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Things I don’t understand

January 15, 2014
By Larry DeHays , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

There are some things (sometimes many things) that I don't understand. For this column, instead of being the "answer man," I'll be the "question man." I need some expert opinions to a few questions. If you know the answers to any of the following questions, please email me at with your answers and I'll share them in a column, or send a letter to the mailbag. Here are some of the things I don't understand; let me know what you think.

n In the parking lot of an abandoned shopping center, there are stop signs bought and erected by the shopping center landlord. Are they enforceable by the police? If yes, are all private signs enforceable by police? If no, what if the shopping center was open?

n On Summerlin Road northbound at the entrance to the Lexington school, there is a yellow diamond shaped sign proclaiming "SCHOOL ENTRANCE/40 MPH." Until then the speed limit is 50 MPH. There is no such sign southbound. Is that 40 MPH speed limit in force only during school hours, or 24 hours per day? Does it apply only to the entrance road? There is no "resume speed" sign, so how far down the road does it continue? Why would northbound be more dangerous than southbound?

n Are bicyclists required to obey road signs and stop lights? Are they classified as vehicles or as pedestrians? Why are pedestrians supposed to walk facing traffic and bicyclists to ride with traffic? If it's a speed thing, what if the bike rider goes slowly or the pedestrian runs?

n Why is it that when a deadbeat dad gets behind on child support payments a favorite punishment is to suspend his driver license? Does a roadblock to his employability serve to rehabilitate him?

n If you can drive on private property, (like a farm) without a license, can you get a DUI doing it? At what point is one legally "driving" a car? Taking a seat behind the wheel, or starting the engine, or putting it in gear? If it's starting the engine, what if a passenger reaches over and starts it? Would that make him the driver, in the back seat?

Some of these questions might need a cop, or a lawyer, or a judge to answer. Some may already be understood by everyone but me. That happens. On Big Pine Key, in the Florida Keys, there has been a sign painted on the road that I didn't understand for years. It says "DEXER." I always figured it was some kind of code for a buried cable or something. Then one day it hit me. The "X" was extra large. It stands for "DEER CROSSING." Duh. It's like the surprise birthday party my wife gave me on my 60th. I was the only one who didn't know about that, also.

Not knowing is not the same as not remembering. Not remembering comes with age. It's because we have to remember more things as we age. The wife's birthday and our anniversary were once enough. Then it was the kid's birthdays, then their anniversaries, then the grandkid's birthdays, and it's no wonder our brains get full. I think that our brains get so full of trivia and insignifica that we miss clues that go by. That must be why there are things I don't understand. I knew there was a reason.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. Maybe. There may still be room for your theory. Hurry up.



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