I just read your answer about moving to the right for slow vehicles. I have a few questions. You mention that a driver is in the wrong if he fails to pull over to the right if he is not traveling at the normal speed of traffic. Does that mean if the posted speed is, say, 65, and the speed of traffic is 75, which is exceeding the speed limit, he still has to pull over to the right? You also say that slow drivers have to pull over to the right lane, but I don't believe they are required to move into the break-down lane or emergency lane. What would the answer be: don't believe, do have to, or don't have to? If a slow driver is in both the left and right lane, and there is a wide emergency or break-down lane, is it legal to pass in this emergency or break-down lane?
In my last column, I answered part of your question as it relates to freeways or multi-lane roads. When not driving on the freeway or a multi-lane road such as Highway 62, here is the manual's instruction: "When you drive slower than the normal speed of traffic, you must use the right lane or drive as closely as possible to the right curb or edge of the road, unless you are getting ready to make a left turn. Watch for congestion behind you if you drive slower than the designated speed. Pull off the road at the first area safe to turn out and let the traffic behind you pass. The overtaking driver must obey the speed law."
I ran into this situation a week ago when traveling between Grants Pass and Cave Junction en route to see my daughter's basketball game. Just west of Grants Pass, where the two-lane road in each direction becomes a single-lane road in each direction, I got stuck behind a slow-moving driver who at times was 10 mph under the posted speed limit. It wasn't just me that was stuck; I was number six out of 11 vehicles behind this slower driver.
There's no safe place to pass in that stretch, so we all got stuck for miles until we reached the passing lane going up Hayes Hill. Even more unfortunate, I wasn't in my patrol car and was outside my county of jurisdiction, so I had to bite my tongue and keep driving. In this case, a simple glance in the rearview mirror should have told that driver they were causing a problem, and they should have pulled over, just like the DMV manual recommends.
In answer to your last questions: No, you do not have to move into the emergency lane, nor should you, just the right-most travel lane. In the article you're referencing, I was specifically dealing with semitrailers. Finally, if there are slow-moving vehicles in both travel lanes, you are NEVER allowed to use the emergency lane as a passing lane.
Dace Cochran, a patrol sergeant with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, writes a regular Q&A column on police issues for the Mail Tribune. Have a question for him? Write to Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.