OUR VIEW: Driving skills taking a back seat

As new drivers, we’re taught the left lane is for passing.

As new drivers, we’re taught the left lane is for passing, getting ready for a left turn and moving out of the way of an obstruction. It’s the right lane that’s meant for general travel. Drivers are supposed to be aware of what’s going on around them, anticipate being overtaken and keep right.

When a driver uses the left lane and remains oblivious to other vehicles around them, we get frustrated, angry, even. That does not give anyone the right to drive aggressively or use our vehicles to bully drivers.

The provincial government’s recent edict that it plans to crack down on left lane hogs is a reaction to this frustration. It will, however, do little to solve the problem and help perpetuate aggressive driving.

We are taught not to be angry or overly emotional when getting behind the wheel of a car. Yet, if we’re told left lane hogs are a problem, there’s the chance some people will feel justified in more aggressive tactics.

What the campaign will do, potentially, is cause an increase in road rage incidents, simply by empowering drivers who think they are in the right and act in ways they feel are justified against the so-called left lane hog.

If the goal was to educate drivers to help decrease crashes and aggressive driving, putting the blame on slower drivers isn’t the way to do it.

Consider, rather, driver education that lasts a lifetime. Once someone has their driver’s license, they may never improve. In fact, bad habits are all too likely to occur. Why not make it a requirement that drivers must, at intervals, recertify or refresh their driving skills and knowledge?

Perhaps if more people were reminded about the rules of the road more regularly, left lane hogs — and road rageaholics — would take a back seat.

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