May I rant?


If I could (without attracting unwanted police attention) I would have a neon sign at the top of my windshield that says: “pu peek esaelP” that would read “please keep up” to a motorist in front of me who is dawdling in the fast lane of California freeways.

Recently, the average speed in the “Fast Lane” of I-15 in San Diego has increased to a nice 82.5 MPH, and the second lane is between 78 and 80.

Some drivers do not get the word, and I am not just talking about Prius drivers for whom I hold special contempt. California freeways are FAST, not Autobahn fast, but pretty quick. There used to be freeway signs in California that read, “If passed on the right, you are wrong!”

The dawdlers in the two faster lanes, force me and a lot of drivers to weave, unnecessarily. I would love to just maintain 82.5 — or even 80 — but that is not possible because Left Lane Louie (or Louise) believe that they pay for each lane and can use whatever lane has the better scenery!

Even worse, are those who drive along at proper freeway speed, but whose cars (or trucks) lose speed on hills…usually they can’t get over even if they wish because traffic to the right is just too heavy, and everyone chugs — slowly up the hill.

Now I admit I drive too fast, but courtesy is courtesy. I am a (semi) retired racing driver, and held an SCCA racing license for a decade.

If a slow walker hears a jogger approaching from behind, almost everyone would yield, but in the anonymity of an automobile, surrounded by 4,000 pounds of metal, people feel an invincibility and lose common courtesy.

Now, about Prius drivers…not cars, drivers. They are of a breed that believes they were placed on earth to control the universe. Their superiority permits, nay requires them to save the earth by driving slowly. Their cars are not inherently slow, but they, in their cars cop an attitude.

Personally, I am trying to slow down as I approach the age of 82. I generally try the second lane, but there are many drivers there being passed on the left and the right. It is getting so bad that in many cases the far right lane, he so called “Slow Lane” is actually the fastest lane.

The whole situation defies logic.

5 Responses

  1. You are an amazing man. Everything you have done and your a professional race car driver. I might nominate you for the most interesting man in the world title. Very cool.

    Out here in West Virginia, we only have two lanes on the interstate and it never fails that the fast lane is occupied by someone from Ohio driving 65 in a 70 and the slow lane has a tractor-trailer varying between 80 and 50 depending if the hill tilts up or down. It is downright dangerous out there.

    I love the rant and I hope all is well in your world.


    • I-15 is five lanes in some places, four in others, with trucks normally in the next to slow lane so as to permit cars to enter and leave the freeway.

      Of course trucks need to pass other trucks, so they are often taking up two lanes — leaving two lanes for automobiles, the fast lane and a second lane.

      A slow driver becomes a boulder in a stream, with water flowing around it…absent the trucks. Two effective lanes for cars is not enough for THIS traffic, so drivers often have to dart between the trucks.

      It is a mess. Fortunately, I drive an IS350 Lexus convertible, and in my short, decade long racing career, I learned the way “holes” open two and three car lengths ahead and I can usually get there, but honestly racing is safer because you know the abilities and habits of the drivers. California drivers are good, but….

  2. George Carlin: “Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot and anybody driving faster than you is a maniac?”

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