The Double Yellow Prison

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This country is painted over with double yellow bars – a sort of rolling-ribbon prison, from which escape is not possible. Or at least, very difficult. Legal passing zones – always rare – are becoming almost nonexistent. Painted over – for no readily discernible reason.

Well, actually, there is a reason:

It’s all based on the idea that because some people are too inept to execute a quick, safe pass when the opportunity arises, no one shall pass. It does not matter that some drivers have the judgment and skill needed to perform a safe, efficient pass. They get ticketed just the same – and irrespective of the competence of their maneuvering. The ticketing cop may even admit – in court – that the driver he ticketed wasn’t proceeding recklessly; even that his pass was safe. Such considerations are irrelevant in a modern American traffic court. Legally speaking, the only relevant issue is: Did the person violate the law?

The absence of proof of any harm done, any victim (that ancient precept of common law – and long before that, of natural law)  is both irrelevant and no defense.  Guilty. Fine – plus costs.

Next.

Result? Log-jammed traffic almost everywhere – even in rural areas. Not so much because there are more vehicles using the road, but because it is no longer possible (legally) to pass slow-movers except in a handful of designated areas –  very few and far between.

All it takes is one slow-mover to create a Clover Conga. When there are more cars around, there are more slow-movers around.

Which ends up resulting in a perpetual – inescapable – Clover Conga. (For those not hip to the usage of Clover in this context, please see here. To observe Clover in situ, see here.)

The eradication of legal passing zones – and the gimped-up legal doctrines that apply in the few remaining, such as you must never exceed the posted speeeeeeeeeed limit when passing (which makes it all-but-impossible to pass safely) have rendered the United States one giant Clover Cluster-you-know-what.

In more sensible lands, the driver is given leave to use his judgment as to when it is safe to pass – as opposed to being conditioned to obey a pigmented strip on the road as though it were a deity of some kind. Underpinning this is a premise that’s the opposite of that which governs here: The driver is assumed to be competent. More, he is expected to be competent.  The competent are not throttled down to the level of the not-competent, as they are here.

Europe, though riddled with Cloverism in so many ways, is actually pretty sensible when it comes to driving – and so, also when it comes to passing zones. Virtually everywhere is a passing zone. There, the double yellow is as uncommon as the broken yellow is here.

Of course, the primary reason for that is the much higher quality of the typical European driver. Unlike here, where the quality of the typical driver is incredibly low. And it is low chiefly because it is under-developed. Or rather,  because our system contrives in every way imaginable to make sure it is never developed. Teens, for example, are instructed to never exercise their own best judgment  – but rather, to always obey the law. Because the law is always right! It is infallible. It is perfect.

And must be obeyed.

People here are inculcated with dangerous nonsense, such as that business mentioned earlier about never exceeding the posted speed limit when passing. They are admonished that it’s “safer” to just sit behind the slow-mover and “be patient.” The idiocy of this business is perhaps best mocked by applying it to pedestrian traffic. If you came up behind, say, an old codger shuffling along at half your speed, would you “be patient” and adjust your pace to his? Would you only walk past him at a pace just slightly quicker than his?

Yet on the road, we’re supposed to do exactly that. It has bequeathed unto us the uniquely American phenomenon of one car doing 57 MPH attempting to “pass” another running 55.

And even that is technically illegal – and so, ticket-worthy.

Fear of such tickets – combined with stunted wheelman skills – has resulted in a nation of drivers who cannot (or will not) pass and when they do, it is often done with painful ineptitude. A slow-motion pass is much less safe than a proper high-speed pass. It requires more time – and longer sight distance. The more time you spend in the opposing lane of traffic, the greater the danger to oncoming traffic and yourself.

But, tell that to the cop – or the judge.

Years and years ago – before Cloverism became the New American Way – automakers touted the passing gear performance of their cars. To access the passing gear, you applied pressure to the gas pedal. The transmission would kick down – and the car would surge forward. You quickly (and so, safely) passed the slow-mover. You did not gimp slowly by – so slowly you could roll down the window and have a chat with the other driver.

Today’s cars are ferociously faster than the cars of that ancient, largely Clover-free era. The average new car is quicker (and faster) than most high-performance cars were, pre-Clover Ascendant. But they’re as useless as tits on a boar. Ornate codpieces on eunuchs is better, actually. A representation of virility.

One in desperate need of Viagra.

Throw it in the Woods?

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eric

Author of "Automotive Atrocities" and "Road Hogs" (MBI). Currently living amongst the Edentulites in rural SW Virginia. 

  171 comments for “The Double Yellow Prison

  1. GW
    October 10, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    It does seem like there are more solid yellow lines than there used to be – good observation.

    • October 10, 2012 at 6:00 pm

      In my area, I know of at least four formerly legal passing zones that have been painted double yellow during the past five years.

      • Patrick H
        October 12, 2012 at 5:08 pm

        On my way to work they just painted over a passing zone. Which is incredibly frustrating because the road is 55, but full of tourists. Who go 35.

        I pass anyway.

    • Ken
      October 11, 2012 at 3:17 pm

      The stretch of Rt 6 between Willimantic and Bolton in CT is an excellent example of disappearing passing zones. It’s a rural route that carries quite a lot of traffic during commuting hours and the speed limit on a lot of it is a maddening 45mph. Over the last 10 years they have widened it to include shoulders and some dedicated turn lanes AND removed the passing zones. There were precious few before and they were all located in the long straightaways. Widening the road to make it safer and then removing the passing zones to make it less safe – that makes a lot of sense!

      • JohnD
        October 12, 2012 at 1:53 pm

        CT is rife with examples of this. I live in a rural area but travel all over the state for business and it is maddening how this is the case. I was stuck behind a camper going 30 in a 45 for the length of 69 from Bristol to Burlington. I attempted to pass (lines be damned!) but unfortunately was relegated to aggrivatingly “keeping pace.”

      • Robyn
        October 12, 2012 at 11:09 pm

        Ken, you must also be frustrated with Rt 32…almost all of it from Franklin up to the MA border. Almost no passing zones and the most annoying ride, but the straightest to get to MA from the area.
        And Eric, you’ll be pleased to hear I recently got out of paying a speeding ticket by pleading not guilty, the explanation I wrote on the plea was ‘No Victim=No Crime.’

        • October 13, 2012 at 10:17 am

          Hi Robyn,

          “And Eric, you’ll be pleased to hear I recently got out of paying a speeding ticket by pleading not guilty, the explanation I wrote on the plea was ‘No Victim=No Crime.’”

          That is excellent! But, c’mon… really?

          They actually accepted that (legitimate, reasonable) defense?

  2. Tim
    October 10, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    I know of a few places where they’ve eliminated passing spots.

    I just got a warning for not having a front license plate. I asked the cop why my 10 year old 120K car was only stopped just now for no front license plate. His answer was that no one else cared but he is an a$$hole. Now I’m supposed to deface my car. I hope you all feel safer for it.

    • dom
      October 10, 2012 at 7:39 pm

      Yes sir! The world is safer place with a license plate on the front, county stickers, registration stickers, state inspection stickers, racing stickers, bumper stickers. Mo’ stickers and stickers and stickers!

      • JohnD
        October 12, 2012 at 2:13 pm

        As much as I loathe the government’s intrusion on the auto industry, I am (slightly) happy that CT discontinued the use of state stickers. We used to have them for registration and emissions testing. unfortunately we still have two plates (and emissions testing!).

    • Ken
      October 11, 2012 at 3:12 pm

      There’s a reason they want you to have a front plate – REVENUE! Modern license plates are highly reflective so the gestapo’s laser guns can get a good speed reading from a greater distance. If you don’t have a front plate it’s harder for them to use the speed laser.

  3. Doug
    October 10, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Actually, in Germany (the only European Country which counts anyway), there are no double yellow lines – only a solid white line.
    In Mexico, nobody gives a shit about the double yellow line. If it is safe to pass, we pass.

    • Benjamin
      October 11, 2012 at 2:38 pm

      Doug, yes about Mejico!

      I heard an interview on the radio of a christian missionary woman to a country in east asia. She was there for 30 years.

      This woman said that when she arrived in the country, she was terrified to ride in a car, because no one obeyed any of the signs, lines, speed limits, nothing! She said that only the men were allowed to drive back then. The thing that amazed her most was that she never saw or heard of a car crash, during that time.

      Well, over 30 years, they eventually allowed the women to drive too. The missionary lady said that by the time she returned to the USA, everyone was observing the lines and signs and limits, and that both men and women were driving, and that traffic accidents had become common.

      She said she just couldn’t understand it!

    • Dave
      October 11, 2012 at 8:27 pm

      No Kidding. One time I was heading west out of Cancun in my rented VW, when a hot-shot Norte Americano took off around me. Apparently, he didn’t know what the sign said. It said Topos and it had a picture of the speed bumps ahead. Well, that jerk hit those bumps just as he floored the pedal. Sounded like a crash. I guess he showed me!

  4. BrentP
    October 10, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    None Shall Pass. The black knights of the roadway are out there. They accelerate when a pass is attempted. I’ve had one flip out on me. Woman driving a minivan, go figure. And that was when the passing zone hadn’t been removed yet.

    Every day on the two lane roads I drive…. More days than not I am stuck behind someone driving 5-15 or even 20mph below the posted limit on rarer occasion. The worst case is the video ‘snow clover’ where someone in a 4×4 SUV is doing no joke, 30-35mph under the posted limit. Yes it was lightly snowing. I’ve done better with my pre-traction control mustang on summer tires.

    Of course those of us that want to do the posted limit (on even a bright sunny day) are the ‘rude’ ones. But it gets worse…. it’s a 50mph limit and they’ll do 35-45mph. When turning off on to another two lane road with a 35mph limit they’ll do 40-45mph!

    One of these days I’ll do upon them as they do to me.

    • October 11, 2012 at 10:14 am

      I’m having to execute illegal passes on a daily basis. Clovers are everywhere!

      Last night, we decided to go downtown (which is Roanoke, 35 miles away) for some dinner. As we often do, we took the Blue Ridge Parkway (it’s scenic and believe it or not, most direct for where we were headed). Nice drive, until we roll up on Cloverette: A woman in a late-model Hyundai wandering down the mountain (and wandering across the double yellow) at about 37 MPH. Speed limit is 45. Most people who are going somewhere are doing 50-something. I follow patiently until the next overlook, which of course has a semi-circle turnout and so gives the other driver an opportunity to just pull off momentarily – and let me go by (it would take her maybe 30 seconds to do this).

      Which of course, Cloverette did not do. Whereupon, I passed her over the double yellow and got a nasty look (wife told me, I wasn’t looking) and a horn honk.

      The passive audacity (that’s the best term I can think of, disjointed as it is) of these people is incredible. They get mad at me, consider me the “aggressive driver” – because I decline to accept their pace and endure a slow-motion 20-plus mile drive at well below the speed limit.. and dare to pass!

