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Thread: "Slower Traffic Keep Right" signs

  1. #1

    Default "Slower Traffic Keep Right" signs

    I think some of our freeway traffic problems and resulting costs and gridlock caused by accidents could be solved with a few signs such as "Slower Traffic Keep Right" or "No Passing on Right" signs.

    Here's a few excerpts from a great abc new article (6-7 years old) I can no longer find a good link for - it's very educational:


    "U.S. Driving Habits Make Roads Deadly, Europeans Say

    "Exploding tires have been blamed for 101 deaths in the United States in the past eight years, but distracted, poorly trained drivers who drink coffee and talk on mobile phones may have more to do with the high death toll on American roads.
    More than 41,000 deaths were recorded on American roads last year. Experts say American drivers break road rules, are frequently distracted and aren’t often trained to handle emergency situations. In European countries with faster, safer roads, people wonder: Are Americans just bad drivers?

    “I’ve driven a lot in Germany. Your average American wouldn’t stand a chance over there,” says Robert Sinclair Jr., spokesman for the Automobile Club of New York.

    Spectacular Speeds, Strict Requirements

    "...Sinclair says the good safety records on German roads are particularly surprising because Germans drive so fast. Speeds over 140 mph are common on the nation’s autobahns, he said."

    “There are strict speed limits in the [neighboring] Netherlands. As soon as you hit Germany, if your window is open, you can hear engines begin to scream as they accelerate to German cruising speeds,” he says..."

    " The biggest difference between the two countries isn’t in tires, but driving habits, says Alex Landsdorff, press attaché at the German Embassy in Washington. German drivers actually obey the rules, he says. They don’t cruise in the left lane, they keep both hands on the wheel and act predictably."

    “You know what the guy behind you’s up to and you know what the guy ahead of you’s up to. That’s never the case [in the U.S.],” he says.

    "At German speeds, drivers are less likely to become distracted — they don’t shave, put on makeup, play with the CD changer or do the various things that lead to American drivers taking their eyes off the road, says David Champion, head of Consumer Union’s auto testing center in East Haddam, Conn.
    “It’s very difficult to find cupholders and the like” in European cars, he said. But American drivers, accustomed to doing other things while driving, continue their dangerous habits even at high speeds, he says. "

    " The renowned British stiff upper lip may also play a role. Though that country coined the term “road rage,” expatriate American Janice Murphy says she’s noticed British drivers are much less aggressive there than in her home state of New Jersey.
    “You still have very much more courtesy and abiding by the rules in England. Someone will go zipping by at 100 [mph] , but they’ll do it in the appropriate lane,” says Murphy, who has been living in London for 11 years.

  2. #2
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    these signs work if people actually would read them. if people still drive on the left on higways, why would they start driving on the right on city streets?

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    One thing that annoys me about the Yellowhead and Gateway are these big-rig trucks that occupy each and every lane side-by-side. Once the Yellowhead is completely up to a free-flowing standard, it should have at least 2 car-only lanes.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Slower Traffic Keep Right signs

    Quote Originally Posted by KC
    " The biggest difference between the two countries isn’t in tires, but driving habits, says Alex Landsdorff, press attaché at the German Embassy in Washington. German drivers actually obey the rules, he says. They don’t cruise in the left lane, they keep both hands on the wheel and act predictably."
    That's certainly the primary difference. Secondmost difference is vehicle conditions. Strict re-inspections there (annually?) ensure that billy-bob's third-generation-stolen pickup rustmobile would never see pavement again.

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    Default Re: Slower Traffic Keep Right signs

    Quote Originally Posted by murman
    Quote Originally Posted by KC
    " The biggest difference between the two countries isn’t in tires, but driving habits, says Alex Landsdorff, press attaché at the German Embassy in Washington. German drivers actually obey the rules, he says. They don’t cruise in the left lane, they keep both hands on the wheel and act predictably."
    That's certainly the primary difference. Secondmost difference is vehicle conditions. Strict re-inspections there (annually?) ensure that billy-bob's third-generation-stolen pickup rustmobile would never see pavement again.
    /\ very, very true.

