Frustrated motorist writes: Why don’t we all smarten up…?
Well, finally, an article about the problems on Veterans Memorial Highway (Half-arsed highway, Sept. 21). Thank you, Lynn Strong and Terry Roberts.
I am one of that great majority of motorists who are usually frustrated when driving on this highway. This frustration arises from two main causes: No. 1, the design of the highway, and No. 2, and most importantly, the bad habits of so many drivers.
S/ Sgt. Rick Robinson of the RCMP is absolutely correct when he says the highway is in good condition.
One notable exception is the section from the Harbour Grace/Bristol’s Hope access road up the hill past CHVO.
The northbound lane in this area was resurfaced not long ago and even though this pavement is relatively new it has since developed very deep ruts.
For whatever reason, it is clear for all to see that the repair was not up to adequate standards.
As for the situation at the North River interchange, the Mr. Tom Hedderson (Transportation minister) wisely concedes that putting in an interchange without a sufficient number of access ramps was “an afterthought.”
The absence of desperately-needed passing lanes is another glaring shortcoming.
The overall design of the highway may well be adequate, according to the standards of the Transport Association of Canada, but I suspect it only barely meets those guidelines.
Certainly, it is better than what was available previously, but far from ideal.
However, what really makes this road not only frustrating to drive, but quite dangerous, is the bad driving habits of so many motorists.
How many drivers know what to do when the sign says MERGE?
At the Harbour Grace access near CHVO, too many people coming up to the MERGE sign actually stop!
They wait for the traffic to go by instead of getting up to highway speed and merging with the flow as they should.
Coming to a stop here is a dangerous practice, as the motorists on the highway do not know how to react.
Should they slow down to let you in, speed up, or maybe just ignore you and mutter that you need to go back and re-read your booklet of road rules?
On any given sunny day, I have crawled along at 90, 80, and even 70 km/ h behind someone who was totally unaware of the long line of angry drivers following close behind.
It may come as news to many, but, except for the areas around the three ‘ T-intersections,’ the speed limit is actually 100 km/h!
Weather and road conditions permitting, I have every right to go that fast, and to expect you motorists in front of me to do the same.
This is especially important on an ‘ adequate’ highway like this one.
If you can’t, or won’t, keep up to a reasonable speed, get out of my way.
If you’re “only going from Carbonear to Riverhead,” as we so often see, that does not mean I also want to creep along behind you as far as Jamie’s Way.
If you do not wish to drive that fast or you’re just not in a hurry, there is a different route you can take.
On the other hand, if I am already going 100, don’t tailgate to try to get me to go faster. It won’t work. And like too many of you do, PLEASE don’t be stupid enough to try to pass me when there is already a half-dozen cars ahead of me. I understand you are frustrated. So am I.
But someone up ahead, who is not in a hurry to get where they are going, who never looks in the rear-view mirror, who does not understand that on a barely-adequate highway like this we all owe each other a little extra courtesy, who does not realize what a truly serious danger they are to others on the road, and who cares about nobody but themselves, is holding all of us back.
How about it folks? We all know what this highway is like. Why don’t we all smarten up and make a little extra effort to keep each other safe by showing some consideration, learning to merge and following the posted speed limits? Thanks. Darrell Yetman