SO YOU’RE DRIVING down US 41 between the Roundabout and the Rock Cut, 55 miles per hour, just cruising, on a beautiful day.
You’re in the left lane (the fast lane), not many cars in either lane, no concerns, you’re admiring the beautiful view of the Lake, the radio’s playing your favorite tune, and suddenly a police car, lights flashing, appears in your rear view mirror. Pull over.
Well, you have just become the victim of an obscure traffic ordinance that’s now being increasingly enforced in Marquette, and apparently in other parts of Michigan.
It’s section 257.634 of the Michigan Motor Vehicle Code which states:
“….Upon a roadway having 2 or more lanes for travel in one direction, the driver of a vehicle shall drive the vehicle in the extreme right hand lane available…A person who violates this section is responsible for a civil infraction….”
The left lane, according to the ordinance, is to be used only for passing another car, or when you’re about to turn left, or when there’s an obstruction in the right lane.
Otherwise, shove over to the right or you might be stopped by the police.
“It’s an enforcement action and education for motorists,” says police chief Blake Rieboldt. “And it’s the law. It (staying in the left lane) interferes with the flow of traffic, you can see it during rush hour.”
Rieboldt says they have focused on the Roundabout-to-Rock-Cut section of the highway because it’s a high traffic area that’s seen more than its share of fatalities over the years.
Plenty of police stops and warnings here, even some tickets issued.
We get it, and this includes one oblivious quasi-journalist who was stopped for the infraction several months ago.
A question, though: If you’re driving in the left lane and you’re going the speed limit, why should you ever have to pull over to the right? No one should ever be passing you at that speed, right? So wouldn’t it make sense to utilize both lanes?
Answer: No, it wouldn’t make sense because it’s against the law.
A BIG DEAL on Thursday. A really big deal. And it caught the attention of a lot of ambitious, young people in the U.P.
The opening of the UP Cybersecurity Institute at NMU. That’s where high school and college students, and adults looking for better jobs can go from now on to get trained and certified in the field of cybersecurity.
A growing field. Lucrative. Jobs that can start at $65,000 a year. Jobs that are open right now.
We often hear that America is educating its students for jobs that no longer exist. Just the opposite is true here.
It’s a boon for NMU, for Marquette, and for young (or older) people who want to live here but haven’t been able to find a good, well-paying job.