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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Those Vancouver drivers

I've noted it here before -- many drivers from the 'Couv are bad news. Especially anywhere near a freeway in the late afternoon. I dodged two of them yesterday. Anyway, here's a special guy up that way who's finally getting his due.

Comments (28)

Finally, a traffic cop doing what he should be doing (going after dangerous drivers), instead of merely hanging out in a speed trap waiting to snare the unsuspecting motorist who is going with the flow of traffic. Glad they caught this jerk.

Sorry, I don't feel anyone from Oregon can point the finger at other people and say they're bad drivers.
Oregonians are some of the wackiest drivers I've ever experienced. Mainly drivers who treat the fast lane (that's the one farthest on the left) like the slow lane (the right lane) and do 65-70, holding up countless cars.
Also, get out of the middle lane if you're not passing anyone.
And lastly, you don't have to slow down to 30MPH just because someone is changing their tire! I understand slowing down and giving them some room - but I'm tired of having SLAM on my brakes just because someone is stopped, changing a tire, or whatever the case may be.

Geez, Jason, you sound like a nascent Michael Bergeson.

And isn't slowing down for police or emergency vehicles on the shoulder now required? Why wouldn't we do the same thing to keep one of our fellow drivers safe?

actually Oregon law now requires you to vacate the lane an emergency responder is in. So if you're on a 2 lane highway and an office has someone pulled over on the right shoulder, you're required to get over into the left lane.

Like I said before, I understand giving room. But there's no reason 3 miles of I-5 in the Tualatin interchange to come to a 10 MPH crawl because someone is changing their tire 10 feed to the right of the white line. I've seen it many times.

I can understand your concern with Jason's disregard for safety. On the other hand, Oregon drivers slow to 30 when someone's changing a tire on the OTHER side of the freeway, not just their side. I've seen more crappy drivers in Oregon than anywhere else I've lived (which includes places with notoriously bad traffic). I don't know if it's the rain, or the hemp, or what.

Glad you've noticed that too, Jack. My wife and I have a running joke; referring to bad drivers as "Washington drivers."

I guess it just depends on which side of the river you happen to live. I always notice Oregon drivers who drive badly, just because of their plates. We have one way streets in downtown Vancouver too, just like Portland proper. In their defense, I suppose they could be lost.

I also notice that when Oregon drivers are on Washington highways, they REALLY enjoy going 60 mph or more! Oh, wait - they drive like that in Oregon too! I never seem to see the drivers who are actually going 55 mph - more like 65 mph! Oregon and Washington (Seattle excluded)drivers are so much alike, especially when compared to California or Nevada drivers!

By the way - that guy in the blue truck? He almost ran me off the road a couple different times!

"Mainly drivers who treat the fast lane (that's the one farthest on the left) like the slow lane (the right lane) and do 65-70, holding up countless cars."

The only people that do that have WA plates. Never fails.

I live in SW Washington and drive on both sides of the river. I love the drivers in OUR neck of the woods, because the overwhelming majority do drive close to the speed limit and do slow down for "situations". Go back to California or Atlanta or the Long Island Expressway, if you want to drive like frustrated five-year-olds.

At the risk of getting SEVERAL million people mad at me, I say that both Oregon AND Washington drivers suck. I've never seen a place like this where people do not understand that you get in the left lane to pass, and then when done, you move back over to the right. Instead, in both states, you see people just camping out in the left lane, with a huge line of cars stacking up behind them. And then those cars are jockeying to get around the turtle by using the right hand lane. I'd be curious as to how many accidents get caused that way...

When I was a kid growing up here, "Washington driver" was a common pejorative. Like others commenting here, I see a distribution of bad driving among Oregon and out-of-state cars. (The young woman who ran down and killed a cyclist from behind on Saturday in Washington County was reportedly in a car from Idaho.) Our system doesn't require or provide training that's anywhere near commensurate with the damage that careless, inattentive or unskilled driving can do. Since most people have no practical alternative to driving, it's more like a right than a privilege. (The same young woman had no valid driver's license. In some other countries, without a license, she would not have had access to a registered automobile without stealing it.) Collectively, we accept the consequences of all this as a randomly distributed burden of private cars as our principal form of transportation.

many drivers from the 'Couv are bad news.


