A well-known American travel writer has apologised for ‘goofing up’ after filming a selfie video whilst driving on a British motorway.
Rick Steves, 64, was slammed by British observers after he shared a video taken at the wheel of his rental car – whilst cruising at 50mph in the middle lane of the M6 in Cumbria.
Even after all these years as a traveler, I’m still learning. I aspire to travel as a temporary local and to always respect the customs and laws of the places I visit. But I completely goofed up on this one: https://t.co/B0qrnHtKSk— Rick Steves (@RickSteves) July 25, 2019
The video quickly went viral and even came to the attention of Cumbria Police, who were forced to respond after being inundated with reports.
“Driving north after a full day of guidebook research in Blackpool, I had to share a few English road-tripping thoughts”, Rick cheerily says to the camera.
“Of course, in England you drive on the left side of the road, so there’s a little getting used to driving that way”, says Rick, as he takes one hand off the steering wheel to pan around his rental car whilst hogging the middle lane.
Traced to US
After reviewing the footage, Cumbria Police sought to contact the American, but he had already returned to the United States.
But that was no deterrent to the force, who said they were able to trace Mr Steves to his home 4,582 miles away in Washington state.
Officers said they had successfully reached Mr Steves, and had ‘spoken to him’ about his conduct on Britain’s roads.
A spokesman for Cumbria Police said: “A few days ago, we were told by many people about a driver posting a video on social media which was taken on his phone while driving on the M6.
“He’s no longer in-country but was traced and spoken to by one of our officers.”
Got carried away
In a humble apology to his more than 600,000 followers on social media, Mr Steves admitted that he had “completely goofed up on this one”.
“Even after all these years as a traveller, I’m still learning”, he said.
“I aspire to travel as a temporary local and to always respect the customs and laws of the places I visit. But I completely goofed up on this one!
“It’s easy to get carried away by the excitement of travel. A couple of days ago, I got swept up in the fun of being on a British motorway — and I made a short video on my phone while I was driving, which I later posted online.
“A few of you pointed out the error of my ways: I shouldn’t have used my phone behind the wheel. You were right, and I took the post down.
“Even after all these years as a traveller, I’m still learning”, he explained.
“I aspire to travel as a temporary local and to always respect the customs and laws of the places I visit. But I completely goofed up on this one.
“In the UK, the middle lane is for passing, not cruising — and now I know that.
“This experience taught me to do a little more homework on local traffic norms — and reminded me not to get so carried away with the joy of travel that I do something inconsiderate or unsafe.
“Because I believe that good citizenship extends beyond our own borders, I’ve contacted the local authorities with my apologies.
“I’ve learned from this mistake, and hopefully you can too. Keep on travelin’…with your eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel!”
Steves has now removed the video from his social media channels.
A version of this story first appeared in the Lancashire Evening Post