      • dom
        October 11, 2012 at 11:53 am

        Hey, that ain’t so bad! I’ve had them honk like crazy, flash their high beams on and off, then fucking speed up to my pace and tailgate. They are retards!

        • October 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm

          Yeah – I don’t get that at all.

          I mean, why should they care whether you passed them?

          Of course, I know the answer: It’s about control. The Clover-brained can’t stand it when someone else exercises initiative, does something other than what the Clover thinks is right and proper.

          • BrentP
            October 11, 2012 at 2:50 pm

            It certainly is control. Not speed or safety or even preference. It’s control. My bicycling experience has really reinforced the idea that it is their control mentality. Getting them to verbalize it makes it clear. It’s ‘their’ road according to them.

            Plus they are often natural trolls. They exist and act to make things miserable for everyone else.

            One thing I’ve found useful to deal with them…. 400+ hp.

          • methylamine
            October 11, 2012 at 4:50 pm

            @BrentP:

            Amen brother, a surfeit of power will vex the most vexatious of Clovers!

            I love giving them a little room; surreptitiously dropping down a gear or two to be in the sweet-spot of the power band…then BAM! Past them so fast their pitiful reflexes and pathetic little cars can’t hope to keep up.

            Note that I’m extremely hygienic in passing; no close calls, plenty of room, smooth and fast.

            Doesn’t matter. They are livid–just last week a left-lane hog passed in this manner flashed her lights and pushed her feeble little skills (and car) to 90 mph trying to “show me”. This, after pottering in the left lane at 55 in a 65.

            No matter. 90 was well below my pull-away velocity.

          • Dennis B.
            October 12, 2012 at 1:40 pm

            Don’t get me started. It is absolutely about control. On a four-lane they will dilly dally in the left lane and will not pull over no matter what. They will flip you the bird too. My favorite technique is possible on a certain limited access highway on which there is a rumble strip down the entire left-hand shoulder for miles. At 60+mph the noise is deafening.
            And the faster you go, the higher the pitch and more unbearable the noise. Does no damage whatsoever to my pickup so I get my left tires on the rumble strip and stay there until they pull over. And they do pull over.

      • October 11, 2012 at 8:38 pm

        It’s the Parkway, not a race track. I’ve driven it many times. You can’t expect to go fast there. Tourists are sightseeing. As far as passing goes, don’t tailgate and don’t try to push me down the road, just go around. I slow down at passing lanes and some still won’t go around. One even followed me into a parking lot and started threatening me for doing it. He wouldn’t go around, but he would follow me into a lot, looking for a fight. I hauled him into court! It cost him $150 and a 700 mile round trip from Atlanta.

        • Ed
          October 12, 2012 at 10:37 am

          “I hauled him into court!”

          Yeah, sure you did. What an asshole you are, and now you’ve shown yourself to be a liar as well. Your passive/aggressive nature will get your ass whipped someday.

      • JohnD
        October 12, 2012 at 2:21 pm

        Obviously it is because Roanoke has the outlying “Cloverdale” area. Do they spawn there?

        Whenever someone honks at me, I assume they are saying hi or thanking me for moving out of their immediate vicinity (who wants me behind them?). So I wave (yes wave, nicely) and double-honk right back!

        • October 12, 2012 at 2:48 pm

          We’re in Floyd – which is up in the mountains, about 35 miles from Roanoke. Problem is, the Clovers are coming here. An element – the same element, everywhere – is doing its damndest to turn this place into another McTown. Come look at the “country” folk… and buy! buy! buy! (Then build! build! build!… as many poorly built, soon-to-be-underwater McMansions as possible….) With these Clovers comes Cloverism… it’s already happening.

          The only upside is that if this place become the Aspen of SW Virginia, our place will be worth a fortune and we can sell it for top dollar to some Northern Virginia Clover and head out even farther… next stop, 200 acres in Montana…

          • BrentP
            October 12, 2012 at 3:28 pm

            I think eventually the only places left clover free will be those places that clovers simply can’t handle. Places most of us don’t want to live either but some of us put up with just to get away from clovers. Places like North Dakota, Northern Maine, Alaska, and so forth. Or their opposite, places with oppressive heat like the middle of the Nevada desert. Or oppressive heat and humidity.

            The sad thing is, to keep clover away means living as close to a mountain man lifestyle as possible. Innovate enough comfort and clover will move in.

          • liberranter
            October 13, 2012 at 11:30 pm

            Problem is, the Clovers are coming here. An element – the same element, everywhere – is doing its damndest to turn this place into another McTown. Come look at the “country” folk… and buy! buy! buy! (Then build! build! build!… as many poorly built, soon-to-be-underwater McMansions as possible….) With these Clovers comes Cloverism… it’s already happening.

            That is exactly what has been happening to Southeastern Arizona over the last decade. Too many cloverefugees from the neighboring People’s Socialist Demokratik Republik of Kalifornia. They’ve rendered their native state uninhabitable, so now they’re coming here looking to ruin this one (a state that already has enough of its own “homegrown” problems with cloverism without needing to import new ones from out of state). The only silver lining to the cloud is that where I live, we’re just remote enough and populated thoroughly enough with the “rougher element” of society as to make our neck of the desert unattractive to Left Coast Yuppie Clovertards. Let a family of them move into our community and try to “Kalifornize” it, and they’ll be in for some real unpleasantness that I guarantee they won’t be able to handle.

      • Patrick H
        October 12, 2012 at 5:12 pm

        I never understood that either. I’ve had people give me the finger because I passed them going 20 under. And I’ve never understood why common courtesy goes out the window when people are driving- if you want to go slow, fine, but get over so I can go fast. Your job isn’t to enforce the law.

      • rEVOLutionary
        October 12, 2012 at 5:30 pm

        In Alaska, one of the freer remaining places in the USSA, there are many no passing zones, because it truly is not safe to pass. But there is also a law that, once 4 or more vehicles are backed up behind you, you are REQUIRED to pull off and let them past.

    • Ethan
      October 12, 2012 at 5:09 pm

      Snow clovers are my favorite. Here in northern VT/NH, AWD Subarus are the car of choice for the winter. I pass them by the dozen in my FWD econobox during the winter months, double yellows or no (and that’s if you can see them through the snow). They are always going 15-20 MPH BELOW the speed limit because yikes! there is snow on the ground. They don’t seem to understand that the speed limits are the maximum safe limits under nearly the worst conditions for the worst corners on the road. The only time going the speed limit will get you in trouble is if there is ICE or extremely thick fog. Of course, that is if you know how to drive, which clearly, as Eric pointed out, most people DON’T. Anyway, I love when I blow by these morons and see the looks on their faces. I can just hear them thinking “that jerk is going to end up in the ditch a mile down the road” which of course, doesn’t ever happen. In fact, THEY are the ones I pass in the ditch on my way back through because they panicked and locked up the brakes at the slightest sign of sliding.

  5. jfr
    October 11, 2012 at 12:48 am

    Hi Eric,

    Great post as usual. I thought of you and your readers when I saw this news article today. LONG BEACH – Long Beach has installed a traffic control mechanism known as “Operation Rest in Red”. “Operation Rest in Red” is a traffic control mechanism that uses motion detection in conjunction with traffic signal changes to influence the speed of traffic. If the vehicle is speeding, the traffic signal will remain red and the vehicle must stop before the light turns green. If the vehicle isn’t speeding, then the light will turn from red to green, allowing the motorist to continue.

    God help us. Keep up the good work.

    An appreciative reader.

    • dom
      October 11, 2012 at 1:01 am

      That is ridiculous. Who is making/passing all craziness into law!

    • October 11, 2012 at 10:08 am

      Thanks, JF…

      And in re “Operation Rest in Red” – I have no words. Only burbling hatred…

    • MoT
      October 11, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      This only reminds me of speeding cameras. It seems that in many locations that had them installed the accidents actually went UP!

      • Dave
        October 12, 2012 at 12:03 am

        This still makes more sense than red light cameras. No mailed ticket or rear-enders.

  6. Gil
    October 11, 2012 at 2:16 am

    I thought Europe was the bastion of Socialism while the U.S. was the last vestige of Capitalism? Then again if you have a large, powerful truck with a bullbar and you’re behind a slow-driving car you can always give them a helpful nudge forward.

    Clover

    • Tom
      October 11, 2012 at 6:52 am

      I don’t think you “thought” at all.
      You have the mind of a child.
      Do you even realize that?

    • October 11, 2012 at 10:02 am

      Clover, no one’s biting.

      We know what your purpose is: Trolling. Whether you are employed by the government or just some sad-sack doing it for your own reasons. I delete the majority of your posts before they even appear. You’re just not worth bothering with.

      • Prince Draxx
        October 11, 2012 at 2:41 pm

        No, wait up Eric. Clover has a wonderful idea. We call them brush bumpers here in Texas. We brush Clovers into the ditch with them. While it isn’t the best response to Cloverism in existence it sure as hell teaches the stupid assholes to get out of the way. Just remember Mr. Clover, you are the one who advised us on how to deal with your kind. lmao /sarc /silliness

    • Tor Munkov
      October 11, 2012 at 11:30 am

      The vestige of your mind is a bastion of stale demagoguery. Your emotions, prejudices, and ignorance hold no sway here. Your comical acccusations and trite indecipherable loathings mean less than nothing.
      Like all demagogues, you oppose deliberation, and advocate immediate violent action to address the ever growing crises and lists of things you oppose.
      Always, you try to stir up hysteria, blockade individual action, and concentrate power in those of like-mindlessness, eager to make a living by ruling over those too ignorant or busy, to recognize you for the pestilence and destruction you represent.

      • Bo
        October 12, 2012 at 2:01 pm

        “Are you serious, Clark?”

  7. Downrange
    October 11, 2012 at 2:22 am

    I used to take a really crazy two-lane road to work every day. There was NO posted speed limit, no yellow lines, nothing, really, but you and the road, and the actual speed limit was 55 mph, since it was a State secondary highway, and that’s the limit, when none is posted. Of course, there were sections where trying to drive 55 mph would be near-suicidal, but that’s beside the point.
    Anyway, with the ever encroaching suburbs, replete with Clovers who must not be “scared” by the “bad road,” they widened this stretch over a couple of years. They even took out some of the curves, added a “bike lane” (for all the Lance Armstrong wannabes), and just made the thing like a friggen interstate, compared to what it had been.
    What was their last act? Oh yeah, they put speed limits up, double yellow lines, and turned what was an “interesting” drive, where the driver could set his own limits, depending, of course, on conditions and the driver’s own abilities, into a boring, lock-step, thou shalt not exceed the posted speed limits, daily drudgery.
    Progress…

    • clark
      October 11, 2012 at 4:06 am

      That sounds about like what happens to country gravel roads when they get paved, Downrange.

      …doing “burnouts”, weaving from side to side, going so fast over hills the wheels get up off the ground,… sliding everywhere, all without getting into trouble. That was gravel roads.

    • October 11, 2012 at 10:01 am

      DR,

      Have you seen what they are doing to US 221 a few miles from Bent mountain?

