Back in 2013, I expressed frustration with Rhode Islanders’ willingness to merge early before a lane reduction and let “scum” take advantage of them by driving up the open lane to the very end and described the results when I decide to be a traffic vigilante:
I’ve tended to take that on as a cause of one. Wherever my place should be, that’s where I stay, but in my own lane, with the length of empty road before me. Without fail, as soon as the remaining scum in front of my blockade have been absorbed, the line, which had previously been at a standstill, begins to move smoothly.
But as proven by their waving arms and the number of times that I’ve had to sneak on to side roads to avoid road rage once the obstacle had been passed, the scum apparently feel that the moral advantage has been passed to them. I am at fault, in their eyes, for preventing them from taking advantage of everybody else.
Well, whaddaya know:
There’s a growing consensus among many state transportation officials that when a lane closure is looming, getting drivers to use all available lanes until the point where cars need to merge can keep traffic moving more efficiently and safely, and even cut down on road rage.
The article is too delicate to explain the mechanism that makes it less efficient and safe when drivers get over too soon, but it’s clear nonetheless. But come on, folks, we shouldn’t need government to cajole us into orderly cooperation. If one individual out of every 50 or so drivers is willing to stand up to the scum, we’ll solve the problem entirely through private action and civil society.