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Lead, follow or get out of the way

POSTED: August 1, 2017 6:00 p.m.
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Lewis Levine covers public safety and the occasional president for the Courier and area TV stations. He’s retired Army, too.

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Is it just me? Is it my imagination that since the slow poke law was enacted last year, more drivers took it to mean they can drive slow in the left lane, which is also known as the passing lane—yes the passing lane, which is to be used when you have a slow poke in the right lane.

There’s something aggravating about a driver doing 40 mph in a 45 mph zone.

Now I will confess that sometimes, not often, I exceed the speed limit on West Oglethorpe Highway trying to get somewhere in a hurry. And "bam" it never fails there’s a driver ahead of me either barely doing the speed limit or below.

Oh the torture and agony I feel when I can’t get around them because there’s another slow driver in the right lane.

Really folks, practicing your Sunday driving skills morning, noon and night is not cool. I get your are cautious and of course obeying the rules of the road, but do it in the right lane.

Because of slow poke drivers I have witnessed reckless driving from those too impatient to plod along behind a slow poke driver.

I’ve even seen not-so-bright, impatient drivers opt to use the center lane as a passing lane. In one instance I witnessed an impatient driver nearly hit an innocent motorist head on.

Thank God the impatient driver was able to swerve back into the original passing lane without injuring someone.

But I get it. Slow poke drivers in the fast lane can literally drive you nuts!

Over the years I have observed many slow poke drivers in action, and it’s not only in Liberty County, it’s on interstates 95, 16, 75 and so on.

It always amazes me how a slow poke can have an animated phone conversation while dozens of cars are stacked up behind them and they’re oblivious to it.

Then there’s the serial texter, who while they’re texting away and drifting into the other lane, have no problem with the growing rage behind them.

I don’t know how the law is enforced and I would imagine it would be hard for a law enforcement officer to pull someone over and begin with, "Do you know why I pulled you over, you were doing 45 in a 45 mph zone!"

So let me just take a moment to remind the slow pokers that there are two lanes on the majority of the thoroughfares in Georgia, and sometimes four.

The left lanes are for passing. They’re there to let faster traffic get around slower traffic. That’s why they’re there. Not to sightsee. In short, you don’t need to drive five miles in the left lane to go to Walmart or the new shopping center in town for lunch or dinner at Chick-fil-A. Start out in the right hand lane and get over when you get near your destination.

Borrowing a motto from my Army days, "Lead, Follow or Get the Hell Out of the Way!"

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