Social Question

Kraigmo's avatar

Why do some people get in the Carpool lane, then proceed to drive at a speed lower than the speed of the lanes of the regular freeway?

Asked by Kraigmo (7428 points ) November 30th, 2009

I’m guessing these people get into the Carpool lane because they “feel like it” and not much else. Maybe they enjoy the eliteness of that lane, with its wider shoulder and all that.

But shouldn’t the carpool lane be reserved for Carpoolers who want to use it in order to bypass the normal traffic that is too slow?

Don’t they completely destroy any real purpose the Carpool lane has, by getting into it, then driving at a speed equal to, or less than the traffic on the normal area of the freeway?

What can be done about them?

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38 Answers

PooperDood's avatar

Because they’re American.

tinyfaery's avatar

Assholes.

I once new a person who said that she purposely did this, and drive slow in the fast lane, because Jesus wanted her to slow people down. Eck.

YARNLADY's avatar

I have news for you, the speed limit in the carpool lane is the same as for the rest of the lanes. The real reason the carpool lane was developed was to enable people who shared rides to avoid the back ups that occur in the other lanes, not to exceed the speed limit.

If you mean drive under the speed limit – that is wrong, and actually against the law also, there is a minimum and a maximum that can be enforced on the freeway – all lanes.

Darwin's avatar

Because they can.

Kraigmo's avatar

@YARNLADY , that’s a good point. And sometimes traffic in the regular freeway varies between light-and heavy and the carpoolers might want to avoid that variance.

But aside from that, is there any reason at all (outside of “I feel like it”) to get in the carpool lane, if the lanes that already exist are going at a speed comfortable to the driver?

Dr_C's avatar

Because they are sadistic little fucks that enjoy making people’s lives miserable and relish in other’s anger and frustration. It’s like the people who walk hand in hand 4 deep on the sidewalk not letting anyone pass… or the family in the store that block the aisles and move as slowly as humanly possible looking at EVERY LITTLE THING even if they have no interest in buying it.

Can you tell this annoys me a bit?

Val123's avatar

@YARNLADY Yes, but the minimum speed is some ridiculous thing like 45 mph in a 65!

Capt_Bloth's avatar

I personally love to do this. It is so much fun to piss off people who need to get somewhere. Sometimes when I’m bored, I’ll get in the car and go create traffic. I don’t even have anywhere to go, that’s actually why I can go so slow. I like to hold up the drive through window too. I’ll get four friends in the car, none of us will know what we want. Then everyone places huge orders. Bridge tolls are fun too, get in the cash lane at rush hour, then tell the attendant you don’t have any money. I want to go into the Holland tunnel without any gas.

@Dr_C I love to hold hands with people on a narrow sidewalk.

Val123's avatar

@Capt_Bloth I hope you’re not serious….

Capt_Bloth's avatar

@Val123 well, actually going into the Holland Tunnel with no gas is my girlfriend’s idea. You see it is illegal to change lanes, so you create a huge backup. Then, you just happen to have a siphoning hose in your car…

not exactly a master plan to get free gas

Dr_C's avatar

@Capt_Bloth whether or not you were being serious (the lack of a tilde is suspect) I still won’t hold it against you since you consistently make me laugh…
Also I’m a lover not a fighter… but I’m a fighter too so don’t get any ideas.

Capt_Bloth's avatar

@Dr_C totally kidding, I once threw a paper cup of ice at someone for cutting me off and then going like 10 under the speed limit

YARNLADY's avatar

@Kraigmo I think people might do it because the lane is usually smoother there, and the rest of the lanes are bumpy, with cracks and holes. I never use that lane, because the crazy drivers who do scare me.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

I always thought the carpool lane was meant for slower drivers…Have I been misinformed?!

Val123's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 The far left lane is usually meant for faster drivers who are passing the rest of traffic. I think the concept of a special lane for car pool drivers is as a reward for car pooling…so they can take advantage of being able to pass, not being held up by traffic in front. If they drive slower than the regular traffic, they’re totally missing the point of the reward, and creating their own kind of mess.

tinyfaery's avatar

Speed limits mean nothing, even to the cops. Unless you are being reckless.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@tinyfaery The cops in my town seem to care. My fiancé got pulled over for speeding and I wouldn’t say he was being reckless. I thought speeding always equals reckless in a cop’s eyes…

Val123's avatar

Hail. I got pulled over for doing 33 in a 25 in my town several years back. After 10 years of living here, and doing 33 in that 25 for all of that time (along with the rest of the town.) He must have been totally bored that evening. His boredom cost me $65. Shitbird.

YARNLADY's avatar

@tinyfaery @Val123 I see officers pulling speeders over all the time. The police department practically runs on the money collected from fines. It’s the bigger offenses they don’t have time for.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Some people feel safer in the carpool lane because there are fewer cars. Many people feel afraid and/or pressured to exceed the speed limit and the other lanes are so crowded that it just adds to their anxiety. Being of a limited group to access the carpool lane makes these people feel safe and entitled to go the speed limit or a little bit over. My mother is like this now that she is older, she gets really spooked by looking in her rearview mirror and seeing people barrel down on her at over 80mph so she looks for that carpool lane any chance she gets and then counts on speeders (like me) to go around her at their own risk.

avvooooooo's avatar

Passing on the right is illegal for a reason. Its highly dangerous. Any stupid fuck who makes people do this on purpose by intentionally driving slowly in the fast lane needs to be pulled from their car, beaten, and have their license taken away. And a screwdriver to two of their tires. So there! :D

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

@avvooooooo: You do know there is no such thing as a “fast lane”, right? Anything to the left of the innermost right lane is called a passing lane and the assumption is you will pass not exceeding the posted speed limits.

avvooooooo's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence I’m aware. But the whole point is that people in the further left lanes are going faster than the people in the further right lanes. Hence the existence in the nomenclature of “fast lane.”

