Overtaking On the Left Hand Side – Should it be Made Legal?
OK, so the rules say “keep left – pass right” but is it time the law was changed? Well this wouldn’t be necessary if it were it not for a group of pathetic right-lane-hogging drivers, who clearly get a buzz out of deliberately holding up and annoying every other driver behind them. It’s because these small minded people play their little games knowing that the law is on their side that it’s probably time for a change in the law?
Laws of the road are odd; they are a mish mash of things that whilst right in some circumstances, are completely wrong in others. Age and ability of drivers isn’t considered, so you can get a 17 year old who passed his test yesterday, or an 90 year old, both doing 70mph legally. The speed limits are the speed limits, irrespective of if it’s a bright sunny day, a frozen cold slippy morning or a foggy night and they also apply irrespective of the time of day and if it’s a crowded rush hour, or 6am on a bright summers morning with you being the only car on the road, the limits are the limits and it does not depend on the vehicle you are in as it could be a 30 year old vehicle with drum brakes, no ABS or other safety features, or a modern state of the art safe car, because the laws the law and clearly, the law is an ass.
Now clearly a drivers age or ability, the weather conditions, the type of car or amount of traffic on the road has no effect on some road laws, but the single big thing for me, bigger than all these, and that does not get a look in is “drivers attitude” and that’s what this is all about as far as sitting in the outside lane is concerned.
Lots of things on the road are illegal and clearly, its time we added “lane-hogging” to the list. We already know it’s immoral and we know that because of these drivers’ deliberately inconsiderate actions that people already overtake on the inside “or undertake as it’s called”. Research, consistently reveals that one of the things drivers complain about most is being tail-gated and the fact that these people hog the right hand lane, when with any reasonable behaviour they could move over to the left to let the car behind pass, is why most tailgating happens, as the driver behind gets more and more frustrated and tries to get the driver in front to move over, by pushing them and intimidating until they do and when that happens, Mr right lane-hogger is the very first to complain.
Time after time you follow a car, travelling in the right hand lane, perhaps with no other cars up ahead, or in the inside lane, yet being a law abiding citizen, you keep station behind the car in front, only to find that they eventually indicate right a couple of miles further up the road, but they put their car into the right hand lane miles before the turn and that’s completely unnecessary and its totally inconsiderate and its down right poor driving that if you do it, you should be ashamed of. The lane-hogger probably believes they’ve done nothing wrong, but in fact, perhaps they may have, as I understand it’s already illegal to cause an obstruction, which is what they are deliberately doing and if it’s not deliberate and they were not aware you were behind them; well maybe they should be convicted of inconsiderate or careless driving?
Perhaps the police should give a wake up call to these right-lane-hoggers, and rectify their arrogant behaviour by telling them its illegal to obstruct vehicles that may wish to pass (irrespective of the speeds involved) and booking them for obstruction, inconsiderate driving or even careless driving? Fact is, these drivers know they are doing wrong and we all know that they would jump across to the left lane quicker than a sky diver can break the sound barrier if a police car came up behind them.
The law says that you can “undertake” (overtake on the inside) if you want to go straight ahead when the driver in front of you has moved out and signaled that they intend to turn right, or if you have signaled that you intend to turn left. Its also legal when traffic in both lanes is moving slowly and the traffic in the left hand lane is moving more quickly that the traffic in the right hand lane. Undertaking is also permitted in congested conditions where frequent lane changing is not recommended. So there’s a confusing little bunch of rules!
Wouldn’t it be simpler and safer if drivers were just allowed to overtake on the inside? What could possibly be wrong? Surely to be able to overtake whilst in the inside lane, means that lane must be pretty empty and if that’s the case, what’s the lane-hogging driver doing sitting out in the right lane unless they are turning right, in which case overtaking on the inside isn’t an issue anyway. If the law changed, Mr Lane-Hogger would know he had lost his power to annoy and change the way he drives and over a period, the problem would go away and with it, almost all “tailgating” resulting in less accidents and happier drivers, so it’s a Win-Win and you know what, after a while, no one would ever overtake on the inside, because there simply wouldn’t be a need to.
No one wants to break the law and frankly, if the lane-hoggers didn’t exist, in this case, there would never be a reason to ever do so. The power and control these idiots hold isn’t something that’s taken into consideration by law makers, but the bad attitude it demonstrates towards other motorists is equally as dangerous as the icy roads, inexperienced drivers, foggy nights and other things we cant change, but unlike those, this is something we can do something about, it is something we can change and taking the power buzz away from our double barrelled friend Mr Lane-Hogger would be a good start and to do that, we need a change in the law, legalising overtaking on the inside.