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Thread: ave you noticed more Slow Mo Drivers?

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    The Land of The Edentulites

    ave you noticed more Slow Mo Drivers?

    Maybe it's just where I live, but it seems that just about every time I head out, I encounter a Slow Mo.

    You know, someone doing exactly the speed limit (which is almost always under-posted below the normal flow of traffic) or even slower.

    Sometimes - often - as much as 10 mph under the posted limit.

    I don't tailgate, but I do pass on double yellow as soon as I judge I've got room to do the deed.

    Naturally, this is very illegal. If a cop sees me do it, I will get a fat ticket, probably for "reckless driving" - even though a properly executed fast pass on a clear straight stretch of road with adequate sight lines is arguably only "reckless" in the dumbed-down, idiot argot of modern American traffic law.

    What's far more reckless, arguably, is the slow-mo driver, who creates a rolling roadblock sometimes a dozen cars or more long. Cars bunch up, some invariably tailgate; everyone's unhappy.

    The Big Question is: Why should everyone else have to defer to these people? How come they rarely, if ever get pulled over - let alone issued a ticket - for obstructing traffic? (There are laws on the books.)

    In other countries, they have a great solution. Instead of double-yellow almost everywhere (on the assumption that ever driver is an idiot incapable of judging when it's safe to pass) the rule is, "pass when able." Whenever. It is up to you to determine whether there's enough time and adequate visibility ahead.

    Unsafe? Apparently not - since the accident/fatality rate in countries where this system exists (Germany, etc.) is either about what ours is - or even lower. The difference? Drivers over there are expected to be competent before they get a driver's license - and treated as if they are competent once they've acquired one.

    I like this system.

    It does not not penalize competent for the sake of the incompetent, as we do here. If put into effect, it would deal with the very real problem of Slow Mo drivers without creating hassles for them or hassles for the rest of us. They could continue on their way, at a turtle's pace - and we could pass by, as necessary.

    Who could have a problem with such a solution - other than the neurotic safety nannies, who fear everything? And, of course, the money-filching Traffic Gestapo, whose primary purpose in life is the collection of enormous sums of revenue via an all-but-inescapable dragnet of idiot laws specifically designed to ensnare almost all of us, every single time we drive... .

    If the idea of "pass when able" is too much for weak-kneed, buckled tight and safety helmet wearing America, how about taking a concept they have developed in Texas national? It's called the turnout lane - and it does more to defuse roadbound tensions than an endless neck massage.

    Drive the Texas countryside and you'll soon encounter one. They show up every few miles. All they are is a stretch of extra pavement off to the side of the road; a place for slower moving vehicles to edge over to the right (without having to stop) and let the cars stacked up behind them get by.

    Makes everyone happy - and causes no fuss or safety issue.

    If we can't have "pass at your discretion" laws, the next best thing would be turnout lanes. Like a dedicated bike lane for cyclists in urban areas, turnout lanes ought to be required every 5 miles or so on virtually every major secondary road.

    But like "pass when able," it is probably too much to expect that we'll ever get them.

    Our system is not designed to facilitate efficient travel. It is designed to accommodate the least common denominator (often to the point of absurdity), punish the able - and most important of all, to maximize the flow of revenue.

    Every year, we get more laws - ostensibly for the sake of "safety" but in terms of their practical effect, many just make it illegal to do things that were once perfectly legal - and considered perfectly safe - assuming minimal common sense and ability behind the wheel. Examples include "no right on red," u-turns and, of course, exceeding the speeeeeeed limit (even by single digits) when executing a pass.

    It makes driving in the United States a frustrating - and expensive - experience.

    No wonder so many of us are busy texting, sending e-mails and otherwise zoning out behind the wheel.

    After all, we're not allowed to drive much anymore.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Here in Minneapolis, I have noticed a marked increase of slow / disoriented drivers. Not to blame any one group, but third worlders (Somalis / Arabs / Hmong) seem to make up the majority of 'slow mo' drivers.

    You can tell - a car running on two or three compact spares - driving about 45 on I35-W, making 'farmer' turns, no directionals, brake while driving up-hill, can't parallel park.

    Somail's make up most the Twin Cities cab drivers. None of them have any skill, judgement, or manners.

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