Why Left Lane Hogging Should Be Avoided
By Andrea Nicole
Posted on Jul 23, 2020
Lane hogging can be one of the most frustrating things to ever encounter in the road. In the Philippines, hogging the left lane is rampant especially in expressways and highways.
The essence of the third lane is: Stay in the right lanes unless overtaking is needed. In overtaking, transfer in the left lane, pass the slower cars, then return back to the right lane. Staying in the left lane at a steady speed is therefore frowned upon.
There are rules in the Philippines regarding the left-lane hogging. In South Luzon Expressway, they installed warning messages through LED sign boards scattered along the expressway. The warning reads ‘Violators will be apprehended,’ reminding drivers to avoid staying too long on the leftmost lane. They didn’t exactly say in these reminders how much would the fine be or what are the other penalties imposed, but it sure is not cheap, nor would the penalties be light.
Although one can still be apprehended if caught hogging the left lane, there are still a lot of left-lane hoarders out there. But why is it frustrating to encounter such and why it should not be tolerated? Here are the reasons why drivers should not hog the left lane.
Traffic will slow down
Similar to what everyone experienced in malls wherein an insensitive group of people walks slowly in a horizontal line, blocking the entire walkway, the same can be observed when the left-most lane is blocked on expressways and highways. The vehicle hogging the lane creates a barrier that prevents other vehicles who want to overtake from passing that lane, creating a domino effect on the rest of the cars behind.
It can be worse especially of the driver hogging the left lane is going under the speed limit. This slows down the other vehicles behind and prevents them from overtaking. This little unfortunate circumstance can lead to slowing down of traffic in the long run.
It can be dangerous to drivers
Based on the data provided by the Philippine Statistics Authority, poor overtaking resulted in 7,962 road accidents in the Philippines from 2010 to 2012. It often happens in gridlock where the driver dents another car due to miscalculation of turn.
When the left lane is blocked in expressways and highways, drivers are deprived of the lane where they can overtake safely, forcing them to navigate through multiple lanes instead. This can be very dangerous since the speed of the cars on these roads are around 80-100kph.
Courtesy to other drivers
With or without the resulting apprehension for left-lane hogging, drivers should have the decency to not hoard the left lane. It can be rude and offending to other motorists. Moreover, the left lane is commonly used by emergency service vehicles like police, fire, and ambulance. It hampers the response times especially when caught at a bad time.
With those being said, maintain the safety on the road, do not block the left lane, and be sure to respect other motorists.