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What To Do If You’re Being Pulled Over!

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If you’re like me, then from time to time you’ve been known to exceed the speed limit by a few miles or so. Maybe you’re in a hurry and you didn’t take the time to come to a complete stop at that stop sign – maybe you didn’t even see the stop sign! In any case, a violation of the rules of the road might see you in hot pursuit by flashing blue and red lights. In these situations, there are certain protocol that should be followed to ensure the safety of you and your passengers, as well as the officer in charge. Here are a few tips should you ever find yourself being pulled over while driving.

 

1. Slow down and turn your turn signal on to get to the closest and safest place to stop, whether this is on the right shoulder of the road or highway, or in the closest parking lot. You’ll want to pull over as quickly as possible, but more so in a safe and calm manner.

 

2. After you have pulled over, make sure you turn off your radio and your car engine. Roll down your window and place your hands on the steering wheel. Police officers are killed making routing traffic stops on a daily basis, so anything you can do to assuage their heightened alertness and portray that you are cooperating in a calm manner is key.

 

3. Don’t go rummaging through your purse or wallet until the officer gets to your car door. This may indicate you are looking to hide something or possibly reaching for a weapon.

 

4. When the officer gets to your door, the first thing they will probably ask is to see your license and registration, and possible insurance. Most of these things should be kept in your car or on your person.

 

5. In most cases, anything you say to an officer may later be used against you in court. An officer may hand you a ticket, and in most cases signing it is not an admission of guilt, just a promise to pay the fine or show up in court. Most of the time, the correct response to a police officer is, “No,sir” or “Yes,sir.”

 

6. The police normally cannot search your car unless they find probable cause … but this can be anything they deem suspicious from a weird smell to an object in plain view. Don’t give them any reason to further detain you, follow the steps above!

 

There are a few instances when extra precaution may be used when getting pulled over. If you are alone on a dark highway or side road, it is within your rights to continue driving until you find a well-lit or more populated area. You may also ask that an officer identify himself/herself if getting pulled over by an unmarked or strange vehicle with flashing lights. Getting pulled over certainly is no fun, but following these precautions can save you a lot of grief!

Blowing Out A Tire – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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Blowing out a tire has been, by far, the most frightening thing that has ever happened to me in my many years of driving. I suppose I should feel lucky that it was a rear tire that blew out, rather than a front tire. I have heard that blowing out a front tire can really jerk the wheel and is much more dangerous. When the tire blew, it sounded exactly like a shotgun. And it scared the crap out of me. Unfortunately, when you blow a tire, you are usually on a freeway, driving at a high speed. And, from my experience, it’s just more unfortunate luck that it’s at night and you’re by yourself. And every serial killer comes out of the woodwork to help you change that tire. I called roadside assistance, locked all of my doors and rolled up my windows. But I left my driver side window rolled down just a smidgeon, so I could communicate with someone when they approached the car. But, not enough that they could reach inside my window and throttle me. A few good Samaritans did stop to rend assistance. And I felt like a jerk, talking to them through the slightly cracked window “Thanks for stopping to help, but I’ve already called roadside assistance.” What I really wanted to say is “Didn’t I see you on Craigslist?”

It only took roadside assistance 25 minutes to arrive. But, at night, in girl years, 25 minutes is an eternity. In Texas, there is an 800 number on the back of your driver license that you can call for roadside assistance and emergencies. And, the best thing is, it’s free. It’s offered to anyone who has blown out a tire or run out of gas on Texas highways. But you actually have to be on the highway to use it. You cannot be on a ramp or access road.

The other frightening thing about being broken down on the side of a freeway was that every time a large truck would pass by, my car would shimmy. And that was also a frightening feeling. I remembered hearing that, if you break down on either shoulder, you shouldn’t put your hazard lights on. But, rather, you should put your signal light on. As if you were going to re-enter the freeway. Passersby may see that you have your signal light on and will be concerned that you may be re-entering into their lane, and may move over into the next lane when passing. In using the signal, there were significantly less vehicles passing right next to me at a high speed. That was a great tip that I am so glad I remembered. And you can pass that tip on to people you know.

