In the wake of the video that went viral this week taken by a woman ignorantly ranting after being pulled over and fined by police for driving slow in the fast lane, it is worth taking a minute to talk about life in the fast lane and why so many people are losing their minds.
We’ve all been there, patiently driving behind (sometimes for kilometres) some goose in the right lane who is going the same speed (or even slower!) than the lanes to their left, seemingly not knowing or caring about the damage they are causing.
And make no mistake, the damage is absolutely real.
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But let’s get back to the source of the problem.
A natural reaction to that woman’s video rant from most drivers who know the road rules, even if they don’t always follow them, was something like, to paraphrase The 12th Man, ‘what a fool, that woman doesn’t know sh*t from shoe polish’.
But therein lies the actual problem.
A (scarily) large amount of people, both older drivers and new, just don’t know that the right lane is for overtaking.
They don’t realise they are the cause of the issue.
To them, the person 2 feet behind them flashing them with their lights and beeping impatiently is an obnoxious you-know-what-hole who should have their license torn up immediately.
We get a glimpse of this the second we finally pass them and invariably give them a ‘what the hell?’ type expression with arms raised.
That expression and action is almost always returned, like looking in a mirror.
They are almost always equally incredulous despite the fact it was them in the wrong, holding people up and disturbing the natural flow of traffic.
The problem is the ONLY two ways to erase this issue is the combination of really highlighting it throughout the Learner and Provisional driving phase and, most importantly, every driver talking about it with literally everyone they know.
That is the only way to reach herd immunity on this issue short of a paintball gun system installed in every car where poor driving results in a certain coloured splot on the offending car via the victim’s gun (but somehow I feel that system could be abused slightly).
Some people may think that this issue is trivial but they would be gravely mistaken.
While there is no real way to quantify the damage that infuriating, enraging and generally holding up people from their daily lives can (and does) cause, there is also no way to prove definitely that every speeding-related accident or death is not a direct by-product of someone being held up earlier and needing to make up time.
And speaking of time, the argument that people should just ‘leave earlier and/or stress less’ is about as useful as shutting down a classroom smartboard in favour of a projector – we live in an age where vast majority of us are either more selfish, more time poor or more easily angered (or all of the above) than ever before, so the ‘be more organised and chill out man’ defence is just not useful.
And besides, why try and get everyone to take a chill pill when we could just erase the virus altogether with constant discussion.
People generally don’t set out to do the wrong thing, majority of people aren’t sitting in the fast lane out of vindictiveness or for fun, thinking how hilarious it will be when they inconvenience someone – they are doing it because they don’t know they shouldn’t be there.