Be careful who you choose to teach you to drive!

I spotted this driving instructor on the M50 yesterday sitting in the overtaking lane.

I gave him a little flash to see if he’d move and a tiny beep driving by too but he seemed completely oblivious. I know it doesn’t seem like much but this is technically a driving offense and you can be fined and I think even a point or two applied to your license. The unfortunate thing is that if you drive the M50, N7 or any 3 lane road in Ireland, most vehicles are sitting in the middle lane which actually causes a lot of problems further back in terms of progress and I reckon over 95% of people are unaware. Sure driving lessons in Ireland don’t even explore driving on a Motorway so it’s no surprise.

The problem this causes is quite significant, especially when the roads are busy. If there is one driver in the middle lane going significantly slower than the speed limit (I’d consider 10kmph+ to be significantly slower) and if most other drivers are traveling above this speed, then this immediately diminishes the actual driving lane as it’s also illegal to pass on their left (unless slow queuing traffic etc). So the years spent upgrading the M50 and all the tax payers money is not really being utilized as well as it should. The knock on effect of this is great in terms of congestion and this is worsened when for example, a heavy loaded van such as I’d be driving after a home removal is going faster than the driver stuck in the middle lane, but doesn’t have the acceleration to match the speed of the drivers in the outer most overtaking lane. In order to make progress, the van after it was probably in the driving lane  will now have to change lane to the middle lane, wait for an adequate gap to then get into the lane 3 (causing any vehicles approaching from a distance to ease off the accelerator), slowly pass the offending vehicle and then get back into lane 2 and then finally back into the driving lane. By completing this maneuver as traffic is beginning to build up, a lull has been caused and if this repeated (which is will be, by many different drivers, overtaking many different lane 2 drivers) a knock on effect will be caused and will contribute quite substantially to the flow of traffic.

You then of course get drivers getting frustrated and forcing an undertake maneuver to proceed faster so the safety level for all drivers is now of concern. To see a driving instructor from the Road “Safety” Authority sitting in lane 2 doesn’t inspire much confidence.

Also, I’d tend to avoid any driving instructors who don’t use their dipped headlights when they should. I personally always drive with my lights on. It’s just safer, but when it’s raining, cloudy, misty, dusk, dawn, and so many other scenarios, you should definitely have them on and again, I’ve seen countless driving instructors failing to do so, even in torrential rain on motorways when again, as a van driver, all I have to see them in their silver car, is a wing mirror and a look to my blind spot.

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