    Standard emissions testing would solve that....buck up and match your emissions to current standards or sell the car!

  6. #6

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    I think some of our freeway traffic problems and resulting costs and gridlock caused by accidents could be solved with a few signs such as "Slower Traffic Keep Right" or "No Passing on Right" signs.
    But who ever admits to being slower?

    I've actually found US interstates much better than Canadian roads in that regard. But is that because their signs say "keep right except to pass" rather than "slower traffic keep right"? Or is it because Canadians, though polite and civic minded are also notoriously non-conformist?

    I remember reading a study where they saw how many people to took to form a que or line up... in some countries it took only 2 people before others would form a line. I think England was about 3 and the U.S., bastion of individuality, took 7 people before otheres would form a line behind. For Canada they quit counting at 12 because we never formed a line. What really astonished the authors of the study though was that while we never formed a line, everyone took their turn.

    For some reason though, we don't work that way behind the wheel.

  7. #7

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    A friend e-mailed me an article last year from Florida, believe. that planned to ban driving in the left lane except to pass. Honest!

    I've thought of suggesting somewhere, that as a compromise (to our road safety unfortunately )... that cell phone users be banned from the left-hand lane.

  8. #8

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    The slower right lane concept on the QE2 works well until you get to Leduc where it becomes 3 lanes each way. I find that drivers get confused as to where the fast lane is, and it ends up being a dash to Edmonton regardless of what lane you are on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CSR
    ...I've actually found US interstates much better than Canadian roads in that regard. ..
    I think it depends where you are. I haven't driven much in the US, but on a trip to California I found that the users of San Francisco area freeways followed the slower traffic keep right rule religiously, but near Seattle it was a random speeds in random lanes free-for-all.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasH
    The slower right lane concept on the QE2 works well until you get to Leduc where it becomes 3 lanes each way. I find that drivers get confused as to where the fast lane is, and it ends up being a dash to Edmonton regardless of what lane you are on.
    Very astute observation. It's always riddled me also.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium48
    Quote Originally Posted by CSR
    ...I've actually found US interstates much better than Canadian roads in that regard. ..
    I think it depends where you are. I haven't driven much in the US, but on a trip to California I found that the users of San Francisco area freeways followed the slower traffic keep right rule religiously, but near Seattle it was a random speeds in random lanes free-for-all.
    Texas is legendary for its lane-speed free-for-all. It's like driving in a video game there.

  12. #12

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    At the very least we should beg people not to pass on the right with
    "PLEASE... NO PASSING ON THE RIGHT" signs

    The third lane issue has always confused me - is it considered a "merge" lane or is it the "slow" lane? On the Whitemud it goes for miles so I assume it to be the slow lane but a lot of Edmontonians treat it like a passing lane.

    Off topic... and then there's the issue of people going 3/4 the way around a traffic circle in the outside lane or 1/4 way on the inside lane. I always thought such drivers were insane and breaking the law but a friend confirmed with the City Police that one or both of those crazy moves are actually technically legal. I wish though the city would put up signs dissuading such driving. (eg traffic circle by Valley Zoo).

  13. #13

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    Seems that in Germany, they know how to make things work at far, far higher speeds. Like he says: "At 230 km/h you're covering the length of an NHL hockey rink in less than one second. " Note the accident stats between Germany and Canada.


    Driving 230 km/h on the Autobahn we wonder why it works in Germany, but not Canada
    MATT BUBBERS
    SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
    SEPTEMBER 15, 2016
    JUNE 9, 2016


    German drivers are impeccably disciplined when it comes to staying over to the right. They move left only to pass. The left lane hog hardly exists in Germany, or, if she or he does, likely they're tourists.

    ...

