A drop in the bucket

A series of stories is making the rounds saying Indiana police are enforcing the “slowpoke law” prohibiting left lane blocking.

No, they aren’t. 100 tickets in a year statewide is not enforcement. My city writes more speeding tickets in a month.

I expect Indiana police use the law like my police, for pretext stops and contempt of cop tickets.

Many keep right violations here are pretext stops. Police watch for somebody who looks like a drug runner. He may be carefully obeying the speed limit… but he’s in the middle lane. Bring out the dogs.

If you’re on the Mass Pike and a car comes flying up behind you at 90+ and hangs a few feet off your bumper, odds are it’s a cop or a VIP who can call the cops. Just move right and you’re fine. Stay in the left lane and you get a ticket for speeding and failure to keep right. Yes, they can ticket for both at the same time. Hit the brakes and you are in big trouble.

In this case police are using the law as intended, not abusing it but selectively enforcing it. Block a civilian, no problem. Block a law enforcement officer, get a ticket.

The rest of the time the left lane is kept clear by a combination of tradition and the willingness of people in trucks and big SUVs to tailgate left lane blockers.

It’s hard to ticket drivers into obedience. Police could write 100 times as many tickets and not do it. They do write 100 times as many speeding tickets, maybe 1,000 times as many, and they don’t do it.

It’s a good law Indiana has, but it’s not an enforcement priority.

The opinions expressed in this post belong to the author and do not necessarily represent those of the National Motorists Association or the NMA Foundation. This content is for informational purposes and is not intended as legal advice. No representations are made regarding the accuracy of this post or the included links.

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