Chris, the Young One (hedgee) wrote,
Chris, the Young One

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The big speeding debate

Okay, so I'm opening a can of worms here, but what the hell, this journal needs a bit of excitement.

I've been reading the thread on speed radar detectors, and there's a debate going on about whether speeders are killers, or simply cash generators. Definite food for thought.

I dare say that slow drivers cause as many hazards than speeders. I'm talking about the ones who stubbornly drive 80 in a 100 zone (these are in km/h, for readers from Imperial-unit-using countries :-P), regardless of traffic condition. These are just as bad as those who drive 120 in a 100 zone, regardless of traffic condition.

Now, because I'm a sort-of speeder (and sort of proud of it), I'm going to go off into rant mode already. :-P

Honestly, I think people who can't even match the speed limit (in clear weather, with no obstructions ahead) have no business using the right-hand lane. Full-stop. It should be accompanied by the same fine as for those who misuse buses-only lanes, carpool lanes, &c. The right-hand lane is the fast lane; the left-hand lane is there for the slow coaches. (For overseas readers: people drive on the left in New Zealand.)

On a clear road, I usually peg my car at 10 km/h above the speed limit. That is, 110 on a 100 zone. I don't like to pass on the left, but if the car (usually single) on the right-hand lane is driving like a snail (i.e., less than 100), and there's no traffic in front of it, I will absolutely not hesitate to pass it at the earliest safe moment.

Now, I'm not a complete ass. I will make sure that the second-right lane is clear enough for the poor schmuck to shift into it, if they so choose. If they are clueful, and use their rear-view mirror at least half as much as I do, they'll know what to do. If not, I'll use the gap when it comes to me. Oh, and I'm fairly ruthless when it comes to overtaking; I just have no sympathy for people who drive slowly in the right-hand lane.

I have much more tolerance in other lanes, I should add. I just think speed nazis are just a tad selfish when they hog up the fast lane. I do not always go over the speed limit; when I drive slowly, I use the appropriate lane.

More specifically: I like to conserve petrol. Having to use the accelerator is a sure way to burn up fuel, so I like to reduce the occasions I have to apply my brakes. With good (or no) drivers in front of me, I press the accelerator just enough so I can keep a safe distance and yet mostly keep my speed. It's the fools who drive 90 (or less!) in the right-hand lane who force me to brake rapidly.

These same fools should not be pitied when I rightly tailgate them (or slam the horn on them) for all they're worth. (Actually, in cases of tailgating, I don't stay on their tail for long: I usually like to change lanes first. Following too close means that you have to use the brakes more, and that just wastes more fuel.) These fools are the leading cause of road rage!

Actually this brings me to another pet peeve: cars with dimmed windows. I usually look through vehicles in front of me to gauge how busy the traffic is; I generally ease off a bit if there are five vehicles in front of me, all going at (say) 90. I'm quite good at figuring that this isn't the fault of the car directly in front of me.

But if I can't see through it, and I can't tell that it has cars in front of it, maybe they could be more understanding if I start ‘hinting’ at them to move off the right-hand lane.

Okay, I'm done. :-P


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