Doing 104kph in Right Lane but Blocking Traffic - What Do You Do?

Ok ok before you pass this off as another OzBargain traffic rant, hear me out. I turn to the holy wisdom of the OzBargain community for a specific dilemma in mind.

You're doing 104kph on the freeway in the right lane. The car on the left is doing the same speed as you. There are several cars behind this car. Suddenly you've got a car coming up behind you. It's going faster than you and slows down as it comes up your tail.

Here's the dilemma. Now I know that not everyone agrees, but a general whirlpool/ reddit consisus is normally, courtesy right lane etiquette begs its use as an overtaking lane - use it to pass then move back into the left. However, now, you're stuck doing the maximum speed without getting a ticket and you're holding up a car behind you.

What do you do? Speed up and pull left or sit tight in the right?

For argument's sake, let's say your reliance on your speed reading is Google Maps' navigation speedometre. Not your car's, which isn't gps inaccurate, but hey, that's subjective.

Poll Options expired

  • 751
    You speed up, over the speed limit, then pull left in front of the car on the left
  • 71
    You stay in your lane, cruising, whatever
  • 160
    You indicate left and hope to God someone gives you space to pull left
  • 30
    You brake check the dude behind you


  • +77

    If someone is riding my arse I’d get out of the way. Because the sort of people who do that you don’t want to mess with. Also yes the right lane is the overtaking lane and the fast lane so ideally stick left unless you are over taking or the other lanes are jam packed.

      • +46

        ^ Average Kwinana Freeway user.

      • +12

        Not sure why you got negged. You are 100% correct. I know because I remember those exact words in the NSW traffic laws, at least. But, generally speaking everyone knows what the ‘fast lane’ etc means.

      • +4

        My point is thought that if you have someone tailgating you to the point they’d slam into you if you had to slow down suddenly and you can move over why wouldn’t you. If this person continued to do it for more than 5 minutes and I couldn’t move I’d see if I could go into the emergency lane and let them go on their way.

        If something were to happen it is more than likely the driver of the other car would become aggressive or drive off if they hit you. Not worth aggravating these sorts of people.

      • +4

        if the road is busy or congested.

        Probably because of idiot 1 and idiot 2 blocking the road going at snails pace.

        • +1

          Are you referring to OPs example, where both cars going over the speed limit?

          • @Rick Sanchez: Yes. 104 km/h is snail pace for the fleet of Hilux's backed up in the rightmost lane.

          • -1

            @Rick Sanchez: No. I'm referring to the quote… That I've quoted… That's what quotes are for.

        • I agree. Sometimes there always a snail car at the front driving 5kph under.

      • +2

        63 bad drivers don't know the road rules

      • +3

        why are you getting negged? which part do ppl disagree with? right lane is only for overtaking if above 80 (not equal to 80)

      • +5

        You are so clueless it's embarrassing.. It literally says in the WA lane rule right lane is for overtaking,
        Road Rules.

        For your assistance because clearly you cannot read very well.

        3.4.2 Roads with 2 or more lanes

        If the speed limit that applies to a road is 90km/h or higher or there are ‘KEEP LEFT
        UNLESS OVERTAKING’ signs installed, you are NOT PERMITTED to drive in the right lane of
        these roads unless:
        * you are turning right or making a ‘U’ turn and giving a right turn signal;
        * you are overtaking another vehicle;
        * the adjacent left lane is a special purpose lane such as a bus lane or bicycle lane;
        * the left lane is a left turning lane and you are travelling straight ahead; or
        * the other lanes are congested with traffic

        Says it there clearly 90km/h illegal to be in right lane.. So you thinking it is simply a lane is embarrassing and your license should be revoked spreading this false information.

        • +6

          Did you read your own post? If the left lane is congested you can stay right….

          Speeders get no privileges. Learn to enjoy going under the limit

          • -2

            @railspider: The left lane is 100% not congested if you are going 104kmh and the left is somehow also going 104kmh..

            Speeders get no privileges at all, it is illegal to speed, but we are not the police to stop speeders.

            • +2

              @Lit Homie: OP clearly writes that the left lane has traffic which is stopping him from being able to merge left. It's almost like the space is congested.

          • +1

            @railspider: Define congested though, congested to me would be traffic going around 70% of the posted speed limit due to traffic, anything higher and its relatively free flowing thus OP should be keeping left where possible.
            For arguments sake let say congested is anything <90kph on a freeway, still OP states the left lane person is doing the same speed, thus the road is not congested, and irrespective of the speed OP or the vehicle behind him is doing, OP should move out of the left lane where safe to do so and allow faster traffic in the RHS lane to overtake.
            This is just normal traffic engineering, and what the europeans have drilled into their subconscious allowing for faster/safer high speed driving on their roads despite population densities of different magnitudes.

