Motorway Madness

“OK Spock – we’ve joined the motorway. Federation Rules clearly state that we get into the outside lane as quickly as possible and immediately switch off all mental processes”.

“Chekov … Disengage brain, go to warp factor 70 – and stay as close to the car in front as possible”.

“Aye Aye Captain”.

“Yes, Scotty … what is it?”

“Jim, ya canna change the laws of physics. For God’s sake’s man – the inside lane is empty!”

“You’re right my friend, but the scanners show Mondeo man is holding the middle lane and is expected to maintain impulse power for the next six junctions. Hold your course and speed”.

If you have read this far, and actually know who these characters are, well, that means you are as old as me. It also means that in your youth you watched series two of StarTrek in which Walter Koenig played the Russian Starfleet Officer, Pavel Andrelevich Chekov. A David Jones (of the Monkees fame) lookalike – but now this is all going too far.

The point of this story is quite simple.

How did we ever get to the point where Mondeo man and his like are allowed to constantly hog the outside or middle lanes when the inside lanes are clear?

In my day, this used to be totally self-regulating and police vehicles were not necessary to enforce such blindingly obvious rules of the road.

Any lane hogging transgression would result in the manufacturers name of the car behind appearing larger than life in your rearview mirror, accompanied by full-on headlights and a long and embarrassing honk of the horn. The offending driver would immediately offer the apologetic gesture of the hand and move over. Today, such a move would result in a gesture of a completely different sort or, as is more often the case, a confused and blank stare from a driver who clearly hasn’t the faintest idea what he or she is doing wrong.

You have all experienced this so you know exactly what I am talking about.

As you can see from the previous article, our motorways are amongst the safest roads in Britain which is quite surprising when 50% of drivers don’t know the basic rules of lane discipline and the other 50% are so engaged with their in car entertainment or mobile phone that they are not even aware that other drivers are even on the same road as they are.

If the AA statistics are right and only 44% of drivers aged 18-24 and 44% of women are confident driving on a motorway, clearly we are overdue for something of a shake up in new driver training and indeed, old driver etiquette. There is some satisfaction in that the drivers that do lack the confidence to drive on a motorway are all on the A roads.

Unfortunately, It is the ones WITH the confidence but WITHOUT any common sense that most bothers me.

Beam me up Scotty!