If you blow out a tire, and you make sudden corrections or jerk the wheel at a high speed, you could roll your car. So, it is highly recommended that you follow these steps, should it ever happen to you. Take your foot off the gas, so your car slows down on its own, naturally. Grip the wheel (especially a front rim could really jerk the wheel). Oh, and change your pants. Because blowing out a tire will most certainly scare the crap out of you. I would recommend you put a spare pair of pants in the trunk with your spare tire. You’re going to need them.

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Blowing Out A Tire – Comedy Defensive Driving

5 To Drive – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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In October, 2013, during National Teen Driver Week, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) unveiled a new campaign that challenges parents to discuss five critical driving practices with their teen drivers. These five critical practices can have the greatest beneficial impact in the event of a crash. Which is, in my opinion, outstanding, since motor vehicle collisions are the number one killer of teens in America. Almost half of teens killed in crashes are the drivers, themselves. This campaign, 5 to drive, as well as additional good information can be found at distraction.gov (the official US government website for distracted driving). The list is designed to counteract poor driving decisions that have contributed to the high death rate among teen drivers.

The 5 To Drive campaign topics are:
1. No Cell phone use or texting while driving
2. No extra passengers
3. No speeding
4. No alcohol
5. No driving or riding without a seat belt

Most states already have the above restrictions for new drivers. In Texas, a new driver has restrictions for one full year after they receive their driver license. No talking or texting. Driving curfews. And only one non-member under 21 in the car with you when you are driving (i.e. they only want you to kill one friend at a time…not all of them at once). That’s a brilliant restriction since we would pack kids in our cars like sardines when I was a teen driver.

My chief complaint as a mother of a teenage driver is the options for driver training that are currently offered. When I was a teen, we had drivers education in high school. It was part of our curriculum. We had a simulator that looked like a bumper car with a little theatre screen on it. How appropriate, to learn how to drive in a bumper car. My father would also take us out on country roads in his truck and have us practice driving. So, in addition to our driver training in school, we got hands-on instruction from my dear old dad. And my dad was a drunk driver. So, I learned how to weave and drift across three lanes. He’d put his beer can on the center of the dashboard and say “Now, line that up with the edge of the road.” Then he’d climb over the seat and pass out. Now, most high schools don’t even offer driver education. Independent driving schools offer driver education at a high cost. Or, a teen can take an online driver education course for quite a bit less. And, in Texas, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) offers a Parent-Taught Driver Education course for the least expense. The cover letter in the packet is totally written by a mother, too. It’s already letting you have it as a parent. It says “This is a parent-taught driver education course. Not a child-teaches-child while the parent is in the other room watching television.” Most teens are now taught to drive by their mothers. When I ask these teens, they say it is because their father is too impatient. I ask mothers who have taught this course to their teens if they were in the room with them while they were doing the classroom instruction. Most say they were not. At least they’re honest. But that means that there are many teens out there driving around with a scant idea of what they are doing behind the wheel. It’s a chilling thought. The more parents are really involved with instilling important driving skills and habits and making sure that they are constantly reminding them and making them accountable for their driving actions, the better chance that their teen will not end up as a statistic.

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

5 To Drive – Comedy Defensive Driving

Real Texans Don’t Litter – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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For more than 27 years, Don’t mess with Texas has been dedicated to educating Texans about the real cost of litter, because real Texans don’t litter. Through award-winning ads, statewide road tours, and true Texas pride, they go to great lengths to keep Texas litter-free.

The 25th anniversary Don’t Mess with Texas litterbag, which just came out, will feature a new design designed by McKinney resident Jenifer Oslter. Texans across the state submitted original art for the chance for their design to appear on the special-edition litterbags as part of the Texas Department of Transportation’s Don’t Mess with Texas Design A Litterbag contest.

