Fast cars and the open road have been celebrated in
American culture since the invention of the automobile.
But today the relationship is showing signs of strain,
particularly in the city of Los Angeles, California.
Los Angeles, the average time a driver spends in traffic
amounts to an astounding two and a half weeks per year.
George Dwyer recently met a man with a unique perspective
on the city’s traffic gridlock.
Around Los Angeles they call Kenny Morse, Mr. Traffic.
“Welcome to my world: the Los Angeles freeway system,
the number one most congested traffic city in the United
States of America, as you can see," Kenny says.
cites the vehicle code for how loud the speakers are
permitted to play.
vehicle code 27007 if you can hear a radio from a radius
of 50 feet, they can not only ticket you they can
confiscate your speakers," he says. "California
is the capital of anything automotive, and Southern
California, Los Angeles in particular, that's the car
capital of the car capital.”
Morse came to Los Angeles from New York some 20 years ago,
looking for a career in film or television. He could
never have guessed he would find it as Mr. Traffic on
local cable television.
"We’ve got a lot to talk about here on Mr. Traffic,
and weve been doing it for, as I say, this is our 14th
year here on Adelphia Cable," says Kenny, speaking on
his TV show.
Traffic on cable TV show
that time, traffic congestion in the city of Los Angeles
has gone from bad to worse, to The Worst.
Zine, a former highway patrolman, is now a city councilman
now recognize that we lead the nation, if not the world,
in traffic congestion. For the 18th consecutive year
we are the worst in the country," he said.
with the heavy road traffic is a central reality of
existence in Los Angeles. But few motorists have devoted
their lives to studying, and understanding it. In
fact, we can only think of one.
I do is learn, learn, learn, learn, and through the
e-mails and information that I get on the web I’ve now
become an expert on not only the laws and regulations of
California and the United States of America, but actually
worldwide, says Kenny Morse. "Everyone who
flies past me, I say: 'Whoo-hoo! See you in traffic
expertise has earned him a post as an official traffic
safety instructor in L.A., where he uses his performance
skills to drive home the hard realities of unsafe driving.
He tells a student, "Dead is nature's way of telling
you: You messed up!"
come into my traffic school class because of one basic
reason: they want to avoid the insurance
consequences for the traffic citation they've been
issued," he says. "In California if you
get issued a ticket you can attend an eight-hour traffic
school class and get the ticket wiped off your record,
therefore no insurance consequences. They think they're
coming to beat the insurance rap, they are, but, I sneak
the learning in on them.
is my 17th year as Mr. Traffic," he continues.
"If you hear me say something in this room, bank on
it. I have to know more than a cop, I have to know more
than a judge, I have to know more than a lawyer. There is
nobody, there is nobody who knows more about this stuff
than I do. In the state of California the number one cause
of car crashes is tailgating. So everyone is right
on top of everyone else. Well, not me."
questions? Ask Mr. Traffic.