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Old 08-29-2008, 04:52 PM   #81 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by equation112 View Post
sorry, but when I learned to drive, I was taught that cutting across 5 lanes would get you pulled over, and I *have* been pulled over for moving over a mere 2 lanes while signaling and taking my time back when Davie had a 'policy' of profiling DWB. (forgive the unintentional sarcastic tone here - I can't see a way to write it without it coming off that way)

that said, I was unaware of the specific details of the move over law - most drivers down here tend to follow the 'slow down and get out of the way of the emergency vehicle via the shortest and quickest way possible' rule, regardless of the actual direction... ie if the emergency vehicle is on the left, move right, and if the emergency vehicle is on the right, move left. it's been my observation that generally emergency vehicles are thus always afforded the center until they actually make a move in a particular direction themselves - the surrounding vehicles adjust accordingly. note this is not a criticism or disagreement with the law as it stands... just an observation based on 21 years and somewhere around a million miles driven. it doesnt help much that the law is only 5 years old... most drivers like myself have been driving for far longer with long-standing habits and trained procedures - especially here, which is a melting pot of driving habits from all over the world.

in any case, consider me enlightened. my thanks

who said I (or the van ahead of me) was playing chicken? the stopped cruiser was on our left, the approaching (at high speed) cruiser was on our right, smack in the middle of the highway, and he stayed there until the last possible moment, making no attempt whatsoever to indicate any intention of doing anything other than continuing in a straight line. the posted limit on that section of 95 is 65mph, and we had both slowed to 40 - in compliance with the move over law interestingly enough. if either one or both of us had merged right - into the path of the approaching cruiser BTW - we likely would have been seen as actively obstructing him, and pulled over for it, and there was no way for us to know where the approaching cruiser was going. if we had merged right all the way across the highway, and he [b]wasnt[/i] going to the other cruiser, but onto one of the off ramps that lead to I-595 or SR-84 right there, we would still have been in his way. IMHO we made the best choice of a very limited set of possibilities, which were:

1. he keeps going straight or goes to one of the off-ramps to the right, we slow down and give the stopped cruiser at least 1 lane of clearance to his right after the moving cruiser passes. no problem (this was my original plan anyway).

2. he slots in behind us, we move right. no problem.

3. we move right, he moves right. we end up in his way and possibly get an accident or pulled over for changing too many lanes at once

look... if you *absolutely* cant go left, and you seemingly can't go right without getting in the way, where the hell are you supposed to go? if the approaching cruiser had slotted in behind us, it would have been apparent where he was going and I at least (cant speak for the van in front) would have moved over to the right to get out of the way - as per the rule. sometimes following the letter of the law is worse than breaking it.
Having driven Ambulance and Fire vehicles with lights/siren, I can say that every driver acts differently. Some freak out and hit the brakes, groups scatter in all directions, people don't see or hear the emergency vehicle for quite a distance (especially with quiet interiors). You have to make a quick and safe judgement based on the conditions.

Most common, 100-watt siren speakers cannot be heard at highway speeds from a safe distance -- the speed of sound is only so fast. Same with using the horn behind a semi. It usually cannot be heard.

The solution was an ad campaign: "Pull Right for Sirens and Lights". It caught on somewhat.

Last month I had moved to the left lane for a highway crew working on the right shoulder. Suddenly, a group of about 5 cars in the right lane slow down and I started passing the group of vehicles (4-lane). Then I noticed an officer on my bumper with the lights on. We had just pulled over for an Ambulance moments before and it exited a 1/2 mile ahead (so the focus was on the crew and the other vehicles instead of the mirrors, so I didn't see him right away). My solution was to signal right and floored it since everyone was bunched up and slowing down. I was pretty certain he was responding to the same call. I went way over the limit, but I got out of his way (the cars weren't letting me over) and merged before the road crew area. He indeed exited following the ambulance.

Maybe the law enforcement folks can help me on this one -- his goal appeared to be to get around us, so I did what I thought would save the most time. If I was the target, I would likely have some explaining to do (I was going 70 in a 70 initially -- don't know what I topped out at to clear the lane).

there are only certain roadways here in florida where that rule applies, and those are usually marked, 2-lane highways - the turnpike for example used to operate under the 'cruise right, pass left' rule back in the '70's - it no longer does in most areas due to increased usage and the fact that that rule really can't be enforced on roadways with more than 2 lanes - and the 'pike now has 3 or more lanes in most areas of south florida - it makes no sense to. down here it is more along the lines of left=overtaking and high speed cruising (except during rush our when its HOVcity), middle=trucks and mid-speed cruising while right=on and off-ramp access (slower traffic). just because there isnt any other traffic doesnt mean you have to use the right lane anymore. as for the rest, like i said, the approaching cruiser could have gone *anywhere*, and moving out of the lane we were in would likely have put us right in his way. rock and a hard place... go figure.
For the 6-Laners, I generally stay in the middle as mentioned above. Fast Left, limit or slightly under in the middle, and considerably slower vehicles on the right.

4-Lane "left exits" get people all bent out of shape because of the "bunching-up" effect, and some locales have the "Through Traffic Keep Left" to let busy mergers occur.

Illinois had it on the books that if you were in the passing lane (4-lane again) for a mile without passing a vehicle, you could be ticketed. I know drivers that park themselves out there out of laziness. Drives ya nuts! Plus some semi drivers are skiddish to right-pass because it's usually illegal, against company policy, and really kinda dangerous.


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Old 08-29-2008, 08:16 PM   #82 (permalink)
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