Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Road Rules

I'm on my third kid learning to drive.  And through the process of teaching kids to drive, I've learned a few things myself.  Mostly, that I don't remember the actual rules of the road because I learned them 30 years ago.  Because I only know the practical rules of the road.  The things that everyone does, but knows that they aren't exactly legal.  Like you can go at least 5 mph over the speed limit without getting a speeding ticket.  When in reality: 1. this isn't true 2. there are douchebag cops out there who will go out of their way to prove it.  Which might by why my most frequent teaching technique is by bad example.  Did you see that thing I did just there?  Don't do that!

Not only don't I remember the rules, a lot has changed in 30 years.  There were no protected left turns indicated by a green arrow when I was learning to drive.  Only one solid green light and you had to judge, calculate and risk it.  Can I make this turn before that oncoming semi-truck obliterates me?  Let's see!  Because if you didn't risk it, you'd never get where you were going.  You can't just make right hand turns through life.  That's when my kid asks,  if she's at a stop light with a protected left turn, but it's currently solid green with no oncoming traffic, can she make a left turn?  Of course, I said.  But, you should probably look that up to see if it's legal though if you want to pass the test.  Did I mention back in the good old days there were no coddled protected left turns?

In addition, there were no seat belt laws or airbags when I got my license.  And bike lanes?  Are you joking?  There were no designated bike lanes on roads in the 80's.  No one biked for exercise back then.  Well ok... stationary bikes, indoors wearing leg warmers with a sweat band compressing your mullet like extras in a music video for Physical with Olivia Newton John.  Oh, yeah, and I drove way back before cellphones and blue tooth, so all you had to listen to was the radio.  (Because the cassette player ate all your tapes you got conned into ordering from Columbia House.)  So, really you were stuck listening to either Journey or Michael Jackson on repeat, depending on which of the two radio stations you could get without static.  But, the bonus was, if you crashed, you were pretty much guaranteed to certain death because you weren't wearing a seat belt, so that ended your musical misery pretty definitively.

Between my own exploits driving as a teenager and having already taught two teenage boys to drive, nothing scares me about getting in a car with my teen at the wheel anymore.  Besides my monthly car insurance bill.  Well, the music that my daughter listens to while she's learning to drive does concern me a bit.  I mean, I didn't raise my kids to like country music!  Where did I go wrong?  But, I think the thing that pisses me off the most about my kids driving is that parallel parking isn't on the driving test they have to take to get their license.  WTF?  Everyone knows the hardest part of driving is parallel parking.  I could easily ace that driving test!  Except for all those pesky rules of the road.  

Kids these days are living on easy street!
Which sounds exactly like what an old person would say.
OMG, I'm old!

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