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Thread: some common US driving rules.....

  1. #1
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    some common US driving rules.....

    I know that I will need this information.....

    (1)

    Traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road (in all states!). You may find this a bit strange if you come from a country driving on the left; however, it saves a lot of confusion if you do likewise. Take extra care when pulling out of junctions and one-way streets and at roundabouts (traffic circles or rotaries); remember to look first to the left when crossing the road. If you aren’t familiar with driving on the right, you should be prepared for some apprehension and disorientation (some people have problems adjusting to it).

    (2)

    When you want to turn left at a junction, you must pass in front of a car turning left coming from the opposite direction, and not behind it. At major junctions in some cities there are green-arrow signals for left-hand turn lanes. Certain lanes are signposted ‘RIGHT LANE MUST TURN RIGHT’ or ‘EXIT ONLY’ and mean what they say. If you find yourself in these lanes by mistake and leave it too late to change lanes, you must turn in the direction indicated. You should signal when changing lanes, although few Americans do, particularly on freeways.

    (3)

    Rear indicator (turn) lights on many American-made cars aren’t always coloured orange or yellow, but are often red and an integral part of the rear light cluster. This makes them difficult to see or distinguish from brake or rear lights. Hand signals are usually necessary only when your indicators fail. The hand signals used in all states are: left turn, arm horizontal; right turn, arm upward; stop or slow, hand and arm downward.

    (4)

    Use of a horn is prohibited in some cities; they should in any case should be used sparingly, e.g. to prevent an accident.

    (5)

    Each state has rules and regulations regarding the towing of trailers or another vehicle.

    (6)

    There’s no automatic priority to the right (or left) on any road, although generally, a turning vehicle must give way to one going straight ahead. ‘STOP’ signs are red and octagonal; ‘YIELD’ (give way) signs are an inverted triangle, usually yellow. You must stop completely at a stop sign before pulling out from a junction (motorists who practise the ‘rolling stop’ are a favourite target of traffic cops). When approaching a main highway from a secondary road, you must usually stop, even where there’s no stop sign. At a ‘YIELD’ sign you aren’t required to stop, but must give way to other traffic. Not all junctions have signs.

    (7)

    Yellow centre lines mark the separation of traffic lanes moving in opposite directions, and white broken lines separate lanes moving in the same direction. A solid yellow line to the right of the centre yellow line (i.e. on your side of the road) means that passing is prohibited; two solid yellow lines prohibit passing in both directions. Solid yellow lines are usually accompanied by ‘DO NOT PASS’ or ‘NO PASSING ZONE’ (pennant-shaped, black on yellow) signs. Yellow lines are also used on the left edge of one-way roads and dual carriageways. White road edge lines are intended to guide drivers in poor visibility.

    (8)

    At roundabouts (traffic circles or rotaries), vehicles on the roundabout (coming from the left) have priority and not those entering it, who are faced with a ‘YIELD’ sign. This shouldn’t be a problem, as most roundabouts are found only in a handful of states, such as Massachusetts (which is why you should always beware of American registered vehicles at roundabouts in your home country). In place of roundabouts, Americans have what is called a four-way stop. This is a cross-roads indicated by a ‘STOP’ sign with ‘4 WAY’ underneath, at which all motorists must stop (it was obviously invented by bureaucrats!). Priority goes to the vehicle stopping first. When two vehicles stop at the same time, a driver is supposed to give way to the vehicle on his right. When you approach at the same time as a car coming from the opposite direction, the vehicle that’s turning should yield to the one going straight on through the intersection. (Roundabouts are a much better idea!)

    (9)

    Occasionally, you will come across a three-way stop, where traffic from one direction has priority and vehicles from the other three directions must stop. Needless to say, these junctions cause a lot of confusion and it isn’t always easy to establish who has priority. Priority isn’t always clearly indicated by signs (which may be obscured) and there may be no line indicating where to stop. If in doubt, stop and proceed only when it’s clear to do so or when other motorists clearly cede priority. Failure to obey (or understand) right of way signs is a factor in over 10 per cent of fatal accidents and nearly 20 per cent of all accidents.

    (10)

    You must use dipped headlights (low beams) after dark (usually half an hour after sunset and half an hour before sunrise) in all states. You’re usually prohibited to drive on side (parking) lights. Headlights must generally be used when visibility is reduced to less than 500 or 1,000ft. Many people drive with headlights on during the daytime (which is legal), particularly in the southern states, where heat haze often makes unlit cars difficult to see. Full beam (high beams) must usually be dipped when a car approaches within 500ft (150m) or when you’re following within 200ft or 300ft (60m to 90m) of another vehicle. Headlight flashing has a different meaning in different countries. In some countries it means “after you”, while in others it means “get out of my way”. It can even mean “I thought that was the windscreen washer”. In the US, headlight flashing usually means “me first!”. Drivers often warn oncoming traffic of potential hazards (including police radar traps) by flashing their headlights (which may be illegal). Hazard warning lights (both indicators operating simultaneously) may usually be used to warn other drivers of an obstruction, e.g. an accident or traffic jam on a freeway, although in some states it’s illegal to use them while a vehicle is moving.

