Left lane dick extreme

Posted by: on May 14, 2010 | 3 Comments

Left Lane Dick Extreme

I’m sure many of you have heard the expression “left lane dick.” A “left lane dick” is a person who drives in the left lane slower than the flow of traffic, breaking rule #1 of highway driving:  Pass on the left, drive on the right.  Rule #2 is when you are left lane dick and I’m flashing my lights at you, get the hell out of my way.

This morning I was on longisland (and it is pronounced longisland) on my way to play golf (see the previous post about the only thing that gets me out of bed before dawn). On the longislandexpressway, they have an HOV lane, which brings me to rule #3 of highway driving: Just because there is an HOV lane and you have 2 or more people in your car, doesn’t mean you should drive in the HOV lane, especially if you aren’t going to at least drive the speed limit when traffic in the non-HOV lanes is moving at or faster than the speed limit. If you are, well then you are a “left lane dick extreme (LLDE).”

Now, I couldn’t drive in the HOV lane because I was only one person but I kept passing many LLDEs. Rule #4 of highway driving: If the extreme left lane is an HOV lane, than the lane next to it becomes the new left lane. Therefore, if you are in that lane and driving slower than the flow, you are a left lane dick. Sorry, the HOV does not exempt you from being a dick and rule #2 still applies.

And God forbid you should be texting on your cell phone, driving in the left lane with me flashing my brights at you. I think I’ll leave the whole texting talking emailing on your cell phone while driving for another day. Afterall, I was up before dawn this morning.


  1. Cliff Feldman
    May 15, 2010

    This is not an East Coast phenomenon. Try driving back from Vegas to LA on a Sunday night. Every loser thinks he is Speed Racer in the left lane and you have to pass on the right. So not-what-we-learned-in-drivers-ed!

  2. Syracuse Linda
    May 15, 2010

    You have hit on one of my biggest pet peaves. HOV lanes all over the LA area. I constantly have to come out of the lane in order to get by the idiot who is going 50 in the HOV. When I drive down to Palm Desert to my parents, I spend miles in the right lane, with no other cars, passing everyone. Especially after I get past Ontario, where the LA traffic eases up. In NJ, well, you already know. But I have to say it is even worse on the west coast. I could further name a few models of cars, that always seem to be the “culprit” car, but I don’t want to insult anyone who may drive those Subaru wagons.

  3. Gina
    May 18, 2010

    Ah, the byzantine, nuanced NJ Title 39! Keep right, except to pass (39:4-88) is NEVER enforced, which is the motivation for your post. In fact, in my daily haul up the Garden State Parkway (GSP), I have seen NJ State Troopers firmly ensconced in the left lane, driving 54 mph, eyes in the rearview mirror saying, “make my day”.

    But is there some relief from 39:4-85 “Passing on right prohibited unless vehicles are in ‘substantially continuous lines'”. So it begs the question — what judge in the world will admit that the Trooper with the conga-line has created cause for people to pass on the right and that within the law, they are entitled to do so? There’s no revenue in that!

    Now to 2009’s “move over” law (39:4-92.2), which says that if there is a police or emergency vehicle stopped on the shoulder and you are driving in the rightmost lane, you must either move over to the lane adjacent on your left or “reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which speed shall be less than the posted speed limit, and be prepared to stop.” So the obvious solution that people have adopted is to abandon the right lane entirely. Face it, that slowing down language is a bit vague. Besides, what’s to save an officer or emergency worker’s life from being hit by someone slowing down to 45 mph in 65 mph traffic? Aren’t we always prepared to stop? This is New Jersey, after all.

    So on a 5-lane road like the GSP the second lane from the right is the new “slow lane”. The 5th lane (all the way left) belongs to the Trooper — or to any superannuated school hall monitor who either flunked the physical or psych requirements for the police academy, but still is a champion of “safety” and insists on maintaining the double-nickel, even in a 65mph zone.

    The third lane seems to attract those who have nowhere to go and all day to get there, but for whom the social stigma of driving in the “slow lane” is too much for their self esteem. This lane also attracts the texters, the snackers, the compulsive radio tuners (drat these overpasses mess with my satellite signal!) and every other sonambulant who thinks it our sworn duty as New Jerseyans to make a 16-mile commute an hour-long affair.

    So that leaves the 4th lane (the second from the left) for the rest of us who simply wish to go from point to point efficiently and without drama….unless one of the snackers in the 3rd lane has a double espresso.