      • +2

        Hi i’m a door 🙋‍♂️ Mat aint my friend though

      • +2

        And you are more likely to get in an avoidable altercation. Good on you if that's what you're after.

    • +2

      Right answer. I love people that think they should enforce the law or like to argue right vs wrong when self preservation should win out.

      • They haven’t lost anyone to the bitumen, fire and steel death machine yet ,or they just don’t care .

        • -2

          You guys are part of the problem.

          You're rewarding the behaviour so they'll just do it more. Just flip your rear view mirror.

          • @jaimex2: No, the aggressive drivers in monster trucks are the problem.

            • -1

              @drprox: It's usually shitbox hatch backs for me.

              But really, they're only going to do it more of you yield.

              Other drivers will see it and think, oh that's how you go faster. Just tail gate.

  • +35

    You didn't mention a crucial piece of information: the speed limit on that road. Is it 90, 100, 110 or 130 km/h? Answers may differ for each.

    • +2

      Good point, 100kph is the limit

      • +31

        then you slow down to 100

        • +85

          And get back into the left lane…

      • +23

        Your Speedo is probably wrong. You're probably driving under the limit

        • +1

          People speed all the time and are always in a hurry, doesn't mean your speedo is wrong. I know because i have measured it against gps.

          • +1

            @skidexa: My speedo is about 6km/h over where it should be. My parent's car is about 10. It's illegal to be tuned under, so most of the time, it's over. I've found the phone GPS (through Waze) shows the same speed as those SAM signs, so I generally trust that speed reading more.

        • -2

          This is a silly argument. The speed limit is not the "actual/true/as measured by the most accurate instrument in the world" limit. Its based on the speed indicated by your car if your car says its doing 100, then you cant assume + or - because its not the "true" speed. It wont fly in court either.

          • @Piranha2004: Unless you have measured it several times against a freeway speed check and know for a fact its clock in your favour. In which case you shouldnt need to argue anything. If you are confident that you can go over by 2-4 km, then its all moot. You should never get a speeding fine and neveer have to argue it. All my cars have been over clocked but up to 5 km. Quite regularly i get passedby most cars on the freeway when doing 100. At about 102 im doing better. Seems most around me are doing about 105 by my speedo.

      • +16

        If the limit is below 90 in some states, you can stay there and hold up everyone else, for some inexplicable reason.

        But seriously, this is exactly what so many people are incapable of thinking about until it happens. Which is madness given nearly every car has cruise control and this is the first thing that happens to anyone who tries to 'set and forget'.

        Driving is not an odyssey, not an extension of the loungeroom, not a right. Not something to do whilst doing something else (phone calls, eating/drinking, doing makeup, etc. It requires all involved to be pro-active to avoid catastrophes. It takes attention, consideration, care, and patience- all things that we humans are famously failing at locally and globally.

        1. If worried about being caught speeding when you do 105 or 110, you should have thought about that before doing 104.

        2. Are you doing 104, or is that what just what the speedo seems to read. This matters because many also don't seem to know how wrong their speedo might be, for example if their new tyres might have affected it.

        3. You should never find your self 'doing 104kph on the freeway in the right lane', unless you are actually passing traffic. If so, it is a mistake, and you did not see the approaching car, which may have been in the middle or the left lane behind you particularly if the traffic behind is/was slow moving.

        4. If the left traffic changes speed and blocks you out of your planned escape, you should be acting as they do so, or even better, anticipating it. Dealing with an unseen mess from the right was never going to be easy, but there you are. Oncoming terrain, drive behaviour, traffic, it all plays a part.

        5. Our time in the right lane is temporary only. People in the middle or inner lanes need can do the speed limit, and occasionally more- especially on highways. They are not required to go slower than you. And no, you should not stay where you are. If you were watching is happening behind you all the time as we all should (it is taught by good instructors), what happens after we change lanes should seldom be a no surprise and cause anyone to post online.

        6. What to do: Move from the right lane as safely as you can given the predicament you are now in. The poll is thus a moot point, as speeding up or down (or not) is all dependent on your judgement around risk and safety. Which is partly why so many dimwitted drivers allow and/or actively cause this predicament instead of treating the road like the privilege it is, because they feel speed (not those around them) will be the cause of the crash they are imagining as a near certain outcome.

