Driving in Boston, Rule #1

I tell outsiders that the first rule to driving in Boston is to yield to natives. Give anything with a Massachusetts tag the right of way in all cases. It's likely the Massachusetts driver will try to take the right of way anyway, including me. Although I have one thing on my side, a knowledge of the right-of-way laws in this state.

First: The traffic in the rotary, known elsewhere apparently as a traffic circle, has the right of way. So all of the people who gun it in their approach to cut off all the cars in the rotary are doing so at their peril when I am in the rotary.

Second: Do not stop a line of traffic to let someone cut across the lane to make a left. Exception: When approaching an already red light or when in a long line of slow-moving traffic. I almost always have a ton of items on my front seat which end up on my floor when responding to this maneuver.

Third: Minivans do not have special right-of-way status. Just because the Griswold Family Truckster of the new millennium is most often carrying precious cargo, it doesn't give the driver the right to just barrel through any intersection.

Fourth: Please stop at stop signs. When two cars arrive at a stop sign, the car on the right always has the right of way. When all four poles are nursing a line, let opposing sides go, then switch.

Fifth: Don't beep at me to move when I am in the right turn lane at a no-turn-on-red light.

Sixth: Don't beep at me.

Seventh: Expect me to beep at you, especially when you try to take my right of way.

Eighth: Creeping over the stop line at a red light doesn't make the light change any faster, and jumping off the line to make a left before traffic heading in the other direction has a chance to get started. It's line-cutting and it's rude. Your mother would scold you.

There's many more. I'll post them as I see them. I'll appreciate your comments. Share your stories and frustrations. Driving IQ is a funny thing. It fluctuates with weather, mood, stress and more.


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