ED TEAM CHATTER
Well, that went by damn quick! Hope you all had a sweet holiday break and managed to get among some of the fine, fine weather that we were treated to. I made sure to cut a few kilometres around the country in the time off and gave the new daily a good ol’ run in — and forget the same old repeating record; I didn’t get the track car done in time to take it out, not that I would have looked forward to forking out for that fuel bill.
The roads between Auckland (via Matamata) and Taupo are pretty stellar, I might add, and, for the most part, it was smooth sailing the whole way down and back. But there was one part of my travels that irked me. What’s the deal with passing lanes and our attitude towards them? Don’t get me wrong here — passing lanes are a godsend when you get caught behind a milk truck out in the wops, and I made fair use of that trick, don’t you worry — but when it came to passing otherwise slow-travelling (80kph) cars, it was suddenly the back straight at Laguna Seca, and we were battling for a podium finish. One such chap was quite fond of clocking in excess of 110kph as soon as the following car moved into the passing lane, after covering a 10-kilometre stretch of open road at a lovely 60 to 80kph. It’s that old ‘you can’t pass me’ attitude, and Kiwis are quite well known for the staunch stance we take towards these ‘challenges’ while driving. In reality, it causes no harm to you if you simply stay at your comfortable cruising speed, or even dial it back a touch; you won’t get to your destination any slower if you let cars pass you.
This kind of stuff creates pissed-off drivers, the ones who sit on your arse even when you aren’t the car holding up the queue, and, more often than not, being pissed-off causes them to attempt some sketchy manoeuvres to get past. It’s this business that adds to our road toll, as frustrated drivers make poor decisions.
I’ll admit I’ve been guilty of this behaviour in the past but have made a point to drop my speed, if safe to do so, when I see cars moving into the passing lane — the other driver can pass within the posted speed limit, and I can happily increase my speed once they have passed.
The roads aren’t a battle royal, where you need to prove how big your dick is at every opportunity. We all want to get where we’re going in a good time and in one piece.
Take it easy out there, boys and girls.