Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tailgating and passing in the shoulder...

Talk about an off-topic subject. This is pulled directly from craigslist's "best of craigslist" but it has relevance because it mentions local roads with deer that have loads of speed traps and it apparently occurred in Ithaca. The "Faded Glory" dig is priceless.

To the guy who tailgated me for 20 miles this morning

I get it. You wanted to go faster, and given that you drive a
Mitsubishi Lancer maybe you are under the impression that you are fast and/or furious. I’m the guy who was in front of you for 20 miles from Alpine Junction to Ithaca, driving at various speeds with the constant being that you were so close to my rear end it felt like I was trapped in a changing room with Richard Simmons.

We met at 61 mph, a nice speed for Route 13 — fast enough to not take forever and slow enough to go unremarked by the many police who patrol that road. You were unsatisfied and expressed it by staying a cool 5 feet off my bumper. I slowed down gradually to 55 mph. This was one of several opportunities to pass me, but you just slowed down too and stayed back there like you wanted to turn on a Sting album and spoon me. So I sped up again hoping that you’d get the message and let me keep the distance I had won between us…but no, you are a jealous sharer of the road, Mitsubishi Lancer. You caught up. For 10 more miles we were like cellmates and you tried to make me your b$^^$, but all you succeeded in doing was going 13 miles an hour slower than when you started tailgating me. How did that work out for you?

Coming down the hill into Ithaca I sped up again, figuring you’d been punished enough. So when you tried to give me the Sneaky Pete again, I admit I lost my cool and touched the brake for the first time. I hope you spilled your coffee on what I imagine were your Faded Glory pleated khaki pants. Then, in the two-lane road in town you didn’t go around. You proceeded to follow me all the way to my parking place before giving me a look and going on your way to, I assume, the DMV where you work.

I offer you these common sense tips:
1. Tailgating is a d*** move, and it’s even more of a d*** move if the guy in front of you is already well above the speed limit on a well-patrolled road.

2. If you are tailgating someone and they slow down, that’s your cue to pass and if you can’t pass, well then screw you because you are being a d*** anyway.

3. It actually makes sense to leave some distance for you too. Have you seen all the deer carcasses on the road? That’s because
cars hit them. If a deer jumps in front of me and I have to slam on the brakes, I don’t want you crashing into me. Based on your body, I'd guess your reaction time is only fast in World of Warcraft.

On a separate but related issue, does anyone know NYS law regarding passing in the shoulder? When I learned to drive a 100 years ago I remember it being a definite no-no, but now, it's not only commonplace, it almost feels as though it's expected that cars will pass in the shoulder.

To turn onto my block you have to make a left turn across rt 12. Occasionally, there will be enough traffic that it is unsafe to make that turn without coming to a complete stop. In the last few years I can remember only a handful of cars that did not fly by me at 60mph in the shoulder. This must be illegal I'd tell myself, they are just lucky that one of the 85 different police cars that seem to drive past my house every hour wasn't here to see them.

Does anyone know if this is still illegal and everyone just feels comfortable breaking the law in order to save 6 extra seconds of commuting time?

I'm very tempted to get one of the those fake security cams to deter such activity. However, setting up a fake security cam within 10 miles of the border would probably get me 35 years in Gitmo.


The Hermit said...

It can't be against the law, I have had several troopers do it to me on RT 12.

Anonymous said...

Yes it is against the law to pass on the shoulder! That is where pedestrians and bicycles are. The police pass on the shoulder most of the time because idiot road owner drivers refuse to pull over to the shoulder to allow them to pass by. Not to mention, it seems as though police have a totally different set of laws to follow...