    (11)

    The sequence of traffic (stop) lights is usually red, green, yellow and back to red, although some are simply red-green-red. Yellow means stop at the stop line; you may proceed only if the yellow light appears when stopping might cause an accident. A green filter light may be shown in addition to the main signal, which indicates you may drive in the direction shown by the arrow, irrespective of other lights showing. Traffic lights are frequently set on the far side of a junction, sometimes making it difficult to judge where to stop, and are also strung across the road rather than fixed to posts by the roadside. A ‘Delayed Green’ sign at some stop lights indicates that the green light opposite changes first, usually to allow motorists to make a turn across your lane. In some suburban areas, there are flashing red lights to indicate traffic lights ahead. Jumping (running) red lights is a major cause of accidents in cities. Traffic lights in cities are usually set for traffic travelling at a certain speed, e.g. 25mph. These may vary according to the area, traffic density and the time of day. If you maintain the set speed, you’re able to ‘make’ most lights when they’re green. At night or in the early hours of the morning, some junctions and cross-roads have flashing traffic lights. A flashing red light indicates ‘STOP’ (as at a four-way stop) and a flashing yellow light means ‘YIELD’, i.e. you can proceed without stopping if it’s safe to do so.

    (12)

    One of the most surprising rules is that in all states you may make a right turn at a red stop light, unless otherwise indicated. The only exception is New York City, where there’s no right turn on red (although the rule does apply in other parts of New York State). You must, however, treat a red light as a stop sign and stop before making a right turn. You must also give way to pedestrians crossing at the lights. Busy junctions often have signs indicating that turning on a red light isn’t allowed (e.g. ‘NO TURN ON RED’) or is allowed at certain times only. If you’re stopped and the motorist behind you is sounding his horn, it probably means you can turn right (though it sometimes means that the motorist behind you cannot see the ‘NO TURN ON RED’ sign). Although it appears to be a sensible rule, some people claim that it increases accidents. In some states you can also make a left turn on a red light from a one-way street into another one-way street, where indicated.

    (13)

    Always approach pedestrian crossings with caution and don’t park or overtake another vehicle on the approach to a crossing. Pedestrians have the legal right of way once they’ve stepped onto a crossing without traffic lights and you must stop; motorists who don’t stop are liable to heavy penalties. When crossing a public footpath, e.g. when entering or emerging from property or a car park, motorists must give way to pedestrians.

    (14)

    On-the-spot fines can be imposed for traffic offences in some states. However, never offer to pay a fine, as it may be interpreted as an attempted bribe (on the other hand, it may be accepted with pleasure). Convictions for many motoring offences result in licence penalty points being imposed. Fines can also be exacted for all offences, although the maximum fine is rarely imposed. Serious offences such as dangerous or drunk driving involving injury or death to others may result in a prison sentence. Traffic fines can usually be paid by post and many communities have a local office, e.g. Violations Bureau, where fines (e.g. parking) can be paid. Using a mobile phone while driving is now illegal in some states or you may be required to use a hands-free system.

    (15)

    A black ‘X’ in a yellow circle with RR indicates a level (railroad grade) crossing, with or without an automatic barrier. Many railway crossings don’t have barriers, although some are provided with flashing lights and/or a bell to warn motorists of an approaching train, while others rely on motorists to check that the line is clear before crossing. Trains usually whistle when approaching a level crossing. Only public railway crossings are required to have warning signs, which leaves some 120,000 crossings where no signs are required. It’s mandatory to stop at railway crossings in some states (usually indicated by a sign), although this may apply to buses and trucks only. Approach railway crossings with extreme caution and, if you have any doubts about whether it’s safe to cross, STOP and check for trains.

    (16)

    Be wary of cyclists, moped riders and motorcyclists. It isn’t always easy to see them, particularly when they’re hidden by the blind spots of a car or are riding at night without lights. When overtaking, ALWAYS give cyclists a wide . . . WIDE berth. If you knock them off their bikes, you may have a difficult time convincing the police that it wasn’t your fault; far better to avoid them (and the police).