      It’s exactly as you’ve described. Well, it was. A curvy country road. Apparently, too “unsafe” for the god-damned Clovers who are encroaching everywhere. In its place, a “straightened” out monstrosity is being erected, complete with a huge new bridge over (instead of running adjacent to) the scenic creek. The passing zone that used to be on the straight stretch leading into the curve is already gone.

      • Downrange
        October 11, 2012 at 1:26 pm

        I drove it Monday at rush hour – unbelievable. I used to live out that way and got quite used to the old original road, even the sharp curves. I kind of thought of those as “Darwin fuses,” as they presented simple, objective tests for evolutionary “fitness” to survive, heh (push too much current through that circuit and something WILL break!). You’d hear about a horrific “accident” every couple of years, sure, but, hey, there weren’t nearly so many Clovers out there then, either.

        • October 11, 2012 at 1:57 pm

          It’s also a profligate waste of money. The existing road was fine – assuming non-idiot drivers. Now there’s an ugly, multi-million-dollar boondoggle, all to placate the Clovers.

          • Downrange
            October 11, 2012 at 2:28 pm

            Hey Eric, you been in the new library yet? Not far off that road. Talk about a boondoggle – they’ve even got a Coffee Shop inside it, free DVDs for the public, free internet. Amazing what the clovers have funded with other peoples’ money, huh?

          • October 11, 2012 at 3:11 pm

            Check out the Taubman?

          • Downrange
            October 11, 2012 at 8:09 pm

            LOL, I hear it’s heading south rather quickly, haven’t been in there but once a year or two ago…

        • BrentP
          October 11, 2012 at 3:08 pm

          Ever see the building of a bike trail in a forest preserve or some other undeveloped hunk of land?

          Usually there are already bike trails there. They are few inches to a foot or two wide. They are compacted dirt. They go somewhere and few travel them. Sometimes very fast and fun.

          The first crews arrive and plow through with heavy equipment and compact the dirt. The trail is 5 to ten feet wide. It doesn’t quite go the same path. The curves are few. can still get to where you want to go using bits of single track in between. It’s fast and few people are out there.

          The gravel is spread. Now it’s useless unless it is the compacted gravel type trail, in which case it immediately goes to the next step.

          The pavement is put in. Now it’s smooth. But also the single track is largely fenced off or otherwise made inaccessible. (sometimes trails with wood chips or gravel that are not rideable in between)

          Now come the clovers… people who can’t keep right, people who crawl along. Then the roller bladers, dog walkers, fat women walking two and three abreast blocking the entire trail. The couples holding hands riding slowly side by side…. the list goes on and on….

          So, when I talk about all a bicyclist needs is a two inch wide dirt trail and anything beyond that is to accommodate the other people, that’s what I am getting at. Just give me that nicely dished two inch wide single track…. it’s like speeder bikes in return of the jedi at times. Building stuff easier, stronger, better just attracts idiots who gum it all up.

          It’s like adding a lane on the interstate. All it takes is one more idiot to block it up but the extra lane attracts a hundred times more of them than needed to ruin it.

          • Jean
            September 17, 2013 at 9:31 pm

            Yup – make it idiot-proof and you allow breeding of idiots – making “better idiots” who f*ck it up more.

      • MoT
        October 11, 2012 at 3:45 pm

        Any time you live too close to major population centers you’re being “threatened” by their general ignorance. True freedom comes from not being in contact so often. Convenience can be a curse.

        • October 12, 2012 at 12:12 am

          Amen!

  8. Jay Wocky
    October 11, 2012 at 4:16 am

    Actually, my thoughts on the double-yellow line have nothing to do with two-lane rural highways and passing thereon. My issue involves the center turning lane of a typical five-lane urban, 35mph, arterial roadway.

    In my city (Columbus OH), it is common practice for drivers to drift over the double-yellow into the center turning lane. The practice is rampant, frequent and unnerving.

    At least once a day, I find myself waiting to make a left turn from center onto my street, only to find myself facing at least one oncoming driver with at least two wheels on the double-yellow or over it–and heading toward my stopped car.

    I flash high beams, honk or both. So far, so good. But how long will my luck hold out?

    I have tried, and failed, to observe any common thread of distraction (cell phoning, texting, eating, etc.) among these errant, idiot drivers. I have no explanation for this phenomenon other than their utter, oblivious stupidity.

  9. October 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I love the imagery you ended this article with.

    The competency expectations for drivers here in the US is low, so the result is the performance/competence ends up inferior. Reminds me of the public (de-)education system. Funny how that works.

    I remember seeing a documentary on the Autobahn a few years back. And then immediately after there was a special on the porsche 356/911. One of the things that stood out to me from that was when the german engineers were told to add cupholders for teh US market cars they didn’t understand why. It was such a mindf#%k to them that people would drink a beverage while driving.

    When I was in europe for a month about 15 years ago, I remember riding with my pops on the Autobahn. He was a pack a day smoker but never lit up while driving there. I remember us pulling off onto rest stops so he could light one up and i saw numerous people sitting on their hoods and talking to strangers while they took a break and had a drink/smoke.

    I wonder how rampant texting while driving is over there…

  10. October 11, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    10 mins after reading this, the clip of the black knight from MP’s classic Search for the Holy Grail came to mind.

    “None Shall Pass”

    Gubbermint really is like the black knight, illogical, armed, and ready to kill you over stupid stuff.

    Cutting its limbs off is also probably the best solution too.

    • Dave
      October 12, 2012 at 12:17 am

      Sometimes, the road crews just screw up and paint straight lines onto new hard top.

      • October 12, 2012 at 10:15 am

        Perhaps – but these “mistakes” seem never to be corrected. And if a cop sees you pass in the formerly legal (and still legal, but now painted-over) zone, it’ll be up to you to waste a day going to court (and another day before that, going to the county offices, to find the necessary proof) to beat the charge. There will be no fine for the road crew that screwed up. Government never pays for its mistakes… or crimes.

  11. Tom Lawson
    October 11, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Kind of a stretch to say that the traffic problem is because you can’t pass at will. Really just an opinion piece, not facts.

    Clover

    • October 11, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      Tom,

      How is it “opinion” to mention the fact that legal passing zones are often few and far between – even when there’s sufficient room (and sight lines) to pass?

      That in many areas, many of the formerly legal passing zones have been painted over?

      Is it not a fact that this creates traffic logjams given the fact that it’s now illegal to pass slow-movers…. which means most people won’t even try? Which means, all it takes is one Clover who won’t pull over doing 10 or 15 under the limit (and 20-25 below the normal flow of traffic) to hold everyone up?

      • October 12, 2012 at 12:21 am

        I just come to a gradual stop, then it’s no longer illegal to pass. I pay taxes, too. So, unless I’m in a good mood that day, I ain’t pulling off for tailgaters when I’m already going the speed limit.

        • methylamine
          October 12, 2012 at 1:09 am

          Dave, you’re an idiot.

          Have you ever considered WHY they might be tailgating you??

          Could it possibly be because the limit is too low, and you’re impeding them?

          How about this: you drive at whatever speed you’re comfortable at; that is certainly within your rights. However, you’re sharing that road with other people who also pay taxes*

          So when you sense–and by sense, I mean use your fucking mirrors you dolt–that someone may wish to travel at more than your glacial pace, you could perhaps exercise a modicum of courtesy and move over.

          Because to those of us who actually DRIVE when driving, without music, without phones, without a Big Gulp(tm) stitched to our fructose-fattened lips, with cars built for easily twice the “limit”, the speed “limit” seems ludicrously low 95% of the time.

          Why wouldn’t you let someone by? Is it because you fantasize about controlling people–being weak and pathetic, this remains a fantasy–and exercise that little bit of power you have over other traffic?

          Certainly in life outside your car you wouldn’t do this. For instance, were you walking down the sidewalk, would you similarly obstruct someone attempting to walk faster?

          I suspect not. I suspect you’d fear doing this face-to-face with your victim…not insulated by a car.

          The mentality of you and your ilk is so predictable, so mundane, so abysmally banal, it sickens me. It sickens me because it’s such a waste of what humanity COULD be, if it strove; if it were free to aspire, rather than suppressed and minimized.

          Go. Drink fluoride, watch TeeeeVeeee, eat aspartame, take your flu shots. Government loves you.

          * By the way it nauseates me that you’re proud of paying taxes. Slave mentality.

          • clark
            October 12, 2012 at 2:25 am

            “* By the way it nauseates me that you’re proud of paying taxes. Slave mentality.”

            That happens to me a lot too. I just don’t ‘get’ the zombie level zero thinking on this. Stockholm Syndrome I guess?

            One of the best things I remember about Texas was, they had wide shoulders on the roads and the locals would almost always pull over WAYYY ahead of time before you got close to them so you could easily pass them.
            Even dirt poor People don’t want to be Clovers. I think it’s more about consideration for their fellow man.

            The skinny-assed shoulders here up North combined with wet ground that sucks in a car so it goes in a ditch prevents that for the most part.

            However; the farm tractors do it all the time, that is, move over for stalled traffic.

          • October 12, 2012 at 10:06 am

            “* By the way it nauseates me that you’re proud of paying taxes. Slave mentality.”

            Amounts to:

            Thank you sir! May I have another?

          • Patrick H
            October 12, 2012 at 5:19 pm

            This is a brilliant post. It must be idea of “I’m pissing this guy off and I love it!”. Its about control and not giving it. Being courteous never enters their minds.

          • Bob
            October 12, 2012 at 11:15 pm

            Bravo!

            Well said, I hope you don’t mind if I borrow many your words when giving clovers the verbal what for!

        • October 12, 2012 at 10:13 am

          Tailgating is an example of dangerous driving – and can never be justified. That said, if you have someone on your ass, the wise move is to pull off/wave them past – which will usually defuse the situation (and make it safer for you, too).

      • Douglas
        October 12, 2012 at 5:39 pm

        Good observation, Eric. Hell, in the occasional trip from Sacramento to Boise, it’s my displeasure to endure the 122 miles of US 95 in Oregon, the world’s longest speed trap. “Double-Nickels” ALL THE FUCKING WAY, save in the little hamlet of Jordan Valley, yet another speed trap. Shit, there are all of 31,313 souls in this pissy rural country, almost none whom live anywhere near this stretch of road. Nothing more frustrating than loping along behind some slow-ass semi or some old bag doing all of forty while piloting her ’72 Valiant. And yes, most of the areas formerly legal to pass have been painted over. Since likely a majority of the traffic involves out-of-state vehicles, it’s more evidence of traffic engineering for revenue, not safety.
        An interesting factoid is that “Malheur” is French for misfortune!

        • MoT
          October 12, 2012 at 5:50 pm

          Jordan valley is one where you absolutely MUST stay below the speed limit. Those bastards love to ticket.

    • BrentP
      October 11, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      I just deleted some video that really illustrated this because well it’s common for me… Two lane road… up maybe 15-20 cars ahead is someone doing ~35mph in a 50. No passing zones. Because this driver can’t be passed and is going so slow most of the line doesn’t make the light. The line is so long I can’t get into the turn lane to make my right turn on red.

