when did they change the rules of the road, anyway?!?

During my wee hiatus from the blog last week in which I had to deal with some family issues going on well north of the city, I was forced to drive more in one weekend than in the 15 years preceding it.

Perhaps I’m just naive, but what is happening on the roadways these days made me feel somewhat like this:

Now, given that I don’t drive all that frequently (perhaps once every two months!) and that until four years ago I had not driven at all since I moved to Toronto, I started to think that perhaps the rules of the road have changed since I took my driver’s test some four score and seven 20 plus years ago.

So, I decided to check out this handy Ministry of Transport reference guide which I read back in 1986 and then threw out:

However, I must say that the MTO guide did not really describe what I’ve seen happening on the roads of late.  So, I’ve begun to think that there must be another Driver’s Handbook out there – probably titled “Wankers of the World Unite” or something along those lines!

Anyway, the apparent new Rules of the Road raise some questions for stupid little me:

  • why do the car makers continue to put turn signals in cars if no one actually has to use them?!

This one I actually find very confusing because they actually have these digital signs on the 401 now which flash such useful information as “Don’t drink and drive”, “Follow Ye Not Too Closely” and… my favourite … “Use appropriate signals when changing lanes”.  I actually drove right underneath the latter sign about 30 seconds before being cut off by a bastard driver who – of course – had not used the signals.  To cut him some slack, though, JJ told me that I had missed the part on that sign which read “…except for the guy in the white hatchback”. 

  • when did they start letting you make a left hand turn from the right hand lane on a red light?


  • are there unwritten rules as to which people/vehicles those signs which say “Turn ye not left here between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.” do not apply to?  If so, where do I register?


  • where the posted speed limit is 100 km/h and I’m in the slow lane on the 400 highway and doing 120 just to keep up with the Joneses, why do the people behind me think that I should actually be doing 150 km/h and honk at me and give me the finger then zoom past?
  • is it actually now legal to drive while doing your makeup, consulting your GPS system and talking on your handheld mobile phone?
  • is there some new rule that says you have to let in those people who speed to the front of the merging lane when the traffic is backed up and then try to butt in?

And, one last but very important question indeed:

  • when in God’s name are ye gonnae learrrrn how to parallel park, lassie?!?!? 




7 thoughts on “when did they change the rules of the road, anyway?!?

  1. clarabelle says:

    Bugger! I’ve missed your birthday… happy, happy, happy birthday to you for yesterday! So sorry my greetings are a day late… what poor form, eh! I would totally understand if you did what that laydee is doing in the photo above…

    Well at least you can drive; I’ve never learned – don’t quite know why, although I think a lack of money at crucial times, being a hippy, living in large towns until I was in my 30s, and knowing that I’d be a reckless road-rager, all have a part to play.

    Incidentally, those signs which say ‘road humps’ are commonplace here after all (I checked it out near where my daughter lives a few weeks back). So, yes, we are weirdos in the UK!

  2. Tuulia says:

    “is it actually now legal to drive while doing your makeup, consulting your GPS system and talking on your handheld mobile phone?”

    Yes it is. But, if you have your morning cup of coffee and your cute little puppy with you, it’s quite alright.

    Yeah, traffic’s pretty bad here too. 😀

  3. helen (of troy) says:

    Actually some real rules have changed..

    like ABS (anti lock brakes)–you are not supposed to pump them. .but hit them firmly, and steadily.. (OK so most of know this)

    and No more hands at 10 and 2.. now they should be at 9 and 3 or even 8 and 4..

    Having your hands HI (10 &2) on the steering wheel means you can end up punching your self in the face if the air bags activate– lower wider holding of the steering wheel is safer

    and no more Hand over Hand steering..
    for those of us who learned to drive before power/and rack and pinon steering systems, Hand over hand was the way to go.

    but with new systems, pull and slide is safer.

    (you might want to look up last weeks NYTime magazine for a fun article about driving too..its about the merits of being good (staying in lane, crawling along) Vs bad (cutting ahead in side access lanes..) and about which method works best.. for you and for everyone else!

  4. Amy says:

    I can’t tolerate the boneheads that drive around with their blinker on for miles. I say after yiou’ve had your blinker blinking for 30 seconds your car should automatically turn in that direction. Maybe that would drain that particular gene pool a little.

    And speaking of white hatchbacks…don’t get me started on hatchbacks. Seems they have named the car after it’s most hideous feature.

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