the roads and freeways here in America?

    Slower Traffic Keep Right is the law in most states. Just because we have our own 'nature' of driving does not make it right. This must change. I do not condone speeding, but the main safety factor that motorists who impede the free flow of traffic cause is that they force faster motorists to pass on the right. This is not the only negative effect that is caused by this issue, it also leads to aggressive driving and road rage.

    I live in California and have done my share of commuting. I see it every time that I get on the freeways. Faster motorists are going to get around slower motorists at any speed, whether the traffic is heavy or light. Many of these faster motorists need to exercise patience and not weave in and out of traffic. However, our roads and freeways would be much safer if slower motorists would yield to faster motorists and all passing is done on the left. Slower Traffic Keep Right is not only the law but a guide.

    There are many motorists that get in one lane, usually the left or passing lanes, and stay there without any concern for anyone else on the road. This is a dangerous practice.

    When I first started discussing this issue with police officers, I would ask, "What do you think about motorists that impede the free flow of traffic?" They would usually answer, "At what speed?" And I would say, "At any speed." This would usually turn into a conversation about speeding. I now answer with, "I'm not talking speed, I'm talking about safety." And now almost every time they respond with, "It is against the law."

    Most drivers would agree that Slower Traffic Keep Right is a common practice of defensive driving. How do we get all motorists to exercise this practice on a daily basis? I believe that we can make it a reality.
    • thumb
      Nov 8 2012: I did not notice any difference in safety in between your freeways and the Autobahn as long as you blend into each specific 'nature'. When I returned home, after one year of 'freeways', I was puzzeled again by the 'Autobahn'. Everything happened on much higher speed to which I just wasn't used to anymore and for the first days it felt much more 'agressive'. But then again I blended in and things became normal.

      I can have this feeling even in one single day when I drive to the Netherland or Belgium for example. Their speed limit on freeways is 74,56 mph. The moment I enter, it feels like 'snail speed' and if nothing was moving at all. But after a while, things change and because the rest of the traffic is the same, it becomes normal. On my way home, it goes the other way arround and the 'Autobahn' feels a bit more agressive and restless for some while due to the relative nature of speed.

      In average, Europe follows the 'Slower Traffic Keep Right' law more consistently compared to what I have seen along the east coast of the USA. If this my observation is representative, I don't know, but that's what I experienced.

      By the laws of physics and human reflexes, the 'German Autobahn' can only be the worst scenario of all, even if the ''Slower Traffic Keep Right' law is followed, but statistically and compared to the US, the picture is different:

      Traffic fatalities per million citizen in 2010 (30 days scope) - Wikipedia

      105 USA
      45 Germany

      So it seems there are other reason as well, which have an input on general traffic savety.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.