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Legal Blog Watch Undercover: Texas Traffic School -- The End

Road Rage Welcome back, readers. Hope you had a good weekend. And I certainly hope you didn't get caught speeding anywhere in Texas. If you're not sure why, see Part 1 and Part 2 of this hard-hitting investigative report. Caught up? Now for the conclusion.

Shortly after we finished watching the quaint old video starring Coach, we were booted out of the annex building that we had been promised. Apparently, there was a band that needed to practice there. Granted, the place was much more suited to jamming than to a one-sided conversation about the merits of anti-lock brakes, but that was our space. Our instructor sort of sighed and told us all to head for the main bar building, where we would commandeer the "backroom."

The backroom was tiny, and its main components were two diner-style booths. The only way the class would fit was for some of us to get cozy in those booths. Cute for the couple on a date -- except for the fact that they had the disturbed kid sitting across from them -- but a little odd for me and the government attorney (though she was perfectly lovely, and gave me her e-mail address so I would have one more contact in the Austin legal community).

The backroom was also the gateway to the Ladies' Room. For four and a half hours, every woman in the place who had to pee was subjected to our instructor's call of "Hey, we were all waiting" as she opened the door to the can.

It was especially awkward during the time we were watching the final video of the day, on the subject of road rage. Just imagine you're heading for the restroom, and you have to walk through a group of 11 people hunched over staring at a laptop, watching a movie featuring a cop with a classic porn mustache scolding a female Asian driver speaking broken English. Horrid. The movie also seriously suggested that one way to avoid road rage would be to make flash cards with calming driving mantras on them, and study them before pulling out of the driveway.

Now, you might have noticed that I haven't peppered these three posts with too many of the instructor's jokes. The reason for that is twofold. First, they were not that funny. Like seriously groan-worthy 90 percent of the time. Second, if you're really that interested, you can hear them all here. Yes, that six-minute video contains the entire "routine" that constituted the "comedy" portion of the "Comedy Defensive Driving" class. Go ahead and watch it, and then imagine it spread out over the course of six hours. The only addition I can recall was a pun-filled run-on sentence about whether it was too soon to joke about the oil spill, and whether there was a way to do so while being "slick without being crude."

Much more entertaining than any jokes the teacher lobbed out there were the continued ridiculous outbursts from the 20-year-old psycho. Like the claim that he drove from Dallas to Austin at speeds up to 150 mph. Because he was urgently needed at a meeting for his hotel concierge job. There were more, but, honestly, they're the epitome of "you had to be there."

The class ended with a 20-question multiple choice quiz. I got 20/20, but could have done so without having endured the six hours of torture.

In short, I'd say that having to take this class is an equally effective deterrent as the threat of points on your license.

If you have suggestions for future "undercover assignments," drop me an e-mail at

Posted by Eric Lipman on June 7, 2010 at 10:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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