Val123's avatar

I always go 5 mph over. It gets me away from the masses.

Kraigmo's avatar

Remember: The carpool lane was put there to reward people for saving room and saving the environment. Its intended purpose is to be a fast-moving lane during traffic jams, rewarding cars that are full of car-poolers instead of a single driver.

My question had to do with normal traffic flow, when there is no jam, however.

Val123's avatar

Oh, well. In that case the answer is simple. No one has ever ‘splained to them what the far left lane is for. And I think that lack of basic education, in basic driving practices, is down right outrageous. Five seconds at the DMV ought to cover it.

And if it has been explained then they’re just stupid.

Capt_Bloth's avatar

@Val123 You have it correct. They’re stupid, but try not to get too upset with them. After all, it’s hard to move down the road and be an idiot at the same time.

Darwin's avatar

They can do it, though, as long as they aren’t chewing gum, too.

Val123's avatar

I had an acquaintance once who did that (we don’t have “carpool” lanes in Kansas, just passing lanes.) I was trying to break him of it. I asked him why he did that.
He said, “Nobody else is over there!”
I (almost) yelled, ”Do you think there might be a reason no one else is over there? Do you think they made that lane just for YOU?????” He looked kind of sheepish, said he’d never thought about it.
Actually, Kansas just passed a law this year that you can be ticketed for cruising in the left lane. I seriously hope they enforce it.

The thing is, many people just don’t KNOW! I wish they’d put short ads on TV outlining short, safe driving tips.

I hope he’s cured by now. Haven’t seen him in years.

Capt_Bloth's avatar

@Val123 sadly, most states have the same law and it is never enforced.

Kraigmo's avatar

@Val123 has a good idea with putting TV ads detailing driving tips. So far the only driving meme that most people are brainwashed with is: “Speed Kills”, which is way too simplistic and sometimes correct, and sometimes not. I think “Stupidity Kills” even moreso than speed, by a huge margin;

Public Service Announcements should be made that encourage slower traffic to always keep right, no matter what, except in emergencies and traffic jams.

If Public Service Announcements can get 50% of the smoking population to quit cigarettes, they can certainly get at least 50% of the slow-blödkopf population to stay on the right side of the road where they are welcome to be, and belong.

Val123's avatar

@Kraigmo Exactly. Plus the kids today are concerned about have Designated Drivers now, thanks to the media. That never occurred to us when I was a kid!

john65pennington's avatar

My wife and i use the HOV lanes all the time. i have seen so many single occupant cars in the HOV lanes in violation of the law. i write many citations there. i understand your question and have not noticed this. each time we are in the HOV lane, wife and i go the speed limit, 70 mph, but the adjacent lanes are always going above the posted speed limit. there is another way to look at your question. maybe, the people in the HOV lanes are observing the posted speed limit and everyone else is speeding. ever thought of it that way?

john65pennington's avatar

2nd Answer: HOV lanes are for two or more people. motorcycles, buses and emergency vehicles. their time of enforcement are 6 am to 9 am and from 4pm to 6pm Monday through Friday. the HOV lanes are paid for by The Federal Government and enforceable in every state. some states do not have HOV lanes, depending on their own traffic conditions. the HOV lanes are not fast lanes. there is no such thing as a fast lane. the speed limit posted is for each lane. the main purpose of HOV lanes is to encourage carpooling, to save fuel, and for emergency vehicles.

Kraigmo's avatar

The logic of using the lefter lanes to pass, while using the rightmost lanes for merging, trucks, and slow cars… makes the left lanes de facto “fast lanes”. The #4 lane being the merging/trucks area and the #3 lane for slower-traffic and “posted limit” afficianados. The #2 lane for going 70 to 75, and the #1 lane for everything above.

And if everyone followed that common courtesty (and there’s no logical reason not to), you’d have far less cars bunching up, less cars traveling in wolfpacks, and less cars being pointlessly stuck in between other cars driving at parallel speeds.

The prevalence of slower drivers on the left side is a greater danger than the danger posed by general speeders.

But yes, the carpool lane is of course mainly for carpoolers and motorcyclists and emergency vehicles, that was their intended original purpose. The “slow stay right” rule (in some areas a law, other areas just a social courtesy) definitely applies on the normal freeway at all times. Without it, there’d be far more chaos.

The problem with carpool lanes, is often there is just one of them per freeway, making passing slow people impossible if one is on them. And it all begs the original question of why slow drivers would ever want to be in a lane where they cause pointless distress to others, when those slower drivers would be perfectly fine driving in the #3 or #4 lane of the normal freeway, and at the exact same speed personal preferred speed they were using in the carpool lane, and they’d be in flow of the road, rather than being a pointless obstacle. Only self-centeredness and a clingy emotional placement of one single law “the posted speed limit” over actual reality and safety… causes people to drive slow in the leftside lanes for no reason beyond the fact that they “feel like it”. I’m generalizing, and there’s exceptions occasionally due to the dynamics of the road. Some speeders are indeed too fast to be safe. And some slow left lane drivers are only over there temporarily and they get hassled way too soon by selfish people behind them before they move over. But if they never move over, even when a clearing in traffic occurs… then it is they who are selfish.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Hey. Anyone remember this thread? My friend @Val123 was here! Seems so long ago…

Ron_C's avatar

The way I see it, no cops no speed limit. If someone is going too slow I reserve the right to run them off the road. I haven’t done it yet but I still reserve the option to do so

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