Yeah, I'm pretty sure that blue Dodge truck nearly ran me off of the road once, too, out on Hwy 14 out towards Washougal ! The driver gave me the finger, too, as he roared on by...I remember wishing aloud that he would hit a telephone pole or something and remove himself from the gene pool.

"I also notice that when Oregon drivers are on Washington highways, they REALLY enjoy going 60 mph or more!"

Aint that the truth; where else can we go 70 MPH! Plus, I-5 is much wider and nicer up in Washington.

Wow... Imagine what a jerk this guy would be without pot and vicodin.

I’ve got to agree with Jack on this one. Whenever I see truly dangerous driving it is nearly always someone from Washington, someone on the phone, or both. I assume they are getting their enormous pinky rings caught on the dashboard of their SUVs.

In general Oregon drivers are pretty good, you could almost say courteous. I do agree with the other posters – and this may be the first ever universal agreement on this blog – that people here have no clue how to use the left lane. There are plenty of signs but half of Portland seems to drive all the way to Timberline in the left lane doing 50.

At least, on the six-lane sections of the Interstates, the right-most lane is pretty much open for those who want to get on down the road.

It's an L.A. thing, I think. When I lived there in the mid-to-late '70s, the general rule (official or not) was that you were free to pass on the right any time. As a consequence, there was no guilt in going slow over on the left.

You know something is wrong when a state feels the need to put up signs that tell you to turn on your lights at night.

Anyone else see the irony in that?

"Washington drivers" or "California drivers" were common terms for "idiot drivers" when I was growing up too. I'm not saying Oregonians are the best (but didn't we just get some top ranking for most courteous?) but I don't think we're as hostile as a lot of people from other places can be.

Anyhow, the slowmovers in the left and middle lanes drive me nuts too. Then there are the a***oles who weave in and out of traffic. It's incredibly frustrating to be stuck between the slow pokes and the aggressive zigzaggers.

I do notice the out-of-state plates but I also notice new Oregon plates on older cars (yeah, I'm weird like that) and wonder what part of California they're from.

I think it would be crazy to assume that the river divides the driving styles that much. Especially when you consider that many of those "Vancouver" drivers have been driving/commuting in Portland for years.

Maybe read the license plate frame. Even with local plates, the frames often say "Van Nuys" or "Bellevue".

I think the drivers in BOTH Oregon & Washington need some lessons in basic road manners. Unlike most people, I have completed SCCA and defensive driving schools at Portland International Raceway. I'm constantly appalled by the number of people in both states that drive slower than traffic in the left freeway lanes. And I won't even comment on the HUGE number of people that are incapable of talking on a cell phone and driving at the same time. Next legislature session, I will personally campaign to make talking on a cell phone while driving illegal in this state. seems to have gotten interesting. A can of worms? Hmmm... Good thing I have July 3 off. Looks like I know what I'll be doing that afternoon.

Way down south (Ashland) whenever a laggard is hanging in the fast lane it tends to have a WA plate. Cal drivers are aggressive but then I flew to Miami and rented a car. Oh my God - way beyond Cal drivers, Miami drivers are maniacal. Motorcyles speeding in excess of 100mph treating cars like slalom cones. Freeway signs encouraging drivers to speed up. Cars flying by on either side. It was hair raising. Whoa, the return flight to SF and drive back home found me appreciating the relative calm of the west coast traffic flow.

AFAIK driving in the left lane on a multi-lane highway is legal -- and so is passing on the right here, unlike many countries. It (left-land and center-lane preference) is mildly annoying (I'm surprised at the outbursts here about it) but not very dangerous. In some spots (for example, northbound on I-5 to I-405 from the Terwilliger Blvd. exit to the freeway split) it's the only rational place to be to protect yourself from the morons who find themselves in the wrong late too late and veer for the other side to avoid missing their chosen route). Much more annoying, more dangerous, and disturbingly frequent are: failing to signal turns; failing to stop at stop signs; failing to yield to pedestrians at intersections; turning from or into the wrong lane (or both); and, generally turning wide or cutting across a right-angle turn. It's astonishing how often one or more of these violations is contemporaneous with a telephone conversation.

Doh! And apparently he's an OREGON driver.

Oregon, where Bergeson lived until last week....


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