An Open Letter to Illinois Legislators

Dear Illinois Legislators,

lanejumping1.jpgMore often than not, I know that more and new laws are not the answer to problems facing residents in Illinois. Many times, they aren't the solutions - they're the problems. That's why, it is with great trepidation that I am requesting your sponsorship of a bill that would modify the Illinois Vehicle Code.

As any commuter, or for that matter - any driver in Illinois, can tell you, road construction is the source of many headaches. While we all understand that constuction and improvements are a necessary part of the roadway system, most drivers try to avoid the construction areas at all costs. Avoiding the construction zones is good practice, but sometimes it's unworkable.

What makes travelling the construction zones worse is what, for lack of a better term, I'll call "Cheaters". These are the folks who run up the right lane, when 2 miles back there are merge left signage that indicates that the right lane is closing. Most conscientious drivers in Illinois make their best efforts to merge as soon as possible, while others, believing that it's their right to cut in front of anyone and everyone who is heading in the same direction, speed up to as close to the merger point as possible, then toss on their blinker and nudge in.

It is this "cheating" that causes so much of the delays, as traffic can not successfully move forward with this activity. I would like to see you support a bill that would modify the Illinois Vehicle Code to make such "cheating" moves illegal and subject to a fine. In Illinois, we have already made travelling "slow" in the left lane a punishable offense, I believe that the majority of Illinois residents would support this common-sense bill.

Other states have begun cracking down on this behavior including in Seattle Washington where they call it "lane jumping".

Seattle Police officers Lyndell Jones and Jeff Rodgers carry out a unique mission: They're the only cops in the state who can bust drivers for simply cutting in line.

The pair stand near a freeway ramp from the West Seattle Bridge corridor to northbound Interstate 5, where commuters in the one-mile queue resent the minority who nose in front just before the ramp.

Whenever the crackdown is on, people honk, wave, give thumbs up and sometimes stop to tattle on the cheaters.

"They love us here," says Rodgers. "Not many people love a traffic officer. We get public reinforcement, and we come back."

Most drivers inch down the left lane toward the ramp, watching the moss grow on the elevated Spokane Street roadway. But others cruise in the open right lane — headed toward Beacon Hill — then troll for a spot in the left lane.

Though it's the only place so-called "lane jumping" is forbidden, police and transportation officials across the region have noticed several spots where aggressive drivers try to slip past a line of traffic.


As for opponents of such legislation, I could be wrong, but I am not aware of any coordinated effort between the guys who drive brutal red wedge-shaped Camaros and the jerks who cruise around chatting on their cell phones in their oversized, bloated grocery wagon SUV's. I look forward to discussing this issue with you in the future.

Regards,
Jake

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