This weekend, I spent a huge amount of time on various UK motorways. It struck me just how bad lane discipline is among motorists.
Between being frustrated by poor driving, I discovered those unable to make a textbook, Highway Code-correct lane change, broadly fall into four categories:
The bread-and-butter of motorway frustrations. Want to change from lane two to lane three while saving the electricity destined for your yellow bulbs? No problem, just turn the wheel a few degrees and make your move. Generally happens when no other vehicles are particularly near.
No signal, and presumably no mirrors before making an indecisive manoeuvre. Are they just lolling from side to side in their lane, fiddling with the sat-nav? Are they changing lanes? Who could possibly tell?
One for slow, heavy traffic. A quick glance in the mirror and hit the indicator at the precise moment they pull out, regardless of who’s around. Usually reserved for elbowing into a space, which may, or may not be there to move into a fractionally faster lane.
The road ahead is empty, save for a solitary car in front. You pull out to overtake. Just as you’re approaching, they pull out to overtake precisely nothing. Why? It is one of life’s great mysteries.
I’m certainly not alone in these motorway-based frustrations and I guess that I’m preaching to the converted here. But I started thinking why this should be.
There’s certainly no compulsory training to use Britain’s high-speed road network. And that has to be wrong. The result is an unspoken code which means drivers can pick-and-choose which rules they follow.
What we need is more focus on discipline. When was the last time you saw someone stopped for bullying their way into another flow of traffic? Being oblivious to other road users? Displaying no regard for the safety of themselves or those around them?
There should be as much emphasis on how people drive as how fast they drive.