The name for the seat (or seats) adjacent to that of the driver comes to us from the American "old"/"wild" west. Aside from a railroad ticket, Stagecoach was the only means of transport during this period. Stagecoaches were also a common means of transporting things of value (eg... payroll money, high ticket merchandise). In this period of lawlessness and hostile (with every right) natives, protection was necessary. Admittedly most people back then were packing some heat, but for added safety, a stagecoach would always have an extra man. He would sit right next to the driver and was armed with a shotgun. This was known as riding shotgun; hence we have “shotgun” to call the front seat of a vehicle.
But only with the desribed prescript
Rules Of Shotgun
1. The shotgunner must be in clear sight of the car, and shotgun can be called regardless of whether the driver is in sight of the car
2. If you are the first to be picked up on a journey you are automatically given shotgun. You retain this position for the entire journey, unless you violate rules 12, 17, 23 or any other rules stipulating the loss of shotgun.
3. You cannot declare shotgun if someone has previously declared shotgun for that journey.
4. When simultaneous shotgun is called, there is then a foot race to the passenger side door from all the people who called.
5. Shotgun cannot be called whilst inside a building (unless you are in a multi-storey or underground car park!)
6. Shotgun cannot be called in advance, only whilst on the way to the car for the journey.
7. Once shotgun has been called the driver has the option of a reload. The driver yells “reload” and this means that all previous calls of shotgun are void and the first person to call shotgun again gets the seat. This is helpful if the driver really doesn’t like the person who first called shotgun. It is often used when there is a simultaneous call and the driver is unsure of the outcome. Note that a shotgun has only 2 barrels so a reload can only be called once.
8. Ja rob rule...if he’s in the car shotgun now means back left, so he cant punch you every time a yellow car goes past.
9. Once shotgun has been called for the front seat then back left and back right can be called. This effectively leaves the slowest person to travel in the middle (of the “bitch” seat).
10. Because everyone is created equal, men have the same right to the front seat of the car as women (ie women don't own the front seat!).
11. If the regular driver of the vehicle is drunk or otherwise unable to perform their duties as driver, then he/she is automatically given shotgun.
12. Once the journey has begun, the driver is the obvious controller of the tunes. However if they feel the road requires their full attention, or they simply cannot be arsed any more, duty is passed to the shotgunner. However putting on crap tunes or allowing for silence when the iPod finishes a song or ANY instances of TAKE THAT will result in demotion to bitch seat.
13. Anyone calling shotgun must have his or her shoes on. This is to stop people running outside and calling shotgun, then having to go back inside to put their shoes on and slowing the journey. This is known as the Shoe Rule.
14. Shotgun overrules Dibs, Baggsies and other girly calls!
15. Despite the debate, shotgun CAN be used to shotgun things other than the front seat (eg back left, back right, women, not going to answer the door, etc).
16. When travelling with a couple, one of the couple MUST shotgun the front. No one wants to chauffer two of their mates whilst they are in the back all over each other.
17. If someone has successfully called shotgun, they have the right to the front seat. They do not have the right to correct the driver on their navigation skills ("take a left here you dickhead!") or driving ability ("I'd be in third gear if I was driving"). If the passenger does this, then they forfeit their position as shotgun holder.
18. If someone says, "what’s shotgun?" after it has been called then they have to walk.
19. If the shotgunner attempts to open the door just as the driver is unlocking it and jams the lock half open so that the driver needs to lock it and unlock it again, the shotgunner forfeits their position. This is known as shotgun suicide.
20. The holder of shotgun assumes the responsibility for all gate opening, off license nipping into, takeaway ordering and question asking. He/she is in essence the copilot and therefore the enforcer of behavior in the vehicle and exacter of slaps/punches/water spraying/bag throwing at the passengers in the back.
21. Automatic "couple's rights act 1997". This law states that, if the driver is the boyfriend/girlfriend of a passenger in the car, this person has the right to the seat of their choice.
22. If one of the potential occupants of the vehicle is dressed (convincingly) as a pirate then they are given automatic shotgun. In the event of more than one pirate being present, a sword fight shall determine the successful shotgunner. This is known as The Pirate Rule.
23. When driving past a woman walking a dog, everyone in the car must shout out the window, "who's walking who?” It is the shotgunner’s responsibility and failure to spot potential heckling, results in demotion to the bitch seat!
24. When riding in a 2 or 3 door car, it is the responsibility of the shotgunner to allow rear passengers in and out of the back of the car, NOT THE DRIVERS!! Regardless of the weather conditions.
25. Obviously the previous rule on the subject didn’t clarify things completely with everyone coming up with a new rule that over rules shotgun. NOTHING overrules shotgun. Shotgun is final and cannot be overruled!!!!
26. It is the successful shotgunners responsibility to be on the look out for any police and/or speed cameras. if the shotgunner doesn't spot a speed camera and this results in a speeding ticket it is immediately their fault and not the drivers.