      Now I turned off, but the reason I make that turn is because this problem cascades into worse traffic down the road with people making left turns, and the next traffic light at the intersection with a major road. (where I would turn to get to the same place) It got so bad that after the next traffic light the road has been widened to four lanes and the speed limit dropped from 45mph to 35mph for several miles.

      Eventually this will likely be a four lane road the entire length and the speed limit reduced to 35mph. Not because the traffic volume requires it, but because incompetence does. At 50mph the output would be high enough for this to remain a two lane road. Instead there is an input-output mismatch. It’s not bad for this section, which is why it hasn’t been done yet, it was in the others.

      There are two choices, faster flow or more pipe with slower flow. Not being able to maintain speed with the smaller pipe doesn’t work.

      qin qout you have a parking lot growing. Making the road wider just gives you more parking places before the road tips into bumper to bumper stop and go congestion.

  12. Mike
    October 11, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    2 other issues I see now more prevalent: 1. left hand arrows at lights where one used to be able to turn left on green now only can turn on green arrow. Sometimes these lights are really long and the turn lane gets backed up. 2. Speed limits from the 1950s where the road was hardly used, now a major road still having a 30 MPH speed limit where similar roads are 40 or 45. There seems to be a general idea that all drivers are stupid and don’t know how to drive. P!sses me off. Seriously, for the left hand turn issue, most of the time one can see 1/2 mile down the road!!!

  13. Glenn
    October 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    I too, have experienced the rise of the clovers. My two-lane 35 mi. commute has lost two short passing zones to the double lined downer. Just last week, I couldn’t take it anymore and passed on the formerly-safe-currently-unsafe-no-passing zone. I felt great but know I will eventually get caught if I do it often. Oh yeah, they also dropped the speed limit to 40 mph when 55 mph is perfectly safe. I use a radar detector and go 50 to 60 mph safely.
    I also am annoyed by what I call the “One speed wonders” who go 40 mph through a 30 mph speed zone and continue to go 40 in the 55 mph zone!
    Last but not least is a construction zone narrowed down to one lane only (alternating one-way) and the traffic flow is controlled by an automatic light. There was a land slide near a state park and it has been “shovel ready” since 2009. They are finally working on it now (3 #*!%?^ years!).

  14. Dave Flowers
    October 11, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    You have just written the article I’ve been waiting to see for years. I’ve driven over a million and a half miles, driven both here and in Europe, and have collected a few speeding tickets in my career-every single one of which there was no endangerment to myself or other passengers. When the federal interstate law was reduced to 55 under Reagan to ‘save fuel’, I did the math. At 60,000 mi. per year, the difference between 55 and 70 mph is over 28-8 hour working days–which the police officer was more than happy to point out that I could very well afford the ticket if I indeed was saving that much time. :-)

    • BrentP
      October 11, 2012 at 6:03 pm

      Nixon signed the 55mph NMSL. In the Reagan years it was becoming such a joke to make the numbers look good they went to 55/65.

      Eventually in the Clinton years it became one of the three things congress undid in the last century or so for the benefit of individual freedom.

      1) Repeal of the laws prohibiting home made beer & wine.
      2) Repeal of the ban on owning gold.
      3) Repeal of the NMSL.

      That’s it.

  15. Richard Nelson
    October 11, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    I think you’ll find that although the state and local governments are guilty of eliminating more and more passing zones, it’s actually the INSURANCE COMPANIES that are behind it. They lobby quietly and very effectively, using their own numbers which are never made public, to convince the local and state authorities that the areas they want passing eliminated on are unsafe for passing–by anyone. There are a LOT of insurance companies. Of course, they aren’t looking out for your safety, only their own profits.

    • Dave
      October 12, 2012 at 12:24 am

      Seat belt and helmet laws, also.

  16. stilo
    October 11, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    And usually you have to exceed the speed limit in order to pass, so making the speeds higher up to the norm would be good on smaller roads. I mean 25? and 15 in a state prison school zone? Give me a break.

  17. October 11, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Everything caters to the lowest common denominator: an ever-sinking target.

    Anyway, skills are HARD to develop! Thinking & effort are required! That’s tough on Boobus Americanus! .

    And, it would be just plain wrong to discriminate against anyone who’s too stupid or too inept to be behind the wheel, ‘cuz then they’d have trouble getting to the mall to rack up their cards, and then the economy would suffer even more!

  18. Ron
    October 11, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    I don’t doubt that American drivers are a bit on the dumb side, and waiting on Granpa’ who has one-quarter mile worth of traffic lined up behind his creeping pick up isn’t my cup of tea.

    Granpa’ has two problems: 1) He is a very poor driver, and 2) He doesn’t give a damn about anyone else, a typical American attitude.

    The cab drivers in Rome may scare hell out of you, but they move traffic, and seemingly do it safely.

  19. DD
    October 11, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    I don’t really care about their lines in the middle of the road…I only consider them as lane separators. I don’t care about their signs other than stop and yield (In Germany, they have a small yellow diamond sign for priority road…The only stupid thing about driving in Germany…A sign to tell you to do nothing different – but just to proceed…LOL!…Only in Germany! Other than that, you would all love driving there…They all know how to drive). I barely look at my instrument panel usually only when the low fuel light illuminates or Officer PsychoSwine McBuzzcut comes into view. People who can think rationally and integrate concepts based in physical reality really don’t need their nannyism. Most of their “instructions” are for the prussian-rote-indoctrinated Public School Idiocracy Tards(PSIT). I find myself actually driving slower than their posted speed limit in towns and neighborhoods (If I ran over a woman’s child…I could never live with myself – regardless of fault) and faster than their posted limits on highways…Just using my own reasoning when driving.

    • MoT
      October 12, 2012 at 5:55 pm

      The yellow diamond sign in Germany reminds me of New Mexico, and only in THAT regard. In the “Land of Enchantment”, where drivers licenses are doled out to the criminally ignorant, every passing zone begins and ends with a sign that’ll say “Pass with care” or don’t pass. Every god-damn piece of road will have these signs in addition to the painted lanes. Why? Well, as a joke, someone once told me it was probably some crook who convinced the state and thereby made a killing by making and selling the signs.

  20. Jerry
    October 11, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    This is a real pet peeve with me as I am a 1%er and probably in the top 5% of that category during most of my driving of my vehicles. So yes I have passed a lot, yet I am not one of these guys taking crazy chances and causing chaos when doing it. I just know how to do it. But the writing is on the wall with the direction of the laws and the double yellows. Myself being 61 years old reaction times not being what they used to be I am slowing it down. Just sold my 2006 BMW Z4 M Coupe that was way to tempting to pass with and made it very easy but not quite as good as my 427 Shelby Cobra I used to have that was a handful with those center-line ruffle strip impressions some 2 lane roads have reducing tire grip accelerating to pass. Then again traction was always something to be cognizant with that car.

    • October 12, 2012 at 10:18 am

      Hi Jerry,

      In my experience, most of the time, executing a pass in these “illegal” areas doesn’t require a tremendous amount of skill, or speed – just some competence behind the wheel. Not SCCA levels of skill, either. It is amazing to me how dumbed-down the average driver has become.

  21. Dave
    October 12, 2012 at 12:43 am

    People aren’t nearly as good drivers as they think. Last year I had a speeding tailgater problem. I pulled off and waved him around and he took offense to it. He then rammed his P/U in reverse and came after me in the right lane without hitting me. I called 911. It turns out he was a volunteer fireman. at that time he had no outside lights flashing. A Deputy came out to my house and told me I was being the aggressor by pulling off the road!
    Well, fast forward to this year and this fireman, who lived 1 mile from me has swerved across the road at me twice, the last time 2 days ago. Yesterday he was killed in a wreck 2 miles from my house.
    They now have a cross up there with his picture and birthday, Aug. 17 1994. He was 18 years old. If that Deputy had taken my complaint seriously, instead of covering his buddy, his buddy might have lived to see today. Actions have consequences, some are fatal. In case you think I’m lying, look for C. Benfield in the next few days in The Hickory Daily Record, Hickory, NC. He may also be in the Charlotte Observer.

    • methylamine
      October 12, 2012 at 1:17 am

      Dave instead of gloating, perhaps you could reflect on how being the self-righteously idiotic driver you are might have aggravated this young man.

      Perhaps your attitude of “I’m doing the LIMIT, I’m following the LAW, he can just slow down to MY pace” infuriated him?

      Could it be that you contributed?

      From your tone, you automatically assume the fatal accident was his fault. Perhaps he came across another Clover driver, one of your ilk?

      You see, your driving can and does affect other people. Excellent drivers are somewhat like Olympic high-divers; they whistle through the air with perfect form and enter the water (traffic) without making a splash.

      You, on the other hand, are like a block of concrete sitting just beneath the surface. You make driving unpleasant. Your self-righteousness radiates outside your car like a malevolent cloud of flatulence. We sense it. And it’s infuriating.

      I’m betting it upsets you when someone passes you very quickly. I bet it upsets you even more when you haven’t had a chance to slow them down; when they zip past you before you’re aware they’re waiting on you–before you’ve had a chance to control them.

      • BrentP
        October 12, 2012 at 2:46 am

        I’ve been tailgated while proceeding at the posted limit in front of a police station. I’ve also been tailgated in the rightmost lane of multiple lanes (sometimes in front of a police station or through a speed trap too). I’ve been tailgated when I am stuck behind someone else. I’ve been tailgated by drivers who didn’t want to pass.

        When I am stuck behind some idiot and have another idiot tailgating me, I let the two idiots deal with each other. In doing so I’ve found some of these tailgaters won’t pass.

        Then there’s when a tailgater got pulled over by a cop. Two lane road, passing zone. No shoulder. No where to pull over where I won’t likely get stuck. SUV right on my ass. aggressively so. We are talking full-ass, not just asshole here. He could just pass. But he wants to dominate.

        I do a couple cycles of slow down and accelerate to get space when he didn’t pass. My turn is coming up and he’s charging at me. Fine. Light is green. I take the right turn at just under the speed limit of the road I am turning on to (slower). The SUV driver tries to take the turn and goes -wide- into the on coming lane. That wakes the cop up. Last I see the cop is pulling him and his passengers over.

        Given the conditions where I drive if someone behind me doesn’t like the posted limit they should complain to the town. I don’t like it either, but I am stuck with it because selective enforcement is something I have to deal with and doing anything but holding steady could be interpreted as aggravating the other driver. Plus if I pull over to let them by they then go -slower- than the limit.

        I’d say most of the tailgaters I encounter just want to snuggle. They’ll slow to a stop, they’ll speed up to way over the limit, they’ll just stay on my bumper as best as they can. Shake them and they’ll speed up to get back there. They won’t pass. They just follow. Closely. Sometimes if I point at a speed limit sign or police station they’ll wake up and back off. They don’t want to go faster, they just want to be close.

