Blog: Dave LeggettRight turn on red

Dave Leggett | 2 January 2007

I must admit to not knowing all that much about recently deceased ex-President Gerald Ford. I do remember that he followed Tricky Dicky, who got himself tied up in a rather nasty mess in the Watergate affair. Mr Ford came in as a kind of caretaker President when Nixon was forced to step down. He lost a subsequent election to Jimmy Carter.

And there were the jokes that Mr Ford couldn't walk and chew gum at the same time. But wait a minute...

A quick google search suggests that the barb was first aimed at Ford by Lyndon Johnson (they weren't best of buds), but also that the original remark may have been sanitised. Some reputable sources report that Johnson actually said that Ford was so dumb he couldn't fart and chew gum at the same time. LBJ, it is said, was often colourful in his language and the press was used to sanitising his remarks in print. Crikey. 

Moving swiftly on...I have come across something automotive related that Mr Ford was responsible for that I didn't know about - and it is indeed a useful thing when driving in the US. He apparently pushed the 'right turn on red' rule. I wonder how much it contributes to improved traffic flow (and therefore lower energy usage)?

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