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DRIVETIME MAHATMA: Either-side passing fine in 3 lanes

January 11, 2020 at 9:09 a.m.

Dear Mahatma: Arkansas is now blessed with six lanes between Conway and North Little Rock. Unfortunately, a few drivers believe they should spread out and assure that all lanes are used at the same speed. When will signs announce and troopers enforce that inside lanes are for passing only? Some people apparently think the third lane was built just for them. -- Backa Da Line.

Dear Back: We were fixin' to get outraged on your behalf, but then remembered that the admonition to get over into right lane to let faster traffic pass does not apply to interstate highways with six lanes, or three in each direction.

In such a circumstance, drivers may pass on either side. Enforcement would not apply. Neither would those yellow signs regarding the matter be placed on Interstate 40 where there are three lanes in each direction.

As for drivers who seem to work in tandem, three abreast, let's hope they remember that it's not their job to restrict the flow of traffic.

Their job is to drive courteously and safely.

Dear Mahatma: I have called ArDOT and the city of Little Rock multiple times regarding the inoperable lighting in the vicinity of Interstate 30 and its junction with Interstate 630, particularly southward past Roosevelt Road. ArDOT says it's Little Rock's responsibility; Little Rock says the reverse. My 0600 commute is in complete darkness. In the rain and fog, it's dark and dangerous. Fix the bulbs, the wires, the programming, or whatever it takes, please. Also, turn on your headlights, people! -- Bryan

Dear Bryan: The way it works with highway lighting is that the Arkansas Department of Transportation buildeth, and municipalities maintaineth. It's been this way since memory runneth to the contrary.

Having confirmed this with ArDot, we further learned via Bill Henry, the city's chief traffic dude, that the lighting problem is being worked on, and the problem is rats chewing on the wires.

In Young Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein put it this way: "A filthy, slimy rat!"

Dear Mahatma: I have to take a test to acquire a commercial driver's license to drive a small commercial truck but I can buy a 40-foot camper almost as large as a tractor-trailer rig and not have to take any kind of test. I know some older people that have very large campers and they are all over the road most of the time. When I say older I don't mean I am young. I am 79. -- Phillip

Dear Phillip: State law requires a CDL to drive a vehicle greater than 26,000 pounds. We did some "investigative reporting" and discovered that some RVs are that big and bigger. Our thought was: Holy cow!

But a CDL indicates commercial activity. An RV is made for personal, recreational use, and not for hire. Presumably, anyway.

The hope here is that new RV owners get some practice before hitting, pun intended, the road.

Vanity plate: LUVWINS.

Metro on 01/11/2020


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