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Old February 20th, 2007, 07:56 PM   #1
ChrisZwolle
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The Keep Your Lane system

Maybe some American or traffic specialist could tell us more about this system?

The system is made, so you can keep your lane for long distances, instead of passing al the time, and waving through traffic, right?

Does this system always apply on every multi-lane road? It looks a bit messy to have truck traffic all over the road, instead of only on the right side. Are there different speed limits for trucks, or is it just go with the flow? With different speed limits, it looks to me, you have to change lane all the time to pass trucks.

What are the traffic opportunities to this system? Is it better to handle very heavy traffic on a lot of lanes (say 5+ lanes per direction)? And how long does it takes in busy traffic to come from the 5th or 6th lane before you can take an exit?

And, is this system used in other countries but the US? In Europe, you have to keep right all the time, unless overtaking (rechtsfahrgebot).
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Old February 21st, 2007, 05:51 AM   #2
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We don't have such system, its do to drivers ignorance, selfishness, and stupidty. I think East and SE Asian countries have this problem too.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 08:36 AM   #3
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Yep. As far as I know, the majority of the US states have "keep right unless to pass" rule. The problem is that this rule is rarely enforced by police. Even when it is enforced, lories are the ones that get cited for this violation. Passenger cars usually feel free to hang out in any lane they want at any speed they want. I should mention that in different states people's attitude toward lane discipline differs greatly. For instance, in Oregon drivers never block the fast lane and always use the turn signals while Californians do neither one.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 08:44 AM   #4
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Never been to Oregon, so don't know, but yea. The public in general do not have a system of any kind. However, I must say, if you drive at night, drivers who hog lanes will merge right and allow you to pass. Also, truckers and slow drivers usually keep to the right on two lane highways, like the I-5 between LA and SF. Of course, i have to highlight USUALLY... cuz sometimes there are pricks who travel there at 70-75 and hog up the lane...
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Old February 21st, 2007, 11:00 AM   #5
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So there isn't a general keep your lane? Only on wider motorways? Is there any signage to this?

I often see pics of Los Angeles with trucks on the 3rd or 4th lane.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 12:43 PM   #6
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Nope, no signage, there might be a rule there, but as far as everyday life and police enforcement is concerned, there is no lane system. Driver's education actually advises you to keep right, I think, but no one follows it. On certain roads you might see the occasional "Slower Traffic Keep Right" sign, but I doubt anyone even reads them.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 04:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris1491 View Post
So there isn't a general keep your lane? Only on wider motorways? Is there any signage to this?
A lot of states do post signs about the lane requirements of trucks. I am actually rather surprised that California doesn't. Typically, trucks are restricted from the left most lane when there are three or more lanes on a carriageway.

Signs usually look read:

Trucks Use Right 2 Lanes
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Old February 21st, 2007, 04:08 PM   #8
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Does a different speed limit for trucks apply in the USA? Or can they drive the same speed as cars?
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Old February 21st, 2007, 06:00 PM   #9
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In CA trucks have a 55mph speed limit, while cars usually range from 65mph (most places) to 70 (rural areas). The 55mph truck limit applies at all times, on all roads where the normal speed limit is more than 55mph.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 07:09 PM   #10
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The West seems different than over here. Around here, I don't think there are any "keep right" rules or anything. Trucks tend to stay in slower lanes because they know that other people hate getting stuck behind them. In rural areas, people tend to stay right unless to pass. Interstates are typically 2 lanes each way in rural areas. In highly developed areas, though, there si too much traffic to follow any keep right agreements, and you're pretty much on your own. Of course, lanes towards the right go faster than lanes to the left, but someone in the 2nd-to-right lane might be going faster than the person in the right lane, so you would just switch over a lane to the left to pass the person in the right lane.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 07:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xzmattzx View Post
The West seems different than over here. Around here, I don't think there are any "keep right" rules or anything. Trucks tend to stay in slower lanes because they know that other people hate getting stuck behind them. In rural areas, people tend to stay right unless to pass. Interstates are typically 2 lanes each way in rural areas. In highly developed areas, though, there si too much traffic to follow any keep right agreements, and you're pretty much on your own. Of course, lanes towards the right go faster than lanes to the left, but someone in the 2nd-to-right lane might be going faster than the person in the right lane, so you would just switch over a lane to the left to pass the person in the right lane.
Are you sure you dont have left nd right reversed?? It seems kind of odd that the lane with the on and off ramps would be going the fastest. Normal in a left hand driving situation, the left lane is the fastest.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 07:36 PM   #12
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A long stretch of the New Jersey Turnpike divides into two sets of carriageways both north and southbound- with trucks and buses limited to the outer roadways....Cars are allowed on both sides.
Large signs are placed between the outer and inner carriageways that serve both simultaneously- each carriageway has its own exits which meetup before the tollbooths.

image hosted on flickr
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Old February 21st, 2007, 09:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Are you sure you dont have left nd right reversed?? It seems kind of odd that the lane with the on and off ramps would be going the fastest. Normal in a left hand driving situation, the left lane is the fastest.
You're right, I have left and right mixed up. It's been a rough day at work.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 03:59 AM   #14
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The United States has VERY fundamental rules as far as lane usage. This is a definite rule in rural areas, but to a vastly lesser degree in urban areas.