        • +4

          It's not an inexplicable reason. An 80km/h road is more likely to have at-grade access points. The rule means drivers don't have to make last-minute lane changes to turn right.

          • @Butterchurner: Thanks for sharing.

            Given this, even if on a road I don't know and knowing I may need to turn right, I still keep left until I am pretty sure I need to make a right. If I miss it in traffic and have to go around, I will. Not sure there should be a rule to allow for those making a last-minute change.

            I guess our 'road rulers' are thinking about what happens when there are several drivers that don't know that <90 road, all of which do the same thing.

      • +2

        Don't drive over 100kmh on 100 zone, let others drive over the speed limit so they get pulled over by highway patrol.

      • This is impossible. In 100kph zones everyone drives 90. (NSW right?)
        Up to 100, everyone drives 10-20 under, above 100, everyone drives ~10 under.

        • Not sure if this comment was meant seriously or in jest, but that’s not the NSW I live in, except for weekends.

          Typically during 5am- 9am, major freeways around Sydney will be sitting at 10-15kph above the 110 speed limit in the right lane, and 5-10kph over in the middle lane, at least until trucks are overtaking each other or until a confused driver decides that driving in the right lane is their right. Or until traffic gets horrible and it’s no longer possible.

          On weekends it’s typically more sticking to the speed limit for all.

          I don’t understand why people don’t stay left if they’re not comfortable keeping up with the flow of traffic, and not overtaking. It can be so dangerous. It’s potentially a traffic offence per REG 125, even without a “stay left unless overtaking” sign.

    • +2

      Another critical point is Speedometer error.
      One cannot assume they are doing 104 because your speedo says so.
      Speedos do have a margin of error - could be 3-4%, depending on speed.

      There is also the size of tyres on the car.
      If original size tyres have been changed with different sized tyres - this will also affect speedo error
      If higher profile tyres have been fitted, your speedo will read slightly less than the actual speed you are doing.
      If lower profile tyres have been fitted, the speedo will read slighly more than you are travelling.

      The fact that the drivers in the left hand lane were doing the same speed as OP confirms some minor speedometer error on OPs part indicating they were actually travelling at a lower speed than indicated by thier speedo.

      • +4

        One cannot assume they are doing 104 because your speedo says so.

        So what is this other "speeding" driver assuming?

        • +2

          No its always the blocking drivers speedo thats wrong.

          Its obvious

          • +2

            @Tleyx: If one driver is blocking a lot of traffic - who is more likely to be wrong?

            Maybe when the 5th car lines up behind you and is waiting for you to move out of the way you'd get a hint?!??

            • @Odin: So if its only one its fine

              • @Tleyx: Nah I'm polite. Even if there's just 1 person behind me I try to move out of the way. That's just good manners.

                • @Odin: So you slow down and move out of the way even though you are doing over the speed limit already just because the guy behind you speedo is wrong?

                  You must be the only person that does this. I met a true saint today

                  • @Tleyx: Yeah? I don't get why everyone thinks they're some hero vigilante thinking to themselves "I'm gonna show that guy speeding behind me by blocking him and driving even slower!"

                    • like, why be an (profanity)? Just be polite and move out of the way.
                    • @Odin: I am already speeding and overtaking the person to the left, why should i brake and slow down just to pull left behind because someone wants to speed more?

                      • +1

                        @Tleyx: Someone's faster than you. Let them pass.

                        You don't have to brake. Just move left as soon as you can.

                        It's just the simple right thing to do.

                        • @Odin: Thats what i do, as soon as i pass the traffic i move left.

                          Just because someone is blocking the way to a speeding driver doesnt mean they can do anything about it. Sometimes people just have to wait

                        • @Odin: This is exactly how i would deal with it. Especially for knobs who speed and ride your tail. I have no patience for those people. They can wait. Im legally allowed to be in that right lane whilst overtaking, even if it takes a while. ie the left lane likes to speed up and slow down constantly.

      • +1

        This. My HUD and Waze are saying the exact same speed. My speedometer is up to 10% lower.

      • +2

        It’s not critical, it’s irrelevant. Whether OP is speeding or not you keep left unless overtaking. It’s the law as well as common courtesy.

        • What's higher in 2024, number of people booked for not "keep left unless overtaking" , or people who've won 1st prize in lotto?

      • Google maps navigation has a GPS speedometer in it. Not sure how accurate it is, but to go 110kph based on GPS, my cars speedo sits at 119kph.

        At 60kph based on GPS, my cars speedo also sits a 60kph. Its weird.