    The elite autobahn polizei strictly enforce the rules of the road. Where there's no speed limit, enforcement is all about dangerous lane changes, passing on the right,..."


    https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/glo...ticle30348490/


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    Enforcement is the key however I'd venture it's easier effectively cover the motorways in a nation of 80m that occupies half the space as Alberta.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

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    I love these signs on Vancouver Island (are they all over BC?), and it seems the average driver understands the message. We need these in Alberta to help the left lane dolts get the point. I seriously think the left lane slowpokes are people with absolutely no control in their lives so when they hold up traffic they feel like they actually have some control in their life. Dummies.


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    From what I saw on a motorcycle trip through BC a few weeks ago, they're no better or worse at saying right except to pass than Albertans are. Lots of dummies staying in the left lane despite there being no one to pass. Or, even if there is another vehicle up ahead to pass, it's half a KM up and they could easily move over and let the stack of traffic behind them past, but they'll just stay in the left lane and take a couple minutes to make the pass.

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    I notice that too every year I make the trip to Van Isle, but I disagree as Albertan's have to be the worst when it comes to this. No wonder we get the sh1tty, entitled driving reputation we have.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitlope View Post
    I love these signs on Vancouver Island (are they all over BC?), and it seems the average driver understands the message. We need these in Alberta to help the left lane dolts get the point. I seriously think the left lane slowpokes are people with absolutely no control in their lives so when they hold up traffic they feel like they actually have some control in their life. Dummies.

    These signs are all over BC... mostly found where there are only passing sections, and the rest single lane/undivided highway.

    The absolute worse thing on Alberta highways is where there are 3 driving lanes, and nobody uses the far right lane. Move the fuckss over if you have more than 2 axles and are driving at or under the posted limit. Drives me bonkers when there's one guy in the middle lane doing the 100, guy in the left beside him trying to pass doing 101, and the rest of the traffic wants to go 110+ and forced to bypass these idiots in the right lane. Alberta driving classic right here.
    Last edited by Medwards; 04-10-2016 at 05:00 PM.

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    ^ There are far too many truckers doing 105 km/h in the middle lane between Leduc and the Henday, but anyone driving under the speed limit should be in the right lane, not just the truckers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitlope View Post
    I love these signs on Vancouver Island (are they all over BC?), and it seems the average driver understands the message. We need these in Alberta to help the left lane dolts get the point. I seriously think the left lane slowpokes are people with absolutely no control in their lives so when they hold up traffic they feel like they actually have some control in their life. Dummies.
    Yeah, I'm from northern BC (grew up there and went to university in PG) and most people follow these signs pretty well, when there is a passing lane. Any time you see a BC plate, they will mostly be following the rules. Even if someone is in the left lane, generally if they see you approaching, they will move over and let you pass. Sometimes with all the Alaska Highway traffic, you get people not from BC that get confused, but it works fairly well even in that case.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium48 View Post
    ^ There are far too many truckers doing 105 km/h in the middle lane between Leduc and the Henday, but anyone driving under the speed limit should be in the right lane, not just the truckers.
    This isn't an Alberta/BC thing though. I spent a couple 6-month winters driving the US south (and west/east) and wherever there's non-trivial truck traffic this seems to happen, one lumbering elephant doing 1% over the speed limit wanting to pass another elephant. The very worst was I-10 from El Paso to Dallas, through the Odessa-Midland corridor, heavy West Texas oil presence especially during the $100/bbl times, a phenomenal amount of truck traffic pretty much dictating speeds for an excruciating length of highway.
    I am in no way entitled to your opinion...

  22. #22

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    solution for truckers is to give them a slower speed limit like they do in many parts of america.


    Left lane except to pass should be a no brainer...

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    Quote Originally Posted by gwill211 View Post
    solution for truckers is to give them a slower speed limit like they do in many parts of america.


    Left lane except to pass should be a no brainer...
    Shouldn't that be right lane except to pass?

    I've been on the QEII south of Bowden when it took over 15 minutes for one semi to pass another.