You can find more information about this anti-littering campaign at dontmesswithtexas.org. This is a fantastic website with some good information and tools to educate the masses about litter control on our highways and roads. With Spring approaching and our beautiful, world famous wildflowers about to (or as we Texans say “fixin’ to”) blanket these scenic routes, now is the time to be more conscientious about keeping things cleaned up and clear of litter.

Last Spring I was taking a trip to Corsicana. It was March, and the Bluebonnets were breathtaking. A popular tradition in Texas is for families to take pictures of their children in the wildflowers. If you travel any major roads in Texas in March, you will see cars pulled over on the shoulder of the freeway with moms taking pictures of their babies. Yes, taking pictures with huge, loud tractor trailers huffing by. Not to mention, what is hidden in the tall grass. Rattlesnakes, scorpions, tarantulas, fire ants, sand burs, poison ivy, you name it. It doesn’t seem safe, really. I took pictures of my baby in the Bluebonnets at the lake on a blanket. It seemed safer. But, then, I do recall hollowing out a pumpkin and shoving her in it when she was just a few days old. I also put the top of the pumpkin on her head, likely on her soft spot. I hear that CPS (Child Protective Services) will babysit … for free … for years!

So, last Spring, on my trip to Corsicana, I was enjoying the scenery when I noticed that someone had taken a picture of their baby in the Bluebonnets on the side of the freeway and rolled up a disposable diaper into a ball and just left it there. The plastic on a diaper is very thin, but its certainly not biodegradable. It would likely be there forever. So, I went back and took a picture of it. I thought I’d send the picture to the people at dontmesswithtexas.org and they would probably think it was a good advertising photo for their website. I had a friend “tag” the photo. So it says “Don’t Mess With Texas … It’s Your Doody.” I hope they use it.

On the website, it mentions that the only three things you can litter with, legally, in Texas is ice, water and chicken feathers. I always thought that something biodegradable, such as a banana peel or apple core was legal to litter with. But, alas, the problem is that animals have such a keen sense of smell, they may go onto the road to check it out as a potential meal and get hit by a car. Apparently some people will actually swerve to avoid hitting a fluffy animal and injure or kill themselves. Mostly women, I believe, because we have feelings. And, cigarette butts seem to be the biggest hazard of all, and the most littered with. According to the website, since 2005, cigarette butt trash has increased by a whopping 42%. Perhaps with the new electric cigarettes, those numbers will decrease. Or, maybe not. I purchased an e-cigarette for my sister, trying to help her to quit smoking. I asked her how it was working out for her. She said she forgot it was an e-cigarette and flicked it out the window of the car.

Until next week….

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Real Texans Don’t Litter – Comedy Defensive Driving

Traffic and Ramp Construction – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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Well, it’s Superbowl Sunday, and I would only watch the game if they released a live lion onto the field. That would make it a little more “sporty” and more interesting to watch. I really wish I liked football and have tried, honestly I have. But I find it as boring as watching paint dry. I did, though, like the half time show as most women do. And I do know some women who like sports about as much as men do. Oddly, those women are always hitting on me.

Also, I’ve noticed that most women, unlike men, don’t like to drive. Driving, to me, is a chore. Especially with the traffic we have here in the city. It takes forever just to get across town. You leave the house clean-shaven and by the time you get to your destination, you have a full beard. And a woman my age can totally grow a full beard. I’ve seen it and I know you have too. I mean, not in the mirror, but on other women.

In Texas, they are doing construction on most of the freeways all at the same time. So it’s been a mess here with traffic and ramp construction. What would normally have been a 15 minute drive, took me one hour and 45 minutes. And that wasn’t even in rush hour traffic. I have noticed that, in my defensive driving classes, I have more people getting a speeding ticket for entering and exiting the freeway too fast or speeding on the access road on either side of the freeway to get up to speed before entering the ramp. The problem is, the ramps are too darned short here. In fact, they’re dangerously short. And, I read something a few years ago that stated “Texas is planning to lengthen the ramps where they can. And they are going to take responsibility for how some of our highways and roads are poorly designed.” So, years later, they actually are keeping their promise and lengthening the ramps while they are widening the freeways. Now, many entrance ramps are long enough that you can actually get up to speed to merge in with the flow of traffic. And you have lengthy exit ramps to get from freeway speed, down to access road speed without locking up your breaks to reduce your speed.

