(Reverse "right" and "left" as required.)
When you learn a rule, ask yourself why this rule is a rule. When you
learn to ride on the right, don't just say "The right is the right
place to ride. Riding on the right will keep me SAFE."
You ride on the right because two objects travelling along the same
line are much less likely to collide if they are moving in the same
direction. Indeed, if two objects have exactly the same velocity
(which is physics-speak for "speed and direction"), they will forever
remain the same distance apart and never meet.
If several objects are travelling along the same line in the same
direction, but with different speeds, the faster objects will catch up
with the slower ones, but the closing speed will usually be so slow
that it's easy to match the speed of the slower object until it's safe
to overtake. And if there are no safe places to pass, at least all of
you will keep moving toward your destinations. If two vehicles going
opposite ways meet, the only way to avoid a collision is for both to
come to a dead stop.
Alas, the human mind seems to require a separate rule for every
occasion; instead of a law saying "thou shalt pay attention to thy
driving", we want separate laws saying "thou shalt not drive while
/talking on the phone/texting/playing computer games/applying
makeup/watching television/typing a doctoral dissertation/typing a
master's dissertation/writing a theme for English class/browsing the
Web/ . . . the woman who murdered six cyclists went free because
there was no law against driving with your head under the dashboard.
I read in the paper that the town council is thinking of legalizing
golf carts. A part of the proposed law is that a golf cart with three
cars piled up behind it must pull over and let them pass. This is
just plain silly. First, because we already have a law against
blocking traffic. Second, because it implies that if you are impeding
only one car, you may force him to follow you all the way to your
If *anybody* is driving slowly because he can't get around me, I pull
over the very first time it's safe to pull over.
Note well: "safe" does NOT mean encouraging someone to overtake you
in a narrow lane when the oncoming lane is occupied and unavailable.
It also doesn't mean "pull off the road and stay in that parking space
joy beeson at comcast dot net
The above message is a Usenet post.
I don't recall having given anyone permission to use it on a Web site.