In our opinion: You’re not alone if you are irritated by slow drivers

A peculiar quirk of some Whidbey Island drivers is to travel slightly under the speed limit on the highway, creating a line of cars that are forced to go the same speed.

Worse is when the driver refuses to pull aside to let others pass. When the slow driver gets to the passing lane, inevitably he or she speeds up to avoid letting speedier cars get by.

They should knock it off, and police should take the problem more seriously.

An online poll in the Whidbey News-Times and South Whidbey Record bears this out. Readers were asked how they feel people drive on the island. The most popular answer by far was that they “drive too slow and don’t let others pass.”

This is illegal behavior. The law states that “no person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation.”

Yet it is rare that police pull anyone over for driving too slow, though it’s just as unlawful as speeding. Which is odd since one would think police get tired of people driving especially slow when they see a car with a light bar coming up behind them.

During summers, the Washington State Patrol usually has a campaign to prevent “left lane camping,” which is when a driver stays in the far left lane of a multi-lane highway. The troopers warn people that it’s not their job to regulate traffic.

The State Patrol says that left-lane camping contributes to road rage and traffic snarls.

On Whidbey’s two-lane highways, it’s more like only-lane camping, but the effects are similar. Blood boils, traffic gets backed up, drivers tailgate and people sometimes make risky passes to get by a lumbering vehicle.

It’s understandable that young or aging drivers might drive slow out of fear or hesitation, but it’s unclear why others see no problem with impeding the flow of traffic. They like the power? They enjoy making people late to pick up their kids or meet their Tinder date?

They should know that they are not making the roads safer, and they definitely aren’t having a positive impact on the cardiovascular health of Whidbey residents.

One reader who responded to the newspaper poll wrote that officials “need to create a Prius lane.”

The same goes for RVs.

More in Opinion

In our opinion: Holland Happening may have changed, but name should not

Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce leaders learned that a tulip called by… Continue reading

Sound Off: Holland Happening name is a cherished tradition

By Autumn Sundown During 2019, Oak Harbor’s iconic and beloved Holland Happening… Continue reading

A sad bear, angry deer and Tom Cruise make year memorable

It was an interesting year on Whidbey Island, as it is every… Continue reading

In our opinion: Justices’ rebuke of lawmakers is democracy in action

The framers of the Constitution would be proud to see that the… Continue reading

In our opinion: Shopping locally makes for better gifts, stronger communities

Christmas is a week away, but there’s still plenty of time for… Continue reading

In our opinion: Dealing with domestic violence is often complex

The most dangerous place for a woman is her home. Statistics on… Continue reading

In our opinion: You’re not alone if you are irritated by slow drivers

A peculiar quirk of some Whidbey Island drivers is to travel slightly… Continue reading

Sound Off: SPIN Cafe is in urgent need of a new home

SPIN Cafe exists to serve people in need. Today, SPIN itself is… Continue reading

In our opinion: Remove the politics from development permit decisions

A proposal to remove the Oak Harbor City Council from quasi-judicial decisions… Continue reading

Officials share what they’re grateful for this Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving season, we contacted various elected officials on Whidbey and asked… Continue reading

Sound off: Hoping nation has a reason to be thankful someday

This newspaper asked me to name a few things for which I… Continue reading