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The Morning Brew: Fresh laws hit the books

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It's Thursday, also know as National Deviled Egg Day. 

Will the left lane law matter?

Traffic is a pain but can good driving habits be legislated? Photo by Doug Hoke 
Traffic is a pain but can good driving habits be legislated? Photo by Doug Hoke 

November is a big month for new rules. In Oklahoma, there will be more than 200 new laws  hitting the books. Randy Ellis provided a nice rundown of everything here

The new left lane law is getting the most attention. It's pretty simple: Don't hang around in the left lane. If you do you risk a $235 ticket. 

On its first day I made sure to pay attention while driving around Oklahoma City's highways. Anecdotally it seemed like people were avoiding the left lane on I-44, but it might have been my imagination. Its unrealistic to think most drivers are aware of the new law at this stage. 

Traffic related deaths are on the rise, jumping 7.2 percent in 2015 and 6 percent in 2016. Safety advocates see laws like these as a way to get that total down. 

It's also worth noting speed limits have also increased over the last decade. Only 11 states cap speeds at 65 mph. More than 30 have higher speed limits. Several more, including Texas, have limits 80 mph or higher in some areas. 

Chances are by now the first ticket has been written in Oklahoma,  but if Indiana is any indication, there may be more bark than bite when it comes to these laws. According to a story on PBS.com, Indiana State Police stopped 2,613 motorists for slow poke left lane driving since it passed its own law in 2015. Of that total, only 165 were actually cited for the offense. 

Here's a video by Vox which illustrates why left lane slow pokes can cause problems:

#ICYMI

Larry Mullen Jr. and Bono of U2
Larry Mullen Jr. and Bono of U2

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<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-ad64bcac83f984674d71e64deeb2bcf8.jpg" alt="Photo - A jackknifed truck blocks southbound traffic on I-35 just south of 2nd Street in Edmond, Okla. Friday, Aug. 11, 2017. Photo by Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman" title="A jackknifed truck blocks southbound traffic on I-35 just south of 2nd Street in Edmond, Okla. Friday, Aug. 11, 2017. Photo by Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>A jackknifed truck blocks southbound traffic on I-35 just south of 2nd Street in Edmond, Okla. Friday, Aug. 11, 2017. Photo by Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-2b136209d5f6f67b13d9cd879f0999af.jpg" alt="Photo - Downtown Oklahoma City is experiencing traffic problems with all the various construction projects, Monday, August 7, 2017. Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman " title="Downtown Oklahoma City is experiencing traffic problems with all the various construction projects, Monday, August 7, 2017. Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>Downtown Oklahoma City is experiencing traffic problems with all the various construction projects, Monday, August 7, 2017. Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-15a916bc43a8510208d32c477bc6482b.jpg" alt="Photo - Row U2 with OU Physicians races to win the novice all women's class during the Oklahoma Regatta Festival on the Oklahoma River in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman" title="Row U2 with OU Physicians races to win the novice all women's class during the Oklahoma Regatta Festival on the Oklahoma River in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Row U2 with OU Physicians races to win the novice all women's class during the Oklahoma Regatta Festival on the Oklahoma River in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-66d1f9bb4b0783a37ded55b9597e1cea.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-15fcd57d9634ff48e102b836822be45a.jpg" alt="Photo - Larry Mullen Jr. and Bono of U2" title="Larry Mullen Jr. and Bono of U2"><figcaption>Larry Mullen Jr. and Bono of U2</figcaption></figure>
Matt Patterson

Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun.... Read more ›

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