By J. Roger Wood

Arizona Daily Wildcat

A popular campus-area deli pinpoints its location as "Four blocks north of the radar trap on Euclid." I think that the UA itself might want to consider a similar catch-phrase on future letterhead or admissions materials, "The University of Arizona Just a few blocks south of the speed trap on Mountain Avenue."

Maybe such a precaution would have prevented an $80 ticket, a heated "discussion" with my wife who almost drove to school that morning (if only she had) and a wasted Saturday taking in the sights and sounds of the National Safety Council's "Defensive Driving Course."

The room was filled with other traffic offenders, our offensive driving psyches initially railing against the thought of passive, defensive behavior behind the wheel of an automobile. Some sat silent throughout while others squawked endlessly about their own lives as penal officers, friends of felons and stupid people. Stupid people there's an offense that should be punishable by a mandatory class or two.

We watched a myriad of videos dated sometime during the early Reagan years and heard the Tucson Police Department off-duty officer instructor/VCR operator's 45-minute homily on insurance fraud, rate hikes and how much he pays for two teenage sons not to drive his '94 Camaro.

Between stories about the one time the cop had discharged his weapon ("Been on the force 14 years and only fired my piece once") and more stupid questions from Mr. Know-it-all in the back row, maybe I learned a few things:

There is a difference between white-lined and yellow-lined crosswalks.

If the glassy-eyed drunk had arrived on time, he would have been allowed to take the class, intoxicated or not.

On any given night TPD is so understaffed that there are only four officers on duty east of Swan Road.

How to correctly use the left-hand turn lane on Grant Road provided it's not during the hours of 7-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m.

Which side roads to take to avoid illegally occupying and waiting five light changes in the northbound left turn lane on Campbell at Grant.

All in all, I don't recommend violating one of Arizona's hundreds of traffic laws, nor do I advocate buying a brand-new Camaro the very same year your son turns 16, but traffic school is not all that bad. It's expensive, but it beats walking.

You May Survive is a weekly column where a Wildcat reporter does something new and exciting and then writes about. If you'd like to give to the J. Roger Wood Traffic School Scholarship Fund or recommend further violations of the law that would result in mindless punishment, call us at 621-3106. Read Next Article