They are the bane of every law-abiding motorist. Those selfish drivers that take to the emergency lane when traffic grinds to a halt or creep, as if their schedule is more pressing than everyone else’s, and also more important than a potential life that might be saved by an emergency vehicle that needs the lane that was actually designed for it.
We see it every day in South Africa, but it’s not a problem that’s specifically limited to our country as this dashcam video from California illustrates (uploaded on YouTube by ViralHog).
And this is where South African authorities need to take some notes, as we see a stream of emergency lane hogs suddenly become a line of cars parked on the verge as a police officer hands out a dose of karma to every single one of them.
Of course it is illegal to use the emergency lane to overtake traffic on a freeway although many people tend to see it as a grey area as emergency lane driving is actually permitted on single lane roads; where slower vehicles may pull over to allow faster ones to continue under a very specific set of circumstances. It must be daytime, for instance, and there needs to be at least 150 metres of visibility.
On the freeway, however, the emergency lane is exactly what its name implies.