Left Lane is for Passing, Not Cruising

Greetings fellow drivers of Hampton Roads. You may have noticed a new sign on I264 today that befuddled or confused you. It went something along the lines of


Believe it or not this has been the law throughout Virginia for years (read about it here and here). The law states you keep right except while passing. In most other states things work this way but in Virginia, especially around here, the left lane is treated as a moving, cruising lane. If you're in the left lane and you've completed a pass please be mindful of the cars behind you and move back over into the right-hand lane(s) so that other drivers can do the same.

It's really nice when this is practiced (like I said, I've experienced it in other states) because you can easily move over when there are slow vehicles ahead and then continue on your merry way. It reduces congestion and prevents people from having to pass in the right lane, which is both annoying and dangerous. Especially since this is typically the lane cars from entrance and exit ramps are merging with.

Don't forget too that it isn't rude or road-rage-y for someone behind you to honk their horn or flash their lights if you're moving too slowly in the passing lane. This is a perfectly polite request to pass you. You don't set or enforce the speed limit. The correct (and legal) thing to do, believe it or not, is to move over and slow down to let them pass you. It's all about safe and sane driving etiquette. If you aren't actively passing other cars, move on over to the right. It goes a long way.