You may have seen the road rage video lately where a woman doing the speed limit refuses to move out of the left and lane and a man driving a pickup wants by. He eventually passes and then drops back to wave a single digit and yell at the woman. He finally accelerates heavily and gets back into the lane in front of her, losing control and crashing in the median. She stops to laugh at the outcome.
When I saw this behaviour while patrolling I almost always stopped and ticketed the tailgating driver. My thought was that they were trying to do two things wrong, tailgating and intending to exceed the speed limit. The driver doing the speed limit in the left lane was only doing one thing wrong, failing to keep right in the situation. Most often these drivers told me that the other driver who would not move over was the source of the problem.
On the other side of the equation, our traffic court justice told me outright that if I ever ticketed a driver in the left lane at the speed limit for failing to keep right, she would refuse to convict. This is contrary to what the law requires but at that point my hands were tied. You only bang your head against the wall for so long before you stop because it hurts.
In my view both of these drivers were wrong for many reasons, including the three points I’ve already spoken of. Add to this driving without reasonable consideration for others and driving while distracted (taking the video) and the potential for disaster increases. Given the circumstances shown in the video we have a pair of adult drivers behaving like two year olds and very lucky that this outcome was not far more serious.
For more information about this topic, visit www.drivesmartbc.ca. Questions or comments are welcome by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Tim Schewe is a retired RCMP constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. His column appears Thursdays.