Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Replace "light" with "sausages" and this may work...

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Nearside Lane Gap Spotter

(and Teeth Grinding reduction aid, hopefully)
(+3, -3)
  [vote for,

First things first, to eliminate any confusion, being English I'm describing this idea based on driving on the left - so the hard shoulder on the motorway is on your left, and the central reservation is on the right.

Do you get annoyed when people hog the outside lane for no reason, holding up all the traffic which wants to actually travel FASTER than the traffic in the nearside lane? Then read on...

As I've mentioned in a previous post, Active Cruise Control is here now - Mercedes include it on their current range already, doubtless other manufacturers do too...

Citroen now make a car which will warn you audibly if you cross a white line (lane marker) at a speed of 50MPH or more, to alert you if you're drifting out of lane.

I suggest that it wouldn't be too difficult to combine the two above systems: as well as measuring your position in relation to the white line, and your relative distance/acceleration to the car in front/behind, it would also measure your relative distance/acceleration to the cars in the lane to your left. If it deemed that you weren't travelling any faster than that lane and that there was a large enough gap for you to move over then a warning would sound, alerting you to pull across, thus allowing faster moving traffic (which is currently bunched up behind you) to overtake and continue. This would have the knock-on effect of reducing tailgating too, as people wouldn't have to use intimidation to try and clear the lane ahead.

kmlabs, Nov 28 2004

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       Well, a [+] for the intent, but most of the people you want to move [ I refer to them as Stones In The Stream ] are both clueless and uncaring. They'd probably shut the system off or fail to notice the incessant beeping.
normzone, Nov 28 2004

umm0i, Nov 29 2004

       I must admit, I fail to understand the British 'good' drivers' obsession with 'keeping left'. The US system of pick a lane and stay in it works well enough, doesn't it? The more one changes lanes requires more glances in the wing mirror and over shoulder, and a corresponding increase in missing a driver in your blind spot. With the status quo, though [+]
paraffin power, Nov 29 2004

       Oh, so THAT'S what the noise was. I thought it was an indicator telling me to drive even slower in the fast lane, secure my driving hat and pick my nose!
not_only_but_also, Nov 30 2004

       paraffin power (may I call you "paraffin"?) - it's not an obsession with keeping left (although it can feel like that sometimes!), it's the rules. You're not allowed by law to overtake on the left over here. People do it all the time though (myself included on occasion when someone REALLY won't get out of the way, I'm ashamed to admit) and it's very dangerous - especially if the person you're "undertaking" then decides to come back across to the left lane...   

       There's even a name for them in this country: CLOCs. It's an acronym for Centre Lane Owner's Club.   

       //most of the people you want to move ... are both clueless and uncaring //   

       normzone, you're so right!
kmlabs, Nov 30 2004

       [kmlabs] - I know it's the rules, and I do find CLOC members highly frustrating myself. The idea earned my bun in light of the current rules, but maybe the rules themselves are flawed.
paraffin power, Nov 30 2004

       [paraffin] I agree (and didn't mean to imply that you don't, apologies). There was a case a few years ago of 4 or 5 foreign (Danish, I think) Porsche 911 owners on their way to a UK club meet, working their way up any lane of the M1, overtaking wherever there was a space. When they explained to the Police who pulled them over that they were merely driving the way they do at home they were cautioned and sent on their way. Much was made in a couple of car magazines at the time of the relative motorway crash figures for the 2 countries (the UK was higher).   

       <aside> There should be a motorway component in the driving test </aside>
kmlabs, Nov 30 2004

       If I may add to the rant....
I think the problem increases when the queue of traffic behind the CLOC member has built up.
Then there is NO WAY he will pull over, since then he might get caught in the slower lane while the long line of furious drivers pass by (and don't let him back out again).
In Thailand, with two lanes, some drivers plant themselves in the centre lane (fast lane) for the complete journey. The other lane, for them, is not an option. It's felt to be more dangerous to be in the lane with other drivers joining and leaving.
With three lanes, the middle lane is sometimes favourite, since there is a bigger space on each side before saying hello with the scenery.

There. That felt so much better, and the world is a better place.
Ling, Nov 30 2004


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