In rural areas on 4 lane interstates, you ALWAYS drive in the right lane, and pass in the left lane. People who cruise along slowly in the left lane are immedately honked at most of the time, and really piss other drivers off. If you ever pass anyone in the left lane, they are going against all logic of driving the interstate highway system.

On 6 lane roads (urban areas) or larger, the rules are much much more relaxed. Trucks are almost always restricted to the two most right lanes, but in a 6 lane+ environment, cars will generally do whatever they want. There is some degree of people staying right and passing left - but it's nowhere near as almost totally efficient as in rural and 4 lane sections of interstate.

I normally go 15KM or so higher than the posted speed limit, and cruise the left lane. If anyone comes up upon me in the left lane though at a fast rate of speed, I would immediately move to the right, let them pass, then move back over to the left lane to continue passing other slower cars.

I probably drive back and forth to Iowa (it's almost entirely a 330KM rural drive) 10 times a year, and MAYBE 3 or 4 times a year would I ever pass anyone in who is driving in the left lane. If I did I would always curse them from my car, haha.

this might not be as normal on the east coast where it's so dense, but in the 90% of the country that is quite rural, this is without rule the case. The top law we learned in Driving Class in school was to always drive in the right lane, and only use the lane for passing only.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 12:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagoago View Post
On 6 lane roads (urban areas) or larger, the rules are much much more relaxed. Trucks are almost always restricted to the two most right lanes, but in a 6 lane+ environment, cars will generally do whatever they want. There is some degree of people staying right and passing left - but it's nowhere near as almost totally efficient as in rural and 4 lane sections of interstate.

I normally go 15KM or so higher than the posted speed limit, and cruise the left lane. If anyone comes up upon me in the left lane though at a fast rate of speed, I would immediately move to the right, let them pass, then move back over to the left lane to continue passing other slower cars.
It's the urban/suburban driving that piss me off the most, as most of my journeys involve me going around the inner bay area (which is all 8 lanes, save San Francisco). Drivers their have no sense at all... but the seem to sharpen up at night, and let you pass. Traffic permitting, I usually go 75-80 in suburban roads, 85-90 at night, when there's less traffic, and if I make the rural journeys (usually along the California coast) I run about 90-100, depending on the car I'm driving.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 10:05 PM   #16
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 02:55 AM   #17
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I dont think anyone is even reading this anymore, but I took this while driving today to show you the keep the lane system that exists in California:

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Old March 2nd, 2007, 08:07 AM   #18
Alex Von Königsberg
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On I-5 north of Sacramento and all the way to Oregon border, these signs are posted very often (every 3-4 km), and still it doesn't stop some people from driving in the left lane down the empty interstate. I may understand why people don't want to stay in the extreme right lane on a four-lane urban expressway where traffic entering and exiting every 500 metres or so, but I-5 runs through sparcely populated areas with exits spaced >10 km apart. Why would someone need to stay in the left lane on a two-lane motorway?
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 06:50 PM   #19
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^ Well I honestly normally just drive in the left lane going on interstates - but 80% of the time I'm passing people every few minutes or less. If there are others around me going roughly the same speed, THEN I'll move over when it's clear and cruise in the right lane. That's usually when you get people going roughly your speed all around you, and some will eventially slowly pass you. That's also when there's little traffic.

If it's TOTALLY open, then I just cruise along in the right lane going fast, and pass random people if I happen to come up upon them. I always feel much safer speeding in the right lane than the left as far as getting picked up by police. Not sure if it matters at all, but most of the time I see cops pulling over people zooming by in the left lane. I figured if I can speed in the right lane and not even have to move over passing anyone (hence it's a totally open road), then they'd be more incline to let me speed.

Either way, this is on a 2X2 interstate. Anything larger than that, as said before, it totally depends on where you are and who the "normal" drivers in that area are.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 09:12 PM   #20
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Yea, you're right, even on the I-5 between SF and LA (heavy trucking route) a lot of people are just on the left lane the entire time, going around 80-85, and they're USUALLY nice enough to pull to the right when there's space, but I've had to pass on the right a few times (me a long with a whole line of traffic behind me) then there are some that are going ridiculously fast who dont wait for you to go to the right and pass you on the right anyway (105-110, my van doesn't feel safe going that fast...)

i usually let people pass me, being a van, if i see someone within about 100-150 ft of me, and they usually pass me, of course, like you say, in urban/suburban areas, people dont give a damn what lane they're going on, sometimes the fast lane is the second one from the right... ><
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