Ask the Mayor: Why Aren’t There More ‘Slower Traffic Stay in Right Lane’ Signs?

June 19, 2016, 12:00 PM HST · Updated June 19, 12:18 PM
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Piʻilani Highway file photo by Wendy Osher.

Piʻilani Highway file photo by Wendy Osher.

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his office staff.

Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email at [email protected], call 270-7855 or send them by mail to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.

Mr. Mayor,

Q: There is a real issue here on Maui regarding our divided highways. Day after day, we all see the issue of slower traffic in the left lane, when in reality, these drivers doing 40 mph should be in the right lane.

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As a matter of fact, we all should be in the right lane except while passing. Why/what makes the “basic law” so hard for people to understand?

My question is, where are the signs that state “SLOWER TRAFFIC STAY IN RIGHT LANE EXCEPT TO PASS?”

I’ve seen these signs in places that really don’t need them, like heading Upcountry toward Kula.

When does the new “lollygagger” law come into effect? Hopefully sooner than later. Seen so many close accidents being caused by those who can’t drive 45. Mahalo.

A: Most of our two-lane highways here are state roads. The Maui Police Department states that the “slower traffic keep right” can only be enforced where there is a sign posted. Unless the vehicle traveling in the left lane is causing a hazard or is somehow making the thoroughfare unsafe, they aren’t doing anything illegal.

As far as citing drivers for traveling under the posted speed limit, that is an option to enforce; however, like all laws, it comes under officers’ discretion.

That one slow vehicle would have to be holding up several other vehicles while traveling significantly under the posted speed limit in order to be cited.

As you mentioned, a better option would be to ask the state Department of Transportation to post “Slower Traffic Keep Right” signs on all their major highways. The signs could be both educational and enforcement tools.

For more information about roadway jurisdiction, visit www.mauicounty.gov/highways.

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