Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Commentary

No. 1 Rule of the Road -- Just Let 'em Honk

March 28, 2004|Mark Cloud

Dear Mr. Traffic Man: During the evening rush hour, cars get really backed up on the highway exit ramp I take on my way home. I'm always in a hurry to get home and sit on my couch, so I use the shoulder of the exit ramp to squeeze past all the other cars waiting their turn in line. A lot of people honk their horns and shake their fists at me when I do this, which makes me wonder if I'm doing the right thing. -- Lines Are for Losers

Dear Lines: Of course you're doing the right thing. I'm always amazed at how few people properly use the shoulder. What do the non-shoulder-users think it's there for -- to act as a safety buffer? Puh-leese. Here's a clue, people: The shoulder wouldn't be just wide enough for a car to fit into if it weren't meant to be a lane of transit. Keep up the good driving, Lines, and don't be discouraged by the misguided honking and fist-shaking of fools who would rather follow the crowd than blaze their own courageous trail. They're sheep.

*

Dear Mr. Traffic Man: Can you resolve a dispute between my fiancee and me? I say that if I'm in the center of a busy three-lane road and am about to miss the right turn into a 7-Eleven where I really want to get a Slurpee, then it's OK for me to just stop right there in the middle of the road and wait for the traffic to clear so I can get over to the right. She says I'm an idiot and am endangering everyone on the road and that if I want a Slurpee so bad then I should just go around the block. Who's right? (There's a 40-ounce Mountain Dew Slurpee riding on this.) -- I'm Thirsty Right Now

Dear Thirsty: The real danger here is not your completely appropriate driving maneuver but your fiancee's shocking ignorance of the rules of the road. I guess she's too important and busy to look it up, but if she would just glance through the Official Mr. Traffic Rules of the Road Handbook she'd realize that there is not a single rule relating to "going around the block." You know why? Because it doesn't freakin' exist! Rather than making up nonexistent driving laws, your fiancee needs to zipper it shut and get you that Slurpee.

*

Dear Mr. Traffic Man: If I'm pretty sure I can make it without hitting anyone, is it OK to run through a light that has just turned red? -- My Time Is More Valuable Than Your Property or Life

Dear Time: Yes.

*

Dear Mr. Traffic Man: I've found a great route to work through a residential area. There are no speed bumps and I can zip along at 50 mph. The problem is, every time I whip around this one blind curve, there's a lady standing in her yard holding her little kid's hand and yelling at me to slow down to the 25-mph speed limit. She's getting on my nerves. Frankly, I don't have time for her nonsense. What should I do? -- Concerned Driver

Dear Concerned: You can't reason with this type of megalomaniac. The best thing to do is get away as quickly as possible. Fifty mph probably is not fast enough. I recommend going at least 60. And to keep from being distracted by her yelling, simply hold your horn down until you're safely past. Courage, fellow motorist, and remember, it takes a village to drive a car safely.

Mark Cloud is a staff attorney for the Georgia Court of Appeals.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|