The Instigator
brian_eggleston
Pro (for)
Winning
16 Points
The Contender
Geekis_Khan
Con (against)
Losing
15 Points

Lane hogs should be thrown to the wolves

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/15/2008 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 983 times Debate No: 3634
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (9)

 

brian_eggleston

Pro

The UK Highway Code states: You should always drive in the left-hand lane when the road ahead is clear. If you are overtaking a number of slower-moving vehicles, you should return to the left-hand lane as soon as you are safely past.

Nevertheless, a large number of selfish motorists persist in crawling along the outside lanes at a mere 65-70mph even when the slow lane is empty, thus delaying people behind whose time is more important.

The disruption these motoring miscreants create costs the economy billions every year and they should be punished as severely as people who drive under the influence of alcohol.
Geekis_Khan

Con

Thank you for starting the debate. Blah, blah, blah.

And, yes, I'll assume you meant kilometers per hour and not miles per hour. 65-70 mph is over the speed limit in most places.

However, if you did mean mph, that's my first refutation: that your speeding anyway, and you should get a ticket.

Continuing, look at the scenario my opponent put forth. You're in the "fast lane" stuck behind someone who is driving slow. The "slow lane" is completely clear.

Why don't you just pass him using the slow lane? The only one that is actually wasting you're time in this scenario is you, as you're too stupid to use the slow lane to pass the automobile that is moving slowly.

Furthermore, these people aren't costing billions of dollars every year. My opponent offered no logic or evidence for this point. It should be disregarded. The most they do is make a few people late, which is hardly a crime.

Even if it should be a crime, they are not causing nearly as much damage as drunk drivers, as my opponent implies.

And even if they do cause that much damage, drunk drivers aren't thrown to the wolves. My opponent says they should be punished like drunk drivers, but that would mean that lane hogs wouldn't be thrown to the wolves, thus negating the resolution.

So no matter how you interpret my opponent's arguments, you should always vote CON.
Debate Round No. 1
brian_eggleston

Pro

Thanks for joining the debate.

Just to clarify, I was talking about the UK, although similar arguments could apply in the US.

The speed limit here is 70mph, although in practice, drivers travelling under 80mph on the highway are very rarely prosecuted.

Also, it is illegal to pass a vehicle on the inside, so drivers have no legal choice but to sit behind a lane-hogger.

I have driven in the US and I notice that drivers are very relaxed about lane discipline there, and seem to occupy whichever lane takes their fancy. However, this doesn't seem to cause too much frustration as all the cars and trucks tend to travel at similar speeds.

In contrast, highways in Europe are used by trucks and busses whose top speed is electronically limited to 60mph and also by cars that typically travel at much greater speeds.

In Germany, there are no speed limits on most sections of the Autobahn so lane discipline is very well observed. This is vital because many cars travel at their electronically limited top speed of 155mph and if a vehicle pulls out in front of you at 55mph, it takes good brakes to scrub off the 100mph speed differential.

This happened to me once. A driver joined the Autobahn from a slip road ("on-ramp?") so I pulled into the fast lane to overtake. However, the driver, for some unaccountable reason, drifted into the fast lane just as I was passing, forcing me into the central reservation ("median"?). Luckily the road was empty at the time and I was able to control the car, but it could have easily been different. This is why I argue that poor lane discipline should be punished as severely as drink driving – it is equally as dangerous.

Finally two quotes, the first from the Royal Automobile Club "the RAC Foundation estimates that ‘middle-lane hogs' and ‘outside lane-blockers' are wasting up to one-third of motorway capacity in peak periods, due to poor lane discipline." And the second from Trafficmaster's Motorway Congestion Index "(congestion) each day on motorways alone (has) an estimated annual cost to the economy of �7.7 billion (US$15.4 billion)"
Geekis_Khan

Con

Oh, I must have skimmed your first sentence. I read it as US, not UK. Sorry.

First, your Autobahn argument. Yes, I do agree that that is a very dangerous situation. But first, that is one isolated instance. Second, the problem here isn't someone being a "lane hog", the problem is just poor driving. Going instantly from a ramp onto the highway and going into the fast lane before you have reached higher speeds is just poor driving. I'm sure h eventually got his speed up in that fast lane, however, his actions in getting into the fast lane were not appropriate. This is not the problem of someone being a lane hog.

However, since we are apparently dealing with UK laws, then the Autobahn is irrelevant to this argument. Either this applies to only the UK, so you can't talk about Germany and I can't talk about the US, or this applies globally.

A lane hog would be someone that is in that lane, has been travelling in that lane for some time, and been travelling, for the purpose of this debate, slowly. This doesn't create as much of a problem for drivers going fast, as you have plenty of time to see them in front of you on the highway, giving you ample time to slow down and avoid an accident, whether or not it's an inconvenience. Your safety argument doesn't carry as much weight as it seems.

On to the economic points. To the first quote: okay, they make people late.

To the second quote: congestion is more than just people being caught behind land hogs. It's traffic. It's simply having more cars on the road than the road should probably have on it. This isn't the sole fault of lane hogs. Being that it is a non-unique argument, lane hogs do not deserve unique discipline for it.

Furthermore, looking at the UK law system: I'm a bit confused. you seem to contradict yourself. You are completely willing to break a minor speed limit law, yet you are unwilling to break a minor law about passing people. Now, I will admit I don't live in the UK so I don't KNOW for sure, but it seems that in order for this law to work, if you are travelling in the slow lane, you must, at all times, be travelling at a slower speed than everyone in the fast lane. This is implausible.

If you're willing to break the speed limit law, why aren't you willing to break this law?
Debate Round No. 2
brian_eggleston

Pro

Thank you for your observations.

I accept your point that, if I overtake a car at over 70mph on a motorway, I am breaking the law. Indeed, I hold my hands up to that one - I rarely drive under the speed limit on motorways, unless of course I am held up by lane-hoggers! Also, I admit that I (reluctantly) pass on the inside if I think it is safe to do so and I have been punished for both offences on several occasions.

My real contention is that there are already harsh penalties for these misdemeanors, while inconsiderate driving that causes other motorists severe delays goes unpunished.
Geekis_Khan

Con

But that's not true. People who drive recklessly and cause harm to other drivers, which is what your real problem is with, not lane hogs, are punished.

Your original argument was against motorists going at 65-70 MPH. This is inside the speed limit, so if you want to keep your argument to these lane hogs, you're arguing that these people should be punished for obeying the law.

Either way you look at this argument, the CON still wins.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by HadenQuinlan 9 years ago
HadenQuinlan
You're really cute.

25 characters.
Posted by psynthesizer 9 years ago
psynthesizer
I'm pretty sure you meant to say kph, not mph in your opening.

Because 70 MPH is over the speed limit in the US. Unless you guys are crazy with your cars, I like to think that your speed limit is around the 65 MPH mark. Dunno what that is in KPH tho.
Posted by Renzzy 9 years ago
Renzzy
brain eggleston,

I suggest that from now on you title your debates seriously, because there are many people on this site who would argue that they should "not be throw to the wolves". Yes, I know, it is rather irritating, but I would not be surprised if the person who accepts this debate argues only that litterally "throwing them to the wolves" is to harsh. So, for your the sake of your future debates, I would advise you to be very careful about how you title your debates.

Just a suggestion.

Renzzy
9 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Vote Placed by JBlake 8 years ago
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