Monday, March 16, 2009

Traffic Lights

Something recently reminded me about the traffic lights in Maine. I had had very little experience with traffic lights before being stationed in Bangor. I had spent most of my life up 'til then in the sticks where you had to go to a big town to see traffic lights, at most there were only a few flashing caution lights or a flashing 4 way stop light in the county. When I got to Bangor, ME I saw a traffic signal I had never seen before and very seldom since. I was familiar with the traditional traffic signal with the red, yellow and green lights, but I had never seen one before where both the red and yellow were lit up at the same time in all directions. Turns out that was the walk signal in Maine. In a way it makes sense as all traffic would be stopped when people are crossing the streets and would probably be safer.

That was one of the things I learned when I went to driving school at the Dow Airplane Patch motor pool to get my military driver's license. They covered a lot of things, but the guy teaching the course probably had less driving experience (at the end of Basic Training I remember one guy who had never driven a car getting orders to be driver in the motor pool at K.I.Sawyer) than I did, certainly less winter driving experience as I got into an argument with him about driving on snow and ice. He said that if you go into a skid on snow or ice on a curve, you should apply the brakes. That may be what the book told him, but my experiences had taught me that that was a good way to wind up in the ditch. Which is exactly what I told him. I said you should ease up on the gas and steer into the skid to get the car under control and once you got it straightened out you could gently apply the gas. On the test at the end of the course I answered the questions with the info we were given in the class and passed so I could get my license to drive military vehicles.

1 comment:

Dr. Zaius said...

In my experience, the best way to drive on ice and snow is to stay home and not drive. ;o)