What is all the hurry about?

Recently I read several “road rage” letters in the Mountain Xpress. I agree with “Road Rage Recipes” by Glen Resse in the March 30 issue.

I was a Buncombe County special deputy for 20 years. During that time, I attended several criminal justice classes. The first thing that is taught is the definition of the word “crime.” Crime means the violation of a law. There cannot be a crime without a law. If the posted maximum speed is 65 mph and you are driving 66 mph, you are a criminal. At his discretion, an officer may or may not choose to overlook minor violations.

If I am driving in the center lane (or any lane) at the posted speed limit and you pass me by any form or fashion, you become a criminal. If I vacate a lane when it is clear that you intend to commit a crime, then I also become an “accessory to the fact” and thereby a criminal. In other words, I watched you commit a crime and did nothing to stop you. I even assisted you by getting out of your way.

I drive slower than most people because I am 76 years old and would like to live awhile longer. I almost always drive in the right-hand lane. When I do choose to drive in the left lane, I drive at the posted speed limit (usually on cruise control).

I’ve paid a few speeding tickets — and I lost my license once. Driving 130 mph in a 1955 Studebaker President, I looked into the windshield of a loaded school bus. I left the road on the left side and somehow managed not to crash (this happened when I was much younger and very stupid).

Road rage! What is it worth to you? And what is all of the hurry about?

— Arnold Ferguson
Asheville

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9 thoughts on “What is all the hurry about?

  1. indy499

    Absolute nonsense that moving over makes one “an accessory”. Not sure what kind of special deputy you were. Hope it didn’t involve traffic.

  2. b.c.w.

    I still don’t understand what the confusion is. The right lane is for *traveling*, the left is for passing. The flow of traffic and the speed at which it flows will fluctuate. YES, we want it to be within the limit set by law whenever possible, YES we want it to be safe. Does it always happen? NO. THEREFORE, common courtesy (and LAW to some extent) dictates that if you are passing (i.e. moving around someone going more slowly than you), use the left lane, make your pass, then get back in the RIGHT lane to continue at the current flow of traffic. YES, the flow of traffic may be above the speed limit… it happens! We don’t want it to, but we have to exist in the world around us and function in it while we’re there… especially on the highway, an arena which will KILL you if you don’t ‘go with the flow’. If you’re so scared of being above the speed limit at ANY time (which will happen, even for brief periods), then stay off the roads. I’ve had police officers pass me on the left going MUCH faster than me with NO lights on… do folks want we/us/me to pull them over? Excessively slow drivers pose the same problem… you become a ‘moving roadblock.’ Honestly, I’ve never seen so many excuses made for erratic and inconsistent driving habits as I have in the past few weeks on these forums. Drive right, pass left. Done.

  3. invisiblefriend

    This actually makes a lot of sense. But its pretty funny how it puts into perspective how many criminals are in and around Asheville. I am a criminal today, and on my way to work, I saw about 400 other criminals. I feel like a rebel today……an outlaw. This is kind of fun, living on the edge like this in a town full of non-law abiding citizens. I hope i dont walk into a saloon today and get in a gunfight while somebodys plays ragtime on the piano.

    Any other criminals out there reading this?

  4. Dionysis

    ” If I vacate a lane when it is clear that you intend to commit a crime, then I also become an “accessory to the fact” and thereby a criminal.”

    Well, if that’s the case, then this whole country is chock-full of criminals, flagrantly committing criminality with impunity.

    “If the posted maximum speed is 65 mph and you are driving 66 mph, you are a criminal. At his discretion, an officer may or may not choose to overlook minor violations.”

    So if an officer ‘choses’ to ignore the violation, is he/she an “accessory to the fact” as well?

  5. Ken Hanke

    So if an officer ‘choses’ to ignore the violation, is he/she an “accessory to the fact” as well?

    Is this a hangin’ offense?

  6. getRealPeeps

    The NC driving handbook, Chapter 4, Page 62, clearly states, “Keep to the right, use the left lane(s) for passing”

    So…
    You can be an accessory(and a douche bag for cruising in the left lane), or you can be the violator.
    Your choice “Special Deputy”.

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