Thursday, March 30, 2006

Yielding to faster traffic

I heard something on NPR, this morning, about proposed Florida laws that would make it driving in the left lane (presumably of a two-lane, same direction, road) illegal or something UNLESS you're passing someone in the right lane or... something else.

The supposed intent is to avoid road rage, thus saving lives, by keeping slow drivers out of the way.

There are a number of things about this that bother or confuse me.

CONFUSING: Apparently, there's already a similar law on the books that's rarely enforced. I'm not sure, exactly, how this new law would differ.

BOTHERSOME: Jeb Bush apparently vetoed this bill before because he said it strongly suggested that road rage was the fault of road rage victims. That's how I see it, too. Apparently the bill was tweaked so that it wouldn't give that impression, but I heard one of the bill's proponents using language which strongly suggests that he STILL sees slowER drivers as the real problem.

It's hard to phrase this since there were so many contradicting notions in the segment, but the law supposedly WOULDN'T be about encouraging speeding. It'd be there to address the fact that some people who are going slower than the posted speed limit ought to get out of the way of those, in the left lane, who want to go the speed limit.

In the same breath, though, these people seem to be suggesting that those who go slowER than others ought to keep moving out of the way. SlowER isn't necessarily slow, though. If I'm going 70mph and someone behind me is going 80mph, I probably will get out of their way, but the law shouldn't back the law-breaker over the law-abider.

A FAMU student spoke on the matter saying the law may be help but people really just need to leave early enough to not HAVE to speed. Then the urgency-factor would be eliminated. I think she's got a point. But, ultimately, people who are going 70mph, in a 70mph zone, should not be blamed because some impatient, imprompt, immature individual can't handle the emotional burden of driving a damned car.

What do you think?


Scott said...

I am continually mystified about how normal, seemingly sane, people can turn into raving lunatics immediately upon getting behind the wheel of a car. (not that I haven't had my moments...) But since I spent much of my 20s in L.A., where they shoot people on the freeways, my propensity for road rage has substantially lessened.

Perhaps the solution to road rage is to ensure that all drivers are heavily armed?

West said...

What's that you say... "Kill'em all and let Erik Estrada sort'em out?"