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Special spot for passing lane speedsters

By Seamus Boyer

[email protected]

There are many things which can bug drivers on our roads.

Not indicating is an obvious one, tailgating another.

They make getting from A to B just that bit more frustrating than it needs to be, but most of the time they are little more than that – an annoyance.

But there is another thing which is much worse, much more annoying, much more likely to make you pull out your hair with frustration.

That is the slow driver who speeds up in passing lanes.

For me there is nothing worse.

The Sunday driver that crawls along for kilometre after kilometre, then suddenly becomes Jackie Stewart as soon as they hit the passing lane.

It makes passing them impossible, as you would need to speed past at 130km/h to get ahead of them.

Then, sure enough, as the road narrows to one lane, the driver instantly reverts to their normal speed, 20km/h below the indicated speed limit.

Why would they do this?

Is it that they suddenly become more confident drivers as the road widens and straightens before them?

It’s possible.

Or is it that they enjoy making drivers sit behind them, cursing them from behind the wheel, wondering what on earth would motivate them to engage in such cruel, antisocial behaviour?

I’ll leave that for you to decide.

Of course it’s possible that these drivers don’t even realise what they are doing.

Maybe it’s just how they drive.

Maybe they think they are doing people a favour.

Frankly, I’d love to ask them.

In his famous poem The Inferno, the 14th Century Italian poet Dante Alighieri described the nine circles of suffering on the way to the centre of hell, each dedicated to punishing a specific sin in a unique, fitting fashion.

Perhaps we could suggest a 10th circle, reserved for the ‘passing lane speeders’.

Those found guilty could be forced for eternity to drive behind a painfully slow driver, meaning they never, ever reach their destination, no matter how close it appears in front of them.

Alternatively, I could just get over it, relax, put on some music and cruise along to where I’m headed.

Which is probably exactly what I should do.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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