Road Rants - Overtaking

I could probably put together an entire 'Road Rants' series, but this one is inspired by some comments I saw today on a facebook post about overtaking

"Why should we have to brake in our cars with our children to let them in"

Firstly, pet hate, people like to invoke the whole "think of the children" mentality, as if because your car has children in it someone is less likely to want to crash into it. I don't care whether the occupant is 7 or 70, I don't want to hit another vehicle with a person in it (or, for that matter, a pet... which I'd probably get along with more than the person)


Secondly, and more importantly, echoing a theme I've seen time and time again;

When did overtaking AT ALL become a bad thing in many people's eyes? Even SAGA of all people picked up on this - https://www.saga.co.uk/magazine/motoring/cars/using/safer-overtaking – and I wish we could all get past it!

I've been flashed at for having the audacity to perform a perfectly safe and legal overtaking manoeuvre, of a single car on a long clear stretch of the A82, presumably because they just believe everyone should sit behind them :/

I would strongly suggest to anyone who spends a lot of time on roads, read Roadcraft this is a government publication supported by the Police, RoSPA, and many others – and there's a lot on overtaking including overtaking streams of vehicles, overtaking on bends etc – all things which can be done safely in certain circumstances. It should be handed out like the highway code IMHO.

Of course, there's never an excuse for doing so in a dangerous manner – but likewise overtaking a line of traffic isn't always dangerous. Just because it's not something you might do, doesn't mean it's wrong.

Leave gaps in traffic, and if you see someone overtaking that you disapprove of, fine, perhaps flash at them but please do NOT consider closing gaps up and not letting them back into the flow of traffic – this could result in a serious accident, and you'll be close enough to it that it'll make no difference that you weren't the one doing the overtaking – you also needlessly endanger the life of those on the other side of the road (not just the overtaking vehicle) who is now looking at a 120mph head-on collision because of your selfishness.

I'm also very aware that everyone's ability (both their personal ability and their vehicle's) is different. There are places that I wouldn't overtake, but someone else might, and that's their call to make.

Of course, there are some manoeuvres that are clearly dangerous, and there's a lot of people that make stupid decisions, but the talk of "not letting idiots back in" etc is an equally stupid decision.

Consider yourself in the position of the car on the other side of the road slamming its brakes on because of oncoming traffic. In that split second, they want someone to let the idiot in, however stupid they think they were, as it might be the only thing that stops them hitting them. It might be the difference between continuing the journey thinking “what an idiot”, continuing it in an ambulance, or not continuing it at all.

Stay Safe. Allow Overtaking.


More worryingly, the group that originally prompted this post, removed it and banned me, as apparently safe driving is an inappropriate message. Says a lot really :(

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