Keep Left Alright?



The amount of knobheads I’m seeing just coasting in the right hand lane of a two and even three lane motorway is staggering. The number of issues it causes goes to show the level to which society has become so self driven.

Drivers in the left lane, hereby referred to as the slow lane, come up to a meandering vehicle of various descriptions; old-lady, lorry, trailor tower, and look to overtake. However, knobhead in the right lane, hereby referred to as the fast lane, completely oblivious to the world around him has ensured little to no gap in the fast lane for said slow-laner to overtake.

Meanwhile from behind, legal driver in the slow lane, has caught up and has room to move into the fast lane behind said knobhead. He waits patiently as they pass the meandering vehicle, and sees the look of disgust on the person following it who has been denied the opportunity to move into the fast lane by said knobhead and continue on his journey.

This is but one example of this frustration causing driving. Today one person pulled into the right hand lane in front of me as I prepared to o we take a group of cars. I assumed this was to get over to the right turning lane ahead, as he certainly hadn’t gotten up to speed enough to overtake. I had to change lanes back in order to avoid his slow speed. But as I looked, he wasn’t turning right. He simply wanted to be in the right hand lane. The next right hand turn off was 4km down the road, which he took, but the traffic was hardly suggestive that he could have made that lane change at a later point.

The ones that get me are the ones who have moved into the fast lane for whatever reason, and have passed that one car, or have gone past the turn off, and continue driving in that lane. There’s no one around them. No one in front. No on in the slow lane. No one behind. But on they go, careening along in their own little one-lane-world.

Who cares Al? Who are they affecting? You said it yourself, no one is around, so what does it matter?

Well. It’s the law. It’s the rules. There’s many reasons for it so it’s not even an unreasonable rule.

The New Zealand Transport Agency states in the Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004 in Part 2.1 that

” (1)  A driver, when driving, must at all times drive as near as practicable to the left side of the roadway unless this rule otherwise provides.

(2)  If a driver’s speed, when driving, is such as to impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic, that driver must, as soon as is reasonably practicable, move the vehicle as far as practi- cable to the left side of the roadway when this is necessary to allow following traffic to pass.

(3)  A driver may drive in the right lane in the direction of travel when driving on a multi-lane road

  • (a) the driver is turning right, or making a U-turn from the centre of the road, and is giving the prescribed signal of that driver’s intention to turn right; or
  • (b)  the driver is passing; or
  • (c)  the left lane is unavailable to the driver; or
  • (d)  the driver is required by any provision of this rule to drive in the right lane; or
  • (e)  a variable lane control downward-facing arrow sign indicates that the driver must drive in the right lane; or
  • (f)  the driver is avoiding an obstruction; or
  • (g)  the traffic in all other lanes is congested; or
  • (h)  the traffic in every lane is congested.

In the help section it says that “The emphasis is now on keeping left unless you have a good reason, eg you are turning right, passing another or the left lane is blocked. Previously, the regulations focused on not impeding other road users.”

This is makes driving in the fast lane when it is not necessary illegal, as is the likes of breaking the speed limit.

Yet while millions is poured into speed radars, speed cameras and vans to catch speeders, very little is done for those that clog up the fast lane.  I can tell you now though, I don’t need any high-tech camera or radar to tell me if someone is in the fast lane unnecessarily. Policing this is as easy as driving the motorways and opening your eyes. Of course, getting the infringers to actually pull over may be another challenge in itself!

I’m not for a second suggesting that driving in the fast lane is a high cause of fatalities that the likes of speed is responsible for, but I can say that it raises frustration levels, causes people to make quick decisions, perform manoeuvres they shouldn’t have to make such as undertaking, or squeezing into gaps that are far too small because of the inconsiderate choice of others, and otherwise causing the potential of accident occurrences to increase.

I know change is hard for some people. But seriously. Change lanes.

Keep left unless you are overtaking.

You don’t lose man points for driving in the slow lane.
It also doesn’t mean you’re slow, just like tt doesn’t make you macho if you drive in the fast lane.
It doesn’t make you better in anyway.
Move over.

Don’t be a knobhead.