As if safety, common sense, common courtesy and obeying the Highway Traffic Act weren't enough to convince people to "Drive Right Except To Pass" - and they clearly are not - I came across another reason two nights ago.
I was westbound on the 401 near 427 around 11:30 p.m. when two O.P.P. cruisers came rocketting along, maybe three minutes apart.
I was going my usual, um, "normal speed of traffic" in the Jim-Only lane, and these cars went flying by me like I was painted on the road surface.
They must have been going well over a buck-eighty.
The red-and-blue roof lights were flashing away - sirens are more-or-less irrelevant at these speeds.
I didn't see where they were going, but it must have been serious.
The poor officers really had their hands full trying to dodge the nose-picking left- and middle-lane hogs who were sauntering along at whatever speed they chose.
(Some of whom had no rear lights on because they only had their Daytime Running Lights on, but that's a story for another day...)
It would be a whole heck of a lot easier for emergency vehicles to get where they're going - hence, safer for all of us who need their services - if we had better lane discipline on our roads.
Not just on our freeways, but on all roads.
If the left lane were kept clear, they'd have a straight shot to wherever they were going.
Which makes me wonder - yet again - why the police don't dedicate more resources to enforcing this most critical violation of the Highway Traffic Act.
I mean, when they are in high-speed pursuit - deadly dangerous enough at the best of times - they are the ones most likely to be at serious risk from people disobeying this law.
Adding a high-speed slalom to a high-speed pursuit - well, that's just plain stupid.
You know about the relatively new rule which requires you to move over one lane to give extra room to an emergency vehicle which is parked on the shoulder with its lights flashing. The police have been known to set up on the roadside to enforce this one; they park one cruiser as a "decoy", lights ablaze, with another waiting to nail perps who don't move over.
They say this is necessary because being parked on the shoulder attending to an emergency is a very dangerous thing to do, and they need to enforce this point for their own safety.
No argument from me, even if this scheme starts nibbling at the border of "entrapment".
So, why don't they enforce the "Drive Right" provisions, which create at least equally dangerous conditions for them, and also create dangerous conditions for every other road user?
As I (apparently) never tire of saying, there is no downside to this. It would be easy to do. It requires no new legislation, just a wee bit of effort, and some co-operation from the judicial system which, at least based on my conversations with various Justices of the Peace, is already there.
The JPs would convict if only the police would charge.
The upside is safer roads, smoother traffic flow, reduced road rage, conserved fuel, less dangerous conditions for emergency vehicles - and a better economic future for us all, because the fines they'd generate from one week of enforcement would balance Ontario's budget for a millennium.
Is this a slam-dunk, or what?
Of course it is.
So, why don't they do it?
If anybody has half a clue - police officer, Ministry of Transportation official, Justice of the Peace, anybody - please, DO let me know.