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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Everything Is Illegal In New Jersey

My head is spinning trying to get a handle on life in New Jersey and not get arrested.  I was born in New Jersey and grew up here.  Even during my Coast Guard career, we were stationed on the Jersey shore for 11 years.  So I should be used to their draconian rules and laws...but I'm not.

I guess I've gotten spoiled, living for 13 years in sunny Virginia before we hit the road full time last December.  A lovely state, with some real freedom for its residents.  I remember when we moved down to Virginia from New Jersey back in 1998, my boys were wide-eyed seeing booths all over that sold fireworks.  In New Jersey, they'd lock you up with relish for possession of a firecracker and throw away the key.

In fact, the first thing I bought for my boys in Virginia was a couple of Red Rider BB guns.  Nope, you can't have them in New Jersey.  In fact, even a slingshot is illegal.  I guess that law is to prevent a rubber band powered mass murder.

Rotary traffic circles have backward rules from the rest of the country.  In other states, the driver entering the circle has to yield to cars in the circle.  Not in Jersey - if you're in the circle, you have to yield to cars entering the circle.  Another traffic law that must have been crafted by dizzy politicians in Trenton.

Then, the all time goody, and this goody is becoming more and more prevalent on Jersey roads:  You can't turn left, you have to turn right to go left.  Yep, the infamous Jersey "Jug Handle".  Of course to make your driving experience more interesting, the road designers put in a twist, you never can tell if the Jug Handle is before the turn or after the turn.  Usually I guess wrong, miss the Jug Handle and have to proceed further up the road looking for another right turn to turn left.  Sheesh!

New Jersey boasts about its beautiful, white sandy beaches that line its coast.  Good luck trying to enter a beach without paying, they all charge for you to get that sand in your shoes and clothes.  And God help you if you try and bring a dog on the beach.  Go directly to jail, do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

The one saving grace we found was an ice cream stand in Red Bank, NJ, close to where we're staying that serves to die for Italian Ice, we loved it when we lived here and it's still in business. 

We decided to get some before we got slapped in handcuffs by the NJ Food Police for trafficking in an illegal sweet treat.

My son, Corey works as a service advisor at a new car dealership.  He told me that New Jersey has now placed a new law on the books that it is illegal to top off your brake fluid in your car.  The thinking behind the law is that if you have to add brake fluid, then there is a mechanical defect in your car's braking system and you need to get it fixed.  Obviously, this law was written by someone with no understanding of how brakes work. 

On cars that have disc brakes (most cars on the road today), as brake pads wear, the brake fluid fills up the "gap" to counter for the wearing brake pad, sort of like an automatic brake adjustment.  A little top off of the brake fluid in the master cylinder is perfectly normal (at least in the other 49 states, Canada and Mexico).  Poor Corey has to deal with irate customers that become livid over not having their brake fluid topped off. 

Is it any wonder that many of the New Jersey residents are so often crabby?  Interestingly enough, my dad and all my siblings and their families still live in this state.  They keep asking me when we're moving back.

Not a chance.  My house has wheels and if it weren't for little Anabelle and her parents (in exile here because of jobs), I don't think I'd ever darken the doors of the Jersey Turnpike. ;c)

Now for the shameless baby picture of the day:

Oops!  Sorry, that's Amanda's dog, Madison, who still considers herself Amanda's "baby".

Here's the correct picture:

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.


  1. One of the reasons we come to Mexico is the stupid rules that exist in both Canada and the U.S.. It is seriously over the top. The monkeys (and the lawyers) have taken over the zoo!

    We were at a Canadian National Park last year that had a beautiful beach. Yes, you could swim, but only if there was a lifeguard, and there were no beach balls or flotation devices allowed. Huh??!! The list of other rules was on a huge board.

    Life was a lot better when everyone was a just little more responsible for their own actions.

  2. Guess we don't have to worry about trying to get New Jersey on our list of states to see. I'm sure there's a whole list of things for RVers to know that we would end up doing something wrong. Hang in there. Anabelle (and Madison) are well worth the price.

  3. OH, wow ... I guess we'll have to tip-toe through NJ when we eventually decide to explore the state.

  4. convinced me. I won't go to NJ. I also won't go to New Orleans.

  5. Rant on X-New Jerseyite. BUT remember Virginia is the state that supplies guns for anyone and everyone for anything and everything. Not so hot either. Not to mention their personal property taxes.

    Glad you were able to get some Italian Ice that should pretty much fix everything.

    Poor Madison she's been displaced. Life will never be the same now. Probably doesn't help that Anabelle is so cute.

  6. The legislature needs to take a vacation, they've obviously been working too hard.

  7. Being a next-door-neighbor in PA, where there apparently are NO rules..I feel your pain :)

    That picture of Anabelle..made me smile!

  8. Anabelle looks surprised at Grandpa's rant??? I'm with you, did some work a long time ago in New Jersey, don't need to go back. My hotel in a not so bad neighborhood had chain link fencing topped with razor wire all the way around it. One of the guys on the bus from the airport with me refused to get off and stay at a hotel with that kind of fencing--bus took him back to the airport!! :))

  9. Both 'babies' gave me my baby fix!!! Too, too cute!

  10. now tell me again..why do people live in New Jersey?..
    both Madison and Anabelle are so darn cute!!..good thing Anabelle can't understand Grandpa's rant!..enhjoy your stay..maybe just hide in the motorhome or at Corey and Amanda's..the state of New Jersey sounds like a real 'situation!!'

  11. Our one and only experience in NJ about 25 years ago, left us hoping for no more :) But, in our quest to travel to all states in Lucy, we'll have to go through there again :( We'll put it off as long as possible :)

  12. Only time we've ever been through New Jersey was in Newark, at the airport (which is a nice one, I have to say).
    I guess we were just lucky.
    So, are there any secret brotherhoods of "brake fluid topper uppers" springing up?
    Actually, if it could be determined that I have plenty of brake pad left, but not enough fluid in the reservoir, can I sue the State of New Jersey if my brakes fail? I mean, big brother is taking the responsibility of vehicle ownership away from me so, who pays?
    It's mind boggling.

  13. Ohhh Anabelle is a DARLING!!!!

    I think our little map of "States We Visited" on our blog will have a blank for New Jersey???

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  14. You bought your boys Red Rider BB guns??? You know they could shoot their eyes out. ;-)

    Poor Madison being upstaged by that sweet little Anabelle. Both pictures are precious!

  15. While stationed in Philly, we lived in NJ. What can I say, we never plan to go back:)

  16. No wonder our daughter was so thrilled when she was offered an opportunity to transfer out of New Jersey last summer. She didn't tell us about all those laws. I wonder if she was running from tickets for brake fluid or sweet treats!

    That Annabelle is getting cuter and cuter every day! Those baby boys better watch out!