Another problem, in addition to the short ramps, is that people seem to be doing 80 in the slow lane and 45 in the fast lane (passing lane). You must get up to speed to be able to merge in with the flow of traffic. And, on a short ramp, unless you have a crotch rocket motorcyle or a reallly fast car, you have to get a good, running start on the access road. Hence, the speeding ticket you will receive. You’re not supposed to exceed the speed limit on the access road until you enter the ramp, which is impossible.

So, thank you, Texas, for keeping your word and lengthening those ramps. Until they lengthen the ramps on your commute to work, you may want to go out and purchase a crotch rocket motorcyle or a really fast car. And, perhaps those of you who like to do 80 in the slow lane can consider moving over to another lane and let the ramp enter the freeway. In traffic, it wouldn’t hurt you to let one car, per car enter the freeway from the ramp. It’s affectionately called the “zipper.” Some people will, while other people won’t let anyone in because they think it’s going to make them later than they already are, and then you have the good samaritan that has to let a half dozen cars in at one time. Thinking he’s doing his good deed for the day. And the guy behind him is counting how many bullets he needs to put in the chamber of his gun because he’s not so happy.

So, be patient, be courteous and good luck out there.

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Traffic and Construction – Comedy Defensive Driving

Driving on Ice – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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It looks like the weather man is predicting icy rain this week in Texas. While I spent most of my early driving years in the Midwest, braving the weather conditions, I am not quite confident about driving on ice. I am reluctant to prepare for freezing temperatures since the weather man is not always spot-on. That would be the best job in the world, being the weather man. You can be completely wrong in your weather predictions and still get paid. I’m sure the six figure job comes with dental and a 401k as well.

If we do find ourselves in a winter wonderland, I’d prefer to curl up under a blanket and avoid driving if I can. Here in Texas, our transportation department is less equipped to respond to icy road conditions than, say, the Midwest or anywhere up north. Drivers here in Texas have less experience and preparation for winter driving. And they find themselves at a high risk of getting in an accident whenever winter affects the roads. In fact, Texas is on the top 10 list for winter driving fatalities. For the drivers out there taking their chances, here are a few tips for driving in icy weather.
You can prepare yourself and your car to help safely navigate icy roads. Starting with good tires, no matter how safe you drive, you won’t get very far without good traction. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and have plenty of tread left on them before you drive on icy roads. If they’re bald, unfortunately, you can’t just “comb” the tread over the bald spots. Make sure they have plenty of tread left on them before you drive on icy roads. I feel so very fortunate that I have a car with four-wheel drive (4WD), which can hug icy roads better than those with two-wheel drive or so I thought. Come to find out a four-wheel drive vehicle slides just just as well as a two-wheel drive. So don’t think you can just go plowing along, immune from the elements.

Reduce your speed on icy roads. On slick roads, even driving the speed limit can put you at risk of getting in an accident or getting a ticket. At higher speeds, you won’t have as much reaction time plus, it takes twice as long to stop on icy roads. You simply have less control over your car at higher speeds in bad weather.

But, before you even get into the car, there are several things to check before you venture out. Make sure your windshield wipers are functioning and have an adequate amount of wiper fluid in the reservoir. Check your battery to see if it’s not going to let you down. If it’s old, you may consider getting a new one. Top off your antifreeze so you don’t damage your car’s cooling system and cause your radiator block to crack. And keep your gas tank at least half full throughout the winter months.

Now, to prepare YOU. Stock up on some jumper cables, an ice scraper, an emergency kit, a flashlight and a bag of cat litter to sprinkle for traction, should you get stuck on an icy road. Blankets, snacks and water wouldn’t hurt as well. And make sure you have your phone charger in case you need to call for assistance. Better yet, just don’t drive!

