I love to be driving,just clear the road

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 23, 2004

The Gray Line Tour – Leonard Gray

Driving is usually one of my great pleasures. It’s just the drivers around me who often spoil it for me.

I’m the first to admit that I’m hardly a perfect driver. Just ask my wife. According to her, I drive too fast, too closely on the vehicle ahead of me and don’t brake as gently as she does.

One guess who has had the rear-end collisions and who has not.

However, it’s the driving habits of others which continually…drive… me nuts.

These include those wonderful people who whip through traffic, hopping lanes like we were just so many traffic cones.

Are there THAT many people delivering their expectant wives to the hospital? What’s the major hurry? And, to make matters worse for me, they are apparently not being pursued.

Of course, from time to time, there are the hot-rodders who chase each other through traffic, but I don’t see them very often.

Moving along, I often drive on River Road – a two-lane road. There are lines in the middle of the road which designate where the no-passing zones are located. Am I the only driver on the road who understands these lines? For those still puzzled, let me explain. A solid line on your side means you cannot pass but oncoming traffic can pass. A solid line on the other side means that oncoming traffic cannot pass but that you can pass. A double line in the middle of the road means no one can pass. Got it clear? OK.

Next thing are turn lanes on the shoulders of some roads. These are for making a turn. Driving on the shoulder to approach these turn lanes is not an acceptable or legal practice. Yet, I see it constantly, people scooting along on the shoulder to make a right turn, cutting off traffic legally waiting to make that same turn..

Also, approaching most traffic lights, there is a solid white line crossing the road in front of you. That means do not cross that line until the light changes to green. Period. Don’t creep past that line until the line has turned green.

I’m guilty of another bad driving habit which apparently makes other people berserk. Often, on a multi-lane highway, I will drive on the inside lane. People will zoom up to me and ride my rear bumper until I get over to let them pass.

My question is, what’s their big hurry? And, moreover, could they give me a tiny break to be able to find a spot on the outside lane into which to pull aside? Of course, it’s my own fault being there in the first place and I accept that. Unless I’m about to make a left turn. Then, tough luck. You will wait until I make my turn.

LEONARD GRAY is managing editor of L’Observateur. He may be reached at (985) 652-9545.