Move Over – It’s The Law
I was driving home on the freeway from an appointment and thought of a recent picture I’d seen on facebook. On a bridge view of the freeway someone had added a purple swath over the inside lane — what we call the HOV lane but what many use as the go-really-fast lane — and typed text about Utah’s move-over law.
If you don’t live here, we have a law that states that slower traffic must move to the right and allow faster traffic to drive in the inside lanes. It’s commonly called the “move-over law” and people can get rather irate about it for such a highly religious population. So if you’re on one of the inside two lanes of our 8-12 lane freeway and someone has to slow down, they will weave or honk or gesture animatedly.
The real move-over law, however, addresses the obligation we have to move over a lane for emergency or law enforcement personnel who may be stopped on the right, and is intended to protect those who must work close to fast-moving traffic. It’s also commonly employed across the nation for the protection of construction workers. Interesting that we’ve hijacked the name of a safety law for a law about being inconvenienced.
I do tend to drive like a grandma anymore (a significant change from my long commute past), and I don’t feel the need to slow down those who consciously break the law in the inner lanes, so most of the time I drive in the middle or toward the right. As I watched someone weaving, braking, and jumping forward angrily, however, I wondered about a law that makes it illegal to obey the posted law if that interferes with someone else’s ability to freely break it.
I wondered what our society would be like if we applied that widely to other laws or social mores. “You’re in my way. Move over. It’s the law.”
- What do you think?