Ed’s Rules for Driving in New Jersey

As a former resident of the “Garden State” and traveler of its highways over the weekend, I can assure my readers that the following tips are authoritative and accurate:

1. All traffic signs, especially “Yield” signs, are just friendly suggestions. If NJ drivers had to obey ALL of those signs they would never leave their cramped little developments.

2. Drivers Education is viewed as a hazing, not training. All NJ drivers must endure a course preaching the laughable doctrine of defensive driving in order to obtain a license. Once that laminated little card is in the NJ driver’s wallet, primal instincts take over and they go on the offensive.

3. If you miss your turn on a divided highway, just forget about it. You’ll NEVER find a way to turn around. Even in the unlikely circumstance that you can find a way to retrace your steps, there now is a huge concrete barrier and 5 roaring lanes of traffic separating you from your supposed destination.

If the turn is really, really important, your best course of action is to pull over, sell your car, and then hire a taxi driver to take you there.

4. The right of way belongs to whoever can get away with cutting you off. Any car that’s pulling out of a parking lot has the right to pull in front of oncoming traffic and proceed at whatever speed deemed suitable.

5. Never ever stop for gas at a rest stop on the NJ turnpike. The gas is more expensive and you’ll sit in line for at least half an hour.

I’m sure other NJ drivers could add to this list, but these were all impressed in my mind yesterday, especially while trying to find the IKEA (that happened to be closed) off the Garden State Parkway. We spent a lot of time on Route 4 trying to find a way to turn around, dodging idiots who would pulled in front of us, and then following misleading signs all over the place for the Parkway.

What a relief it is to be back in Vermont.