Monday, August 24, 2009

Out of bounds protesting

by Smitty

This blog disagrees heavily with dumb drivers as much as ignorant government policies, but decries all violent expressions of dissent.

In particular, attacking red-light runners with a brick.

Now, what they should do with people who
  • Can't turn into the nearest appropriate lane, but swing wide like a tractor/trailer rig Every Godforsaken Time, or
  • Never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity to make sure there is room across the intersection for their chariot before entering the intersection
is use traffic cameras to afford those twerps the opportunity to pay more for the privilege of driving like a Complete Loser.

UPDATE (RSM): There are some people -- including a majority of drivers in the Greater D.C. Metro Region -- who, when they apply for a driver's license, should instead be issued a bus pass.

My older brother Kirby is a truck driver. He refers to bad drivers, those who can't choose the proper lane on the Interstate, as "commuters."

Why? Because the commuter is accustomed by habit to a certain type of driving: Slow, and in situations where it really makes no difference, speed-wise, which lane you choose on the eight-lane freeway.

The commuter gets used to driving under such conditions, morning and evening, five days a week. And the only other driving the commuter usually does is a brief trip to the nearby grocery store, etc.

Then comes the moment when, on vacation or making a longer-distance trip on the weekend, the commuter heads out onto the open road and becomes a traffic hazard, an obstacle to progress.

Let's say the speed limit on the Interstate is 65 mph. Those accustomed to long-distance open-road driving know that you're never going to get pulled over for driving 14 mph over the limit, so set your cruise control at 79 mph and you can cover the distance in the minimum time without fear of a ticket.

However, there will be those keen-eyed motorists who, when they spot an open straightaway with no troopers in sight, will push it up even faster, to 85 mph or more. The veteran long-distance driver, seeing such a speedy fellow approaching in his rearview mirror, knows to yield the left lane to these people -- get out of their way, or they'll zoom over and pass you the right.

Not so the commuter, who will plod along in that left lane doing 71 mph, often forming a "rolling roadblock" with traffic going the same speed to his right. Even when there is a line of eight or 10 cars stacked up behind him, eager to pass (what I call the "cork-in-the-bottle" problem) the commuter resolutely hugs that left lane. The commuter either is completely oblivious to the meaning of that long queue behind him, or else feels himself entitled to drive in the left lane, no matter his speed.

Like I said, some people ought to be issued a bus pass, not a driver's license. -- RSM


  1. Personally, this is the first time I've seen legitimate commentary on the phenomenon Stacy calls "cork-in-the-bottle." I applaud it. Look, I'm 24 and I've done a lot of distance driving. It's incredible to me how oblivious people appear to be. It's dangerous out there people! Treat the highways and their occupants with respect no matter what your attitude is. A sense of entitlement does not protect you from unforeseen incidents due to your absent concern. Also, take note how on occasion the "cork-in-the-bottle" scenario gives way to the collective countermove I like to call the "box-in" tactic.

  2. They just passed a lwa here in La. regarding left lane losers and will be issuing warnings for the first month. After that, no cruising the left lane. I thought it was already a law. I know you can get ticketed for driving slower than the posted limit but rarely see it enforced.

  3. The Anti-Destination League lives on, alas.

  4. I'm a truck driver too. I've got two or three million miles under my butt. The only thing I can say for what you said about "14 miles over the limit".... that's insane.

    The speed limits are there for a reason.

    People that exceed the speed limits are why there are, on the average, fifty THOUSAND deaths a year on the highways.

    I agree...YOU should take a bus.