If, on a highway having more than one lane with vehicles traveling in the same direction, the Texas Department of Transportation or a local authority places a sign that directs slower traffic to travel in a lane other than the farthest left lane, the sign must read "left lane for passing only." - Texas Transportation Code Sec. 544.011
An operator of a vehicle on a roadway moving more slowly than the normal speed of other vehicles at the time and place under the existing conditions shall drive in the right-hand lane available for vehicles, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, unless the operator is: (1) passing another vehicle; or (2) preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway. -- Texas Transportation Code Sec. 545.051(b)
We all know that the left lane is the fast lane. We're all taught to pass to the left. I have been known to drive my car at a speed quite a bit above the one posted on the roadside traveling back and forth to the Dallas area for seminars - but even I move to the right when someone's coming up behind me at warp speed.
So, yes, there are plenty of motorists out there who think for some yet unknown reason that they are more than justified to plod along in the left lane at the speed limit. These tend to be the same people who count the number of items someone takes out of their basket in the express lane and who tattled on their younger siblings when they were growing up.
And, as much as I hate getting behind that person on the freeway, I have a hard time supporting anything that gives the police yet another excuse to pull someone over who isn't doing anything wrong. But, up in Montgomery County (the land the Constitution forgot) and out in Fort Bend County, if you're cruising along in the left lane not passing anyone - you risk getting pulled over and either being issued a warning or being ticketed. And, should you be coming home from a night out with friends after consuming an adult beverage or two, you could find yourself being arrested for driving while intoxicated.
Why else would Warren Diepraam and the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office get themselves involved in such an initiative? Hell, if you can't pull 'em over for doing anything illegal - you might as well pull them over for driving the speed limit.
So, as annoying as it may be to be driving behind the guy who thinks he needs to police speeds on the highway, the last thing we need to do is give the police yet another excuse to pull someone over. It's bad enough that we allow DWI stops based on behaviors that during the day wouldn't get a second glance from a police officer. But to allow a DWI stop when the only sin being committed is driving the speed limit in the wrong lane is hardly a good idea.
And what about officers who want to have it both ways? Are the police not going to ticket anyone for speeding if they are passing slower moving vehicles to the left? At the rate things are going, pretty soon up in Montgomery County driving on the highway alone will amount to reasonable suspicion that someone is breaking the law.