    (17)

    Children getting on or off school (or church) buses, usually painted ‘school bus’ yellow, have priority over all traffic. In many states, buses are equipped with flashing yellow lights to warn motorists that a bus is about to stop, followed by flashing red lights when it actually stops. Take care when approaching a stopped school bus without flashing lights, as they could have failed. All motorists must usually stop not less than 20ft or 25ft behind or facing a school bus with flashing lights or ‘stop arms’, even when it has halted on the opposite side of the road (children are instructed to cross the road in front of the bus while traffic is stopped). However, vehicles travelling in the opposite direction on a dual carriageway aren’t required to stop. Motorists must remain stopped until the bus moves off or the driver signals motorists to proceed. Never pass a school bus with flashing red lights! The law regarding school buses is taken very seriously and motorists convicted of passing a stopped school bus may fined up to $1,000, imprisoned or required to do community service, and may receive up to five penalty points on their driving licence. School zones and school crossings are indicated by a sign showing children on a yellow background, in the shape of an arrow facing upwards.

    (18)

    Drivers of foreign-registered cars must have the appropriate international sign affixed to the rear (except for cars registered in Canada or Mexico). American registered cars don’t need a ‘USA’ international sign when used in Canada or Mexico.

    (19)

    Hitchhiking or picking up hitchhikers is prohibited in some states and motorists can nullify their insurance by doing it. It’s also a risky business, as a hitchhiker can be anyone from a mugger to a rapist or serial killer. You should also be wary of taking children (other than your own) over a state border, which is a federal offence on a par with kidnapping.

    (20)

    All states publish local rules of the road, obtainable free from state Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMVs). The American Automobile Association publishes a Digest of Motor Laws containing all state traffic regulations, including motor vehicle registration, taxes, driving licence, traffic rules, towing and trailer information, motorcycle and moped rules, and other information. It’s available from any AAA office and is free to AAA members. The AAA Traffic Safety Department also publishes a wide range of brochures and leaflets to help improve driving and increase safety.
    <a href=http://www.nomadbiker.co.uk target=_blank>www.nomadbiker.co.uk</a>

  2. #2
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    Feck me, I didn't know there were so many rules

    The big ones in my opinion are:

    At a 4 way stop i.e a crossroads, you have to take it turns to go so the first person who arrives gets priority. It works pretty well but you have to watch who is where when you arrive at the junction and you MUST COME TO A HALT even if there is no traffic. It's an easy one for the cops and $75 is a big fine for not putting your foot down

    The lane discipline is shocking but most states are trying to bring in the same discipline as Europe. be very careful is you are undertaking on the inside!

    You can turn right on a red light but be careful.

    Cops....if they stop you, be polite and courtious. They don't take any shite and will only ask you to do something once before the doughnut sugar level has dropped enough for them to get the arse Oh, and they have helicopters which can spot you crossing double yellow lines


    The traffic is fairly light out of cities and drivers are OK but you have to be careful out in the country as a lot of folk just don't expect a gang of tossers looming out of the sun!!
    www.unchainedtours.com

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  3. #3
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    You don't mention "Filtering" (or "Lanesplitting") from what I can see?

    I think Filtering is viewed as being in the same category as "taking other children accross the state line"..............

    Al
    If I am ever on life support - Unplug me......
    Then plug me back in..........

    See if that works .....

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    Cops....if they stop you, be polite and courtious
    Good plan, I would recomend addressing them as sir as well.

  5. #5
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    Good explanation of the rules. I lived in Texas for 4 years and the standard of driving was atrocious but became more understandable when I did my Texas driving test. Total test lasted 6 minutes. I sat in the car park waiting my turn watching everyone else have their goes ahead of me and it was just amazing how bad everyone was, yet they all passed.

    Not a single person completed the parallel park section without knocking down a cone or just failing to park with the entire car in the box. When I parked straight in first time the examiner looked at me like I had 2 heads. When my wife went next and did the same she started asking where we lived. I didn't see anyone reverse without crossing the center line of the road.

    A driving license is such a necessity in the US that they pretty much give them away. Bear this in mind particularly when the most popular vehicle in America is the Ford F150 pickup. That's not the most popular truck, it's the most popular vehicle out of all motorised transport. At least it was in 2000.

    4-way stop signs are a complete twat, particularly when you're driving through a subdivision (housing estate). Most of the junctions have them and if a cop is sitting a little way along the street watching then you'll suddenly see the lights come on if you don't make a full stop.

    If you're driving a car and you're stopped, do not get out of the car. Sit still with your hands on the wheel. Don't make sudden movements or you'll find yourself looking down a gun barrel. I'm not scaremongering here, the police take absolutely no chances.

