News |   Obits |   Sports |   Business |   Opinion |   Things to Do |   Life |   Blogs |   Photos |   Video |   Data |   Jobs |   Homes |   Autos |   Buy/Sell


Selfish local drivers need to wise up

  • Follow Letters

My commute each day is about 40 miles over mostly multilane roads. I've often seen drivers squatting in the left lane at 55 mph, oblivious to the cars behind them, sometimes running bumper to bumper, unable to pass due to another car in the right lane also going 55 mph.

Sometimes I'll be in an empty right lane, and have a chance to pass a car to the left. I glance to see what sort of driver this is. It's everyone: black, white, male, female, young, old, in expensive cars and in junkers. No one group has a monopoly on this folly.

These drivers can't seem to see that they are acting selfishly and, with road rage steaming off the roofs of the cars behind them, are endangering themselves and the rest of us. Why don't they realize what they're doing? Why do they hog the passing lane when common sense and common courtesy tell us it's wrong? ...

My 1995 copy of the Georgia driver's manual says on page 41: "While driving too fast is very dangerous, driving too slowly on certain highways can also be dangerous. When there are two or more lanes for traffic moving in the same direction, slower vehicles should use the right hand lane except when passing or making a left turn. In any case, you must not drive ... so slow as to interfere with the normal flow of traffic."

I ask our school boards to include driver's education as a mandatory subject, and our local TV stations and newspapers to educate those of us past school age.

Not only would smarter driving make our commutes less stressful, it also would decrease our visits to hospitals and cemeteries.

Steve Kohn, Hephzibah

Comments (34) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
GACopperhead
6
Points
GACopperhead 09/13/07 - 04:24 am
0
0
Smarter driving is driving

Smarter driving is driving the speed limit......55 on most of the interstate through Augusta. If you want to gripe that people are interfering with your ability to drive unsafely, go tell the cops and see what they say.

justus4
99
Points
justus4 09/13/07 - 04:38 am
0
0
55 Fools. American drivers
Unpublished

55 Fools. American drivers are idiots. They spend 30k on vehicle that go 0-65 in six second, but speed limit is 55. Think fool. After driving in Europe for seven yrs, drivers here are retarded which can get you dead. It another in a long list of hazards to get through each day.

GACopperhead
6
Points
GACopperhead 09/13/07 - 04:57 am
0
0
So, when 55 saves gas and

So, when 55 saves gas and lives, both statistically proven, it's idiotic not to drive faster. Hmmmm......you go rush off to your death.

CHIEF
2
Points
CHIEF 09/13/07 - 05:32 am
0
0
Turn our Interstates into

Turn our Interstates into autobahns and lets move the slow non driver off the road. The whole world got it right but us. It's all about the ticket and another traffic death. Speed does not kill it's the idiot behind the wheel.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 09/13/07 - 05:48 am
0
0
driving intelligently is not

driving intelligently is not a situation I've seen in my 34 years of driving in Augusta. There is the occasional exception that proves the rule, of course, but for the most part cruising the hi-ways and by-ways of Augusta is a challenge every day. Stay aware.

Republicant
3
Points
Republicant 09/13/07 - 07:50 am
0
0
Drive the speed limit or with

Drive the speed limit or with the flow of traffic. Get the hell out of the left lane if you are not passing someone. Its just common courtesy, something southerners think you have the monopoly on. They must put idiocy in the water down here.

Sugarbaker
0
Points
Sugarbaker 09/13/07 - 08:42 am
0
0
OMG let's NOT forget those

OMG let's NOT forget those who use the "suicide lane" (clearly marked as a LEFT HAND TURN LANE) as a merge lane. Which brings me to my next gripe-there is a reason they are called "acceleration lanes and deceleration lanes. If you are exiting, SLOW DOWN and let the guy entering (merging) in front of you because he is TRYING TO SPEED UP TO MATCH THE FLOW OF TRAFFIC! Oh yeah, a yield sign does not necessarily mean stop! Don't try to be nice and "let somebody out"! There is a reason for the rules of right-of-way. If you allow someone to "let you out" and there happens to be a wreck, it WILL BE YOUR FAULT for not ceding the right-of-way. Don't be nice to me, I know when it's legal to go. Just follow the rules and I will too and everybody will be safer and just might make it on time. I agree with CHIEF, turn our interstates into autobahns in regards to speed limits and STAY OUT OF THE LEFT LANE unless you are passing-then get your rear-end over so I can pass you! LOL!

