Road Rage : Part 1
Q: In the middle of the afternoon, I was driving in the left lane of a three-lane expressway. The speed limit was 55 miles per hour. I think my speed was 55-56. I was traveling slower than other traffic. A trooper was in the right lane. It turns out he was pacing me.
The trooper stopped me and charged me with failing to keep right. How could I? He was to the right! If I had accelerated to pass the trooper and then move to the right, then maybe I would have been stopped for speeding, too.
A: Apparently, you were charged with a violation of Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1120(b). With a few exceptions, “any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway”.
Your attorney will argue that finding you guilty would require that a law-abiding driver risk a ticket and fine for failing to accommodate a speeder in the left lane. True, one of the acknowledged causes of “road rage” is blocking of the left lane. Still, you were not blocking it! Why should a driver traveling at a legal rate be punished for failing to clear the passing lane to make room for some one exceeding the limit?
Anyone should be very concerned about the phenomenon of road rage. Safety on the road is critical to the well-being of society. But we cannot cower to those who violate the law – by speeding or otherwise. Surely, the remedy for aggression on our roads is not to ticket drivers who abide by the law, but to prosecute fully those who violate it.
Assuming I have the story right, the court should find you not guilty.
By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial
The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.
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