Can’t keep up? Then get out of the fast lane
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We Kiwis may be great at driving fast on race tracks — as proven by the likes of Greg Murphy, Scott Dixon, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley — but when it comes to driving fast on our roads, we fail.
In last week’s editorial I mentioned a Kiwi who lives part-time in Italy, where she thinks the drivers are much better than here, and I’ve had feedback from readers agreeing with her.
One reader pointed out that in Italy: “No trucks are allowed in the outside lane and all vehicles are encouraged to only use the outside lane for passing.”
From my experience of driving in Italy a few years ago, in a very slow 1976 Land Rover Defender, locals “encouraged” you to use the outside lane for passing only by flashing their headlights and honking their horn until you moved.
But the drivers in Spain I encountered recently were more courteous than those Italian drivers.
I was in Costa del Sol last week for the Mercedes C-Class coupe launch and enjoyed driving on their motorways, where the speed limit was 120km/h. But it also made me hope we don’t increase our open-road speed in New Zealand.
Some local proponents suggest we increase the speed limit to 110 or 120km/h. But if we can’t even drive correctly on motorways at 100km/h, there is no hope for us at a much faster speed. In Spain, as in most European countries, the “fast” lane on the motorway is for overtaking, and overtaking only.
No, it’s not for driving at 99km/h speed “because I think that’s what everyone else should be doing”.
Here’s a little tip for those fast-lane hoggers: the rearview mirror is not for checking your hair. It’s for seeing what vehicle is behind you, so use it every few minutes.