What is top secret anymore?

In today’s society, with so many options available to access information, is anything really secret?

When I was in the United States Air Force, depending on your job you might need a “top secret” clearance, which meant if I told you anything, I’d have to kill you.

Now, on my level of importance in the military, I could direct you to the NCO club and that was about the limit to my knowledge of really important stuff.

Most of us were on a need-to-know basis, which meant you would be advised if necessary.

We were simply a flock of sheep in green fatigues and spit-shined boots.

The three words I most often spoke were, “Sir! Yes, sir!”

Nowadays, it would seem to be next to impossible to actually keep things from people.

But as former Indiana University football coach Lee Corso might say, “Not so fast, my friend!”

It’s clear to me a lot of folks are not in the loop on many things. For example:

Right turn on red

Back in the 1970s, most of us were introduced to this phenomena as a means to save fuel when OPEC ruled the world.

This fuel-saving measure to help us save during the gas shortage permitted vehicles at a red traffic signal to turn right after a full and complete start.

It might be one of the most commonly-ignored laws.

Most times motorists do a slow roll to the right, never fully stopping while others will sit, patiently waiting for the signal to turn green even though the right turn is legal.

By the way, has anyone ever seen a report detailing how many of gallons we actually saved since right turn on red laws were enacted?

To further muddy the waters, 36 states also have left turn on red laws if both the origin and destination streets are one way.

On those rare occasions when you encounter that driving situation and actually turn left on red, typically the motorist behind you will utter, “What is that moron doing?”

4-way stops

It seems to be that most motorists were never taught the proper way to handle a 4-way stop.

Nowhere in the driving manuals I’ve seen does it say “the first driver to wildly wave hands, point or flash the high beams” determines who proceeds first through the intersection.

When two vehicles reach an intersection simultaneously, the vehicle to the left must always yield.

But while most drivers are sitting there attempting to figure out their right from their left, that young punk in the hot car who arrived third, squeals his tires while racing through the intersection.

Or, as you approach the intersection and note another vehicle about to arrive at the same time, you commence “Operation Creep,” slowing down so that other driver can get there first and then proceed after stopping.

This avoids a security council meeting of the United Nations about who should go first.

Walk on left facing traffic

The rules for pedestrians walking along streets seem to have been kept secret from lots of walkers and runners.

It seems fairly logical that you’d want to see what is coming at you and since most of us don’t walk wearing rear-view mirrors, that’s why we’re supposed to amble on the left side.

What irks me is when folks choose to walk in the street when there are sidewalks available.

Construction ahead

On the interstates especially, crews will erect signs indicating road construction ahead miles ahead of the actual work.

Then you’ll see “Merge Left” or “Merge Right” signs long before you reach the work zone and those bright flashing indicator arrows.

But never mind because there’s always a dolt or two who zip passes the merged traffic, only to slam on their brakes and hit an apologetic turn signal.

It’s at times like that I wish I could dispatch a racing pit crew that would quickly jack up that vehicle and leave it there until the road repair was finished.

Seems to me, there are still lots of secrets when it comes to laws regarding motor vehicle use.

Until folks wise up, drive at your own risk.