LISTEN: I want to re-introduce a law the driving public seems to ignore:
KEEP TO THE RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS. Once universally in place, it will:
- 🚗 Sharply decrease the accident figures.
- 🚗🚗 Drop the inevitability of road rage.
- 🚗🚗🚗 Avoid drivers being cut off.
- 🚗🚗🚗🚗 Provide savings in our insurance sense.
- 🚗🚗🚗🚗🚗 Make driving a respectful and pleasurable experience.
Here’s the philosophical point: We have to drive like a school of fish.
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“Fish evolved to swim in schools... to swim more efficiently. Schooling requires coordinated body positions and synchronized movement.” - Scientific American
Getting to work isn't a race. But its pace can be a far quicker and safer practice.
As better drivers, we ought to contribute to the fluid motion of traffic; we should make driving more efficient.
This is how Europe's Autobahns work without speed limits; all drivers follow the one simple rule: KEEP TO THE RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS.
The left lane has long been called the "passing lane" for good reason. It allows us to safely pass someone. They are not just to relieve congestion.
Right now, “passing” isn’t working efficiently in North America.
If you like driving at the speed of traffic, stay in the right-hand lane. It's yours to do as you see fit.
But the left lane is all about passing, not getting somewhere quicker, just keeping the flow going at a good pace. You should always be in the right lane except to pass.
I’m speaking to the whole of the world’s drivers. This law or rule exists everywhere there is a freeway or highway; I’m simply reintroducing it and calling for philosophical cooperation. Once we take control of our habits and learn to be effective drivers, we can stop the brake-checking morons, the flipping of the bird, and we can quell most of the anger that comes from our streets by re-learning ONE very important law. As Eldridge Cleaver said, “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”
Here’s how it works: If you are in the left hand and a car comes up behind you and honks or flashes its lights at you, it's a lawful polite gesture to pull into the right lane so they can pass. They are NOT picking a fight or a disagreement, they are indicating the legal way to signal to you that they would like to pass.
It is NOT reasonable to say "I'm doing the speed limit in the fast lane - anyone who wants to pass me can go to hell," that is being part of the problem.
Why does this happen? Most of us when driving are unaware of what is happening in the spatial 360 degrees around us. We do not yield or merge well; we aren't kind to other motorists. We parallel the same speed as someone else in the lane next to us without an awareness of what's happening behind us. We don't wave when someone lets us cut in front of them. We have become unkind drivers in the world because we do not respect the presence of others as they do in high-density traffic in India or China (not that these have good drivers, they’re very aware of who is where on the road).
Anyone who has driven in China respects their unique ability to slip and slide in a flow of traffic, not unlike a school of fish. And in traffic in India, one is often impressed by how a variety of transports, carts, cars, animals, trucks – move with a symphony of efficiency akin to, yes, a school of fish.
In North America we need to do as in Europe: The cars in the right lane can do the speed limit, single file. Let them! The vehicles in the left lane MUST be passing the cars on the right. Whoever is occupying the left lane ought to have no vehicle behind them – or they should duck into the right lane to allow the faster vehicle to pass. And use your signals to alert other drivers of your intentions!
Truckers know this rule by heart and if you watch them, 98% of them do it perfectly. They pull out, pass, and pull in.
You should too.
Slower-moving vehicles reduce the efficiency of the highway system. This frustrates many motorists and can result in aggressive and erratic driving behavior." - Government of British Columbia
A Summary of “Keep Right” Traffic Laws in All 50 States:
"All states have “Keep Right Laws” which require vehicles traveling slower than the normal speed of traffic to travel in the furthest right lane. Driving in the left lane for anything other than passing is not only illegal in a growing number of states, it's unsafe and results in thousands of accidents annually" according to a study by the Traffic Operations & Safety Laboratory."
There is no loss of pride in following this rule, you don't look less of a person for adhering to the law; in fact, you look totally stupid if you're the idiot hanging in the left lane with a fury of vehicles trying to pass you.
Our children will be the last generation to see how many lives were lost by allowing each person to drive the roads as he/she wanted. Oh, the horrors we'll reflect back on. That time when we let loud vehicles be driven by someone checking out their Instagram account? Imagine silence and self-driving cars.
In real-time, in the very near future, drivers will lose control over their vehicles, and Elon Musk vis-à-vis Tesla in good company with US car manufacturers, and the Motor Vehicle legislators will have sorted out how a driverless car will operate.
I swear we will look back at the years when humans had control over their vehicles and gulp in horror and shock. I swear we will mourn the 40,000 people killed each year because we didn’t adhere to the rules.
We can prevent accidents and road rage. I beg you to try it, KEEP RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS.
And drive like a school of fish swim.
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OF RUSSIA: A Year Inside
Brent (Brant is the Russian version) Antonson has seen a Russia few foreigners have. Indeed, few Russians. This young Canadian ventured to Voronezh, eleven hours south of Moscow by train, to spend a year inside a country torn by strife, fresh into a new century, and struggling with the clash between history and future. Tasked with teaching English to students at one university, and then a second, his story is riddled with romance and deception, and punctuated with near disaster and disappointment. Antonson's candor and insights set Russia on the edge of failure and achievement – much like the students he educated, filled with a dash of hope and a lump of fear. His wit did as much to get him in trouble as it did to keep him out of it.