Cowboy cops ride herd on commuters
A Chevy Suburban goes perpendicular
By GREG MOORE
Express Staff Writer
Northbound commuters on Highway 75 who try to jump ahead of stopped
traffic by passing in the right lane are now being herded back into line by Blaine County
During a press conference Monday, Sheriff Walt Femling said that policy
has been in effect for about two weeks, ever since it became clear that drivers
attempts to pass on the right create more congestion and prompt incidents of road rage.
He said deputies have been patrolling the section of highway along Ohio
Gulch, north of Hailey, every morning.
When drivers try to pass on the right there, Femling said, "everybody
in the left lane says, Ive waited, so youre not coming in."
About two weeks ago, he said, traffic was stopped when a driver in a
Chevrolet Suburban turned perpendicular to the road in an effort to force his way into the
"Once you stop the traffic there, it backs up clear to Hailey.
Weve found that if everyone will stay in the left lane
we wont have the
Femling said several accidents have occurred this summer when drivers
passing on the right tried to force their way back into the main stream of traffic.
He said one vehicle beginning to pass on the right was sideswiped by a car
waiting in the left lane and forced into the borrow pit.
"Were watching for them popping out of the lane and racing up
the road," he said. "Were stopping those people."
Femling said additional congestion, and speeding on side streets, has
resulted from drivers bypassing Highway 75 north of Hailey by taking Buttercup Road
and Valley Club Drive to Ohio Gulch Road.
"Were getting a whole series of problems from what we see as a
design problem on the highway," he said.