Join the Car Talk Community!

Discussion Rules

Welcome to the Car Talk Community!

Want to ask a question or join the discussion? Great! Join now.

Sign In Register

Breakdown lanes

edited November -1 in The Show
I was dismayed to hear one of you admit to zipping along in the breakdown lane the other day. (Imagine a mother saying, "I'm very disappointed in you," with that look on her face.) If there were someone actually *in* the breakdown lane, as a result of having broken down, you'd be in danger of rear-ending that vehicle. Worse, you could kill someone who was alongside or behind their stopped vehicle. I understand that, especially in our state of Massachusetts, the rules often appear to be just suggestions to our state's creative drivers, but this particular law is kinda important. Please don't encourage people to use the breakdown lanes as just another passing lane. Other than that, thanks for your ridiculous show. Signed, Marcia Morrison (Prius driver since 2001)
Tagged:
«1

Comments

  • edited March 2011
    Actually, in parts of Massachusetts, especially on Rt3, the state even posts signs that say "travel permitted in the breakdown lane between the hours of xxx and xxx" (or words to that effect).

    I agree with you that it's a bad idea. Apparently the state of Mass does not.
  • edited April 2011
    It's a cost thing: they should have added a couple more lanes to these roads 10+ years ago.

    Part of route 93 north of Boston has it, southbound in the morning, northbound in the afternoon. Also part of route 128, south of mass pike. It's clearly marked, only during posted rush hours. There are extra pull out areas added outside the breakdown lane.

    Route 3 (north of 128) used to be only two lanes, was widened to 4+ lanes about 10 years ago. never had legal driving in breakdown lane.
  • edited April 2011
    I live in Massachusetts, too, and even after all these years since they allowed driving in the breakdown lane, I still can't believe they did it. The state with some of the worst drivers, extremely high accident rate, and they allow something so inherently dangerous ? Now when a car comes down an onramp, cell phone pressed against the left ear of the driver who is staring straight ahead, there's even less room for error. Usually, during rush hour, the three travel lanes are moving at a snail's pace while the breakdown lane drivers fly by at 40 - 50 MPH. Just an accident waiting to happen. Amazing for a state that outlaws anything that appears even remotely risky. Ride a motorcycle? Better wear a helmet. Same goes for a bicycle, for crying out loud. Don't forget your seatbelt. But you want to run 60 MPH on the shoulder? By all means, go right ahead.
  • edited April 2011
    Is this yet another [i]Stream of Consciousness[/i] post?
  • edited April 2011
    Driving in the breakdown lanes is not a good idea in my opinion. Massachusetts has a bad idea but Texas may have the worst to come: They are seriously considering raising the speed limit to 85 on some highways. All I can imagine is the horrifying wrecks when some speedsters add 10-15mph or higher to the posted speed limit.
  • edited April 2011
    You're right. I dropped a 9 in the post. Rt3 should have read Rt93.

    The new Rt3, as phenominal an improvement as it is, is the waveiest road ever. It's like being on a 35ft boat 12 miles out.
  • edited April 2011
    Yeah Texas!

    Anything to shorten the drive so you don't fall asleep on mostly flat, straight, boring roads is a good thing. Honestly I'd go for a vehicle inspection and required driver skills test if they would let you go whatever speed you wish in rural areas. Montana had a great idea there...

    If you're from a tiny highly-populated state like Mass, I forgive you ignorance on why this makes sense since you can cross the entire state from Boston to Card Pond in about 2.5 hours. We'll let you drive 55 MPH if you wish out here too. Just don't expect us to do that.
  • edited April 2011
    Some of the highways in Texas and in the plains states are long, straight, boring drives of hours on end. The roads just go straight and flat ahead of you until the disappear into the horizon You can see another car coming from 16 miles away.

    85 mph would be suicide in NH, but on the roads in question I honestly don't believe it is.

    As Hallkbrdz said, I can understand why someone who's never driven the roads in question would think 85 mph to be crazy. But it really isn't.
  • edited April 2011
    Our association of the higher interstate speeds with "danger" in the US is just a symptom of much deeper issues having to do with people knowing knowing how to drive. Highways like the Autobahn do fine without speed limits because people know how to use the roadways. So there's no simple "higher speed = more & worse accidents" kind of thing.

    In fact, I drive many many miles on interstates on a very regular basis. And every single day I encounter very dangerous stuff. Almost none of that dangerous stuff has even the slightest bit to do with excessive speed.
  • edited April 2011
    Yeah - more or less. It happens all of the time - a show reference on the tip of the poster's mind but not anyone else's. This one's actually over a month old on top of it. Someone dug it up & replied which revives it. Doubly out of the blue.
This discussion has been closed.