Carpool cheaters

I’m sick of all the cheaters in the carpool lanes.

Every evening after work, I pull out from the infinite loop that is my office campus, and merge onto Highway 280 South. Every evening, I sit in slow-moving traffic, waiting for the metering lights to do their red-green dance.

And every evening, half-a-dozen or more drivers flout the rules and take the easy way out, and use the carpool lanes to leap ahead of those of us (im-) patiently waiting our turn. They’re the only driver in their car in a lane clearly marked for two or more people. There are few things more frustrating than being in a line of cars 15 deep, and watching some asshole skip ahead.

I’m sick of it.

The rest of us want to get home as much as you do. We have plans. We’ve had a long day. We’d rather not be sitting in traffic. Why do you feel you have some special right to break the law and go ahead of people who’ve dutifully lined up? Are you somehow special?

We are a society of laws. There is an agreement in this society that we will each follow the laws, or suffer the punishment. I, and most others, take it as an article of faith that you will likewise follow the law. When you don’t, I start worrying about what other laws you’ll break, laws that might get me killed instead of getting me pissed.

If you’re breaking a basic and easy-to-understand law like “only cars with two or more people can use the carpool lane between 3pm and 7pm”, why should I trust you to obey other laws?

What if everyone just ignored the laws? We would devolve into chaos. You think traffic is bad today, imagine if nobody waited for a green light? If everyone drove 95 miles per hour, even on narrow two-lane roads? If everyone made left turns into oncoming traffic?

The problem, of course, is that there’s no punishment for these assholes. There’s never a cop to monitor the lanes, so people feel they can get away with it. It raises the frustration level, an probably leads to more incidents of road rage.

Say, that gives me an idea! If you’re going to break the law, can I break the law too? I think I should be allowed to chase you down, yank you from your car, smash your windows and slash your tires.

Ahhhh, I feel better already.