Too Slow in the Fast lane
YOUR SUNDAY DRIVER - Lord Seno (The Freeman) - January 27, 2013 - 12:00am

There is a place for people who have all the time in the world to enjoy the scenery in the South Road Properties as they drive down the highway.

It’s called the right lane. If you’re sightseeing, texting or collecting some nasal specimen in the left, this lane is not where you need to be. This is clearly indicated by road signs, 14 vertical ones to be exact and 6 painted on the road, printed in both English and our native language.

So why is it so difficult to follow these road signs?  Poor observation perhaps? As drivers, we do a lot of things that irritate each other. One of the most common fault is not knowing lane etiquette. Motorcycle Riders signal but never turn. Jeepney Drivers turn but don’t signal. Mini Bus Drivers think solid lines in the middle of the road are just mere markers. These are just a few examples of dangerous lane violations.

We forget that the very purpose of staying in the proper lane….or we never did get to learn about lane courtesy. I’m sure it was more convenient to pay for an “express” driver’s license, right?  Sad to say, many of us lack the knowledge to drive safely.

But nothing comes close to the level of irritation that comes from being stuck behind someone who is plainly ignorant of lane rules. Slow drivers who dwell in the passing lane. Most of them are pretty oblivious, but a few of them are in an aggressive denial of some sort. If you should pass them, again on the right side of the road which is ironically the wrong side, they suddenly wake up and speed up.

You honk your horn and blink your headlights at them and nothing happens. When you get the chance to pull up beside them and remind them to move it, you either get a blank face or a finger, as if you were at fault.

These drivers don’t just impede traffic, they become hazards. Failing to yield and let faster moving cars pass not only increases traffic, it also increases tension.  The lack of lane etiquette is the no.1 cause of road altercations in the US. I failed to find stats in the Philippines but I’m almost certain it’s up there in the list as well.

Captain Slow Advocates may argue that it’s perfectly acceptable to be in any lane they choose if they’re driving within the speed limit. For them, the slower you are, the lesser the impact if you get into an accident. Yet, if that invokes dangerous driving maneuvers from others, how is the road a safer place?

This lack of driving learnedness has to be pointed to the lack of proper training in acquiring a driver’s license.

Although there is no national standard for driver education courses in the Philippines, the Land Transportation Office requires one to pass the Driver’s Written Licensure Exam and a Practical Driving Exam in order to get a driver’s license.

Given how easy it is to pass the exams, some people are finding it more convenient to illegally acquire their licenses by paying LTO fixers (decades old furniture that LTO needs to get rid of) and avoid all those tests.

You either go nuts by following the proper procedure in getting a driver’s license or by getting hit by another oblivious slow poke. Choose.

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