Road Rage : Part 2

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Q: I was driving on a controlled access, three-lane, one-way super highway – in the far right-hand lane.  I think I was going the posted speed: 55 miles per hour.  My wife says I was going much slower.

In my rear-view mirror, I saw a vehicle come up behind me – following me closely.  “Tailgater,” I thought, “why don’t you move into the next lane and pass?”

So I slowed my car to help him.  This effort failed.  Not only did he not pass, but he even pulled closer and honked.  A few minutes later, a trooper came along.  I thought, “Now I am out of harm’s way.”  My joy was short-lived: the trooper pulled me over, not the other guy.

A: Under Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1181(a), with a few exceptions, no one may drive “at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic”.

Even if you were going too slow, your attorney likely will argue that the crucial question is whether the vehicle traveling behind you was free to pass by moving into another lane.  Your advocate would tell the court that it is not enough to impede traffic.  A violator must impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.  The ‘normal and reasonable’ thing was for the other driver to pass on the left.

Of course, the situation is far different in an area where other drivers are not able to pass.  In such a case, driving too slowly does impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.  It becomes downright dangerous.

So long as your slower speed merely caused a brief annoying delay that the other driver could easily have ended by passing on the left – and not danger – this does not sound like a violation.  But, for the future, it might be best to have your speedometer checked.

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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