Lifestyles

Behind the Wheel: The keep-right attitude

The left lane is so popular lately that when I use the right lane I often find myself behind far fewer vehicles at the next red traffic light. In fact, at one particular intersection on my commute many times I can be first in line. Everyone else seems stuck in the left lane trying to get ahead, fuming, following too closely, making sudden lane changes and often all for the desire to exceed the speed limit and to be faster than everyone else.

Why don't the police do anything about slower drivers who fail to give way? Most often these drivers are at or above the speed limit or preparing for a left turn, two out of three of these activities are allowed by law. Couple that with the traffic court justice who told me outright that I had better not try to prosecute a fail to keep right ticket when the driver doing this was traveling at the speed limit. There was zero chance of a conviction and I would be wasting the court's time. Oh, and if those slower drivers were below the speed limit and not turning left, I did do something about it.

Which is the most dangerous, driving in the left lane at the speed limit and not moving over or driving in the left lane and trying to exceed the speed limit when the driver in the left lane isn't? My observation is that more dangerous actions are performed by the latter than the former. While speeding in itself may not be dangerous, trying to force your way above the limit in traffic is.

To me, it all comes down to attitude. The oblivious driver needs to be more attentive. The driver failing to keep right needs to share. The driver trying to push their way to the front needs to relax, considering both themselves and others. If the attitude shown in the comments of my BC Bad Driver of the Week video on this topic is any consideration, improvement is not likely to happen soon!

For more information about this topic, visit www.drivesmartbc.ca. Questions or comments are welcome by e-mail to comments@drivesmartbc.ca. Tim Schewe is a retired RCMP constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. His column appears Thursdays.

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