I drive around 30,000 miles a year and so it is inevitable that I occasionally get stopped for speeding. Thanks to taking “Traffic Safety” schools that allow scofflaws like me to avoid having the infraction appear on my driving record, I have a spotless history: numerous arrests, no convictions.
A few weeks ago I blundered into a small-town speed trap while going 67 mph in a 50 mph zone, ignoring a radar detector signal that I wrongly assumed was false. Throw in the fact that it was at night and that I was in unfamiliar territory meant I absolutely deserved getting pulled over.
Little did I know that the online ticket-beating traffic school I chose to attend had a curriculum written for 10 year olds.
The name of the school and the municipality shall remain anonymous, as my ticket has yet to be officially dismissed. The bizarre course was written at grade-school level, perhaps because I live in California where we give driver’s licenses to anyone who can fog a mirror, a group soon to include undocumented immigrants.
Here are a few of the gems of knowledge I gleaned from this primer:
- Driving an automobile has been a way of life since the automobile was invented in the early 1900’s.
- Driving in reverse presents its own risks and dangers. In fact, statistics point out that backing up accounts for almost 25% to 30% of road accidents across the country.
- All cars in the United States should head towards their destination on the right side of the road.
- Sidewalks are paved areas on the side of the road reserved ONLY for pedestrians. You must never drive on the sidewalk unless when entering a driveway or a street alley.
- Passing is any driving maneuver where you pass ahead of the vehicle in front of you. This is a very useful and common technique if you are traveling at a faster speed than the car ahead of you.
- If you have looked into a cars speedometer, you will notice that many are capable of going well beyond 100 mph. Car manufacturers certainly drum up the maximum speed when advertising new vehicles. Sometimes, this is even the main selling point of a car.
- Highways are public roads which generally connect major cities with other suburban and rural destinations. They transport many people and vehicles to their designations quickly…Freeways are larger roads, which are characterized by having multiple lanes and they allow faster driving. In fact, large freeways can have as many as 16 lanes!
See Dick drive. Drive, Dick, drive!
The course also inexplicably threw in passages on each page from brainyquote.com, such as:
- “Every politician should have been born an orphan and remain a bachelor.”
- Lady Bird Johnson
I highly doubt the target audience understood any of them.
A few years ago I was caught speeding in a city where they required your penance to be eight hours in a classroom with an instructor. Our teacher was hilarious, opening by making the point that had we been paying attention, we would be better drivers and would have spotted the cop before he spotted us. He cited real world situations and managed to hold our attention all day.
This worthless class cost me $199 and four hours of my life that I can never get back. Next time I just might take a live course again instead of an on-line version.