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Santa is coming — has right-of-way

December 24, 2011
By DAVE WERNER (dwerner151@ , Franklin County Traffic Safety Board

ALERT! ALERT! Christmas Eve is Saturday! Santa will be coming, and coming FAST! He will again be led by Rudolph, the red nosed reindeer, and Rudolph's nose will be flashing red while he and the other eight reindeer pull Santa and his sleigh filled with Christmas toys around the world. Remember to give Santa his legal right-of-way! If you see a flashing red light coming toward you or from behind, you MUST pull over and yield the right-of-way.

True, Santa often flies and is of no concern to motorists. But, to get to all homes on Christmas Eve, the Rudolph-led team of reindeer must use the streets and roads, so be alert. And, sometimes the sleigh is stopped along the street or road while Santa makes a delivery - it's not always easy for the reindeer and sleigh to park on the roof, you know. Should Santa's sleigh be stopped along the road and you see Rudolph's red nose flashing, you must exercise due care to avoid a collision as you would with an emergency vehicle displaying flashing red lights. This means you must slow down and if on a limited access highway, move over a lane if possible.

Originally Rudolph's red nose was used on a very foggy Christmas Eve so Santa could see where he was going. That was many decades ago, long before congested highways and long traffic jams. However, today, Rudolph's red nose is more useful as an emergency signal, giving him, the other eight reindeer and Santa the right-of-way over all other vehicles. This is why Santa doesn't have any more trouble getting around now than he did decades ago.

So, if you are out driving on Christmas Eve, and you see a flashing red light or just a red light moving very fast, pull off to the side and yield the right-of-way - it just might be Santa and his eight reindeer, led by Rudolph with his red nose so bright. And, certainly you wouldn't want to be accused of delaying Santa and denying some children their gifts on Christmas morning, would you?

Know the law and drive safely, not just on Christmas Eve, but at all times. And to everyone, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, have a very happy and safe holiday season from the Franklin County Traffic Safety Board.



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