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Front Page » June 23, 2009 » Opinion » Rantings and Ravings
Published 1,914 days ago

Rantings and Ravings


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By TERRY WILLIS
Sun Advocate reporter

Its been a while since I had writer's block about writing a column. But this week nothing inspiring has hit me. It's kinda like painting for me. I have material galore to work with, but unless it strikes me that particular moment, I can't get motivated to use it.

We recently went on a drive to Texas and back via Phoenix, Ariz. So it took six days of driving for three days of family reunion.

I am always entertained by the DOT road signs posted in various states. As we entered Texas, we began to see signs that reminded us to "drive friendly."

As we approached the El Paso area it appeared that no one read them anyway. The drivers there were very aggressive and it made the roads around Salt Lake seem tame in comparison. Once we left El Paso the traffic was light enough that you could be unfriendly and who would care.

In Arizona, they have a lot of signs reminding us not to drink and drive. Now if I was drinking in my car as I drove down the road, I don't think reading the sign would stop me. I wonder how many people who were heading to a bar saw one and said, "Oh shucks I forgot about not drinking and driving. I better remember to call a cab."

Don't get me wrong. I am very opposed to any one who is impaired being behind a wheel of a car. However I think the tax payer money to post the signs is more of a feel good effort than an effective one.

In New Mexico the signs read, "Report drunk drivers," They also include the 800 phone number of where to call to make the report.

This sign seems much more effective to me. I don't know, but maybe some psychologist did research to prove that people drink and drive less when there are signs telling them not to.

In Arizona there are signs warning of photo speed enforcement ahead. It also lets you know that it will be triggered by a speed of 10 mph or more over the posted limit. Seems to me this sign gave me permission to be eight miles an hour over the speed limit.

In Utah we have signs letting us know our speed is monitored by aircraft. I always want to stick my head out of the window and look up when I see that. I suppose just driving close to the limit would be better.

In every area there are the yellow warning signs with silhouettes of what might be on the road ahead. We saw deer, elk, cows, and even horse silhouettes on the signs. This always prompts the shouts from the back seat for us to be careful so we don't hit anything.

The backseat warnings come suddenly and loudly and can jar you out of a perfectly good driving zen-like state. I think every car should be equipped with them.

I am glad to be off the road and back in the friendly confines of Price. So remember to "Drive friendly" and "Don't Drink and Drive" while you are out and about this summer.

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June 23, 2009
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