I travel the highway from Halifax/Dartmouth to home out past the airport everyday. I have traveled that road, just about everyday for 15 years. In that time, a person becomes very intimate with the road. No not that way, sicko. You know every curve, every bump in the road. You know which lanes are frequented by trucks, and where people typically slow down or speed up. You learn where congestion begins, or ceases to be a problem, and in all seasons. You learn where the police sit to nab you for speeding. You see people speeding, driving drunk and rude cabbies hurrying to get to the airport just so they can sit and wait for their next fare.
So it kind of pissed me off when while traveling home from Halifax I got pulled over by a cop. I wasn’t speeding or in any way driving inappropriately, or so I thought.
When I learned how to drive in Toronto, they teach you one important lesson…how to properly merge onto a highway. Having one of the largest highways in North America there, knowing how to properly merge is very important. Here in NS, no one knows how to properly merge. And one of the most important things my father taught me about driving was to always “Keep right except to pass”. He not only told me that, but on many many occasions, demonstrated to me, while driving with him in his tow-truck, why it was important. I tried to pass that along to my son when he started driving. I also told him never to pass on the right, something else they don’t know about here in NS.
So imagine my surprise when the cop came to my window and asked me if I knew why he had pulled me over. I replied that I didn’t and he started to tell me how I had broken the law of not “Keeping right except to pass”. Law? What? He told me there was a stretch of about 2 km’s where I had been driving in the middle of three lanes and there were no cars around, therefore I wasn’t passing anyone, therefore I broke the law of “Keeping right except to pass”. I was dumbfounded! I had no idea it was a “law” here in NS. It was always a good practice, but never was it clear to me that it was a law. It became clear to him that I wasn’t just trying to bullshit my way out of a ticket, I was honestly surprised! So he gave me a warning and I went on my way only to have thought of the reason why I was driving in the middle lane. It was because of the potholes in the right lane. I know that there are potholes in that lane, and I know there are potholes in the middle lane. What I didn’t know was where the potholes in the right lane actually were. Normally when I drive that stretch of highway it is during the daylight hours. This particular time was after dark, so I was in the middle lane so as to avoid the potholes in the right lane. Now like i said I also know there are potholes in the middle lane but I know that if I drive hugging the right-side line I can avoid all of them. Remember it was dark out and very difficult to see the potholes.
So it wasn’t that I was blatantly breaking the law of “Keeping right except to pass”, I was driving, where I was driving, because of the conditions of the road, pothole-wise. I think what pissed me off about this whole incident was that I wasn’t quick-enough to relay my complaints of the potholed road to the officer as my “excuse’ for not “keeping right except to pass”!
Oh, and everyone check out this link…its just so cute: