Keep right except to pass

Picture this: a pickup truck cruising down a country road. It’s a sunny fall afternoon. The roads are bare and dry. There’s a bit of traffic, but not a whole lot, because it’s only about 4 pm and the evening rush hour (such as it is along this country road) has yet to begin.

The pickup truck is moving along at exactly the speed limit, 60 kph. There aren’t many cross streets on this particular stretch of road, so few vehicles actually stay at that speed. Most go much faster, 80 or 90 kph. About the only real hazard is the occasional tractor or farm truck crossing the road (I did mention that this is in the country, right?).

There’s another vehicle following the pickup truck. It keeps a safe distance behind, but it soon becomes obvious that it is getting frustrated following the pickup truck. Apparently it would like to proceed at a faster pace, and it moves out slightly into the oncoming lane to see if there is any approaching traffic.

There is, but it’s quite a long way away, on the other side of a small bridge. Before that bridge, the dotted yellow line down the middle of this country road becomes a solid line, indicating that no passing is permitted there. There are a couple of vehicles parked near the little bridge. There often are, as people seem to like to walk along the meandering creek that the bridge spans, or possibly fish in it.

The vehicle following the pickup truck decides to go for it. It pulls out to pass the pickup truck, probably hoping to snick back in front of it well before the little bridge. It won’t make it before the yellow line becomes solid, but it should be there well before the oncoming traffic.

Except … that one of the vehicles parked at the bridge is a cop car. Complete with a cop. Which the driver of the passing car obviously doesn’t notice until it’s too late.

The cop pulls the passing vehicle over right smartly. The vehicle has to sit there, its driver humiliated, while the pickup truck drives by sedately, its driver probably laughing their ass off at the other stupid driver.

And why am I telling you this story?

Well, guess which driver I was. (Hint: I don’t drive a pickup truck.)


The cop was very nice and of course I had absolutely no defense except stupidity. He ticketed me for the illegal pass only, not for the speeding, thereby saving me 200$ in fines.

But I’m still going to avoid that road for a while.


11 responses to “Keep right except to pass

  1. Something similar happened tome when I was a teenager. I was getting to drive the family to the cottage, along what was a two lane highway at the time – up hill and down dale with sharp turns to the left every now and then for well over 90 minutes. No clear view to pass this sucker. I finally get a straight stretch and pulled out to pass…..
    My father never offered to pay the fine. It was my only speeding ticket for decades and it still burns.

  2. Oops! I bet you won’t be doing that again in ahurry 😉

  3. Poor baby. So, why wasn’t the PU nailed for going too slowly? That’s also in violation of the law. Needless to say my sympathies are with you because I understand the frustration.

    • mrwriteon – The pickup was going exactly the speed limit, which isn’t really too slow, according to the law, but it certainly was according to me! Makes me wonder if anybody has ever had a ticket for going too slowly…

  4. Damn, I hate when that happens.

    • Jazz – As I said to the cop, giggling ruefully, “Sometimes you get the elevator, sometimes you get the shaft.” He laughed pretty hard at that. Hey, maybe that’s why he only gave me the one ticket instead of the two I deserved??

  5. Well, at least you were very honest about it.

    • Nora – I really had no other option. I was guilty as charged – and dumb for not seeing the police car. There it was, not hidden behind other cars, well-marked, with the light bar on top and everything. Sometimes I shouldn’t leave the house, I think.