        Passed a 10 under driver today. Of course he accelerated when I pulled out to pass. Just not enough soon enough to stop me. Then he slowed back down.

        • clark
          October 12, 2012 at 3:44 am

          Isn’t this what they call, drafting?

          “They’ll slow to a stop, they’ll speed up to way over the limit, they’ll just stay on my bumper as best as they can.”

          Drafting:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drafting_%28aerodynamics%29

          I hate when they do that, like they want me to pay for their increase in gas mileage, bastards.

        • October 12, 2012 at 10:04 am

          I’ve experienced all this myself. And I used to think it was just aggression… until I met my father-in-law.

          Now, he’s a great guy – and most important for purposes of this discussion, not the least bit aggressive. He’s literally a quiet, retired college professor. But he’s also a terrible driver. He speeds up… and he slows down….up… and down…. he lets his car creep right up to the bumper of the car ahead and then just sits there… if the other driver even tapped his brakes, it’d be all over. Riding with him is a white knuckler! Meanwhile, he’s scared of my driving – because I drive fast (but never tailgate, or wander across the double yellow or overshoot corners…)

          Go figure!

          • MoT
            October 12, 2012 at 6:36 pm

            That’s funny. My wife and I are friends with some very intelligent Chinese folks. They immigrated after being persecuted for the Tiannamen scenario. These guys have degrees and are “sharp” when it comes to their field but drive for shit! Accidents, tail-gating, weaving, speeding up and down, you name it. They’re in another world and that one simply isn’t fatal enough to wake them up.

          • Scott
            October 13, 2012 at 4:07 pm

            Eric, I have the misfortune to be married to an intelligent woman with a heart of gold who does the same thing. It drives me batshit and it’s one of the reasons I either drive the car all the time or I sedate myself and sleep through the experience when she drives. Honestly. I’ve discussed it with her and she’s actually improved, but she will tailgate on a multi-lane freeway unless I point out that she’s doing it and suggest she pass.

            It’s like narcolepsy. I don’t think she can control it.

        • methylamine
          October 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm

          Brent the difference between you and Dave is you have a reason for traveling at the “limit”. Dave’s is purely control–libido dominandi, the lust for dominance.

          I don’t like being tailgated either–as rare as that occurrence is. But it’s simple to deal with; move over.

          But not Dave. No, He’s Got The LAW on His Side:

          I ain’t pulling off for tailgaters when I’m already going the speed limit.

          Dave’s that guy in the left lane. Dave’s got his little bit of power in an otherwise unfulfilled life, and he’ll grasp it like a hungry mutt with a fat mutton bone.

        • MoT
          October 12, 2012 at 6:05 pm

          I got a CDL years back, only once have put it to use, but my instructors, men who’d had decades of experience, told me to stick to the limits or slow down if someone habitually sat on your ass. If they were smart they’d get the message and pass if not it wasn’t my responsibility to speed just so they could shave time off of their schedule. That rig doesn’t accelerate nor stop on a dime. Having heard the horror stories of people who tailgated big rigs and ended up DEAD, and seen firsthand the lane “buzzing” knuckleheads who zip in and out around them, I have little sympathy for anyone willing to risk MY LIFE and the lives of others simply for their convenience. People should have to sit behind the wheel of these vehicles and then realize just what they can and cannot see or do. It’s all about sharing the road.

      • rEVOLutionary
        October 12, 2012 at 5:58 pm

        Hey Meth,
        I usually agree with your comments, but did you even read what Dave said? The guy got aggressive when he was waved by. And made further unnecessary, aggressive moves on future “meets.”
        Maybe his fatal accident was not his fault, but it seems like he was asking for it.
        18, remember. We all thought we were invincible back then.

        • methylamine
          October 12, 2012 at 6:09 pm

          Hi rEVOLutionary–I did read his post–and I knew I’d get called on the carpet for jumping him.

          But there’s reason in my madness. His prior statement identified him as Cloverish–I ain’t pulling off for tailgaters when I’m already going the speed limit.

          Sure, the young guy sounds hot-headed and impetuous.

          But Dave’s Cloverism as identified by that statement and others led me to believe he probably aggravated the young man. Now, the young man chose to act on that aggravation; but might he have been less reactionary without Dave’s provocation?

          Because having driven behind many Daves, I’ve observed they love the game; the power-trip game, the control, the sheer peevish joy of obstructing someone because they can.

          So yes he waved him by. Had that been the story from any one of you, I’d say good riddance, what a young jerk, hope he learns better soon.

          But from Dave? I can only imagine the taunting-by-car, the frustrating drive behind this aggravating Clover going on for mile after mile. Perhaps a brake-check or two? A little weave, a little speed-up on an attempt to pass?

          It’s the passive-aggressive bullying that Clovers so enjoy.

          Unless the young man was *exceptionally* hot-tempered, he must have experienced some taunting to have reacted so to being waved by. He was a volunteer fireman; probably a good indication of his character.

          Is it possible I’ve misjudged Dave? I don’t think so. The quote above is PURE Clover.

          I’m not justifying tailgating BTW; but I understand the circumstances created by Clovers that makes it tempting to do.

        • rEVOLutionary
          October 12, 2012 at 6:28 pm

          Sorry, I take it back now that I have read some of Dave’s other comments. He obviously was hallucinating. Maybe he was smoking clover?

      • liberranter
        October 13, 2012 at 11:40 pm

        That’s TWO “road rage” stories Dave has related here. Either he’s a lying sack of shit or he’s one of the most belligerent drivers on the road, a danger to others who needs to have both his license and car taken away from him.

        I think the truth is somewhere in between these two assumptions.

      • Jim
        October 19, 2012 at 6:05 pm

        Dave said HE PULLED OVER AND WAVED HIM AROUND. Clovers DON’T pull over. Can’t you READ before you empty your magazine in to the guy?

        This young man is dead because he drove like an asshole.

        • methylamine
          October 19, 2012 at 6:40 pm

          Can’t you READ before you start shouting at me in ALL-CAPS?

          Read my reply to another who thought I was jumping the gun:
          methylamine on October 12, 2012 at 6:09 pm

          And don’t shout at me. This is a civilized forum.

    • October 12, 2012 at 10:11 am

      Dave,

      “People aren’t nearly as good drivers as they think.”

      Ah, but which drivers?

      Some drivers are without question much better drivers than others. Should they be held down to the standard of the least able? Why? Wouldn’t that be like insisting bright schoolkids “wait up” for the dull-witted ones? Oh. I forgot. The system does that, too.

      On the situation you described: If you pulled off and waved him by, then you did the right thing. I won’t defend the actions of the truck driver, if the facts are as stated.

    • Ed
      October 12, 2012 at 10:58 am

      “In case you think I’m lying”

      Of course you’re lying. Reading your account of the traffic confrontation makes it obvious that you’ve fantasized the whole thing. How does someone ram his pickup in reverse and come after you in the right lane if you’re both going the same direction?

      You’re so full of shit.

      • BrentP
        October 12, 2012 at 2:37 pm

        When I was bicycling I had a guy pass me and stop and then back into me. Some people just flip out. A couple other experiences I’ve had are close enough to believe someone would flip out like that.

      • Scott
        October 13, 2012 at 5:21 pm

        Ed, you probably won’t believe this story either.

        I was coming home after a friends bachelor party one Saturday morning in May a couple of decades ago. After stopping at the supermarket to pick up some supplies I headed up the road to my house, only to find there was a bicycle race in progress. I happened to fall behind a Volvo wagon with a whole bunch of antennas sticking out of it; it was one of the radio chase vehicles for the race. The driver obviously didn’t know where he was going and was driving very slow (even for a late 70’s Volvo wagon). I was in no hurry so I dropped back to a normal following distance.

        After a couple of miles the fellow in front pulls over (no signal) into a turnout. I thought “Cool! he’s going to let me by!”. We were on a one and half lane road about a mile from my house. Just as I pulled abreast of the wagon, it snaps back out into the road, blocking both me and any oncoming traffic (he’s using the whole road). As it works out, the fellow hadn’t even noticed me behind him and had decided to use the turnout to make a three point turn in the middle of the road.

        Thinking quickly (and therefore poorly) I decided to try an escape left maneuver rather than T-bone the Volvo. Perhaps I haven’t mentioned it yet but we were on an old logging road running through steep mountain terrain. I managed to bring my ’86 Chevy S-10 Blazer to a stop on top of the berm that graced the opposing (left) lane. I thanked my stars, then the berm collapsed under my tires, sending me down a 35% slope into a ravine peppered with California Tan Oaks and huge first growth Sequoia Sempervirens Redwoods. At that moment, when the berm broke, I figured I was toast.

        My smoovee negotiated its way down slope about 50 feet until I struck one of those old-growth monsters with the driver’s side of the car. It immediately turned me upside down and I found myself sliding into the canyon on the lumber rack I’d installed only two years before. I thought to myself (as frozen pizzas and bottles of Ragu spaghetti sauce whirled around my head) that if I EVER got my feet under me again I’d put an end to this madness. Since I’m typing this story I’m sure you can figure out how it resolved.

        After sliding upside down for several hundred yards, with the roof rack acting as a cow catcher busting brush and boulders away from the windshield as I descended, I came upon another Redwood, who took pity on me and flipped me back over onto my wheels. Now I was still falling down a canyon wall, but at least I was oriented, upright and the pizzas had found a home in the back seat.

        I noticed a large downed log in front of me and decided that if I could hi-center the truck I might escape with my skin, so I aimed for it. Needless to say it worked. Once I’d come to a complete stop I set the parking brake, put the transmission in park and turned off the ignition.

        I got out of the car under my own power, looked about 2500′ up the ravine wall and yelled “Is anyone up there!?”

        It turned out the kid driving the Volvo had seen me go over the side and yelled back that he’d called the Highway Patrol and they were on the way. I hiked back up to the road and waited about half an hour for the CHP to show up. When she got there she found me standing on the side of the road and I explained my truck had gone over the side. Not really comprehending what had happened, she leaned over and looked down the canyon, then after a few seconds she said “My God! How did you find it?”

        I explained that I’d been driving it. To this day I’m not sure she believed me.

        • methylamine
          October 13, 2012 at 5:40 pm

          Great story Scott!

          I’m mildly surprised the Annointed One didn’t issue you a ticket…perhaps for destruction of forest? Luckily you didn’t break your sump…the oil spill would have been a Federal Wetlands offense.

          • Scott
            October 13, 2012 at 6:06 pm

            You know, it’s funny Methyl. She probably would have, but at the time the property was privately owned by a lumber company. Since then, the company has donated the land for tax purposes and now it’s part of the park.

          • liberranter
            October 13, 2012 at 11:45 pm

            Today, that’s exactly what she’d do – and would probably have added some verbal and/or physical abuse just for good measure. Back then, cops still possessed a modicum of common sense and were at least slightly predisposed toward mercy and compassion.

