So three observations on driving in the U.S.
- Stop Signs are bizarre. Officially there’s a whole list of rules on who gives way to who. In reality it comes across as intensely polite inefficiency. Still, it means everyone is very careful.
- There are some very strange road laws. I got asked by a policeman to have a short conversation after I u-turned in what turned out to be the “business district” of what can only be called a very sleepy little town. He explained the law was there so that people weren’t being delayed. I thought it wise not to point out that at a maximum speed of 25mph most people were delayed anyway, besides I think I counted one other car on the road . There are also some very good laws which are efficiently enforced. We found that out soon after entering Nevada where I got caught in a speed trap going 72 in what I thought was a 70 zone but turned out to be 65. Pulled over for being 7 beyond the limit! Again, no long-term harm done but it was an unnerving experience to see those lights flashing behind me! Why can I smile about it…. ?
- I think there is something called the Bertram Wooster effect in operation. As soon as I open my mouth and speak in a (admittedly slightly affected but nevertheless cultured and polite) english accent all problems seem to evaporate. I have no intention on working out how far I can push this principle but I am grateful that playing the slightly dumb Anglo-tourist has resulted in much grace and even some advice from the local constabulary on the best route to take.