  24. #24

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    As an aside these were also interesting comments:

    "It's illegal to run out of fuel on the autobahn, and if you do...

    "drivers are expected to maintain a distance in metres of roughly half the..."



    https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/glo...ticle30348490/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitlope View Post
    I love these signs on Vancouver Island (are they all over BC?), and it seems the average driver understands the message. We need these in Alberta to help the left lane dolts get the point. I seriously think the left lane slowpokes are people with absolutely no control in their lives so when they hold up traffic they feel like they actually have some control in their life. Dummies.

    Actually, I just drove to Edmonton from Red Deer yesterday and I noticed that someone installed these signs on QEII. I only saw two different pairs of them tho. There is a pair just north of the Highway 53 overpass and a pair just south of JT's Highway Diner. They look to be very new. I have traveled this corridor many times before and this is the first time I have seen them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by the.tru.albertan View Post
    Actually, I just drove to Edmonton from Red Deer yesterday and I noticed that someone installed these signs on QEII. I only saw two different pairs of them tho. There is a pair just north of the Highway 53 overpass and a pair just south of JT's Highway Diner. They look to be very new. I have traveled this corridor many times before and this is the first time I have seen them.
    They've always had the white 'slower traffic keep right' signs, but most people seem to think that just applies to farmers.

    I believe it's Nevada that has a law that if there's more than 5 cars waiting behind you on a highway, you must pull over and let them pass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nobleea View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by the.tru.albertan View Post
    Actually, I just drove to Edmonton from Red Deer yesterday and I noticed that someone installed these signs on QEII. I only saw two different pairs of them tho. There is a pair just north of the Highway 53 overpass and a pair just south of JT's Highway Diner. They look to be very new. I have traveled this corridor many times before and this is the first time I have seen them.
    They've always had the white 'slower traffic keep right' signs, but most people seem to think that just applies to farmers.
    Yes. I agree. Those 'Slower traffic keep right' signs have always been there. But these new 'Keep right - Let others pass.' signs must have just been installed.

    I'm beginning to wonder if it's the start of an AB Transportation education campaign or something. Maybe it's a pilot project to see how drivers respond??
    Last edited by the.tru.albertan; 05-10-2016 at 12:47 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nobleea View Post
    I believe it's Nevada that has a law that if there's more than 5 cars waiting behind you on a highway, you must pull over and let them pass.
    I've noticed a ton of those signs throughout Montana, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and so on while on motorcycle trips. And Americans generally are very good about obeying them. In fact, Americans in general I've found to be far more courteous to motorcycles than Canadians. Even if there aren't signs like that present, they'll often pull over and wave you past. At construction zones you'll typically get waved to the front by the flag person, as well.

    I did see some of those "5 cars" signs in BC recently. I don't recall if it was on the Nicola highway, or out towards Tofino.

  29. #29

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    Back in the day, many many moons ago (the 70's) the signs used to read..

    "KEEP RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS"

    Now that is very direct wording, i also believe that back in the 70's that passing on the right was illegal and you could get a ticket for it, somehow this changed to the new version of

    "SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP RIGHT"

    This to me lets each individual decide what the law means, whereas the first one is definite as to what to do.

    I traveled the QE2 on the weekend and for the most part the drivers kept the left lane clear for passing, however there were a few insane times when there was nearly a massive pile up because of an inexperienced or perhaps stubborn driver that just wouldn't move while the highway backed up behind them.

    Now that the Henday has opened and I use it many times a day, there is ZERO signage stating to keep right and most Edmontonians have no idea how to drive on a "BIG BOY" freeway and think they are driving down 66th street for a nice Sunday drive.

