Thursday, January 15, 2009

Petition to ban elephant racing .

Lorries are speed restricted to 56 MPH. Lorries in Europe are often restricted in overtaking to stop so called 'elephant racing' - Britain should adopt the same practice (as per the test on the A14)to speed our highways for non restricted cars, vans and LGVs.

We all know the problem on our motorways, one lorry pulls into lane 2 to overtake another lorry. Both lorries are restricted to 56mph and they sit side by side for mile after mile whilst a queue of faster vehicles quickly builds up behind. All the following traffic is then reduced to 56 mph maximum. Driving a coach I am not allowed by law to use the outside lane where there are 3 or more lanes on a motorway. There is no recovery time allowed within the published timetables of the nationwide company I work under-contract for. Once time is lost, it is lost for good. Whilst this elephant racing is taking place, private cars can overtake in the outside lane which means my passengers are treated like second class citizens, of no greater value than a pallet load of baked beans. This second class status then makes coach travel less attractive and ultimately my job less secure.

Under normal driving on a motorway, when a coach overtakes a lorry, the lorry driver flashes his headlights to let the coach driver know it is safe for him to return to the driving lane. However, when you have been stuck mile after mile behind two lorries elephant racing, when eventually the shade faster lorry moves back to the driving lane, that driver NEVER flashes you to signal it is safe to pull in. It is always the inconsiderate, elephant racing, lane hogging lorry drivers who do not acknowledge safe practice by headlight flashing. These cowboys are easy to spot and their inconsiderate and selfish driving should be stopped. This is why I am the 25th signatory on this petition.

When I see this elephant racing ahead on the motorway, I stay in the driving lane for 2 reasons. The main reason is that I know what is going to happen and I do not want to increase my risk by driving in lane 2. Driving in lane 1 means that you always have the hard shoulder as an emergency out option. The second reason is that I do not want other people to think that I am a lane hogging elephant racer like the cowboy in front. I would not get to my destination any quicker by driving in lane 2 whilst the elephants are racing, so I might as well sit back in lane 1 and watch the overtime clock up!
One solution is to ban 56 mph speed limited vehicles to overtake if their speed exceeds 50 mph. This would keep lane 2 better flowing.
Hgv drivers don't flash coaches in because some think they are reckless drivers and that coaches should have a slower speed limit than they do.
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