Road tests revamped in Buffalo, N.Y. to account for winter weather
In case you are locked inside a dark room and haven’t had access to a window yet this morning, I’ll fill you in on what everyone else in Buffalo is noticing: There is white stuff falling from the sky.
I’m hearing the Southtowns got several inches last week. I was in Michigan, so I can’t speak for Buffalo, but there wasn’t any snow on the ground when I got back. But guess what, Southtowns, you have that name because you aren’t really part of the city.
Today is the first day the City of Buffalo and regions north are seeing snowfall this year, and while it is exciting, it is also a (further) reminder of how bad people are at driving in the city.
It snows here. A lot. I haven’t ridden a bicycle in years, but I’m sure I could pick one up and remember what to do. It hasn’t been 300 days since the last snow, but it seems every driver down Main Street took their spaz-out pills this morning.
Everyone jokes about “those people shouldn’t drive,” and it’s funny because it’s also half-true. But until any action is proposed, it just makes for a lot of complaining. I gave this a lot of thought back when I was taking Drivers Ed. courses in high school, and seeing poor excuses for drivers on the road today brought these thoughts back into my mind.
There are a few topics that are left off road tests with really no explanation as to why. They all make plenty of sense, and wouldn’t be that hard to implement.
1. Winter road tests
This is the obvious answer of the day. This is Buffalo. We have bad weather here in the winter. However, driving in the snow really isn’t that different compared to regular driving, but for some reason people freak out in it.
Stop a little bit sooner than you normally would and turn your lights on. There isn’t much too it. Slamming on the breaks or turning too fast might cause you to slide or skid, but those are things you shouldn’t be doing anyway.
I’ll buy the “It’s more of a mental thing” excuse, but that only gives more of a reason for people to have to take their road test in the winter months. If you aren’t going to be calm at the wheel, you shouldn’t be driving anyway. So why not put people in tougher conditions for their driving exam? It is a test after all, not a free pass.
All I’m asking for here is an exit or two. I know some areas of the country may be hours from a highway, but that generally isn’t the case here in New York State, Buffalo area especially.
Merging can be difficult, but if one person messes it up, he (or should I say, she) screws it up for everyone else, too. Look over your shoulder, merge, maybe even a lane change, and then get off at the exit.
Again, it’s not a hard thing, but it is a necessary skill to have to drive in this city.
Funky spelling aside, knowing how to steer through one of these can be a valuable skill to possess.
More and more restaurants are putting in drive-thrus, but more often than not they are squeezed into places that were not intended to be used for this purpose. What this means for customers is a cramped lane, often featuring a tight turn and not a lot of room for error.
People are frequently too far away from the window, and either drop the change or have a hard time getting their bags.
It’s a vicious cycle, but easily preventable. While on your road test, you simply pull in to the nearest McDonald’s and go through the drive through. You pay for it yourself, and are graded on distance from the window and other such factors.
It wasn’t until I started driving that I realized a lot of people are afraid of going over big bridges. Here’s a tip: It’s not going to collapse.
Especially with all the bridges and waterways in the area, this is an important mental block to overcome. I don’t think parents would feel comfortable with their child driving a stranger into a foreign country (and it would take too long), so the Peace Bridge, QEW, etc are out. I’m picturing road test takers scaling the Grand Island Bridge.
Using an EZ Pass is a good idea, but that didn’t make the cut:
EZ Pass, putting gas in the tank, parking lots, U-turn (everyone does them anyway, it’s good to practice), backing in to spaces, what to do when pulled over (field test! Everyone is fine in a classroom. When the lights go on it’s a whole other ball game), turning left at a green light, driving in the city, using different controls (i.e. air conditioning, defrost, etc), going through circles or roundabouts.
These aren’t real laws, but just good ideas. Check that, great ideas. If you still need help driving in the snow, try The Weather Channel’s tips.
Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment
Tags: Awesomeness, drive-thru on road test, fake laws, learn how to drive people, road test, snow