There's something so irritating about traffic jams. If you asked most people why they find them so frustrating, they would probably say something about all the extra time it takes.
But if you think about it, that's probably not the real reason – or at least not all of it. Because even when you're not in a hurry, they definitely still get on your nerves, right?
Maybe it's the feeling of lost time for no reason. People wait in lines all the time at theme parks and movie theaters. It's not exactly fun, but it's worth it because at least there's something at the end of the line.
Traffic jams aren't always like that. The only reward at the end of a traffic jam is that you're given back what you already had before: your freedom to travel at a reasonable speed.
Most people would agree that the most annoying type of traffic jam is the one where there's absolutely nothing at the end.
If it was an accident that caused the disruption, you just deal with it and accept that it's going to happen from time to time. But if there's nothing there, then you have no one to blame.
That's because the most likely culprit is already way ahead of you: the dreaded left lane blocker.
On a highway, the courteous thing to do (and the law in most states) is to stay in the right lane if you want to travel more slowly than the rest of the drivers on the road.
However, some people don't subscribe to this line of thinking. They think only of themselves and their "right" to travel in left lane – even if the law says otherwise.
This mindset is where traffic jams (and accidents) are born.
It only takes one hard-nosed driver to block the left lane for a few minutes to create a shock-wave effect that carries backwards for miles. This has been studied and proven in both academic papers and real-life experiments.
These left-lane blockers justify their actions through their belief that driving slower makes them more safe but the reality is that people driving substantially slower than the flow of traffic are just as likely to cause accidents as people driving substantially faster than the flow of traffic. Again, this is not a theory. It has been proven by the numbers.
The only way to get through to these drivers is to educate them on the dangers and consequences of not keeping right.
Teaching drivers to keep right when driving slower than the flow of traffic will improve traffic flow, reduce congestion, and eliminate many of the aggravations that cause road rage. It's a free and easy fix that will benefit all road users. There simply isn't a good excuse not to practice lane courtesy.
The initial reaction of most left-lane law supporters is to start handing out more tickets. This may help to a certain degree but for lane courtesy to flourish it must be accepted as the ethical and right thing to do, not because it's the law.
Unfortunately, the government has not been much help on this subject. In fact, their campaigns that preach "slower is safer" are actually the root cause of this problem.
A proper education effort will of course require substantial funding, but more importantly it will require the assistance of normal drivers like you.
There is only one organization that has consistently championed this education effort, the National Motorists Association. We're a group of motorists that started banding together over 30 years ago.
We need more members like you and that's why we're directly asking you to join today. Not tomorrow. Not next month. Not someday. Today.
You don't have to commit to attend any rallies, you don't have show up at your legislator's front door, and you don't have to promise to make it your life's work.
All we're asking is that you join our organization, filled with other drivers like you, and listen.
Simply staying informed is enough to put you miles ahead of most other drivers who continue to bury their heads in the sand and hope the problem goes away on its own.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
– Margaret Mead, American Cultural Anthropologist
And who knows, you may even surprise yourself and become one of those few passionate people that this nation's roads really need.
To join the National Motorists Association, please click on the big red button below.
This is what will happen after you click the join button above:
- You'll be taken to a page where you can enter your name, address, and contact information. We only use this information to provide you with relevant information about driving issues. We don't share it with anyone and we would never even consider selling it to anyone.
- After you finalize your membership by submitting the online membership payment form, you'll receive a receipt/welcome email describing some of the resources that have just become available to you.
- You'll immediately start receiving legislative alerts about traffic laws in your area (only when it's important) and you'll get access to our email newsletter as well (sent every Sunday morning).
- In a few weeks, you'll receive a new member packet in the mail along with a member card and more information to help you get the most out of your membership.
- For as long as you're a supporting member, you'll also receive our quarterly print newsletter in the mail (4 times a year).
The sole focus of the NMA is promoting reasonable traffic laws, but we understand that it can be tempting to decide against helping out. We've found that it's all too easy for some people to justify that decision without some kind of direct, personal benefit being offered to them.
That's why we also provide several membership benefits as an incentive to join (and stick with) the organization. One of our most popular benefits is:
Immunity From Future Speeding Tickets
All supporting members of the National Motorists Association are automatically enrolled in our Traffic Justice Program. Under this program, if you get a speeding ticket while you're a member, your ticket will be paid for by us. The only requirement is that you plead not guilty and fight it in court first. To take advantage of the program you simply submit to NMA a readable copy of the original ticket, the receipt from the Clerk of Court for the amount of the ticket and court costs, and the court confirmation of a trial having been conducted with a "guilty" verdict indicated.
The following restrictions apply: this program is restricted to speeding tickets, a plea bargain voids eligibility, one ticket per member will be paid each membership year (max. payment of $300), "Trial by Declaration" does not qualify as a "court trial", and legal fees for attorneys are not eligible for payment under this program. If a lower court decision is appealed and produces a guilty verdict, payment will be made at the conclusion of the appeal.
Why Are We Willing To Offer This Benefit To Our Members?
Our system of traffic laws and enforcement is broken and one way to force change is to make it unprofitable for cities to continue on their current path. The cities are counting on people just paying them the money. They set budgets that rely on that ticket money and it's to their advantage to do everything they can to inconvenience people who want to fight their ticket in court.
The NMA realizes this and we're offering this program to encourage people to stand up for their rights, fight their tickets, and help us change the system so that it focuses on improving safety instead of generating revenue.
Your supporting membership will extend NMA benefits to you, your spouse, and any children under the age of 21 residing in your home.
Can I join over the phone?
Of course! Just call our membership department toll-free at (800) 882-2785.
Our office is open Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm (Central Time Zone). Evening and weekend inquiries will be answered the following business day and we are closed on typical holidays.