The Sideshow

Woman gets ticket for driving 2 mph under speed limit

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

A Maryland woman has gotten a very unusual speeding ticket for driving a mere two miles under the speed limit on Interstate 95.

Local NBC affiliate News4 reports that the woman, who asked to keep her name anonymous, was driving 63 miles per hour in a 65-mph zone. Police say the reason they ticketed her was that she was driving in the left lane reserved for speedier commuters.

But the listed reasoning on the ticket leaves some ambiguity. Was she ticketed for driving lane or for driving too slowly? The citation seems to imply both, reading, "FAILURE OF DRIVER DRIVING BELOW SPEED LIMIT 63 IN A 65 TO KEEP RIGHT."

"[I was] really shocked," she told the station. "I thought, 'Oh my God, you've got to be kidding me.'"

Of course, commuters who get annoyed by someone hogging the left lane might salute the move. And as several astute Yahoo readers have pointed out, 28 states in the U.S. have traffic laws which state that the left lane's primary purpose is for passing other vehicles, not for maintaining regular traffic. However, in some of these more congested cities, the left lane has taken on a role similar to other lanes, even as thousands of street signs clearly indicate this is not its intended purpose.

As to why she was driving below the speed limit in the first place, the woman noted the area was experiencing heavy winds at the time and she was only driving under the speed limit as a safety precaution. She also claimed to have never been ticketed before.

"Sometimes when it's dangerous, you have to do what you can to stay safe," she said.

She has one ally on her side: the local branch of AAA.

"The reason [the ticket] is silly is because it's sending the wrong message," said John Townsend of AAA Mid-Atlantic. "And that is, 'We will tolerate you driving at more than the speed limit, but it you drive below the speed limit, then you're penalized for that.'"

While the Maryland State Police said they cannot comment directly on ongoing cases, they did tell NBC Washington that driving below the speeding limit can "impede traffic."

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