  22. Nathan
    October 12, 2012 at 5:56 am

    When I’m driving in unfamiliar territory on mountain roads I tend to be a slower driver, as I have the awareness that the car I drive does not have the best suspension and handling characteristics and I don’t want to be a splat on the side of the road. But, I always make sure I use the turnouts if I see anyone in my mirrors. One of my pet-peeves though are the people that accelerate when I try to pass based on my judgement of the situation being safe based on the speed the driver has been maintaining for miles. If I have a driver that wants to pass me I let them, I don’t want a frustrated driver on my tail, it’s not an enjoyable drive for either of us if I’m slowing someone down.

    • October 12, 2012 at 9:57 am

      Me too, Nathan – especially when I’m on a bike (suddenly encountering gravel when on two wheels can quickly ruin your day).

      And like you, I use the turn outs (or just wave the vehicles behind me by) if I am holding anyone up.

      It’s such a simple code: Be cool to your fellow motorist!

    • Scott
      October 13, 2012 at 3:52 pm

      Hey Nathan,

      I wish there were other folks who thought about driving mountain roads as much as you have. I live on one that I’ve enjoyed driving for over 30 years now and since it’s the only route to a state park it gets a fair amount of tourist traffic. Most tourists aren’t familiar with the road and are understandably cautious. Some just don’t have cars that can safely drive the speed limit and others don’t have enough experience with the road, either way it’s no shame on the driver.

      Unfortunately quite a few seem to think it isn’t manly to use turnouts. Then there are those who think it’s OK to sit six inches off your rear bumper until you come to the next one. Both are problems as far as I’m concerned.

      A good driver uses turnouts on mountain roads no matter how long he’s been driving it, and he doesn’t tailgate no matter how slow the guy in front is moving. I’ll close with a slow driver right before I pass, otherwise I leave the usual 1 car length for every 10 mph. I’ve never had somebody pull over because I was tailgating, it just pisses people off and it’s dangerous driving behind someone who’s pissed off.

      My road doesn’t have any passing zones, which doesn’t mean I don’t pass since there are a few spots where it’s safe if you have the right car. Mostly it isn’t though and unless I’m driving something that can do 25 to 90 in 2 seconds (and 90 to 60 in 1) I don’t try it.

  23. David
    October 12, 2012 at 6:57 am

    You might enjoy Nairobi, Kenya. There are no traffic rules here. No yield signs, no stop signs, no stop lights, no cross walks, no painted lines, no speed limit signs. When drivers need to enter traffic, drivers just plunge in irregardless of their safety or the safety of others. When drivers need to create a new lane, they make one using the shoulder or the oncoming lane and those oncoming drivers in turn are forced to a stop or onto the shoulder. It’s complete chaos.

    • October 12, 2012 at 9:55 am

      David,

      Advocating for competent driving is not the same thing as endorsing recklessness – a distinction Clovers apparently cannot appreciate.

    • Tor Munkov
      October 13, 2012 at 12:19 pm

      Who woulda thunk the Africans would be the ones living like dignified men, while we slink about cowering beneath a seat belt, scared of massa seeing us cross his double yellow line he painted on his highway plantation.

      Please Lord, keep massa safe, I’s a scared to drive on off road tires without all his roads, rules, and highway bosses watching me deliver his cotton from point A to point B.

      Whoa Lordy, pay a bale o taxes. Whoa Lordy, pay a bale a day.

      Good on you, Ndugu, I salute your becoming truly free of the colonial British mentality.

      • October 13, 2012 at 12:56 pm

        Tor, you’ve done it again (made my morning!)

  24. Tor Munkov
    October 12, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Automobiles and roads are inventions, they increase our wealth. Public roads built with stolen money and then decreed to be bisected with double yellow lines, these are malinvestments. They impede our use of our property and make us poorer.
    Karl Benz requested a driving license form the grand duke in 1888. The inventor of the motorwagen received constant complaints about the noise and smell of his vehicles. Prussia was the first to require a license of all drivers in 1903.
    Boston became the first place to require license plates in 1908.
    Detroit malinvented the first painted centerline in 1911.
    Detroit police officer William Potts was the malinventor of the first traffic light in 1918.
    The first no passing zone with yellow center lines was miscreated in 1927.
    For each hero who invents a new tool or machine, there seem to be millions of antiheroes who want to negate the effect of the creative genius with their idiotic mandates and restrictions.

    • MoT
      October 12, 2012 at 11:43 am

      Tor, I’ve said for years that life isn’t complicated. It’s people who complicate it.

      • Tor Munkov
        October 12, 2012 at 1:06 pm

        I wonder how much of our economy involves paying someone to uncomplicate something that didn’t benefit on the whole from being complicated in the first place?
        If we buy a gallon of milk, 1% involves the cow and the container that is essential to us getting the commmodity.
        99% is superfluous:name brand, label, barcode, inspection, compliance officer, compliance sticker, production date stamp, type of plastic the jug is embossment, display case, shelf, lighting, refridgeration, tax spec in regesiter, sales tax software, credit , zoning commission, store builder, clerk,uniform co, payroll, liability ins, managers, hr, security cams, security, ad agency, price tag supplier, materials company for store walls and floor, vendor route salesman, vendor truck driver…

        • dom
          October 12, 2012 at 1:19 pm

          Tor, your thoroughness is impeccable! I’m sure you missed some hidden fee in there somewhere though, just can’t think of it.

        • October 12, 2012 at 2:41 pm

          Amen!
          Here’s a similar “case in point” –

          We raise chickens, so I have some perspective on the cost of eggs (and chicken). The chickens themselves cost virtually nothing. They self-replicate (four new chicks born just this week). Ours have the run of our land (16 acres) so their food is to a great extent free. We do buy scratch corn – it’s about $25 for a 100 lb. sack. This lasts about six weeks in summer, four in winter. That is the main expense associated with our production of eggs (and chicken).

          We average a dozen-plus fresh eggs per day. So, about 28 dozen monthly.

          High-quality store-bought eggs go for about $2.50 a dozen (last time I checked). So, about $70/month.

          Factoring in the feed, ours cost us about a third of that. Because we have no “compliance costs.” Just go out to the shed and check the nest boxes.

          Mind, this is for fresh, honestly free range eggs – vastly superior (nutritionally and taste-wise) to anything you can buy at the supermarket.

          Imagine if all our food could be produced without the “help” of government….

          • methylamine
            October 12, 2012 at 3:44 pm

            It’s one thing to look forward to in a collapse, actually.

            When the State has no money (or worthless money) with which to bribe its minions, production will *explode*–and prices will drop to where they should be, ante-government.

          • Douglas
            October 12, 2012 at 6:08 pm

            During WWII, the so-called “War Production Board”, encouraged folks to raise produce, livestock, eggs, and similar not only so commercial sources could be more readily had for the military, but it’d also cut down significantly on civilian consumption of fuel and, most important, tires. Besides, it was good exercise and gave a sense of participation in the war effort. All well and good. However, insult was done to injury when WPB officials asked citizens to relinquish their “points” if they fed their families from home production, AND, “surveyed” home production for purposes of taxation-in-kind. Geez, our beloved Uncle Sam was taking a cue from the “Nat-zis” that the folks at home were sacrificing so our boys could fight (or at least help the fictional Lt Aldo Raine and his “Basterds” collect their “Nat-zi” scalps). There is no good deed or productivity that Uncle Sam can’t punish.
            Needless to say the fascistic steps of the WPB were fervently resisted by “patriotic” Americans and were quietly abandoned.

  25. Dan R
    October 12, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Good article. Like my father taught me, I’ve taught my son to disregard passing lines and to assess the situation (visibility, road conditions, speed/time needed to make the move, etc.). I remember my driver ed instructor telling us to only pass in legally marked areas and to never actually pass using a higher rate of speed than what is posted. Even at 16, I thought I’d die laughing when I heard that. Where I live, though, we don’t have a local pd, only state and county leo’s, which you only see once in a dog’s age. The nearest traffic light is 55 miles away.

  26. October 12, 2012 at 11:02 am

    This is very interesting and useful information. I’ve suspected lately that no-passing zones were multiplying and were being used in areas where they were’t justified. I feel better now about ignoring them. If, that is, I ever was to do such a thing.

    • October 12, 2012 at 11:56 am

      All stupid (and evil) laws should be ignored whenever feasible!

  27. lee
    October 12, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Route 2 runs the width of Massachusetts(about 140 miles). There’s only one section, about five miles long, where you can routinely exceed the speed limit because of light traffic. You can do seventy, even eighty, with barely a vehicle in sight (mile 79 to 84). If you happen upon a Clover, you can easily scoot around him/her.

    That’s where the Staties plant their ambush to pounce on speeders. It’s a revenue raising measure, nothing to do with traffic safety. Everyone knows it. Does the public protest? Do acorns grow on maple trees?

    The logic of the double yellow line, where none is needed, is simple. It’s the largely successful effort to literally keep us in line.

  28. Monty
    October 12, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Why is a little bit of courtesy so difficult for the clovers? They are the self appointed hall monitors of the road. Recently a flat mile long passing zone was turned into a double yellow on my daily commute. Cloverism is rampant here. There are only two other passing zones in much more dangerous locations that I rarely use because it isn’t safe. Why they weren’t painted over I have no idea. Somebody probably complained. I pass where it’s safe to pass lines be damned, and I use the whole road when I can. I have been amazed to watch people struggle to keep up with me while mindlessly staying in the lines…pushing their car to dangerous limits, while I am simply gliding along smoothly using the whole road. The whole obey the rules at all costs passive aggressive thing is truly bizarre!

    Dealing with tailgating clovers is easy. They are totally unaware of their vehicle, speed, skill, or anything else. Simply giving my Impreza a little workout on a nice sharp turn will wake them up and back them off. It helps if you downshift and don’t hit the brakes. The aggressive types, I just pull off and let them by. What really makes me mad is when I do this and then they proceed at a pace slower than I was going to start with. It’s easy when somebody else is doing the driving. A lot of people tailgate out of brain dead follower mentality. I actually had one girl slow down to a stop on the interstate behind me once, rather than pass! I was just trying to get them to go away and give me some space. It turned into a science experiment. Sheeesh!

    Very often I find myself hanging back slightly below the speed limit on the interstate to stay out of the impenetrable gaggles of texting, cell-phoning, look-talking, competing, mindless, road-raging, commuting mini-van inhabiting clovers. I hate driving on the interstate in the US anymore.

    I do love driving on the Autobahn!

    • dom
      October 12, 2012 at 1:04 pm

      “Why is a little bit of courtesy so difficult for the clovers?”

      Answer: Mental Retardation

      “I pass where it’s safe to pass lines be damned, and I use the whole road when I can.”

      Amen to that!

      • Monty
        October 12, 2012 at 1:21 pm

        RE driving in the US vs other countries:

        In other countries the main rule is: Don’t have a wreck; everything else is a “suggestion”.

        In the US: follow the rules! even if it makes you have a wreck.

