People That You Won't Share the Road With

Road RageYou may have seen the road rage video on social media lately where a woman doing the speed limit refuses to move out of the left and lane and a man driving a pickup wants by. He eventually passes and then drops back to wave a single digit and yell at the woman. He finally accelerates heavily and gets back into the lane in front of her, losing control and crashing in the median. She stops to laugh at the outcome.

When I saw this behaviour while patrolling I almost always stopped and ticketed the tailgating driver. My thought was that they were trying to do two things wrong, tailgating and intending to exceed the speed limit. The driver doing the speed limit in the left lane was only doing one thing wrong, failing to keep right in the situation. Most often these drivers told me that the other driver who would not move over was the source of the problem.

On the other side of the equation, our traffic court justice told me outright that if I ever ticketed a driver in the left lane at the speed limit for failing to keep right, she would refuse to convict. This is contrary to what the law requires but at that point my hands were tied. You only bang your head against the wall for so long before you stop because it hurts.

In my view both of these drivers were wrong for many reasons, including the three points I've already spoken of. Add to this driving without reasonable consideration for others and driving while distracted (taking the video) and the potential for disaster increases. Given the circumstances shown in the video we have a pair of adult drivers behaving like two year olds and very lucky that this outcome was not far more serious.

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This is exactly what I saw...both drivers being fools. If someone wants to go faster just move over. Less stress less headache. Never know there might be a speed trap over the next hill or past the next intersection if they want to exceed the speed limit.

In the video the driver blocking the truck was lucky the truck driving fool didn't accidently take her out too when he lost control. Hard to control a vehicle with one hand while operating an handheld electronic device in the other. She wouldn't be laughing with serious injuries stuck in a hospital bed.

I see it all the time..people trying to get around others and they take very dangerous swerves to get around them...some left lane blockers try to speed up to prevent people from getting in front of them and then go slow again to further agitate the other driver trying to get past them.

I wonder how many pedestrians do this on sidewalks or in grocery isles?..blocking others or even speeding up to prevent others from getting by? Cutting off other pedestrians? Somehow ettiquette is just a personal up close thing and it all changes the moment they get behind the wheel.

Yet I never see a driver in BC pulled over for blocking the left lane the USA yes.

So that's why so many officers' hats slope forward over their eyes. Flattened foreheads from repeated encounters with the courts.

Seriously, I really wish the courts would consider  "Clarity of Purpose"  more often.

What is the Purpose of the Law ?

Presumably : Road safety. 

If a driver deliberately blocks other traffic, that isn't safe, and usually excacerbates a bad situation.A ticket should be warranted.

On another matter : I briefly heard a radio item about a driver who had just received his 26th Distracted Driving citation. Why is he still on the road.   

Back to Clarity of Purpose . 

If the law is ostensibly there to prevent accidents, and he is obviously and deliberately flaunting it, why isn't he jailed or at the least, prohibited from driving ?

Just wondering.

I can understand why you might expect this driver - after 26 Distracted Driving citations - to have lost his license by now, but looking at the legislation (including penalties) I'm ready to take a guess at the answer.

Take a look at this link from the OSMV.

You'll see there that our 59 year old driver will fit into the 'All Drivers' category, and it's too late for GLP so far as he's concerned ... and that so long as he hasn't been caught texting, emailing, or dialing, then no penalty points will have been put on his license.  He's 'only' acquired $4,342 in fines ($167 x 26 tickets).  If he's paid the fines off, that's the end of his penalty under current legislation.  If he hasn't, then interest will accrue, quite possibly at an alarming rate; but unless and until he requires a service from ICBC - Driver License renewal, for instance, which typically happens every five years - then there's nothing to keep him off the road, or to prevent him from continuing this behaviour.

The fact that he has been nailed 26 times, though, certainly shows that either he's blind as a bat - or utterly distracted - when he's behind the wheel, most of the time.  Probably wealthy, too ... wink

However you have to consider some of the details of why this isn't a simple move-over and let them pass:
The person filming states in their video description that they were planning to turn left.
And the person filming is passing people who are moving in the right lane, presumably traveling at the speed limit or higher.

I think the problem started when the leading driver decided to "take offense" at the tailgater, pull out the cellphone, and further exacerbate the problem. If you are turning left, and can't move out of the left lane, it's best to ignore tailgaters, and this video is an example of why.

Both drivers acted against their interests on the road.

I don't agree encouraging bullish behaviours of speeders on highways.  I have been suffering with this dilemma every time I am on the left lane and driving 10 kms above the posted speed limit and some one is already tailgating! Do I have to move to right lane right away?  When I don't think I should move over to rith because then I will have to move to the left immediately.  I think, I am passing slower vehicles on right but no matter how fast I am, there is always one coming way faster than you.  If I have good enough room to keep my speed and be on righ lane, I move over most of the time.  If I did not have enough room to be on left, I stay on right. My problem is if I move to the right without ensuring I have enough room, then I am stuck for a while before I can pass the slower vehicles and I have to drive on slower speed.  But those impatient drivers have privilage to force me to the right?  How am I causing danger to other drivers but not the speeders?  I don't know how this law came in to effect and wish it will change soon.  We have history of high speed causing many head on collusions and many deaths and this law is encouraging aggressive drivers/speeders.  Does that mean, I can bully the drivers on left lane.  Well, I want to pass!!!  The driver on left would get ticked failing to keep right?  Wow!!!

"Long live the speeder!"

This might have been the statement I was thinking of a while back.

On the other side of the equation, our traffic court justice told me outright that if I ever ticketed a driver in the left lane at the speed limit for failing to keep right, she would refuse to convict. This is contrary to what the law requires but at that point my hands were tied. You only bang your head against the wall for so long before you stop because it hurts.

It still comes down to people are paid to do a job. Whether it is a Judge or a cop they are not paid to interpret the law to their own whim. The Judge should have been reported for failure to do her job.