    • +1

      Doesn’t make a difference if the speed limit is 80+, keep left unless overtaking

    • +1

      Where can I go in Australia and drive a 130kmph limit? Is that in NT?

  • -3

    Why are you speeding?

    • +28

      To get home early to kiss his wife

      • +20

        need to be doing 110 to do that before the boyfriend in the car next to him does it first

      • +9

        Oh so you’ve only been married a month then 😜

    • +1

      Most car's speedo can be 5% off the actual speed, 104 on speedo might actually be 99, plus 2% allowed error, so no, OP is not speeding, OP's speedo need to be 107 before he is actually speeding.

      • -8

        Urban myth perpetuated online by people with poor time management.

        • +4

          Urban myth? Like by Australian Law, that speedometer have show +4kmh and upto 10%?

          Seriously, google is right in your hand, use it before opening your mouth and start shouting myth.

        • Just get any GPS speedometer and it becomes pretty apparent that it's true.

        • Its not a myth. Check your own speedometer against a freeway speed check. All my cars are clocked approx. 5 km under what im actaully doing. ie. speedo says 100 but speed check says 95. Pretty much all vehicles have a tolerance in drivers favour. Better to be under than over from the manufacturers point of view.

  • +73

    ???? Courtesy to keep left? It’s the law :/

      • +20

        Law in QLD.
        “ On multi-lane roads, if the posted speed limit is 90km/h or more, or if the road has a 'keep left unless overtaking' sign, you must not drive in the right-hand lane unless you are: overtaking.”

        • +8

          Essentially same in NSW though worded something like "if the speed limit is above 80km/h" which effectively means 90km/h given there are no speed limits between 80 and 90.

          So the question becomes, why is OP breaking the law in the first place by both exceeding the 100km/h limit (yeah OK, everyone does a few km over) and sitting in the right lane.

        • +3


          On multi-lane roads, if the posted speed limit is 90km/h or more, or if the road has a ‘keep left unless overtaking’ sign, you must not drive in the right-hand lane unless you are:
          * overtaking
          * turning right
          * making a U-turn
          * avoiding an obstruction
          * driving in congested traffic
          * using a special purpose lane that you are allowed to be in.
          Drivers are allowed to overtake on the left on all multi-lane roads.

          OP’s situation may constitute congested traffic

          • +1

            @BigBirdy: I've never understood why many people who quote "keep left" don't appear to know about these exclusions.

          • +1

            @BigBirdy: Based on OPs description, it does not sound like congested traffic. OPs driving tends to be one of many examples that contribute to the congestion.

            “Traffic congestion occurs when the volume of traffic travelling through an area exceeds the road infrastructure's capacity to handle the smooth flow of that traffic.”

        • +1

          Law in QLD.

          There are no laws in the florida of australia.

        • -3

          So you cherry pick the bit of the law you like and post it? how about posting ALL of the reasons?

          turning right
          making a U-turn
          avoiding an obstruction
          driving in congested traffic
          using a special purpose lane that you are allowed to be in.

        • -1

          why did you leave out the part about congestion?

      • +1

        Law in Victoria for roads with speed limits over 80 km/h

      • +1

        is it courtesy or the law?


      • the law

    • +3

      Its a law everywhere in Australia : AUSTRALIAN ROAD RULES - REG 130

      • you replied to the wrong guy mate

    • Could be congested traffic on the way home from work or something in which case it doesn't apply in most/all states?

      • +8

        Very rarely in congested traffic is anyone doing 104.

        • +2

          Yep, 100% this… All the people playing the "BuT iT'z CoNgEsTeD TrAfFiC!!!1!" but everyone is travelling at over 100km/h in a 100 zone?

    • -4

      Yep, in all counties with right-hand drive, the law is keep left past right.

      When you have people hogging the right lane in a multi-lane road, it forces people to overtake on the left which is more likely to cause accidents.

      • It doesn't force anyone to do anything. Overtaking on the left is not more likely to cause accidents.

        • yes it is your blind spot is bigger on the left… there are passengers heads which can also block your vision. The right lane is closer to you and you have a lot more vision

          • +1

            @Lit Homie: lol. adjust your mirrors and turn your head mate. you'll be fine.

            • @Jake D: ??? More likely to cause accidents??? Cmon I have nothing more to say, just go check statistics

            • @Jake D: Correctly adjusted mirrors don't have blind spots.

              • @CurlCurl: Yeah nah. Maybe on modern cars

    • to keep left?

      Common sense rather than anything else!

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