SPRINGFIELD, Mo — A driver blocking passing traffic in the left lane may be many people’s pet peeve. And the Missouri State Highway Patrol says it can also be hazardous behavior on the road.
The agency says it sees a lot of drivers in the wrong lane, and among other violations, it’s trying to combat that with extra officers on the road stressing the importance of cautious driving and not blocking traffic flow.
“I see a lot of people driving in the left lane,” said Springfield resident John Kroutil.
Drivers say they see it all around.
“All over, a lot on the interstate, 65 Highway,” said Marty Dickens, a Fair Grove resident.
Although very common on Missouri roadways, it’s a violation of law.
“In the state of Missouri, you cannot drive in the left lane for as long as you want,” said Sgt. Jason Pace, Missouri State Highway Patrol.
“Some people might not know about it,” said Kroutil.
The Highway Patrol will have extra officers out on roadways for the next few months cracking down on aggressive driving – including drunk and distracted driving, speeding, following too closely and driving in the passing lane.
“Once you’ve overtaken that vehicle, you must move back over in the right lane, the driving lane, to allow traffic to pass through,” Sgt. Pace said.
But it can not only inconvenient for drivers.
“It’s frustrating, you are wanting to go faster than the car in front of ya,” said Dickens.
But it can also be dangerous.
“Especially around our area, there’s a lot of rolling hills and a considerable amount of back-up that takes place, which involves tailgating and could lead to aggressive driving and even road rage,” Sgt. Pace said.
The goal is to focus on aggressive behavior behind the wheel to help avoid crashes.
“Trying to be out there and to reduce those violations and that way we can save a life,” Sgt. Pace said.