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Driving on Ice – Comedy Defensive Driving

Comedian Larry Campbell Comedy Defensive Driving at Joe’s Crab Shack Mesquite – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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Hey kids! If you’re in need of a defensive driving class and you really want to be entertained by an amazingly funny dude, then your plane has landed on the right runway. Larry Campbell is, by far, one of the funniest comedians in these here parts. He brings his own kind of funny to the Joe’s Crab Shack in Mesquite every other Wednesday evening from 4pm – 10pm. Yes, even you criminals can see Comedian Larry Campbell Comedy Defensive Driving at Joe’s Crab Shack Mesquite, performing his comedic stylings while you’re snacking on crab legs, just like a real dinner show. Just don’t order the Baby Seal Club Sandwich (I hear they’ve taken it off of the menu, anyway).

The Joe’s Crab Shack in Mesquite, Texas is located in close proximity to many major areas. Check out our website for more information at ComedyDefensiveDriving.com and click “find a class” and register from there. It’s so easy to get there, at 1340 N. Peachtree Road, Mesquite, TX 75149. The location is off of Interstate 635 (I-635) Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway and Gross Road, near Texas State Highway 80 with easy access from both Interstate 20 (I-20) and Interstate 30 (I-30). Convenient to Balch Springs, Mesquite, Garland, Dallas, Sunnyvale, Rockwall, Rowlett, Tyler, Longview, and many other major burbs.

Joe’s Crab Shack has an extensive menu of fresh seafood as well as chicken, burgers and tasty salads. So, consider it a fun lunch date that you can spend with some fellow speeders. Breaks are taken throughout the course, every hour. Comedy Defensive Driving School is a state approved course. You will learn about evasive driving, defensive driving and new and revised laws will be presented to you, which will assist in making you a better driver. This is a good refresher course for all drivers. And, you get both a certificate for the court for ticket dismissal and an insurance discount certificate, good for a three year discount, between 8% to 15%!

And, a little more about Larry Campbell. If you want to see him perform in the area, he will be at The West End Event Center in Historic Downtown Dallas on Saturday, April 19th at 8:00 p.m. You can also see him at other local venues. And, if you want to find out more about Larry (maybe even things you really didn’t want to know), check him out on Facebook at

https://www.facebook.com/larry.campbell.5815/friends.

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist / Benevolent Thesbo

Comedian Larry Campbell at Joe’s Crab Shack Mesquite – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

Defensive Driving Course Taught by Corey Ray Sutton at Cantina Laredo in Lewisville, Texas – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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If you want to say that you saw Corey Ray Sutton before he was famous, this is your chance. Starting Wednesday, April 2nd, you can take a defensive driving course taught by Corey Ray Sutton at Cantina Laredo in Lewisville, Texas. Located at 2224 S. Stemmons Frwy (I-35), it’s centrally located between Denton and Dallas. And it is convenient to Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Hickory Creek and Addison. Check out our website for more information at ComedyDefensiveDriving.com and click on the Texas Classroom Course button and register from there.

Cantina Laredo serves authentic Mexican dishes in a sophisticated atmosphere. The Mexico City style menu includes grilled fish, chicken and steaks complimented by signature sauces such as chipotle-wine with Portobello mushrooms or sautéed artichoke hearts and roasted red bell peppers. My favorite, the ceviche, is simply the best around. So, consider it a fun lunch date that you can spend with some fellow speeders. Breaks are taken throughout the course, every hour. Comedy Defensive Driving School is a state approved course. You will learn about evasive driving, defensive driving and new and revised laws will be presented to you, which will assist in making you a better driver. But, hey, we can’t perform miracles. So, at the very least, this is a great refresher course. And, you get both a certificate for the court for ticket dismissal and an insurance discount certificate, good for a three year discount, between 8% to 15%!

