Isn’t it nice to have someone out there who cares about you? Who, you ask? Well, there are emergency medical techs, firemen, police and me…just to name a few. And, because I care so much about you, I am going to give you a few tips on how to avoid getting a citation or a hand gesture while driving on the highway.
First, lets touch on the H.O.V. lane. H.O.V. stands for High Occupancy Vehicle. Most states require two or more occupants in the car. You the driver, and the second passenger can be a child in a car seat or booster seat. The H.O.V. lane’s purpose is to carpool, primarily. It’s all about fuel conservation, emissions, pollution. So, getting on the H.O.V. by yourself is certainly not putting anyone’s life in danger. But crossing over the double solid line to enter or exit the H.O.V., rather than entering or exiting where indicated is quite dangerous. And, at least in Texas, if you do the combination of the two, the fine is running around $600.00. Which you pay the full amount. That’s a lot of money to flush down the toilet, so don’t even think about doing it. Got it?
Another is driving too slow in the left passing lane. That’s why they call it the Passing Lane or Fast Lane. It’s not for those doing 45mph. My sister says anyone driving too slow in the left lane should be humanely euthanized. I sadly agree. But, even if you’re doing 75 in a 60, passing other cars, someone will inevitably come flying up on your tail, honking their horn and flashing their headlights at you. That’s code for you to “get the *#*# out of the way.” In that case, just get over. Let them pass you. If they want to do 130mph, let them. They’re probably running from the law anyway. Or they will be soon. Then you can get back over and pass all of those other cars. Don’t let someone push you to make you go faster so you’re the one who gets the ticket.
On the other hand, if it’s rush hour traffic and the flow is barely at a crawl, you’re lucky to be “stuck” in that lane because it’s the only lane moving.  And, if you’re stuck in the right lane (the slow lane) and traffic is barely at a crawl, it would be nice to let one car, per car enter the freeway. Let that traffic feed onto the freeway from the ramp as to keep the flow of traffic flowing. They call it the “zipper.” Most people will let one car, per car merge in. Then, there are those selfish people who won’t let anyone in because they think it’s going to put them out. And, of course, then there are those good Samaritans who think they’re doing their good deed for the day by letting in half a dozen cars at one time. While the guy behind them is counting how many bullets he needs to put in the chamber of his gun because he’s not so happy. So, they just made 6 people happy, feeding in off the ramp, but there are hundreds of people behind them that aren’t so happy with them. One car, per car is plenty…trust me on this one.
And, last pointer for the day, don’t forget to signal before changing lanes. Police are writing citations for not signaling. Even on the freeway before changing lanes. And, it’s usually an add-on, like a pack of gum at the checkout counter. Usually, you get a ticket for speeding or impeding traffic for driving too slow, or whatnot, and they add the not-signaling or illegal lane change to your citation to give it some “substance.”

Until next week…I’ll keep the pointers coming.

Daun Thompson