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Dear Most Knowing: I'm going to West Memphis by way of Interstate 40 traveling at 73 mph when I come on a line of trucks at 70 mph. I move to the left lane and continue to travel at 73 mph. Because of how long the line of trucks is another vehicle comes up behind me. He is in a hurry to get past me. What do I do? Both I and the driver behind me are exceeding the speed limit and I really don't want to get in the line of trucks, but I am impeding the flow of traffic behind me.

-- Probably Lost Anyway

Dear Lost: We carefully examined Arkansas Code Annotated 27-51-301, "Vehicles to be driven on right side of roadway, exceptions." One of those exceptions is "When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction under the rules governing that movement."

So far, so good.

We then turned to Arkansas Code Annotated 27-51-306, "Overtaking of vehicle on left." It said this: "The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left at a safe distance and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle."

In neither place did we find a specific answer to the question posed.

In our opinion, and remembering that our law degree comes from an online law school in Burkina Faso, you are under no obligation to speed up even more for the impatient driver behind. Surely his ordeal will be over in 60 seconds. Neither should you act like a vigilante, purposely slowing traffic.

We welcome opposing views, unlike some other journalism dudes.

Bonus revelation!

How many times have we moved to pass and the driver of the passing vehicle suddenly wakes up and speeds up? Only about a million times. This especially bugs the Fabulous Babe.

Turns out that Arkansas Code Annotated 27-51-306 says to this practice -- nyet.

"(T)he driver of an overtaken vehicle shall yield to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle and shall not increase the speed of his or her vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle." (Emphasis added.)

Dear Mahatma: Why are manhole covers round? Because round is the only shape that won't fall into its own hole. -- Legal Expert

Dear Expert: This makes us think of high school geometry. When the teacher told us about pi r squared, we hotly disputed his mathematical assertion.

Pie are round, we said, and cornbread are square.

We loved geometry so much we took it twice. Is it any wonder?

Speaking of twice, we looked up -- twice -- the spelling of Ishmael, the narrator of Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, while quoting the mariner in last week's column. We then misspelled his name.

We have been sentenced to 40 lashes with a rolled-up copy of CliffsNotes.


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