At times, driving in Houston is taking your life in your hands. This is particularly true if you are one of those rare birds who follows every driving law regardless of what others around you are doing. And this doesn't mean sensible things like speed limits (most of the time), staying in your lane, texting while driving and just plain recklessness. People often ignore these laws too, even though most of us realize those laws make actual sense.
Then there are the laws that seem almost antiquated simply because very few people pay attention to them, and sometimes even protest if you abide by them.
Less Than Obvious School Zones
School zones are really, really important. And this is not to advocate against them in the slightest. However, it might be time to require they be upgraded. Maybe a giant sign or police and crossing guards at all of them. Get out the little orange cones or, at the very least, make sure they all have flashing lights. Frankly, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if the city put a giant scary clown in the middle of the road demanding you stop. Of course, the kids would be scarred for life. But they wouldn't be dead.
No Right on Red
People, without a doubt, see these signs. It is assumed they chuckle to themselves before turning right on red anyway. Truthfully, it's hard to tell exactly why and where these signs exist. At times, they appear almost arbitrary. As a result, no one takes them seriously and they go largely ignored.
Signal When Changing Lanes
The only time anyone does this is when he's trying to squeeze into traffic and provide some passive-aggressive proof of what he's doing to other drivers. It is also the universal sign for "If you don't let me in, I am free to flip you off when you pass by." Turn signals are great when used properly, but when was the last time you saw someone driving at a normal rate of speed down a relatively quiet street signal before moving over to the adjacent lane? Here's when: never.
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Left Lane, Fast Lane
Perhaps the bane of every fast driver's existence is the slow driver in the left lane. In Europe, they flash their lights and honk their horns at you if you don't move. We are apparently too polite, so we pass on the right side, which is apparently also illegal in many situations. When the freeway often feels like that scene in Matrix: Revolutions and all you want is for Neo to fly out of the sky and rescue you from an exploding semi trailer, the lane becomes inconsequential. At that point, it is survival of the fittest.
Not only does no one even understand the concept of yielding, the word sounds like something you'd hear a dude in a fake British accent say to you outside the jousting arena at the Renaissance Festival. The very idea of pausing politely is counterintuitive to most drivers anyway, particularly when they're driving along a freeway access road. The next time you see someone slow down on the feeder to allow traffic to exit the freeway safely, you let us know. We guess most people see that upside-down triangle and think it's either an ad for a really lame superhero movie or the symbol of the illuminati.