COMMENTARY
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Rules of the Road

Guidelines essential for driving, riding, enjoying

By Hilary Berg

Rules rule, both on the road and in the car. Traveling long distances or short, law and order must prevail, and the person in the driver’s seat usually calls the shots — or yells if the windows are down and the music’s up.

Before I explain the rules of the radio, the most crucial vehicle edict calls for seat belts.

Editor's Note

Hilary Berg has been the editor of OWP since 2006. She graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s in journalism. She and her husband own a seven-acre vineyard and winery called Roots.

I realize some older individuals tend to reminisce about surviving the good ol’ days of no seat belts — not to mention wooden-spoon spankings, lead paint, rusted playgrounds and the like. Yet, those same people wear restraints now because it makes sense and it’s the law. Even better when you click before turning the key, not three blocks later after the alert stops sounding — ahem, Dad.

Now, on to the stereo, the most contentious auto accessory ever conceived.

So many questions: How loud? Which station? Too much bass? Not enough? Are we there yet? — sorry, I got carried away.

First, fine-tune the volume. But for whom? The driver demands one preference; the backseat driver, another. If any aforementioned “older” persons ride in the car, the sound could prove too quiet or roaring, producing even more chaos. The solution? Compromise, followed by resisting any additional adjustments.

Although ... important exceptions to the preceding decree exist. The stereo may be suddenly turned off when searching for an address or during any commercial — good or bad. If the tune demands blasting, the volume may be spontaneously increased for maximum effect.

As for which album, song, station or podcast, the rule states: Take turns. Just think back to the good ol’ days of childhood — minus the threats.

In addition, no person shall text while driving; break wind without rolling down the window immediately; kick seats; whistle; and, finally, complain about my driving, parking, braking or even merging.

Easy enough to follow, right? Okay, maybe I should draw a flowchart.

If you’ve ever considered using a tour guide to explore Oregon’s appellations or already experienced wine country via one of the many companies mentioned in writer Neil Zawicki’s feature, “Guiding Right,” on page 32, you know there will be guidelines to follow, too.

For the sake of the operators, please comply.

For your own sake, behave and respect the rules. Remember, the driver controls your safety on the road and ... the stereo. Important stuff.

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