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10-05-07, 07:56 AM #1
New Orleans Man Uses 'Turn Stick'
New Orleans Man Uses 'Turn Stick'
Local driver discovers what that thing on left side of steering column does By Alexis Claiborne Staff Writer
A New Orleans man discovered what the stick on the left side of his steering column was for Thursday, shocking many in a city that had never known its purpose.
It's called a "turn signal."
"Well I'll be damned," said Cyril Levelled, a lifelong Gentilly neighborhood resident who was arrested by New Orleans police who thought the flashing red light on the right, rear side of Field's car was an attempt to pose as a police officer.
Levelled wasn't the only one shocked by the revelation.
"The only flashing lights we thought were allowed in the city are on emergency vehicles going to or from an incident or by our officers activating their lights to go through intersections because they don't want to wait for the light to change," NOPD spokeswoman Bambi Hall said.
"After we learned that the blinking light is actually called a 'turn signal' and is not only legal but – and this was quite surprising to us – required when operating a motor vehicle, we reduced Mr. Levelled's arrest for impersonating a police officer to a warning for creating a public disturbance," Hall said.
Levelled said he was not upset with police officers who arrested him along Canal Street while he headed to his job as a Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles road-test examiner.
"I didn't know what the thing was and neither did anybody where I work," Levelled said. "Most of them thought it was just something to balance the other side of your steering wheel. One guy joked it's where he hangs his drawers after washing 'em."
"I wasn't really looking when I was changing lanes like I always do and I accidentally bumped that stick upward reachin' for my daiquiri," Levelled said. "I have to say, though, I was amazed that a few people seemed to move out of my way without honking at me, givin' me the finger or waving their gun at me. I might use it on my own soon as a kind of warning device that I'm turning or switching lanes. We'll see."
Ellie Zahn-Fields, a mother of two from the Bywater neighborhood, said she called police on her mobile phone after seeing the blinking light on Levelled's car in front of her.
"I thought his car was gonna explode and I swerved to the right," she said. "I thought it was a bomb. Thank God others were panicking, too, or we all would have hit. I don't know what he was thinking."
Fields said she once tapped the stick on the left side of her steering column while throwing litter out of the driver's side window of her vehicle while driving down Carrollton Avenue and panicked then, too.
"There was a ticking sound and I saw this arrow blinking on my dashboard and I swerved and it stopped," she said. "I took my car in for service, but they couldn't find anything wrong."
Police spokesman Hall said the Nagin administration has embraced the use of this "tool of color" and advised drivers to begin using their "turn sticks" or face ticketing by officers.
"It might make driving in New Orleans safer and might ease road-rage incidents throughout the city, but the important thing to us is it's a city revenue stream," Hall said. "For us, learning what those blinking lights are for is like a slot machine paying off. You don't even need a meter maid."
Mayor Ray Nagin immediately claimed credit for discovering the "turn stick," referring to it as one of the top achievements of his administration's hurricane recovery program.
10-05-07, 08:12 AM #2
I wonder if my car has one...
10-05-07, 08:20 AM #3
10-05-07, 08:35 AM #4
So where do I add the blinker fluid, I want to make sure my turn stick works.
10-05-07, 03:49 PM #5
Do you have the same auto mechanic as I do??
10-05-07, 04:30 PM #6
It never ceases to amaze me what you can learn on the internet. By the way Shoestring I went to the auto store and they didn't have the fluid.
Pretty women make us BUY beer. Ugly women make us DRINK beer. --Al Bundy
10-05-07, 06:06 PM #7No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13
"The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".
We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.
10-05-07, 06:24 PM #8
10-05-07, 07:12 PM #9
10-06-07, 12:22 AM #10
Pfffft. I always use my turn stick. Especially when I'm talking on the phone, eating McDonald's, flipping off Californians, and reading the paper at the same time."I'm not a coward,
I've just never been tested
I'd like to think that if I was,
I would pass"
~Mighty Mighty Bosstones~
10-06-07, 12:28 AM #11
Muffler Belt, damn, I thought people were kidden about those.... I better get my vehicle in, my check engine light came on and I think I need to refill that light with fuild too.
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