Voices

Keep left unless overtaking

Move over to the left lane, says Tony Bosworth, who’s had enough of being stuck behind morons.

I’m wondering if the morons – and I use the word advisedly, your honour – who travel our freeways, toll roads and motorways in the middle or fast lane at a steady clip below the speed limit, have anything going on in their brains?

I mention this because never a day goes by when I don’t come up behind one of these fools, and it’s often just as we’re going past one of those big road signs that says KEEP LEFT UNLESS OVERTAKING. I don’t know how much plainer it can be.

Only yesterday I was following a small truck through Sydney’s Lane Cove tunnel at a steady 80. There are two lanes there (well, there’s a third in case you want to peel off to Epping, but I’ve been there and frankly there’s nothing much to see).

Comprehensive Car Insurance

The speed limit – ably policed by a bank of cameras – is 80km/h in the tunnel, so that’s all fine and we’re all doing that, but once you come out into the daylight it’s 100.

Now, if I was a truckie with even half a brain (surely they must exist?) then I’d be thinking, “ah, when I get out of this tunnel some people might want to go faster than the 80 I’m doing. Maybe I’m better off in the left-hand lane?”

Or even, “once I get out of the tunnel I’ll pull over and let all these cars by.”

Sadly, the only thing on this bozo’s mind must have been, well, probably nothing much.  There he was, doing 80 and it wasn’t ever going to change.

Eventually I had to overtake on the inside and give him a look, but I doubt that did any good. To be fair, if you give anyone a look on the roads these days it usually results in a chase, injury and even death, which is another story.

Anyway, what I want to know is this, what is it with people who drive in the middle lane on a three lane motorway, or even the fast lane when the left hand lane is as empty as their minds?

These people are rarely doing anything like the speed limit and all it causes is frustration and then potential accidents as others drivers duck and weave to get past them.

And it’s a peculiarly Australian thing (well, I hear it’s big in Hindustan too) which you just don’t see in Europe and the UK. If you stuck out there in the fast lane in Germany you’d find someone nudging your bumper, I kid you not.

So, here’s my plea, drive on the left, you morons.

I know, they’re not listening.


3 Comments

  1. Donald Pearman
    November 11, 2013 at 9:54 pm — Reply

    Surely you remember using UK motorways and the middle lane twerps? And that under (as against over) taking is illegal here and can have the boys in blue on your tail rather than on middlelaner’s? As it happens there is some government action at the moment to persuade these, and tailgaters, to behave themselves.
    Do you have the menaces we have that park so as to block footpaths? I’m running a campaign against this.

  2. Phil
    November 12, 2013 at 3:02 pm — Reply

    Actually, my understanding is that ‘undertaking’ isn’t illegal – although it should be. Having lived in the UK for a number of years, I am still amazed at the Australian predilection for trying to get somewhere first rather than realising that we’re all gonna end up at the same traffic lights anyway…

    • November 12, 2013 at 5:16 pm — Reply

      Hi Phil, a quick look at New South Wales road rules shows that it is actually illegal to ‘undertake’. Indeed, it’s a $169 fine and a loss of two demerit points. More than that, it’s also pretty dangerous.
      It’s also an offence, again, in NSW, to ‘drive in the right-hand lane on a road with a speed limit of 80km/h’ unless overtaking, it’s also illegal to disobey a sign telling you to ‘keep left unless overtaking’, both are $304 offences (and two demerit points).

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober was born in the shadow of Mount Panorama in Bathurst and, so, it was inevitable he’d fall into work as a motoring writer. He began his motoring career in 2000 reviewing commercial vehicles, before becoming editor of Caravan & Motorhome magazine. He then moved to MOTOR Magazine before going freelance and contributing to Overlander 4WD, 4×4 Australia, TopGear Australia, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, The Australian, CARSguide, and many more.