Message Monday

Pass on left, drive on right, text in parking lot

If you spend much time on multi-lane highways, you’ll probably run into those drivers who think the left lane was put in specifically for them. That might be true, as long as the vehicles using the left lane are passing slower vehicles in the right lane.

On a highway of four lanes or more, the right lane in each direction is considered the driving lane and the left lane, the passing lane.  Although the Iowa DOT has 695 “SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP RIGHT” signs posted on the Primary Highway System, not all drivers notice them or understand the meaning behind the signs. Others see the signs and think it gives them the right to tailgate or otherwise endanger the safety of slower traffic that might be in the left lane.

So what’s the big deal, other than it’s annoying? The danger comes whenever traffic is moving at uneven speeds, especially if someone is going less than the flow of traffic in the left lane. Did you know driving too slow in the passing lane is actually illegal?  Here’s the code section, 321.297.

So next time you’re on a multi-lane highway, get in the “right” lane.

Here’s a great video on why left lane driving can be a safety problem –

The fatality count of 259 is an increase of 13 since last Monday. In all of 2016, 404 people were killed on Iowa highways. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report at

October 9, 2017