Driving on the highway. Is it really that difficult…?

Ever since I’ve been riding shotgun in a motorized vehicle I’ve been flabbergasted/amazed/irritated by how some (dare I say: the majority of the) people drive on the highway here.

It’s all so simple… theoretically!

  • There are 1 or more lanes.
  • There is a speed limit (sometimes a separate one for trucks/lorries).
  • You pass people on the opposite side of where you’re driving: on the left in countries where one drives on the right, and on the right where one drives on the left.
  • You keep a safe distance to the vehicle in front of you.

Results of a traffic accident in NorwayI myself have the habit of driving exactly the speed limit. Not according to the speedometer in my car, because I am aware that these are never 100% accurate. In the USA federal law states speedometers cannot have an error of more than 5 percent (typically expressed as plus/minus 2.5 percent relative to the actual speed), and other countries have similar laws. I have determined with a GPS that when I have the speedometer on 106 km/hour I am actually doing 99-100 km/hour.

I’m located in Norway. Here the speed limit for cars on the highway is 100 km/hour, for trucks over 3.5 tons it’s 80 km/hour.

If I were to interpret the traffic rules to the letter then no one, with the exception of emergency vehicles with active warning devices such as lights and/or sirens, can legally pass me when I drive the exact legal speed limit. (If they’d do so, they’d be speeding). This is perhaps a bit of an oversimplification, but it is accurate.

The reality?
Most people do whatever pleases them! They switch lanes while totally ignoring markings on the road which forbid them to do so, they pass cars on the wrong side, etc etc.
And they speed! On the 11.3 kms/7 miles stretch of highway between my house and my office I get overtaken by many vehicles, every day. Some of them even trucks…

What about law enforcement, you may ask? I’m sorry to say, but they’re non-existent here, at least on the stretch of highway which is my commuter route. In all the time I’ve travelled up and down this road I have never, ever seen a single vehicle of the National Mobile Police Service ( Utrykningspolitiet ) in action.
And of course I’m probably not the only person who has noticed this lack of supervision. It’s most likely the main reason why so many people violate speed limits and other traffic rules…

My main frustration is that there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it. Even writing this post is probably just a waste of time. Yes, I will mention the post on Facebook, Twitter & App.net. More waste of time.
Nothing will be done, and I will just continue to irritate myself about it every time I drive on that road. And I will continue to pay tax, part of which will go to Utrykningspolitiet so that they can… well, whatever they do. Patrolling the E6 is not it, unfortunately!

2 thoughts on “Driving on the highway. Is it really that difficult…?”

  1. I agree with you. In the USA we spotted police patrols on the highways almost every day, but here? Still, I know some that were given “speeding tickets”. Not you, not me, of course 😉

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