mojoinaugusta
35
Points
mojoinaugusta 09/13/07 - 08:46 am
0
0
Sounds like those slow pokes

Sounds like those slow pokes in the left lane are just vigilantes trying to get everyone else to slow down.

brinehart7
0
Points
brinehart7 09/13/07 - 08:47 am
0
0
Gee I always thought the

Gee I always thought the speed limit was for all lanes on the highway not just the right lane....... Hmmmmm I Seemed to have learned something here today

mojoinaugusta
35
Points
mojoinaugusta 09/13/07 - 08:55 am
0
0
snoop - no the speed limit is

snoop - no the speed limit is just for the right lane or in the case of a two lane road, the other drivers. Also, some will tell you the yellow light is for caution or slow down but it really means clear the intersection - even if you're 100 yards away.

Youre Kidding
0
Points
Youre Kidding 09/13/07 - 09:51 am
0
0
You guys kill me everytime.

You guys kill me everytime. I'm one of those people that have travelled the world whether being Iceland, Boston, Baltimore, Kansas or California and to this day, the south is indeed the best place to live. However, driving in the south will get you killed faster than living in the south. People to this day don't know how to merge into traffic or move out of the left lane. Read your manuals people. The worst thing you can do is drive side by side with another vehicle. Yes, I have gotten a speed ticket after living for 41 years of my life but I tell you what, it was for going ten miles over the speed limit. I am a very safe driver and will never ride a persons bumper, but they will ride yours in a heart beat. Around here and Pensacola where I'm originally from, you will get killed on the roads because people drive entirely too slow. Most people drive as though it's a Sunday afternoon stroll around the park. Be courteous to others and move out of the way. If a person is going extremely fast, that only means that they have somewhere important to be, high as a kite, or mad as hell about something. Just give them the courtesy and move out the way. Yes, I agree with LBenedict

Augusta Mom
1
Points
Augusta Mom 09/13/07 - 09:58 am
0
0
LBnendict, I know exactly

LBnendict, I know exactly what you're saying about that intersection. They just pull right out into the center of the intersection and stop. I try to avoid that whole intersection whenever possible by going down one block and turning left by the gas station.

KingJames
10
Points
KingJames 09/13/07 - 10:23 am
0
0
I can't believe the fast

I can't believe the fast lant-slow drivers have infiltrated Augusta! I just thought they were concentrated in Virginia. Since there are multi-laned highways and interstates, drivers seem to think there is no need to increase their speed to pass. They maintain 55 when passing a car that is going 54, actually riding the other driver's blind spot for a long time before they are parallel to the other car. We all know that blind spots are dangerous. That's why passing cars need to increase speed and get out of the way. If it takes longer than 5 seconds, then you might not need to try to pass. Also, since driving fast can be dangerous, slower cars should just move to the right so that the faster cars will quickly move the danger along and out of your immediate area. If I ever have to pass in the right hand lane, I generally get back in front of the slow driver in the left hand lane, slow down to about 5-10 mph slower than they were driving, and turn on my right turn signal. I accelerate after a few seconds. I've been flipped off a couple of times, some of them have tried to pass me in the right lane, while others just brake their speed, but they all get the point.

FallingLeaves
27
Points
FallingLeaves 09/13/07 - 10:35 am
0
0
The only persons that should

The only persons that should be going over the speed limit in the left passing lane should be emergency vehicles, law enforcement, and occasionally escorted vehicles such as someone driving a woman in labor to the hospital or an escorted government official on official business. Otherwise, the left lane is only for passing people who are going SLOWER THAN THE SPEED LIMIT so the left lane remains clear for these vehicles on VALID urgent business. There is no legal reason to pass someone who is going the speed limit, so stay in the flow of traffic to the right. If you don't, prepare to pay the ticket because eventually you will get caught and you will be fined because it's ILLEGAL. I am tired of selfish drivers thinking the laws are for everyone except themselves and endangering our lives while they swoop and weave in and out of the flow with no blinkers. If there is not enough time to use your blinker, then there is not enough time to safely switch lanes or turn. Use the blinker before the turn, not JUST DURING it EVEN IF YOU DON'T SEE ANOTHER DRIVER, that is exactly what it is for, the driver you DON'T see coming! And get the phone out of your ear!

Sugarbaker
0
Points
Sugarbaker 09/13/07 - 10:54 am
0
0
LBenedict, I agree with you

LBenedict, I agree with you whole-heartedly regarding the 520/Wheeler Road exit calamity. Are they really that inconsiderate or is it that they are clueless? As far as I'm concerned, that's what "U-ees" are for...

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 09/13/07 - 11:02 am
0
0
Not everyones speedometer is

Not everyones speedometer is correct. You would be amazed at how many are wrong due to many many many different reasons. the fact is.. if you are in the left and you notice cars backing up behind you whether you are going the speed limit or not you should move over. This is not only common courtesy it is defensive driving. would you rather aggrevate an already aggressive driver and try to police him yourself and endanger everyone in your car and the cars around you or just let him pass on a get away from you and your family. If you chose the first one... I hope you will never be proven to be dead right either yourself, family or others on the road!!! Their speeding is not right, but aggrevating the situation is just idiotic and dangerous!!!! Anyone who can not comprehend this does not need to be driving.

1980reader
1
Points
1980reader 09/13/07 - 11:06 am
0
0
Slower traffic--stay to the

Slower traffic--stay to the right. Who care's if the yahoo in the left lane is speeding? Let him worry about his speeding ticket.

djm
0
Points
djm 09/13/07 - 11:12 am
0
0
An intersection that

An intersection that frustrates me is Wrightsboro and Highland...actually it's the merging of eastbound Wrightsboro right after Highland Avenue. A lot of drivers know the right lane mergers, but still use it to go through the intersection and then push themselves over into the left lane even if it means cutting off the vehicle with ROW or causing other vehicles to slam on the brakes. I understand that we should share the road and allow people to merge, but this purposeful defiance of the road signs day in and day out makes me NOT let people in unless they have an out of state tag except SC

djm
0
Points
djm 09/13/07 - 11:15 am
0
0
I also think that people

I also think that people going >5 mph under the speed limit should pull over when possible (safe) if a long line of cars is building up behind them. Common courtesy! You don't own the road.

FallingLeaves
27
Points
FallingLeaves 09/13/07 - 12:03 pm
0
0
No one should be spending

No one should be spending their whole drving trip in the left lane. It is a passing lane only, pass, then pull back into the right lane. If a car is consistently going 5 miles under the speed limit and I want to pass him while still obeying the speed limit, there better not be any one crawling up my bumper (tailgating) while I'm trying to pass him unless it's an emergency vehicle, then it's permissable to go a little over the limit to get out of their way, emergency vehicles and law enforcement have a legitimate reason to go faster than the speed limit, noone else. Return to the right lane to keep the left lane clear for emergency vehicles. If it's just a one lane road, of course, pull over if your car cannot go as fast as the speed limit and cars are piling up behind you. That's the safest thing to do.

whyme
1465
Points
whyme 09/13/07 - 01:06 pm
0
0
Heaven forbid! Someone is

Heaven forbid! Someone is driving the speed limit in the left hand lane! I love when people come up behind ME and I'M doing the speed limit-go ahead, act like a jerk. It'll come back on you.

namom
0
Points
namom 09/13/07 - 01:18 pm
0
0
I agree wholeheartedly with

I agree wholeheartedly with the letter writer. I don't care how fast or slow you drive, just stay in the right lane. Why me is exactly who he is talking to. Who elected you road police?

