The Turn Lane/Pass Lane Phenomenon
The Turn Lane/Pass Lane Phenomenon
I'm driving along Airport Road, or College Drive or whatever the heck they are calling it this week, when a red pickup comes out of nowhere and jerks into the turning lane and uses it as a passing lane, careening at a high velocity past cars in both lanes just ahead of me, then stomps on the brakes and has some words with a driver in a car further along the road.
You see, that is the type of thing I wish NOT to indulge in: Road Rage.
Maybe it's a trend?
Like polyester leisure suits.
Only, no one ever died by wearing leisure suits.
Unless it was of embarrassment.
But folks can die of people using the turning lane in the middle of the road as a third lane of travel.
Let's hope it's not all the rave.
If it is, it is not in a GOOD way.
Generally speaking, it's all part-and-parcel of a disturbing pattern of behavior in our society. The pendulum is swinging the wrong way and it not finished in its wide arc toward a dangerous path in the future.
First, there was the loss of personal accountability.
Then, Phase Two: the compulsive urge to blame everybody else for our problems.
And finally, the death knell of civilization is sounding with the onset of Phase Three: Consuming love of self-We are descending into a sea of narcissism which threatens to take us all down.
And it could not be more perfectly exemplified than in this terrible trend that we are seeing on our streets and highways: Using the turning lane as a traffic lane.
You see it's not enough that SOME people have part of the road.
No, now they want ALL OF IT!
And this latest attempt to run around traffic is truly alarming.
In the last few months ago, I have witnessed it… four times.
The first time I saw vehicles flying past others, I was startled.
I saw a car veer around trucks traveling down I-55, suddenly diving to the right, passing both trucks ON THE SHOULDER OF THE ROAD!
Next, at Missouri and the frontage road at West Memphis-a vehicle magically changing the turn lane into a passing lane.
Then, again-as I previously stated, the incident on College Drive.
Yet, since then… and that was only a couple days ago… I saw it again!
It was this Sunday, as we were driving to church. From behind traffic on the other side of the road, a black muscle car screeched tires, to storm past all the vehicles on a crowed frontage road in front of Burger King, and tore down the road.
I wondered, what if someone on our side of the road, like us, had been in that turning lane when that road-rager decided to do his thing?
Well, first, because it would have been a head-on accident, you can double the damage which would be done to property and people. If the oncoming vehicle is driving 30 miles-anhour and you are going 30, then it's like you collide in a one-way accident at a 60mph rate of speed.
That significantly reduces the chance of surviving such a debacle.
And since the middle lane is the one in question, there is little doubt that an accident involving the turning lane will be a devastating one. And I, for one, do not want to see or hear of such an irresponsible crime, which is totally avoidable and preventable by virtue of a driver simply acting like a responsible person.
There is no excuse for this behavior being intentionally committed in our community, because some megalomaniac thinks that the law doesn't apply to him or her.
The ONLY one that the law doesn't apply to is Hillary Clinton.
Everybody knows that.
So, here's what should happen.
I don't know what traffic code applies here, but it should be more punitive than most, simply because it is committed on purpose and displays total contempt for the safety of others.
Personally, I would like to see it rise to the level of a high misdemeanor.
Even a felony.
If it could make a state ballot, I-for one-would vote for it.
I'll have to ask the judge about that, next time court's in session. Maybe there's an outbreak of it in this area? Because I've seen it happen too many times lately for it to be accidental. Maybe I'm too observant?
I dunno — jerking into lanes like that doesn't seem too cool, regardless.
And speaking of jerks… let me say this directly to you who are engaging in this type of criminal behavior.
Stop it before you injure or kill someone. Because, AFTER it happens, you won't be able to take it back. You will have to live with your conscience and the consequences of the devastation that you inflict upon your victims, their families and friends for the rest of your life, not to mention the legal ramifications of your misdeeds.
And there's no taking it back or apology that will make it right.
Being a few minutes late is a small price to pay compared to THAT.
By Robert L. Hall