  29. DIYer
    October 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I love reading the comments on this website. This is a completely unscientific observation, but is seems to me many driving problems could be eliminated by taking away the driver’s licenses of fellows like “Dave”. Shoot, we could even all vote on who gets to drive just so Clovers get a taste of their own medicine, inflicting a “majority” on them.

  30. Dave
    October 12, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    I have a question, Eric. When you are being passed, is it a good idea to take your foot off the gas?

    I typically do that to make it easier for the passing vehicle to get by me, the quicker the better is how I see it.

    And if I see oncoming traffic, or some other issue, or if there’s no one behind me and the road is winding or otherwise less than ideal for passing, I’ll sometimes brake.

    I can see that it could be argued that maintaining a constant speed lets the passing driver make the decision to get back behind you if he wishes to abort the pass.

    But as you point out cars often pass so slowly now, perhaps it’s not imprudent to give them an assist when you can safely do that?

    • October 12, 2012 at 8:10 pm

      I do –

      I’ll brake, actually, to help assist the overtaking car.

    • BrentP
      October 12, 2012 at 9:55 pm

      I hold a constant speed or let off. But I am then merciless if they cannot maintain my desired speed or my acceleration rates. That also goes for when I am bicycling too. If someone passes me, fine and dandy, just don’t delay me.

      Yes, people pass me when I am on a bicycle and then go slow. Sometimes they react violently. One route I ride involves a turn followed by a curve. Before the turn it is a 25mph PSL residential road. Standard subdivision road. Then a right hand turn on to a wide 35mph PSL road with residences and a large park.

      I am usually doing over 20mph on the first part. Often 25-26mph. They will pass me, there, often brush passing me, then brake down to like 5mph to make the turn. Then accelerate poorly. I lose very little speed in the turn so I am still doing ~20mph.

      In the curve on the 35mph road I am often braking to avoid rear ending these @$$holes. I’ll yell “GO!” or use the airhorn on my bicycle most times because most times they pass me rudely and I am not about to go back in front of them. Some times I’ll just move left to pass them (if they passed me nicely). Then they get angry. Everything from brake checks to hard acceleration to weaving to block me. Using their vehicle as weapon to threaten me. All they have to do is get up to the speed they originally passed me at. That’s all. No. They have to block my progress.

      They passed me, but would not maintain speed and I am on a bicycle. Curves and turns are where the clovers really come out when I am bicycling. They -MUST- pass me, but they can’t turn without slowing to well below my turning speed. Aggravating. Happens to a lesser degree when I am driving.

  31. cfh
    October 12, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Eric,

    I am convinced that restrictions such as this extension of the double-yellow in rural areas and elimination of through auto lanes in favor of carpool lanes or bicycle lanes in urban areas are part of a deliberate campaign to stamp out any independence in driving — in other works, to covert all of us to unwilling “Clovers”, proceeding passively in a single lane all traveling at the speed of the slowest driver.

    The answer to any road issue — construction, a bit of rain or other adverse weather, etc. — is invariably “Slow Down”. Which fills the roads ever fuller as it takes longer to get anywhere, so the cycle of delays gets ever worse.

    • October 13, 2012 at 12:04 am

      “Slow Down” really is their answer for every driving issue.

      And isn’t it the case that one motorist “passing” another motorist is impolitic when it comes to liberal values? It just isn’t FAIR that drivers and vehicles are not all going the exact same speed. The better drivers in superior vehicles get no benefit; they can just creep along with the rest of the zombie creeps.

    • dom
      October 13, 2012 at 12:36 am

      Ya’ll should be more optimistic!

      I can think of three positives:

      1. Option for cops to pull us over more often.
      2. More revenue generated from the tickets.
      3. Something more to keep up simpletons distracted by one another.

      Note: I didn’t say it was positive for “We.”

      This was posted on clovercam.com by me.

      This nice lady goes to pass the clover that created a patch. Watch what happens to her… After the cop pulls her over I stop to tell him how I feel about this fucking ridiculousness. She was happy I did. Wonder if she still got the ticket? Sorry about messing up the camera angle at the most important part! I’m still pissed I messed up the angle.

  32. libertyx
    October 12, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Voting Republican or Democrat is voting for double yellows and Clover. Make mine Gary Johnson, presidential candidate – Libertarian.

  33. Chris T.
    October 12, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    and these two annoyances, related:

    you’re in the left lane (or middle) because the traffic further over right is moving at a slower average speed, with not enough gaps in between vehicles [you know US drivers, never leave the proper safety gap, it's always tailgating for the speed involved] for in-and-out passing.

    Someone comes up on you wanting to pass.
    Which you WANT to accomodate, without having to speed up, or slow down, so you wait for a gap big enough to make way.
    THEN, they pass you at that +1/+2 mph, jamming you into the guy ahead if you don’t brake.
    At least have the curtesy to get by me quick, so I can move in behind you without changing my speed.
    ARGH.

    What about the guy behind you, who is really only going your speed, but notices you are leaving a long, meaning speed-appropriate, front-gap.
    Sure enough they will pass you (mostly on the right of course, because the right-most lane is even more full of slow clovers, you can’t be there), then get back to their normal speed, but you’ve just lost the proper gap-distance.
    ALl of course, so he can arrive one car lenght closer at the red light up ahead.

  34. Chris T.
    October 12, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    one more to vent:

    for months now, a HUGE stretch of the NJ Turnpike (the I-95 portion one of the busiest highways in the US) has been a “construction zone”.
    Some restrictions are fair enough, I accept the need to protect the workers and so on.

    But, at 3AM: no work, no workers, no traffic?
    Because fines are doubled, all solid yellow, and the limits so exruciating to even think about “obeyeing” the 55/45mph, sometimes35mph, it’s a tree ripe for the picking and the cops love it.
    a total joke.
    Especially, when there isn’t even any visible signs of work that COULD be done for miles, the only thing being the NJ-concrete barriers moved into the shoulder, yet it’s “construction” zone.

    Overall from about Ex 7 to Ex 9 this must be more than 15 miles of this crap

    • MoT
      October 12, 2012 at 11:09 pm

      I absolutely HATE anything that says “construction zone” or “double fines” because you never know when this so-called zone is actually in effect. You have to assume that it’s continuously so, until removed, otherwise they’ll nab you. It’s deliberately vague. So, painful as it may be, I travel at the speed limit through these minefields.

      • October 13, 2012 at 10:19 am

        Amen.

        Another trend I’ve noticed in re that is the way the “construction” zone will either start miles (literally, miles) away from any construction… or, they’ll leave the cones up (blocking one lane, for instance) for no apparent reason at all, and also for miles…

        • Scott
          October 13, 2012 at 6:31 pm

          I spend a lot of time on I-80 between Cheyenne and Reno. Every year I’ll find 20 or so miles of the highway coned off and double fined for a 1 mile project. Usually 3 or 4 of them over 1000 or so miles of road.

          I don’t think it’s a mistake.

      • liberranter
        October 14, 2012 at 12:03 am

        That really boils my blood too. I-10 through Tucson has been that way for the last several months. It’s bad enough that they shut down a five-mile section of it for nearly THREE YEARS to widen it, forcing traffic in both directions onto frontage road stretches not designed for heavy traffic flows. Now, in almost the exact same section of highway, not even two years after the reopening, they’re “working on it” AGAIN. Worse still, they’ve closed off, for the next WHOLE YEAR, an entire exit for some bizarre “road modification” scheme, forcing any traffic needing access to the road behind the closed-off exit to make a five-mile detour on frontage and back roads.

        And of course the speed limit not only in the affected section of highway, but for five miles on either end of it, in both directions, is reduced from 65 to 55 to 45, 24/7, even at night when no construction is taking place and when there are no construction vehicles and equipment obstructing the road. Needless to say, Officer Oinky of the Arizona HP and his porcine pals are all over that stretch of highway like flies on dog shit. It’s all about control, control, CONTROL – and, of course, revenue.

        You’d think that the community would have said “enough of this bullshit!” a long time ago, but of course that’s a pipe dream in any community populated in the majority by brainless Clovers.

        • Douglas
          October 19, 2012 at 4:15 pm

          About 20 years ago when there was initially a proposal to increase traffic fines in construction zones, ostensibly as a highway worker safety measure, I predicted that this would devolve into a ploy to erect a portable speed trap; and, eventually the entirety of the state’s (CA) would be designated a “construction zone”. The former is already SOP, the latter is under proposal in the Assembly.
          I recently DID beat a citation for speeding in a “school zone”…Sunday at 3 AM! The DA rep (likely a law clerk) threatened me with 30 days in County and a $2500 fine (over seven grand with penalty assessment). I showed her the time of day on the citation. She became red-faced, excused herself, and in fifteen minutes the Judge dismissed I.

    • Mike in Spotsy
      October 12, 2012 at 11:24 pm

      That’s one more reason that I avoid I-95 while transporting my daughters to and from Boston. I go quite a bit of the way, picking up I-81 between Front Royal and Winchester, then I-84 in Scranton to the Mass Pike. It’s about 100 miles longer, but avoids DC, Baltimore, the Jersey Turnpike, the GW Bridge, etc. And a ton of tolls, construction, and traffic jams. Well worth it, IMO.

      Question about construction sites in PA: the signs say that you’re required to use your headlights in work zones. Do DRLs satisfy that requirement?

      • liberranter
        October 14, 2012 at 12:08 am

        I can only imagine what the tolls are now on I-95 between Baltimore (the theft beginning at the Fort McHenry or Harbor Tunnels, take your pick of robber) and New York (with the Delaware and Jersey Turnpikes/I-95 and the George Washington Bridge in between). The last time I drove that stretch of Amerika about five years ago, the tolls, for a one-way trip between Baltimore and New York were almost $20.00. Fucking ridiculous, especially given the road conditions in Jersey and, worse still, that travesty called the Cross-Bronx Expressway on the other side of the GW Bridge. Absolutely inexcusable!

      • mithrandir
        October 14, 2012 at 1:48 am

        The detour to I-81 is worth the extra distance. I traveled with a friend to deliver his son (from NJ) to grandparents in Winston-Salem area. Going down we took I-81. On return trip I suggested trying I-85 and I-95 instead of I-81.

        Journey was okay except for the 70 miles of slow moving (often bumper to bumper) traffic between Richmond & DC. Only cause of traffic I could see was volume or left lane clovers.

        Next time I might try US-29, but I will never take I-95 between 06:00 and 21:00.

        • Mike in Spotsy
          October 14, 2012 at 2:03 am

          Hi Mithrandir. Not to go all Clinton on you, but I feel your pain. I live a few miles off I-95 near Fredericksburg, VA — right between Richmond and DC. I-95 is a hellhole. And it often doesn’t get much better as you go north of DC.

          Not sure I’d recommend US 29. Really nasty getting through DC, and plenty of traffic lights along the way in other areas. My personal choice would be I-81 unless, as you suggest, you want to do an overnight drive on I-95.

