Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Rules of the Road: Part II

I know New York State already has a written driver's test, but it doesn't really prepare new drivers to operate a motor vehicle on our roads. I thought as a public service, especially since I have to share the road with the pinheads around me, I would offer some more realistic alternatives to the current test answers. Below are the current rules, the example used in the test book to illustrate them, and my alternative answers based on over fifty years of driving in this state.

Rule: Drivers must yield to pedestrians legally using marked or unmarked crosswalks. Example: You are stopped at a red light. A pedestrian steps into the crosswalk, and then the light turns green. You must wait for the pedestrian to cross. You must also yield to pedestrians in crosswalks on your left or right before turning. Jim's Rule: When the light turns green in your favor, gun the car, then screech on the brakes. As the pedestrian stumbles to pick up his packages and brush himself off, proceed through the intersection being sure to glare at the pedestrian as you go by.

Rule: Traffic conditions change constantly. You cannot afford to let your attention wander from what is going on around you. Always scan the road ahead. Do not use the road or even the vehicle directly ahead as your only focal point. Look ahead so you can avoid, or lessen, potential problems. Example: When a car in front of you puts on a turn signal indication he is about to move into your lane, take your foot off the gas pedal and allow him to safely enter the lane. Jim's Rule: Never let anyone get in front of you. When their signal goes on indicating they are changing lanes, speed up immediately to pass them; blaring horn is optional.

Rule: When approaching a STOP sign, come to a full stop, yield the right-of-way to vehicles and pedestrians in or approaching the intersection. Go when it is safe. Example: When required to stop because of a sign, you must stop before reaching the stop line, if there is one, or the crosswalk. Jim's Rule: Coming to a full stop slows you down and allows annoying pedestrians to cross. Instead, use the rolling stop so pedestrians are never really sure of your intentions. Proceed boldly through the intersection; any cars approaching from your right or left may curse you, but they will stop.

Rule: Even the most careful drivers are involved in crashes caused by unexpected events or the mistakes of other drivers. If you are involved in a traffic crash, you must be ready to react responsibly at the scene and obey the law in reporting the incident. Example: Regardless of the extent of damage. It is a traffic violation to leave the scene of an incident, such as a traffic crash involving property damage. Jim's Rule: If you hit another vehicle, stagger out of your vehicle and fake a heart attack. While the other driver is calling 9-1-1 and looking for help, crawl back into your car and speed away in a direction such that your license plate number is not visible.

Rule: Traffic lights are usually red, yellow and green from top to bottom. Some traffic lights are steady, others flash. Some are circular, and some are arrows. Understand and obey all traffic lights. Example: STEADY YELLOW: The light is changing from green to red. Slow down and be ready to stop for the red light. Jim's Rule: A yellow light is the signal to immediately accelerate your vehicle to avoid getting stuck at a red light. If behind another vehicle at the time, swerve around the vehicle, leaning hard on your horn, and extend your left arm straight up out the window, middle finger raised high. Note: Be sure to grip the steering wheel firmly in your right hand for safety's sake.

Rule: Parallel parking takes practice and skill, and is part of every road test. You should also know where parking is illegal and what NO PARKING, NO STANDING and NO STOPPING signs mean. Example: Many motorists consider parallel parking the most difficult part of driving. But practice will teach you how to back up properly and to judge distances and angles. Patience and self confidence will help you master the task. Jim's Rule: Parallel parking is difficult, but can be simplified immeasurably by using the bumpers of the cars immediately in front of and behind you as guides. (Be sure your own bumpers are equipped with bumper protectors before employing this helpful technique.)

Driving in a crowded city like New York, especially with all the overstressed, psychotic rage-a-holics, can be intimidating for new drivers. Don't let these road warriors kick sand in your face you girly-man. Set aside that wimpy New York State driver's manual and make it your business to live by Jim's Rules when you get behind the wheel. When that frazzled freak you just cut off flips you the bird and screams a string of obscenities in your direction, that's just his way of saying: "Welcome to the road, rookie."

(If you missed Part I of Rules of the Road, click here. View)


LOOKING FOR A WORTHY CHARITY? TRY THESE FOLKS: Children's Craniofacial Association

1 comment:

Joseph Del Broccolo said...

These are good rules, but I thought I thought them up!