Trying to beat queues but cutting across lanes late is rude, dangerous and makes patient drivers see red – usually brake lights, says motoring editor Andy Russell.
In all the years I have been driving there’s obviously a road marking I have missed – the one on slip lanes off motorways and dual-carriageways which encourages patient drivers to queue sensibly and safely and others to roar up the outside and then suddenly cut across in a blaze of red brake lights.
Perhaps it could say something to the effect “You obviously think your time is more precious and you are more important than anyone else in this queue so shove in at the last minute, make everyone brake and possibly cause an accident… it won’t hold you up because you’ll be ahead of it having caused it.”
It might just work because so long a message could lure impatient drivers into the correct lane and by the time they have finished reading it they will be at the junction!
I had the misfortune of coming off the M6 motorway on to the A14 in Leicestershire – a bad junction at the best of times and currently even worse amid all the junction improvement work but at least it means things should get better.
The queue for in the left-hand lane to leave the M6 for the A14 started, according to my sat-nav 1.4 miles away from Junction 19 so I dutifully joined it.
It took about 10 minutes to get through to the junction but I was amazed at the behaviour of some drivers on the M6 who sped alongside, saw a gap between cars driving a safe distance apart and just swerved into it, causing the line of traffic to brake. I’m sure that’s a big reason why there was such a tailback and vehicle kept having to stop and start.
All it did was encourage many of the patient drivers to ‘shut the door’ by closing up on the vehicle in front so there was no longer a gap to pull in to. And that resulted in a Volkswagen Golf, still on the M6, just stopping in its lane until it could force its way into the queue for the A14. I was only aware of it when an articulated lorry suddenly locked up its wheels in a cloud of tyre smoke to avoid hitting the Golf. The consequences of such a collision – it wouldn’t have been an accident – don’t bear thinking about.
And then there was the driver of a Skoda Fabia who obviously waits for no one and left the M6 as it actually separated from the slip road, crossing solid white lines and stopping in the chevrons themselves until they could bully their way in. All it did was stop the slow flow of traffic completely for about half a minute.
Perhaps we could use traffic cameras to crack down on inconsiderate, and downright dangerous, cutting in at junctions. We wouldn’t put up with such rude and offensive behaviour in a queue in a shop so why do some drivers think queue-jumping is acceptable at speed on the road?