Sunday, February 27, 2005

No Honking

Here on our city streets, you will hardly hear vehicles honking. You should only make a light tap when it's useful to other drivers or to prevent a crash, as stated in the BC's Safe Driving Guide. Otherwise, it is considered rude, and my officemate said, in some cases, illegal.

I have been driving for about 3 years and I’ve never had to honk on the road. NEVER. I sometimes give my sons a quick toot to rush them out of the house in the morning. I’m so not used to hearing a loud honk that when I accidentally press my own horn, I get startled. Then I apologize even if there's no one around. Sorry, sorry, sorry.

Last Saturday, while driving Markus home from a birthday party, we stopped at a red light. An impatient driver honked at another car. Somewhat annoyed by such discourtesy, I asked, “Who was that?” I thought it was the car left of me. Markus thought it was the one on the right.

“You don’t make put-put, put-put here,” I thought aloud, somewhat snottily.

“What do you mean ‘put-put put-put’? The word is HONK,” Markus mocked my bastardized English reminiscent of the bastardized Tagalog made popular by the likes of Kris Aquino.

For those of you who are planning to come to Canada, take note: Road rules are actually enforced and followed here. Green means go, amber means stop (unless it’s unsafe to do so), and red means really stop or risk being apprehended by a patrol car or caught on camera (I’ve been caught in this way and was fined $144!) Pedestrians always have the right of way. And don't be surprised to see people using the crosswalk! Speaking of right of way, it is something you yield, not claim. Road courtesy is generally practiced except by arrogant teenaged drivers and road raging adults who love to make put-put put-put. Don't let them get to you. Resist the urge to honk back. There's no law against hand signals.

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