Archive for the ‘texas’ Tag

Did you know? Obscure rules of the road…

I have had the great privilege of living in several of our country’s great states. And the even greater privilege of driving in many cities around the country – Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, and most recently Seattle, to name a few.

Typically, being cognizant of the “big” traffic rules (don’t text and drive, use the left lane for passing only, etc.), you can be fairly sure to remain out of the spotlight. There are some lesser-known laws, however, that while entertaining, could keep residents and non-residents alike on their toes.

For example, it is illegal to run out of gas in Youngstown, Ohio.

Using your vehicle on an Oregon highway to prove your physical endurance could result in a Class A traffic violation. The mere fact that someone felt the need to put this on the books puzzles me profusely. But just in CASE you were planning to compete against your vehicle in some sort of foot race, you may not want to do so in the state of Oregon.

If you need a taxi in New Mexico, you absolutely MUST hail them yourself. It is completely illegal for cab drivers to reach out and pull potential customers into vehicles.

In Alabama, it’s illegal to drive while blindfolded. Hmm. Who’d a thunk?

While residents of the great state of New Jersey are required to honk their horn prior to passing a fellow traveler, be wary of when and where you share a friendly “toot” in Arkansas. If you are near an establishment serving cold beverages or sandwiches and it is after 9 p.m., your quick little honk is illegal. And just a little bit north, when you cross the Missouri state line, it’s illegal to honk someone else’s horn.

In addition to the previously mentioned honking thing, keep smiling while driving through New Jersey. It’s against the law to frown at a police officer.

To register your vehicle in Texas, you absolutely must have windshield wipers. Whether or not you choose to have a windshield, however, is completely up to you.

Road ragers beware – in Rockville, Maryland it is illegal to swear from your vehicle. (Boy, do I know some folks who would be in trouble if they lived there!)

Animals are a particularly interesting topic when it comes to traffic laws. Just in case you were wondering, riding a camel on the highway in Nevada is against the law. And in order to protect livestock that may be wandering the Pennsylvania country roads, you must stop every mile to set off warning signals. The signals must then be followed by a 10-minute waiting period, allowing said livestock to clear the road.

In Utah, birds always have the right of way.

Make sure you have plenty of change when you tie your elephant, goat or alligator to a parking meter in Florida. You will be expected to feed the meter. (Wouldn’t you just love to be that parking enforcement officer?)

If I’ve missed your state here, rest assured it is not because the lawmakers of your state have failed to place some kind of equally bizarre statement in the rulebooks. I have simply exhausted my time for today.

So, until next time, safe driving. And remember, it’s illegal to play in the street in North Carolina.

As read on:

Willys Wheeler a highlight at the Texas Truck Rodeo

Having two days to sample 75 different trucks, SUVs and crossovers sounds like being handed the keys to the candy store. But the old admonition about being careful what you wish for is is very appropriate: it’s a lot of candy, you get only a little taste of each kind and you have to eat very fast.

The reality is that you get about 12-13 hours of total driving time to sample as many of those vehicles as possible; you have to share those vehicles with 60 other people that have the same requirement and you have to be able to compare those vehicles in a large number of categories.

In spite of all of that, it’s a great opportunity to test a variety of vehicles side-by-side as well as drive some trucks that don’t routinely appear in media review fleets.

One of the most memorable vehicles at the event was a Hydro Blue 2015 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler which, along with a 2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock Edition, nailed down the Off-Road Utility of Texas title for the second year running.

Like almost all the vehicles at the Rodeo, the Willys was very well-equipped with options like automatic transmission, air-conditioning and hard top. They took the price from around $27,000, including destination charges, to about $32,000.

At most media events like this, the automakers send a team of managers, engineers and marketing people. These folks ride with you, filling you in on all the nifty stuff about the truck you’re driving and making sure you don’t do anything too weird, like taking off to Guadalajara for an extended test drive or testing the rock-climbing capabilities of vehicles that were never intended to climb rocks bigger than gravel.

However, on the afternoon of the second driving day, a lot of those company folks had to leave in order to make flights back to Detroit or wherever they called home.

While a desire to see events like this continue prevented anything too outlandish, the journalists had an opportunity to drive by themselves. This is a time to be cherished as you can focus on the vehicle instead carrying on a conversation.

The blue Willys Wheeler, which had been pretty busy since the driving began, was available so a drive was in order, especially since I had never driven a Wrangler with an automatic transmission.


There are two courses at the Knibbe Ranch. One is a road course that includes a few miles of country roads and a short stretch of highway. The other is an off-road course. The off-road trail isn’t like traversing the Rubicon Trail or mastering Moab but it does offer the chance to try out real four-wheel drive, hill descent control and other features. There are rocks to climb, creeks to ford and what many would consider moderately rough terrain to conquer.

My first time on the course, there were other drivers. As each challenge was approached, our parade would stop as we engaged the four-wheel drive or switched on the hill descent system and then each in turn made the crossing.

The Willys Wheeler handled it all with aplomb and the automatic transmission made shifting in and out of 4 Low a breeze.

As we circled back to the staging area, I noticed that no one was on the course, so I opted for a second pass, this time in two-wheel mode, and left the transmission in drive.

With no other vehicles ahead of me, I was able to open it up a bit. The ride was bouncy in places and the Willys and I may have been momentarily airborne a time or two, but it was a hoot: I grinned the whole time.

The Jeep never missed a beat, whether it was descending a rocky stair-step track or climbing a muddy incline. It was in its element.

All too quickly it was over and time to return and let another writer have a chance to enjoy the Willys Wheeler.

But it sure was fun while it lasted.

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Stealthy Black Victory Police Motorcycle on Patrol in Pasadena, Texas & Lenexa, Kansas

Watch your speed when driving around Pasadena, Texas, and Lenexa, Kansas, or you might meet a fellow Victory Rider – with a badge….

If you’re riding in Pasadena, Texas, a suburb just southeast of Houston, don’t zip past a beautiful black Cross Country and think “Hmmm, that’s a unique trunk.”

That trunk might actually be a mobile office box on a Commander I model, a custom-equipped bike from Victory Police Motorcycles.

The Pasadena [Texas] Police Department recently took delivery of Victory Police Motorcycles, and its first bike is this stealthy black model with minimal department graphics.

So if you’re driving near Pasadena, Texas, watch your speed and watch for an extremely handsome high-performance police bike – a Victory Police Motorcycle.

You’ll also see new Victory Police Motorcycles on the streets of Lenexa, Kansas. Details are below, under the Pasadena bike photos.