If you can read this, stop tailgating

Joanna Beckett

The California Highway is a war zone that pits the speed limit driving motorists against the self-righteous fast drivers. Like most Los Angeles drivers, I have witnessed countless freeway collisions, and as a result, I have decided to drive the speed limit. But many like me are being punished by our fellow drivers for adhering to the law.

The tailgating, honking and high-beam crazed speed demons are jeopardizing other motorist’s safety, just so they can race around cars at a limit they have set in their minds.

I spend the majority of my driving time commuting on the freeways. The freeways of Los Angeles are some the most dangerous, rigorous and frustrating roads to travel in the United States. On these freeways a sub-group of LA drivers can be found, who are some of the most self-centered drivers that feel and act as if they own the road and set its pace. What these drivers fail to realize or ignore is the stated fact there is already a designated law in place which always overrides their ideology and reasoning.

I often drive in the farthest left lane or what some have coined “the fast lane.” In the fast lane, I find myself driving at most ten miles faster than the speed limit, a limit in itself that is illegal and dangerous. Despite driving faster than the speed limit, I am constantly harassed by the speed demons who want me to drive just as fast as them or faster.

As a spectator on the freeway, you can witness the speed demons harassing other motorists with a variety of methods. These methods can include repetitive honking, severe tailgating, use of vision impairing high beam lights and sharp cut offs. Often these speed demons have no respect for the law that designates 65 mph as the speed limit on most Los Angeles freeways. And most importantly, they have no respect or consideration for their fellow motorists. These speed demons have managed to victimize individuals who simply follow the real rules of the road by using their false reasoning.

Speed demons like to think of themselves as road warriors, who are simply navigating the treacherous highways of Los Angeles. Their reasons for driving faster than the speed limit include the over used phrase of “I’m just going with the flow of traffic.” Or the excuse, the farthest left lane is the designated lane for drivers wanting to drive faster than the limit. Their reasoning behind harassing other drivers include that “slow” drivers slow traffic down forcing them to tailgate and subsequently honk profusely to remind them to speed up.

In fact, this reasoning is often an admission of guilt to breaking the speed limit law, since there is no section in the California Motor Vehicle Code stating a fast lane speed limit. Further more, the harassment that ensues when a motorist is driving the speed limit in the farthest left lane is not warranted under any conditions. Safety should be the utmost priority when operating a motor vehicle, not speed. These drivers who break the speed limit and harass other drivers have yet to grasp this notion of safety first, which has resulted in vehicle damage, injury and even death on the freeways.

These speed-driven motorists have no sense of patience and bully other drivers as a result of it. Some of these drivers also exhibit bad freeway etiquette, because of events that happen off the freeway, which may include a typical “bad day” or just simply failing to be punctual in leaving for a destination. Events leading up to driving on the freeway should not be inflicted upon another driver.

If you are too distraught to drive, then please refrain from taking your frustrations out on individuals that have no connection to your life outside of sharing a freeway. Just because you have the right to drive on the freeway does not entitle you to brake the law and punish other motorists at the same time.