17 July 2006
Scottish road politeness
Despite all this though, an even more remarkable thing happened on the commute last week. I was behind a van (fairly unusual) which was behind another car. The car in front pulled over and let us past.
That's it. An everyday occurence on single track roads in the Highlands where almost without exception people pull over when there's a car behind them, this common courtesy is a rarity everywhere else. In the Highlands, there are police notices asking people to pull over. If only the same common sense applied on Scotland's A roads which comprise the bulk of major routes north of Stirling.
Rather than politely pulling over, we are left stuck in long queues for 40 miles or more behind people who think that adding a minute to their journey to pull over and let others pass is less preferable to having a long queue of frustrated drivers behind them and taking risks with overtaking.
Thus you can often make a decent speed of about 50mph on a good single track road, but might be stuck at 45mph on a far better A road because the person ahead is too selfish to pull over regularly.
Would it not make sense to have a law that if you are slow moving and have a long queue of traffic behind that you pull over? It works for single track roads, and is probably more relevant for A roads given the greater distances involved.