Editor’s Note: An original column, in the form of a “test.” This one was nominated for an award in the U.S. Mensa Publications Recognition Program.
Heartbroken? Lovelorn? All alone this Valentine’s Day? For advice, don’t contact me because I really can’t do much for you, except maybe to advise you to make dinner reservations early for Valentine’s Day because restaurants are busy that day.
This time of year, South Florida is crawling with tourists. Well, okay, I know that’s a lame way to start this piece off. Especially since few tourists are likely to read this.
But anyway, in the interest of public safety, I have created the South Florida Driving Test. I’m sure you may have seen similar “tests” before but unlike those other versions, I created this one from scratch–not to mention, it uses real-world examples from infamous driving incidents in South Florida.
This exam will hopefully test your knowledge of the realities of driving in this motorist’s heaven, where every driver is courteous and follows the laws to a tee.
Okay, enough fantasizing on my part. Grab a pen, pencil–or in my case, crayon–strap yourself in and hold on tight for this ride…
1. You’re 90-plus years old and you’ve just run over and killed a pedestrian with your car. It turns out this is the sixth person you’ve killed this way, and you’re still driving–and your driver’s license hasn’t been suspended. What do you think is going to happen to you next?
A. You’re going to celebrate by going out and killing four more people to make it an even 10.
B. You’re going to get a $14 ticket, keep your license, and when asked why you kept driving after killing all those other people, you’ll reply “Because I like to drive.”
C. A lynch mob made up of relatives of the people you killed is going to take you out and run you over a hundred times.
D. You are going to apologize to the victims’ families, showing true remorse, turn in your driver’s license voluntarily, and count your blessings that you didn’t get thrown into jail.
2. You’re driving down I-95 when you see a mattress right in front of you, in the middle of the road. What should you do?
A. Calmly proceed to change lanes to avoid the obstacle.
B. Swerve immediately into the next lane over, oblivious to any cars there.
C. Stop in front of the mattress and use your cell phone to call 911 and complain.
D. Stop in front of the mattress and if it’s in decent shape, load it onto your own car and take it home.
3. In South Florida, what is the significance of a red, octagonal sign with the word “STOP” written on it?
A. It’s the equivalent of a speed bump: meant to slow you down a bit, nothing more.
B. It means exactly what you want it to mean.
C. Red is a pretty color.
D. It means you must come to a complete stop and yield to cross traffic before proceeding.
4. You’re on 836 West (the Dolphin Expressway) during rush hour and you want to switch lanes but traffic is heavy. Suddenly, you spot a gasoline tanker truck next to you in the lane you wish to change to. You should…
A. Wait until the truck gets past you and it’s safe to change lanes before changing.
B. Honk at the truck driver and flip him the bird.
C. Point your gun at the truck driver and yell, “Move!”
D. Speed up, change lanes abruptly and cut off the truck driver, oblivious to the fact that you may cause a severe accident which might actually cause the truck to catch fire.
5. In South Florida, turn signals are…
A. An unecessary distraction.
B. Used to indicate you are making a turn or changing lanes.
D. Something you’d never use because you don’t want to let other drivers know what you’re going to do next.
6. If you pull out a map while driving in South Florida, it’s a sure sign that…
A. You’re a tourist.
B. You’re lost.
C. You have a death wish.
D. You better stop and pull over before pulling out a map!
7. You’re driving on the Florida Turnpike, in the right lane, when a driver on a highway on-ramp is approaching. You should…
A. Speed up, cut him off and force him onto the shoulder if you can.
B. Come to a screeching halt.
C. Slow down and allow him to merge into traffic.
D. Shoot him, or alternatively, if you’re out of ammo, flip him off.
8. You’re the governor of Florida and have been presented with the following problem: the state has a large number of elderly drivers with poor eyesight. The best solution to this problem is:
A. Revoke all their licenses.
B. Make eye exams a mandatory part of the renewal process for driver’s licenses.
C. Let the situation go, making it the next administration’s problem.
D. Make the lettering on highway signs bigger.
9. It’s rush hour on 874 (the Don Shula Expressway) and traffic is actually moving at a nice pace. Suddenly, a driver pulls over onto the shoulder to pick his nose. You…
A. Stop and offer to help.
B. Slow down and look–causing a major traffic backup–because as long as you’ve been alive, you’ve never ever seen another person pick his or her nose.
