Aside from the eclectic culture of Portland, eco-friendliness of the state, famous dairy, rain, and surplus of nature, Oregon is also known for its odd driving restrictions.
Laws such as the inability to pump one’s own gas infuriate out-of-state drivers, while others see it as a skillful mode of job creation. Those crossing the state border often find that the speed drops a mile per hour (or ten), making for some serious road-rage against those heathen, safe, law-abiding drivers.
Yellow lights last for years, compared to nearby states. Out-of-state drivers tend to yield prematurely, whereas the more native know they have time to make the light and proceed onward. The passing lane in Oregon is just the same as any other lane on the road.
Oregonians “forget” to turn off their brights quite often, which makes sunglasses a great option even at night. This common courtesy is also forgotten by many at Wal-mart, since pants are believed to be unnecessary around midnight—but that’s another topic altogether.
Personally, I am neither a native nor out of state, but international. Rather than slowing my car down a few miles per hour, I must speed up 10 or 20 miles per hour from my home country’s typical speed of 50 kilometers, which is 31 miles per hour in Oregon. Not only am I now having someone pump my gas for me, I have to also drive on the “right” side of the road. Instead of long yellow lights, I have to adapt to fewer cars speeding to pass through an intersection seconds after it has turned red. It was not until I came to Oregon that I learned how to turn on my brights in my car, as they’d never been needed before.
Oregon driving is not all bad. Actually, it is an inspiring and praise worthy adventure, driving past mountains and hills, God’s beautiful creations. As the Casting Crown song “Praise You in this Storm” suggests, no matter the circumstance or stress in our lives we will bring God glory… in this case, the storm for most is road-rage.
Next time you’re grinding your teeth with your foot on the brake, stop yourself and remember to give God thanks for having you in Oregon, going to school with hundreds of your brothers and sisters, worshipping and learning more about Him together.