Goofy Traffic Laws

Goofy Traffic Laws

Here are some of the wackiest rules you might not have heard about in Driver’s Ed.

Courtesy of Underhood Service by Doug Kaufman

As I was driving home from work the other day, I noticed numerous vehicles pulled over by Highway Patrolmen. I thought the amount of traffic stops seemed much higher than normal, when it dawned on me – Ohio’s new Distracted Driving Law went into effect on April 4.

For the next six months, officers will pull drivers over and issue warnings about using their phones while driving. In October, you will actually get a ticket for texting and talking while driving. 

More and more laws like the new one in Ohio are going on the books or already there (I found that out years ago in Reno, NV). I say it’s about time. Hang up the phone and drive, people!

Of course, though they’ve also all been put into place for one safety reason or another, not EVERY traffic law on the books is still necessary. Here are some of the wackiest rules you might not have heard about in Driver’s Ed.

Unless you have a lantern attached to the front of your vehicle, it’s illegal to drive the wrong way down a one-way street in Alabama. 

You’ll be ticketed for honking your horn after 9 p.m. outside of Arkansas dining establishments that serve sandwiches or cold drinks.

“Though they’ve all been put into place for one safety reason or another, not all traffic laws are still necessary.”

Unless you’re killing a whale, it’s against the law to shoot animals from your vehicle in Tennessee.

You can be ticketed in Massachu-setts for having a gorilla in your back seat.

Remember how I said I once got pulled over for holding my phone in Reno? You also can’t ride camels on the highway in Nevada.

In Montana, it’s illegal to be alone with sheep in a truck – you must have a chaperone.

In certain parts of Missouri, you cannot, under any circumstances, drive with an uncaged bear in your car. In other areas, however, it’s obviously allowed.

 In California, women are not allowed to drive in a housecoat. In Memphis, TN, Louisiana and Virgina, women aren’t allowed to drive at all, apparently, unless their husband walks in front of the car.

Don’t drive blindfolded in Alabama.

No matter how much your dogsled team loves being outside, it’s illegal to tie a dog to your car roof in Alaska.

In Florida, if you tie an elephant, goat or alligator to a parking meter, you have to pay the standard fee.

It’s illegal to spit from a car or bus in Georgia, but it’s OK to spit from a truck.

Apparently in Indiana, it’s against the law to sell cars on Sundays, while you can’t BUY one in Maine.

Oklahoma has been against distacted driving for so long that it’s illegal to read a comic book while driving.

In Oregon, you must yield to pedestrians when driving on the sidewalk.

While some may complain that Ohio’s new cellphone law is overkill and the cops should have better things to worry about, the National Safety Council says that distracted driving is a vastly underreported and underappreciated social problem.

So, even though it may be legal to eat road kill in West Virginia, it doesn’t sound like a very good idea. To me, texting and talking while driving is just as unappetizing.  

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Quality is number one. Don’t sacrifice your standards.

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The flat rate system most likely holds the title for controversy in automotive repair shops. Is it a good system, or is it flawed? Truth is, it’s a good system, or at least there’s plenty of logic behind it. But, unfortunately, it’s also flawed in a lot of ways.Will we ever have a better system? Who knows, but what’s important is how we as technicians respond to it all. One of the big problems is how many young technicians are introduced into the field and where they’re getting their experience. It comes down to one of two situations.One, you’re in a shop that has a genuine focus on quality, and the main concern is getting the job done right. The shop owners and service managers who support this ideal and encourage their technicians to take a few extra minutes in the interest of quality are the “best of the best.”The other possibility is a situation where the entire operation is only about money. All they look at is production, production, production. This can be tough for any of us, especially young technicians who are still trying to find their way. They’re forced to hurry before they have time to develop the mechanical and organizational skills they need to work efficiently and produce quality results.I’ve been in both situations, and as technicians, we must pay bills like everyone else, but as tempting as it is to nail the flat-rate time, I’ve never gone into it with that mindset. A perfect example is when I started a new job at a large shop. Nobody knew me, so naturally the service advisors were reluctant to give me much, and early on, I’m sure they thought, “that oil change took him 10 minutes longer than the car wash kid who just transitioned to technician. I thought he was supposed to be experienced.”Then, there was the shop manager who insisted on touring the shop every 15 minutes. “Comin’ apart or goin’ back together?” was his favorite quip. The only thing he instilled in the shop was getting as much work done as possible. But I refused to sacrifice my quality. Did that mean I was slow? Not by any means because I worked efficiently. But, I wasn’t the fastest either. Top speed was owned by those who didn’t care about quality.Then, the oil change hero forgot to put the filter on a car that happened to be in for its very first oil change. Fill it up, slam the hood and back it out was his M.O. He must have known the meaning of the look I gave him, because he said “what, you’ve never done that?” My answer was an immediate and unequivocal “no.”The moral of the story is that it didn’t take long before I was one of the most requested technicians by the service advisors. Difficult problems, other techs’ comebacks; there was no more time for excuses and embarrassment. They wanted the cars fixed right, the first time. And the best part of it all, they paid me for my time. If the service advisor said, “I can pay you only this,” and I said, “if I’m going to fix it, I’m going to need the time I have in it,” they’d somehow figure out how to pay me.Quality is number one. Don’t sacrifice your standards. Efficiency comes with time, speed comes with efficiency, and nothing costs more than a comeback, a damaged car or a damaged reputation. TS

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