SeeYa
13
Points
SeeYa 09/13/07 - 03:00 pm
0
0
To add to the list that djm

To add to the list that djm started, the right merge lanes on Eastbound Riverwatch seem to draw idiotic drivers like a magnet. Merging from an intersection is one thing, but the dummies who drag race from the traffic lights so that they can pass a few cars are real dangers to the drivers who obey the law. They come flying by on the right, then have to either slam on brakes or go even faster to merge. Washington Road Eastbound from the Boy Scout Road traffic is another bad area for this game of Speed-Merging.

WorriedAboutOurFuture
16
Points
WorriedAboutOurFuture 09/13/07 - 04:03 pm
0
0
The idea is to be safe and to

The idea is to be safe and to go with the flow, not obstruct it. Cars in the left lane going slower than traffic are obstructing the flow, period. Go whatever speed you want, but get the heck out of the way and quite trying to make people go the speed you think is appropriate. You ain't the sheriff; you're just a pain in the butt and potentially the cause of an accident. Be self-righteous with your kids. The interstate isn't your driveway so pay attention to what's happening around you.

Bizarro
13
Points
Bizarro 09/13/07 - 05:36 pm
0
0
It is better than Atlanta

It is better than Atlanta traffic. I could drive 95 and have the police past me and give me a friendly wave. When did they outlaw the use of turn signals in Augusta? I don't think I've seen one used in about a year.

CantTrustaDumbocrat
0
Points
CantTrustaDumbocrat 09/13/07 - 06:08 pm
0
0
When I am in the left lane I

When I am in the left lane I always watch my rear view mirror. If I see someone comming up behind me faster than I am driving I pull over and let them pass. It is just common courtesy. I don't care if they are driving a 100mph. Unless you are radar certified and sworn law enforcement you can't and should not try to do anything about them anyway, except get out of their way. I feel like if they pass me then they will have their wreck down the road and not involve me. I could care less if they speed, it's not me who has to pay their ticket if they get caught. Learn some manners and allow them the road. They have just as much right to be there as you do and its not your place to tell them how to drive.

Georgiais1
0
Points
Georgiais1 09/13/07 - 06:13 pm
0
0
I have never seen a road sign

I have never seen a road sign that said 55 in the right lane and 65 in the left lane...Get a grip. I agree that slower traffic should stay to the right, but don't run up on me doing 90 and exspect me to "jump" out the way. If you are in that big of hurry, then leave 10 minutes earlier....Good day

Bizarro
13
Points
Bizarro 09/13/07 - 06:17 pm
0
0
Actually it is our place to

Actually it is our place to report bad or drunk drivers. If someone were to die because of some idiots road habits then we are partly responsible for doing nothing. Cell phones are great and we should report drunk or dangerous drivers. The police and state patrol can't be everywhere. Few drivers display manners nowadays. Driving is a privilege not a right.

SGS
0
Points
SGS 09/13/07 - 09:36 pm
0
0
Well said Georgialina! I

Well said Georgialina! I feel the exact same way. And Bizarro is right, partially. Driving is a privilege, not a right...and that goes for everyone. You are more than welcome to REPORT bad drivers. You are not allowed to have them drive the way you want/expect them to drive. Again, everyone's driving is a privilege. Just because I may be speeding, and you're not, doesn't make any difference in that whatsoever. The slower driver (no matter what speed they are going) is causing just as much of an unsafe condition by purposefully remaining in the left lane to attempt to slow someone. Most of time, that aggravates the faster driver, and we've all been in those situations before. The safe thing for everyone is get out of the way. You're not Superman, and your car definitley is not...so stop using it as a weapon. Try to help everyone get from Point A to Point B. After all, isn't that why we have vehicles? By blocking traffic, you are just as unsafe of a driver as the fast driver.

mackit
0
Points
mackit 09/13/07 - 10:44 pm
0
0
I am not a "slower " driver.

I am not a "slower " driver. I am a law abiding citizen. If you are driving faster than the posted speed limit you are nota faster driver, you are nothing but a lowely criminal. I stay in the right lane because it is not safe to interfer with a crime in progress.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Property tax jump OK'd

Augusta commissioners broke a seven-year trend Wednesday and agreed 7-0 to raise property taxes by 1.75 mills to cover a deficit and provide employees a small bonus.
Search Augusta jobs