Last May, I provided some helpful hints to warn drivers visiting the city of Houston of what to expect as they traverse our twisted metal thoroughfares. However, further travels have alerted me that my list was not complete. No, far from it. With this year's Winter NAPE event being held later this week, plus various other upcoming events that will place out-of-town drivers at the mercy of Houstonian motorists, it became evident that those foreign to our municipality will need as much warning as possible before taking to our streets. So, as a further public service, and to shame the Bayou City just a little bit more, here are some additional tips to consider when traveling the streets of Houston. 1. The red light is just a suggestion. Red lights in other cities have a proper function. They alert drivers that the motorists on the crossing road currently have the right-of-way and that its time to bring their vehicle to a halt. However, in Houston, the red light instead is designed to provoke an acceleration of the car, as opposed to the deceleration one might expect elsewhere. Cars can be expected to blast through an intersection 20 miles above the speed limit as late as three seconds after the light turning red. A rule of thumb for drivers who have just been given the green light is to wait a short period before pulling forward. 30 seconds should be sufficient. You'll mostly likely lose your green light by then, but your vehicle will at least avoid any collisions. 2. "The Road Warrior" was not a movie. It was a documentary on Houston drivers. Between the rice rockets tearing down Westheimer at 100 miles per hour at midnight and the giant armored SUV tanks taking up two lanes, a trip through the streets of Houston will be an endurance struggle between you and your sanity. Leather-clad wasteland crazies have nothing on a middle-aged accountant who's 10 minutes late for a meeting and wired on Starbucks. 3. Don't bother to move out of the way for emergency vehicles. No one else does. Many is the day when a police car or ambulance is desperately trying to get to an accident or crime scene, only to be held up by a Houstonian who has just downed a bottle of stupid pills. In most cultures, flashing lights and a siren serve as a warning for motorists to clear a path to let public servants get through. In Houston, however, it's an opportunity for Energy City motorists to enjoy the five seconds of control they have over a situation before the emergency vehicle gets frustrated and swerves around them. If a Houstonian has successfully delayed the arrival time of an emergency vehicle, his trip has not been wasted. 4. Messing with Texas is a Houston tradition, so be prepared for obstacles on the highways. I hope you were good at playing video games as a child, because you will need sharp reflexes to avoid garbage and other debris that is dropped from Houston vehicles. If you're lucky, the worst you'll witness is a biodegradable cigarette carelessly tossed out toward some dried grass. However, it's a safe bet that you may need to dodge beer cans, hub caps and other flying shrapnel. Traveling behind a trailer is inviting danger, as furniture, mattresses and barrels are known to come tumbling out at unexpected moments. Rule of thumb: If you couldn't get past the first stage of the Atari game "Pole Position" without crashing, you are not qualified to be a Houston driver. So there you have it. I will post more rules at they become evident, but for now, if you'll planning on driving in Houston, just remember to look both ways, keep your hands at "10 and 2", and most importantly, pray. –Stephen Payne, Editor, Oil and Gas Investor This Week;;