    Upon digging I found these, SEE PAGE 6

    http://www.transportation.alberta.ca...SE-CONTROL.PDF

    sign catalog which shows the "KEEP RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS" sign RB-34, and according to this document is to be placed on additional lanes used for passing ie when a two loane highway has high volumes and a passing lane is added, also states that drivers should move to the far right lane in these situations as to not impede traffic going faster in the left lanes...

    http://www.transportation.alberta.ca..._Pass_Sign.pdf

    as well here is the "SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP RIGHT" RB-35 AND RB-35X(ENHANCED WITH GREEN BARS)

    http://www.transportation.alberta.ca/content/doctype233/production/23slower_vehicles_keep_right_sign.pdf

    From this it looks as though the standard is RB-35 for divided highways and RB-34 for single track with passing lanes, however there appears to be an example of using the RB-34 on freeways and divided highways when an extra lane is added to remove congestion.

    RB-35 is still ambiguous to me and they should revert to the RB-34 signs for all highways
    Last edited by KenL2; 05-10-2016 at 03:44 PM.
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  30. #30

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    I lived in Germany for 4 years, and loved driving over there. Everyone follows the rules and expects everyone else to do the same. On highways (autobahn) you stay in the right lane unless you're passing, period. If you're driving in a middle or left lane and not passing anyone, you can and will get pulled over by the police. I'd been told you have a limit of about 30 seconds to get back into the right lane. It's very common to see cars that are going much faster switching in and out of the right lane as they pass cars. Every time they pass a car they get back into the right lane until they approach the next one, and repeat.

    There are no set limits the majority of the time, except if there is congestion or an accident up ahead. The highways have electronic roadsigns everywhere which will display speed limits and an icon showing either accident, or congestion. As you get closer to the slow traffic, the speeds on the signs get lower, sometimes down to 50 because traffic is actually stopped or crawling. So you'll be cruising at 200 and start seeing signs that say 130, 100, 70, 50 etc. Then after the congestion, you get the "no speed limit" sign again (A white circle with a black line through it).

    Transport trucks, and ANY vehicle pulling a trailer cannot exceed 100km/h, even on the autobahns with no speed limit. Most stretches are also restricted to where they MUST stay in the right lane, they're not allowed to pass anyone. This really helps with the flow of traffic because there's no "elephant races" where transport trucks are passing each other.

    There's also the highbeam flashing courtesy. For example, you are in the left lane passing cars doing 200 km/h, and there is a car ahead of you in your lane also passing cars but only doing 140. You flash your highbeams to let that car know that you're coming up on him very fast. The car doing 140 will find a spot to move over into the right lane and let you speed by, and then change back and carry on doing 140. Or, the car will sometimes just speed up. This is something important to know when you're driving over there (keep an eye on your rear-view mirror no matter how fast you're going). If you see a car way behind you flashing highbeams, get out of the way because he could be doing 200, 250, 280, and he'll be right on your behind in no time.

    Cars without cup holders in Germany is also a real thing, but they do have ash trays. I bought a BMW when I was there and it had no cup holder at all. But Germans don't sip their coffee when they're driving. Partially because of how dense the population is, and the fact that there are rest stops and gas stations that you can pull off into all over the place. This is not the same as in Canada with our long stretches of highways between cities, where there might not be a rest stop or gas station for an hour or more. So we need to bring our drinks with us.

    In Edmonton, there are many places where I think it's fine to not have to keep right, such as on the Henday where it's 3 lanes and there are several on and offramps. Stay in the middle lane to make it easier for people to merge in. I do agree however, that the left lane should be reserved for "faster" traffic and you shouldn't be in the left lane on the Henday doing 80 unless the weather calls for it.

    EDIT: I failed to mention that the German highways (autobahns) are also very distraction-free. There is a high barrier, or wide division between opposing traffic, and the sides of the highways are lined with tall thick trees. So there's really nothing else to look at. There's also ZERO advertisements anywhere on the autobahn. It's very much a "focus on the road" environment which I enjoyed.
    Last edited by alkeli; 13-01-2017 at 10:16 AM.

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    That sounds wonderful. Too bad many people around these parts are either too stupid or entitled for something like that to ever work here.

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