It was pointed out to me, recently, that I hadn't made as many nominations for the Upper Nile Territory award (Blog, 09/08/2008) as may have been expected and, having accepted that this might be true, I've come to realise that there may be some reason for this to be the case.
Firstly, I'm afraid I may have become so inured to bad behaviour on the highways and byways of Great Britain that I have developed a somewhat lassier faire attitude toward the transgressions of my fellow motorists.
Secondly, in my efforts to discover what triggers the acute pain I suffer in my neck, from time to time, it has been suggested that it might be a form of stress and that a significant contributor towards that condition may be my own reaction to motorists who annoy me.
Accordingly, perhaps, a combination of these two factors may have caused me to neglect the issue. That isn't to say, however, that there aren't any candidates for the award and, to that end, I'll reveal the group of drivers who are, by far and away, the worst offenders.
I mean, of course, Centre Lane Only Tw*ts (CLOTS).
Whilst most proficient, professional, drivers would agree with this assessment, paradoxically, a significant number of CLOTS are, themselves, professional drivers - i.e. that well-known, sub-human species, the White Van Man (WVM). However, much as they annoy me, I tend to discount their behaviour in much the same way as someone else did, "Forgive them, Lord, for they know not what they do" - in other words, by and large, most of them are stupid.
The second largest group of CLOTS, I'm sorry to say - since they are my contemporaries - are the middle-aged to elderly drivers. However, whilst the WVM will generally know that he shouldn't hog the centre lane, those who learnt to drive before or around the time motorways were being introduced to the UK believe they are entitled to remain in the centre lane because it is their understanding that the inside lane is for SLOW (i.e. commercial vehicles) traffic.
Having said that, if they were to study a version of The Highway Code which was printed on something rather more up-to-date than parchment, they would realise the error of their ways - and, digressing slightly, that leads me to suggest there are strong grounds to introduce some form of re-testing (on The Highway Code, at least) for all drivers at regular intervals.
One of the reasons CLOTS are especially annoying to me is that, in common with all coach drivers, I'm limited to 100 kph (that's a little over 62 mph). Now , that means I can, quite comfortably, overtake a HGV (limited to just over 56 mph) in the inside lane. However, since a coach isn't allowed in the outside lane, I'm not permitted (by law) to overtake a CLOT who is travelling at 60 mph in the centre lane.
Unless you've experienced such a situation, you can't imagine how frustrating it can be - especially when many of the offending CLOTS will oftenbelieve they have every right ot be where they are.
If the police forces of this country paid half as much attention to this idiotic inconsideration to others as they do to drivers exceeding the speed limit, for example, there would be far less instances of 'Road Rage' on the motorway network of the UK. This problem rarely occurs on the continent because lane discipline is far more rigidly enforced - and so it should be!