          • mithrandir
            October 14, 2012 at 2:27 am

            It was just a thought. Looking on a road map, it appears that US-29 is a four lane (2 in each direction) road similar to US-15 in Frederick,MD area.

            According to my map, I would take US-29 south from I-66 just west of DC to the NC border.

            I never used US-29 in VA so I do not have first hand experience with the road or traffic on the road.

            Many roads would be better than the slow pace I experience on I-95 between Richmond and DC.

          • October 14, 2012 at 9:40 am

            Watch out for 29 near Gainsville/I-66!

            Unless things have changed for the better somehow, that stretch (during anytime near either “rush hour”) is jammed up with cars and traffic and a total fiasco.

            Spoken as an ex-native and former refugee from that pit of despair!

          • Mike in Spotsy
            October 14, 2012 at 3:37 am

            If you are picking up 29 from I-66, it would be preferable to I-95. You will experience some slowdowns, especially around Charlottesville, but not horrible. But then, I’m talking from scant personal experience with that stretch of 29; didn’t like what I saw the one time I used it, but that might not have been representative. It might well be worth a try. For me, I would take I-81 to Staunton and then I-64 to Charlottesville and hit US 29 South there.

          • October 14, 2012 at 9:36 am

            The DC area is truly Dante’s Inferno – only worse. I lived there for many brutal years… .
            Now, we “visit” twice a year – in the dark hours of the very early morning – to see our dentist (he’s good, worth the trip). Coming on I-66 from I-81 at around 5 in the morning, the traffic is already very heavy – and you’re still about 60 miles from the Heart of Darkness itself. A little farther up, you hit the 29 interchange and now traffic is beginning to congeal. Even with the recent addition of a new lane, the I-66 becomes a shuffling in slow-mo parking lot by the RT. 50 exit – and your slog is just now beginning in earnest. We turn off at Rt. 123, the next exit up. And gaze with pity at the sea of cars inching forward to their cubes in the city, or Tysons…

            Hieronymus Bosch could paint a wonderful picture…

          • mithrandir
            October 14, 2012 at 11:41 am

            Eric,

            I will keep it in mind if I ever do use US-29. Odds are it will be infrequent if at all since except for my friend’s parents I do not know anyone in the W/S, NC area.

            Anything further west, then I would definitely take I-81. Further east I will avoid DC-Richmond corridor during the day hours.

          • Downrange
            October 14, 2012 at 1:35 pm

            Boy, can I relate. LIved there for a few years, and been up and down the valleys to work in/around the Dark Continent for decades. From my (and Eric’s) neck of the woods there’s really not good route during main driving hours.
            Recently drove on a Sunday afternoon to Dulles for a flight – I-81 had one of its frequent cardiac arrests (almost certainly a clover-caused accident), so I took routing through Lynchburg and up 29, as that used to be nearly a wash (maybe plus 30 minutes). Boy, was I surprised! They’ve turned the area between Warrenton and I-66 into another traffic hell hole, it seems. And, forget about Charlottesville – I think that place is the Clover capital of Virginia, honestly.
            Believe it or not, between the damned 35 ton trucks on 81 (often piloted by questionably human bipeds) and all cops and clover, I often just take Amtrak from Lynchburg to DC, going up in the morning early and back on Crescent around 6PM or so. It’s usually fairly civilized, in terms of the overall experience, and one can pursue other activities besides desperately trying to keep body and soul together while dealing with constant threats to one’s very existence. It’s cheaper too, often, with fuel prices.
            If I’m going as far as points north, such as the (rotten) big Apple, it’s a shoo-in – much better and more comfortable, and not even really longer than the drive.
            Of course if you can travel during the “graveyard shift,” the highways are fine. I used to drive from SWVA to Boston both ways on a regular basis by departing around 6PM. It was fun to tear through mid-town Manhattan at 230 am on a Sunday morning.
            But, I fear the days of being able to travel freely on hour highways are actually numbered. With the economic collapse being engineered, and the draconian measures that are being installed to track and record everything that happens, free movement will be a sadly treasured distant memory for those of us living in these, the end times of Western civilization.

        • Patrick H
          October 14, 2012 at 3:11 am

          I have to agree. At night I-95 is a dream. I drove through there at 2am before and it was great.

          • Mike in Spotsy
            October 14, 2012 at 3:49 am

            I hear you, Patrick. I take I-95 frequently from exit 130 (Fredericksburg) to exit 143 (Garrisonville Road), because that’s the route between my house and my fiancee’s house. And she takes I-95 to and from work 5 days a week. There are times when it’s really not bad, but other times when it’s horrible. 2 am is a very good time.

  35. Patriotted001
    October 13, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    A year ago, I was stuck behind some clown who was doing sub-legal speed on a long, two-lane highway. There was only one short stretch with a passing area, and as soon as we got there, the clown speeded up (which I find to be typical). Undeterred, I passed him at a speed which exceeded the speed limit–to ensure that I would pass him safely. As luck would have it, as I did so, I saw that a cop was sitting on the road side with his radar gun. Looking in my rear view mirror, I noticed his brake lights light up–meaning, he was shifting from Park to Drive to begin pursuit. At that minute, I had to make a decision: allow him to ticket me for “speeding” while passing; or make a break for it. Knowing that there was an upcoming road a mile or so ahead, I lit out for it post haste. I made the turn and headed up the street, turned around and waited on the side of the road. A few seconds later, said cop sped by on the original road, lights flashing. His pursuit of a ghost was, obviously, unsuccessful. To the author’s point, this would have been a case of ticketing me because I was executing a MORE safe passing maneuver. In addition, I find it distasteful that a cop would set up a radar trap on the only stretch of a road where people can pass; it’s almost entrapment.

    • October 13, 2012 at 12:56 pm

      Hi Patriot,

      You did the right thing. I’ve done the same.

      You had an opportunity to escape being fleeced for a non-crime – and took it. I commend you.

      The screwed-up thing is that we’ve been put in this position.

      It’s crazy – until you re-examine your assumptions. Once you understand that the object is not “safety” – but rather, to systematize theft and also to “incentivize” being a good little sheeple, submitting and obeying – then the picture becomes clear.

    • dom
      October 13, 2012 at 1:04 pm

      That is the true litmus test for determining a clover, if they speed up at passing areas. I have documented videos of this exact event happening over and over, minus the cop chasing me part.

      • October 13, 2012 at 5:48 pm

        It just happened to me!

        Took a break from digging my trench (for electrical conduit) to get the wire that’s going in the conduit. Coming home, I get stuck behind a Clover in a mooooo van (minivan). The speed limit is 55 on this road; Clover is wandering along between high 30s, mids 40s. I pass the Clover first chance I get – over the double yellow, but plenty of sight lines and time to get ‘er done. Clover speeds up to 70. No shit. I manage to get around him/her (didn’t look) but now the SOB is trying to catch me! I had to step it up to much faster than 55 – and much faster than Clover was going, pre-pass – to lose the little prick.

        This lasted for several miles, incidentally. Clovers are little Stalins, every one.

        Now back to the trench!

      • Tre Deuce
        October 14, 2012 at 8:12 pm

        That’s not a Clover ‘dom’, that is an asshole.

        • dom
          October 15, 2012 at 3:01 am

          Dunno Mang! I’d label him as an “asshole clover” but clover nonetheless.

          • Monty
            October 15, 2012 at 2:13 pm

            Clover-hole?

    • Scott
      October 13, 2012 at 6:20 pm

      I had a similar experience awhile (long) ago. I was following a driver doing the speed limit on one of my favorite roads and I was driving a 928. I wasn’t tailgating but the fellow in the lead pulled into a turnout that was also occupied by a hidden highway patrol car. The turnout was on a straightaway so I swung wide as he pulled over and my left side tires apparently crossed the double yellow.

      I had a passenger (and we were just driving home from work) so an escape, which would have meant evading for another four miles until we hit a junction, was pretty much out of the question.

      I ended up with a $300 ticket for passing illegally. This cop was at least 20 years younger than me and a complete ass.

      • liberranter
        October 14, 2012 at 12:15 am

        This cop was at least 20 years younger than me and a complete ass.

        The next shave-headed little Millenial fucktard with a badge whom I encounter in any legally adversarial situation is going to face me in court. I don’t give a rat’s ass if I win or lose, but I’m going to let the little dickhead know, in front of judge, jury, God, and everyone, that he is indeed nothing other than an ignorant, worthless little Millenial fucktard who had better show some respect to his elders!

    • MoT
      October 14, 2012 at 11:33 pm

      Almost entrapment? Damn sure is! And who is to say they don’t have people cruise up and down the road doing the very thing you’re talking about to force people into that situation? Your word against theirs. Funny how they knew exactly where to be. Right?

  36. Kevin Beck
    October 14, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Even in the rural area where I live, I’m seeing more areas that used to have (limited) passing zones being double-barred lately. At the same time, the “speed limit” is being reduced. However, there is one unusual bit of related good news: Most of the area’s badged posse ignores them just as much as the competent drivers do.

  37. Tre Deuce
    October 14, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Passing windows are quite frequent in rural Oregon, and some of them are especially short windows. Barely time to enter and immediately exit the oncoming lane.

    Personally, I don’t appreciate someone clipping a corner into my lane or blind passing, or passing with limited space, forcing me to the shoulder. I get kind of pissed about that.

  38. Heymachine
    October 15, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Hey Eric, you ever drive the Hana hwy on Maui? It’s one heck of a drive!I do recommend.

    • October 15, 2012 at 9:56 am

      Hawaii looks like a beautiful place – and we have friends who live on one of the islands – but I doubt I’ll ever go because I absolutely will not fly again until we can do so without having to undergo submission training at the hands of the TSA.

      • liberranter
        October 15, 2012 at 11:44 pm

        Beautiful a place as it is to visit, Hawaii is also one of the most oppressive Nanny states in the union. The Clover control freaks have completely taken over the islands – all, of course, in the name of “preservation of the native culture,” etc.

        Oh, and the place is expensive as hell too.

      • Scott
        October 18, 2012 at 2:46 am

        Been there, done that. Everyone told me I had to drive the Hana Highway. It’s nice. If you don’t see it before you die you won’t miss much.

        “Shoulda been here last week!” sums up the Hana Highway experience.

        • BrentP
          October 18, 2012 at 3:01 am

          I’ve been on it. Narrow 1930s road. Conflict between locals and tourist clovers. Biking it would be fun if the tourist clovers weren’t allowed on it for a day.

          I got some insider scoop on the condition of the bridges when I was there. Now it’s been some years but then they were crap. Maybe they’ve been fixed by now, I’d have to ask. Essentially there was no way to get heavy equipment to Hana legally. The pier had decayed so it couldn’t go by boat and the bridges decayed so it couldn’t go by road (legally).

  39. michael.white
    October 17, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    “Clover Conga” has not been added to my lexicon. I was stuck in one this morning – a good dozen of us behind some clover doing 45 in a 55 where 65 is typical, who then slowed to 35 for a rural school zone that wasn’t active (no flashing lights), who then waited for the light to change before turning right.

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