I was wondering if there is an idiom in English language such as e.g. "road ranger" or "road sherriff" to describe a malice person who blocks other drivers from implementing a zipper system, to relieve the traffic congestion when one of the lanes is ending (common practice in Europe) as shown here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HOD0N2at0c

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    Rules Nazi? Or a hero, depending on where you are. Much to my disappointment, zipper merging is a bit less common in North America unless all of the traffic is already moving at a crawl. Edit: Traffic Lawyer might be good too. Further edit: consider expanding this to people who also block people from merging, or people who block people from passing in the right lane by speeding up. It depends if the blocker is perceived to be on the right side of the law. – Wolfgang Aug 4 '17 at 0:08
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    Rules Nazi and Traffic Lawyer suggests, to me, they are being a stickler for the rules, when they are actually frustrating the attempts of others to implement the system properly, presumably through ignorance. – Spagirl Aug 4 '17 at 0:15
  • The malicious drivers are those who overtake after the 'merge in turn' sign and try to push in way ahead of the less selfish ones. I was impressed when an HGV driver frustrated this malpractice. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 4 '17 at 0:16
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    What i meant was in the situation Az. describes, there is a system in place. I'm not trying to debate people's various interpretations of 'merge in turn' and when to do it. – Spagirl Aug 4 '17 at 0:23
  • I do think there is a difference in Europe v NA driving styles here. People who merge as late as possible are often perceived as trying to gain advantage over everyone else. I think i have an idea that works for both though. – Wolfgang Aug 4 '17 at 0:28

Alright i looked at the video, and i think that scenario is a bit different from what is described in the question.

Road Hog


: a driver of an automotive vehicle who obstructs others especially by occupying part of another's traffic lane


How about:

Road Vigilante

Definition provided by Google:


a member of a self-appointed group of citizens who undertake law enforcement in their community without legal authority, typically because the legal agencies are thought to be inadequate.

It doesn't have to be a member of a group though, as Cambridge Dictionary says:

a person who tries in an unofficial way to prevent crime, or to catch and punish someone who has committed a crime, especially because they do not think that official organizations, such as the police, are controlling crime effectively. Vigilantes usually join together to form groups.

Only thing that bothers me is the fact, that it's not enforcing the law, because the zipper system is absolutely legal and logic, it's just new enough for people to think it's a selfish action of those who don't care about others


Bumper Hugger

One who drives as close to the next bumper as possible. Contrast with tail-gater, but tailgating is typically considered to be done at higher speeds. And bumper hugger sounds less derisive.

I've never really heard it, but outside of some much more colourful language i've never really heard this described.

Its kind of used in an article here: https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/nothing-divides-drivers-like-the-zipper-merge/article33813809/

My justification has always been that in all but a few cases the obstacle ahead is clearly visible and, since I am not able to travel through solid matter, I must move over – and the sooner the better because it reduces the chances of encountering a bumper-hugging, cursing anti-zipperite such as myself.

  • I'm not the downvoter although I too think bumper hugger is a completely different thing – Az. Aug 4 '17 at 1:53
  • I appreciate criticism, but i'm not sure why this was downvoted. My other answer was a bit of a stretch, i guess, but i think this one works okay. – Wolfgang Aug 4 '17 at 1:56
  • @Az the linked article describes the scenario fairly closely. Is it not idiomatic enough or does it not describe the malice? The closest idiom i could think of would be "road hog" but that seemed even more of a stretch. Your question was fairly specific. – Wolfgang Aug 4 '17 at 2:05
  • Rather than making a rolling roadblock in the emptier lane, this refers to not letting people who do use that lane merge. 'I sometimes hug the bumper of the car in front of me to prevent those drivers from getting ahead'. – Spagirl Aug 4 '17 at 7:01

If you consider that there are many people who aggressively merge, you might also describe this person as the winner in a game of Chicken:https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_(game)

The game of chicken, also known as the hawk-dove game or snowdrift[1] game, is a model of conflict for two players in game theory. The principle of the game is that while it is to both players’ benefit if one player yields, the other player's optimal choice depends on what his opponent is doing: if his opponent yields, the player should not, but if the opponent fails to yield, the player should.

In this case, you could describe them as a hawk.

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