One of my driving pet peeves isn’t those people who blow by you going way faster than you are, but instead it's the drivers who insist on driving way slower. Which is why I think Rochester should follow Florida’s lead when it comes to slowpoke drivers.

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According to this story by former Rochester journalist Mary McGuire (who now reports for WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, but used to work in Tampa, Florida), the Florida Highway Patrol is cracking down on drivers who don’t drive fast enough.

Authorities in Florida note that the Tampa area has a lot of out-of-town visitors this time of year who hit the area for spring break. That means many drivers aren’t familiar with area freeways and interstates, and often end up impeding traffic by driving too slowly. Now, Mary’s story says, those slowpoke drivers could soon get a ticket.

I think the Minnesota State Patrol and Rochester police should do the same thing here. One area in particular that seems to attract slowpoke drivers is the Highway 52 northbound ramp from Civic Center Drive.

In fact, this just happened to me again the other day -- I ended up behind someone in the right lane who wasn't accelerating up to highway speed coming off the ramp and merging onto Highway 52.

This makes trying to get around them on the left difficult, because traffic in the middle and left lanes of northbound Highway 52 is already traveling at highway speeds, and, thanks to the pokey driver in front of me, I couldn’t get going fast enough to merge in.

Things would flow much more smoothly if drivers would accelerate up to highway speed once they get off the ramp, in order to match the speed at which traffic on Highway 52 is already traveling.

Perhaps the threat of a ticket for going too slow – as police in Florida are now doing – might be a good thing here in southeast Minnesota, too! What do you think? Do slowpoke drivers aggravate you, too? How should they be handled?

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