Canadian Roadblock

I love to drive! I enjoy the sporty feel of my car when I’m behind the wheel and cherish the exhilarating sensation of acceleration. I’m not reckless and keep my speed to a limit that will not endanger others; yet, I do like to punch it.

The other day, I was on my way to a friend’s place and didn’t need to get there at any particular time. I just needed to get there when I got there. No rush, but I still wanted to have a fun drive. I’m heading along a six lane highway at a reasonable pace, but I was stuck behind canadian roadblockwhat I’ve been told is a “Canadian roadblock.” That’s when all lanes of traffic in the same direction are traveling at the same speed. In this case, all three lanes in my direction had drivers moving along at 50 mph.

Now, this is not terribly slow, but the posted speed was 55 mph and people generally push the pace to 10 mph over the limit in southern California. Thus, I expect to have at least one lane moving at 65 mph.

Here in the U.S., it’s customary for the far left lane to be used for faster traffic or as the passing lane (a.k.a the trucker’s hammer lane).  Apparently the U.S. Uniform Vehicle Code states that :

Upon all roadways any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic …

I thought everybody learned this growing up, or at least acquired the knowledgeslower traffic keep right at some point in their lives. Maybe it’s just that people get caught up in their conversations or music and are oblivious to maintaining a basic level of common courtesy on our roadways.  Or maybe they’re just vehicular stupers (short, for remarkably stupid persons).

It’s all about maintaining the flow of traffic! I don’t have many hard and fast rules or ways of driving, I just try to be a considerate driver. There’s a concise listing of basic driver courtesy outlined at a site dedicated to reducing traffic congestion through more efficient use of existing roads. Wow! This should be mandatory reading for all drivers when they acquire their licenses or go to renew their licenses. My mantra behind the wheel,  “Maintain the flow!” Those whose don’t, slowly kill the driver’s soul.

I’m not sure if there’s another widely accepted term for this “slow in all lanes” phenomenon other than Canadian roadblock. I heard it from a friend oncefriendly manitoba license plate and have never know another way of naming this frustrating slow moving roadblock. I do not intend to offend Canadians in any way. Being a person raised in Minnesota, I’ve had several positive experiences visiting Canada. This is particularly true of “Friendly” Manitoba, which actually puts “Minnesota nice” to shame.

Has anyone else heard the term Canadian roadblock? Is there another way to describe the situation where all lanes have drivers moving at the same speed, under the posted speed limit? I’d love to hear other perspectives on this topic with your comments below.

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