In a comment to this post, Amy noted that she had recently taken a trip to our wonderful state. I can see that she experienced the real item, as she wrote:
The traffic in Jersey sucks. Just so you know. It just plain sucks. Maniac drivers are everywhere, and since we were at the beach, and it was an awesome day, congestion was the word of the day, traffic wise.
Welcome to Da Jersey Shore, Amy, and it ain’t even summer yet.
By a lucky coincidence, my Garden State buddy Gerry sent me the following little piece about Rules for Driving in Jersey, about which I offer two observations: Number three is a bit of an exaggeration, but the rest of them are quite accurate, particularly the stuff about perhaps being shot. You see, in Jersey only the cops and the bad guys have guns, and the bad guys are well aware of that.
So, wit dat, here’s Da Rules:
1. You must first learn to pronounce the city name, it is NEW-erk, not New-ARK.
2. The morning rush hour is from 5:00 a.m. to noon. The evening rush hour is from noon to 7:00 p.m. Friday’s rush hour starts on Thursday morning.
3. The minimum acceptable speed on the turnpike is 85 mph. On the parkway it’s 105 or 110. Anything less is considered “Wussy.”
4. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. Jersey has its own version of traffic rules. For example, cars/trucks with the loudest muffler go first at a four-way stop; the trucks with the biggest tires go second. However, in Monmouth County, SUV-driving, cell phone-talking moms ALWAYS have the right of way.
5. If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear ended, cussed out, and possibly shot.
6. Never honk at anyone. Ever. Seriously. It’s another offense that can get you shot.
7. Road construction is permanent and continuous in all of Jersey. Detour barrels are moved around for your entertainment pleasure during the middle of the night to make the next day’s driving a bit more exciting.
8. Watch carefully for road hazards such as drunks, skunks, dogs, cats, barrels, cones, celebs, rubber-neckers, shredded tires, cell-phoners, deer and other road kill.
9. Mapquest does not work here — none of the roads are where they say they are or go where they say they do, and all the Turnpike EZ Pass Lanes are moved each night, once again, to make your ride more exciting.
10. If someone actually has their turn signal on, wave them to the shoulder immediately to let them know that the signal must have been “accidentally activated.”
11. If you are in the left lane and only driving 70 in a 55-65mph zone, you are considered a road hazard and will be “flipped off” accordingly. If you return the flip, you may be shot.
12. Do not try to estimate travel time — just leave Monday afternoon for Tuesday appointments, by noon, Thursday for Friday and right after church on Sunday for anything on Monday morning.
So, if any of youse will be in Jersey during a weekend this summer, good chance I’ll see you on the Parkway, because that’s where most folks spend a good part of the summer.
Yo! Happy Farookin’ Motoring!