And time will fly when you’re laughing your way through the hours at Cantina Laredo. Corey Ray Sutton has been a professional stand-up comedienne for over 10 years. He was voted the Dallas Observer’s Best Stand Up Comic in 2006 http://www.dallasobserver.com/bestof/2006/award/best-local-stand-up-comic-249941/. You can see his performances on his YouTube channel youtube.com/HYPERLINK “http://youtube.com/tapwatertea”tapwatertea.  And you can see him perform live around the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex just about any day of the week.  Or follow him on Facebook at facebook.com/HYPERLINK “http://facebook.com/coreyraysutton”coreyraysutton and facebook.com/HYPERLINK “http://facebook.com/tapwatertea”tapwatertea. There, you can find updates of local shows and happenings.

The next time you need some help with ticket dismissal, schedule a class with Corey Ray. It will be the most fun you’ve ever spent in a defensive driving class.

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist / Benevolent Thesbo

Defensive Driving Course Taught by Corey Ray Sutton at Cantina Laredo in Lewisville, Texas – Comedy Defensive Driving

Riding in the H.O.V. Lane – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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The H.O.V. lane is for “High Occupancy Vehicles” and in Texas that means two or more passengers or one if you ride a motorcycle. The driver, of course, counts as the first passenger and the second passenger can be a child in a booster seat or car seat. Which, in my opinion, is the safest lane to be in, when cars are weaving in and out of traffic. So, if you don’t have a child, you may want to ask for one for Christmas this year so you can enjoy the convenience of riding in the H.O.V. lane. In California, a pregnant woman in her second trimester can ride in the H.O.V. lane. Again, also safer for the rest of us, since pregnant women are so darned emotional and are usual the ones weaving in and out of traffic.

Getting on the H.O.V. as a single occupant is not really putting anyone’s life in danger. It’s all about fuel consumption, emissions and carpooling. But crossing over the double solid line on a non-controlled H.O.V. or slipping in between the p.v.c. posts on a semi-controlled H.O.V. lane to enter or exit, instead of where you are supposed to enter or exit is very dangerous and both offenses offer a double-whammy of a traffic violation. And, doing a “Texas Exit” through the ditch to exit the freeway is also a hefty fine.

With the mad traffic in Dallas, and the lengthy commuting I do, I would gladly pick up a murderous hitchhiker to be able to ride in the H.O.V. lane.

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Writer

Riding in the H.O.V. Lane – Comedy Defensive Driving

A Comedy Defensive Driving Class with Joel Malloy at Plano Texas Land and Cattle – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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Have you been caught speeding for the first time? Or, are you’re a repeat offender? Do you need to take a defensive driving class to have your tickets dismissed? Or, perhaps you would just like a three year discount on your auto insurance. If you take a comedy defensive driving class with Joel Malloy at Plano Texas Land and Cattle, you will get both an insurance discount and ticket dismissal. And, you’ll have one heck of a Saturday filled with laughs and fun. Joel is a talented actor and humorist. And he finds his passion for music and performance as a life-long personal expression. And you can attend his class Saturdays at 9:00 a.m. by registering here on our website.

Texas Land and Cattle is not just your ordinary steakhouse. The atmosphere alone is unique to Texas. Beautiful cattle drive murals and rustic accents. Like an elegant lodge with a trueTexas twist. They create and serve dishes and spirits that define the Texas version of what craft dining should be. From the décor to the menu, they take great care in your dining experience. Their menu is inspired by traditional favorites where they combine flavors from the four corners of Texas: the Coastal Region, the Hill Country, the Mexican Border and all the other iconic Texas cities. Texas Land & Cattle brings pride and passion to everything they do. Heck! They even cater to the health conscious with gluten-free menu.

The Plano Texas Land and Cattle is located at 3945 Central Expressway, Plano, Texas 75023. On the West side of I-75 (Central Expressway), between Parker and Spring Creek. Convenient access from the George Bush Tollway as well as I-635 (LBJ Freeway). Nearby cities are McKinney, Allen, Richardson, Frisco, Little Elm and Dallas.

Next time you need a defensive driving class with an elegant, yet fun dining experience, this is your place! And Joel Malloy is your entertainment specialist!!

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

A Comedy Defensive Driving Class with Joel Malloy at Plano Texas Land and Cattle – Comedy Defensive Driving