Everyone is an Asshole (Except You and Me) Part 1

Do you ever get the feeling that you are lucky to be alive when you look at the people around you in traffic? Cell phone talkers doing 55 in the passing lane, crazy disgruntled minivan owners weaving in-and-out because they hate their vehicles, octogenarians causing pileups trying to merge at 35mph? Well, YOU’RE never guilty of this type of behavior are you? I know I’m not…

Or are we? Lately I have found myself filling the role of Enforcer on the streets – something I am not legally entitled to do (and I’m not getting paid for it either). Subconsciously, I have told myself that if I don’t take up the fight against stupidity and ignorance of the various laws and common-sense courtesies of the roads, who will? To say I am unsatisfied with Police presence where it is most needed is an understatement. I have personally witnessed many incidences of reckless driving go unnoticed or worse noticed but unpunished by law enforcement. But the second someone cruises past that magical number we all skirt (9mph over on the freeway, 5 on surface streets?) they are all angry gestures and flashing lights.

I understand their reasoning; speeding tickets pay more and are easier to hand out than chasing down real Violators and filling out the inevitable paperwork and appearing and arguing in court. A lot of cities have so developed the speed trap and streamlined the judiciary process that it is almost a license to print money.  It’s efficiency pure and simple.

So who is keeping the roads safe? I guess that responsibility has been passed down to anyone who is knowledgeable of the law and willing to Enforce it. If I am in the passing lane cruising past the Jupiter Jackoffs and the people-who-just-plain-hate-their-home-life-so-bad-they-have-to-draw-out-their-commute-by-driving-10-under-the-whole-way-from-work and I come upon someone who is either ignorant or just totally disrespectful of the “slow traffic keep right” or “left lane for passing only” laws (yes LAWS. Look them up for your state), I do not hesitate to remind them what they’re doing wrong.

First, I will use the long-forgotten tool that car manufacturers actually promoted at one point with so-named features in their models: Flash-To-Pass. A couple flicks of the hi-beams SHOULD be enough to get the attention of the offender and cause them to move over. No hard feelings, they get a wave of thanks for being intelligent, courteous and law-abiding.

If that should fail, I will repeat at increasing intervals. At this point, I am looking for a reaction in the other driver’s rearview mirrors. Sometimes they look, and continue to ignore. Sometimes they get irate and start gesturing or yelling to themselves, “who does this asshole think he is, trying to use MY lane?!” I might scoot over slightly to catch their side mirror with my lights at this point, just attempting to drive the fact home.

NOTE: Passing on the right is illegal and a ticketable offense. I know firsthand, I have been with a driver who was pulled over for this more than once. I do NOT recommend you use this tactic and I take responsibility for my own actions anytime I do this. And I do. If the driver in front attempts to brake check me (unsuccessfully, I keep a safe distance), I pass them smoothly and safely. This is where the irresponsible part of me takes over.

The far left lane is for passing only. This is to prevent needless traffic buildup that can lead to accidents. To remind them WHY they need to get over and let me pass them, I gradually slow down in front of the Violator and maybe drop a gear so as not to let them know I am intentionally going to be teaching them an important lesson. Depending on the type of stupid motherfucker behind me, I can get as slow as 30mph before they get tired of their own medicine and attempt to pass on the right. But they can’t because I have accelerated to match their speed or used traffic behind me to keep them where they belong – out of the passing lane.

Usually this is enough to drive the point home, and maybe they will even think about it later when they get done beating their frustration out of their spouse or kids. Maybe the passing lane isn’t their exclusive domain… As doubtful as that is, I have never in my commute seen the same car committing the same offense.

Take that for what it’s worth, I don’t claim to be anything other than a deeply disturbed individual with enough driving skill and attention span to actively and aggressively observe the law… and Enforce it when those who are paid to do so fall short.

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