C. Pick your own nose and flick the booger onto his windshield.
D. Go around him safely and continue on your way.
10. You’re driving down a major road when you see someone in a wheelchair crossing the street. You…
A. Stop and allow her to cross.
B. Honk your horn and scream obscenities at her for having the nerve to cross in front of you.
C. Hit her, keep driving a few blocks, get out of your car to remove the wheelchair from your grille and keep going.
D. Pull over to the side of the road and offer to help her across.
11. Orange traffic cones on a roadway indicate…
A. Either someone is working on the road or an accident has happened; you should drive around the cones with caution.
B. You’re at a slalom course; go ahead and drive around each cone as fast as you can.
C. A witch who likes particularly bright clothing left her hat on the road.
D. They fell off someone’s truck and finders keepers, losers weepers; stop, pick them up and sell them on Ebay.
12. On I-95, what is the speed limit in the left lane?
A. 95 miles per hour.
B. 55 miles per hour.
C. 30 miles per hour.
13. What is the speed limit on the Turnpike, in the Homestead area?
A. 70 miles per hour.
B. Speed limit? Oh, I thought you said Homestead Speedway!
C. 15 miles per hour.
D. Didn’t they film “The Fast and the Furious 2″ there?
14. When you and another South Florida driver have a traffic dispute and both of you are armed, it is proper form to…
A. Shoot first, the heck with the questions.
B. Drag race and shoot at each other through your windows.
C. Call the police immediately in case the situation gets out of hand.
D. Yell, “Hey, my gun’s bigger than yours!”
15. You’re waiting at a red light in the left turn lane of a major South Florida intersection when suddenly, you realize you need to turn right at this intersection, not left. You should…
A. Stick your arm out your window and wave frantically at the other drivers.
B. Cut across the other lanes at the light and make your right turn before the light turns to green.
C. Shoot the other drivers and make your right turn.
D. Turn left when you get either a green left turn arrow or green light, then make a U-turn up ahead when it’s safe and legal to do so.
16. You’re on the highway when you come upon a construction zone. You should…
A. Hit the big construction sign, knocking a construction worker over the median and into the path of an oncoming car, then you take off so the cops can’t catch you.
B. Slow down to the posted speed limit and keep an eye out for construction workers on the roadway.
C. Turn your radar detector on and floor it.
D. Speed up because that Florida Highway Patrol car with the lights flashing has no one in it.
17. In South Florida, Florida Driver’s License Stations are…
A. Always crowded with immigrants who can’t speak ANY language, never mind English.
B. Open from Tuesday to Friday except for holidays.
C. Staffed with employees who only care about their next coffee break or where they can get their hair and nails done.
D. A good place to pick up chicks, or guys.
18. You’re driving down State Road 112 (the Airport Expressway) in the right lane when you see a State Trooper stopped on the side of the road, talking to a driver in his car and writing a ticket. You should…
A. Move over one lane to your left if it’s safe to do so, to provide a “safety” cushion to the Trooper and the person pulled over.
B. Try to hit the trooper so the driver who was pulled over can escape.
C. Stop, laugh at the driver who was pulled over, then take off so the Trooper can’t catch you.
D. Flip off both the Trooper and the pulled-over driver.
19. An emergency vehicle (police, fire, ambulance, etc.) is right behind you in traffic, with its lights and sirens going. You should…
B. Get out of its way as soon as it’s safe to do so.
C. Slow down and weave all over the road so it can’t pass.
D. Turn your stereo up so you can’t hear the sirens and pretend it’s not there.
20. You are a federal law enforcement officer on your way home after a night of partying. You’re minding your own business when you run head-on into another car. You’re okay, but the occupants of the other car–two brothers–die as a result of the accident. You were driving under the influence, on the wrong side of the road. You should…
A. Hire an attorney who will advise you to “Deny everything, admit nothing and make counter-accusations,” and help you get off the hook with a slap on the wrist.
B. Plead insanity.
C. Plead stupidity.
D. Plead guilty to all the charges, apologize to the victims’ family and the community, and accept your punishment.