    Driving out in the middle of nowhere with nothing but a few hick towns around you'd think you're safe to crack on a bit. Sadly, there'll be a sherriff for many of the towns and he's very bored. He'll have the shiniest patrol car you've ever seen, the shiniest buckle on his belt, the cleanest mirror shades imaginable and a complete sense of humour bypass.

    But most important of all, remember that unlike patrol cars here, in the US they have forward firing radar fitted to the car. They can either park the car or get you they're moving.

    If you're driving on a UK license you might get away with an infraction but don't count on it. Sherriff's are elected officials in the US and it's a sought after post. Compliance figures pay a big part in re-election.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by paintman View Post
    Good plan, I would recomend addressing them as sir as well.
    This always goes down well. Address any official as Sir or Ma'am. Being called 'Sir' by just about everybody took quite a while to get used to.

    Oh and get used to the fact that they 'love your accent' but won't understand half of what you say. We got used to having to repeat ourselves regularly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackal View Post
    You don't mention "Filtering" (or "Lanesplitting") from what I can see?

    I think Filtering is viewed as being in the same category as "taking other children accross the state line"..............

    Al
    Lane splitting is against the law in almost every state, in fact I cant think of one in which it is legal, however as with all things in the US different states have different levels of approach to this particular crime, in say Sturgis during bike week and most other similar events it is policed VERY strictly, elsewhere on the approach to a junction you can get away with it, but dont try on a freeway etc.

    As a general if you are not dressed like an outlaw biker from hell, and do the polite/British dumb and dont know the rules etc etc, and pass the attitude test most US old bill are pretty good. I managed to get away with alsorts when living in LA and they have the rep for being some of the most jobs worth cops in the country.

    MOST IMPORTANT !!! - US cops deal with large numbers of people who carry guns etc and are out to do them no good !, they dont muck about, until the stop has got to the point where THEY are being friendly and talkative, they DONT have a sense of humour, do as instructed and dont make wise ass funny comments as it will get you into grief. Once they have stoped you and spoken to you and they realize you are british and on holiday in the US and therfore unlikley to have guns etc etc, you will find the attitude is a lot more freindly and they were fine.
    If you have any in the group that are Old bill over here or in the Military you will find that goes a long way as well, they seemed to be very respectful in general in the US of those doing there duty etc and is a very different attitude to over here towards those in the same professions.
    ''Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men''

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackal View Post
    You don't mention "Filtering" (or "Lanesplitting") from what I can see?

    I think Filtering is viewed as being in the same category as "taking other children accross the state line"..............

    Al
    Some states allow lane-splitting, i.e. California. But, check first applicable law by state.

    Check this out for startes http://www.calsci.com/motorcycleinfo/PrintLaws.html

  9. #9
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    Useful info there
    California is the only state where lane-splitting is allowed i believe.
    Heres a link to one states DMV (Driver & Motor Vehicle) laws.
    Details (like road signs) vary slightly state to state but are generally consistent.
    http://www.mass.gov/rmv/dmanual/index.htm

  10. #10
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    Lanesplitting or filtering is only legal in California and they fecking hate it!! Cars will pull right over to stop you doing it but I've found that a set of Verns are the right height to despatch their mirrors Also the little metal bits on my Daytona boots make a nice coachline down the side of Chevy's!!

    The only thing that drivers don't mind you doing is getting to the front of a long line of contruction traffic.
    www.unchainedtours.com

    "Of all the forces that make for a better world, none is so powerful as hope.
    With hope, one can think, one can work, one can dream.
    If you have hope, you have everything."



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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by garfield View Post
    I know that I will need this information.....

    (1)

    Traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road (in all states!). You may find this a bit strange if you come from a country driving on the left; however, it saves a lot of confusion if you do likewise. Take extra care when pulling out of junctions and one-way streets and at roundabouts (traffic circles or rotaries); remember to look first to the left when crossing the road. If you aren’t familiar with driving on the right, you should be prepared for some apprehension and disorientation (some people have problems adjusting to it).

    (2)

    When you want to turn left at a junction, you must pass in front of a car turning left coming from the opposite direction, and not behind it. At major junctions in some cities there are green-arrow signals for left-hand turn lanes. Certain lanes are signposted ‘RIGHT LANE MUST TURN RIGHT’ or ‘EXIT ONLY’ and mean what they say. If you find yourself in these lanes by mistake and leave it too late to change lanes, you must turn in the direction indicated. You should signal when changing lanes, although few Americans do, particularly on freeways.

    (3)

    Rear indicator (turn) lights on many American-made cars aren’t always coloured orange or yellow, but are often red and an integral part of the rear light cluster. This makes them difficult to see or distinguish from brake or rear lights. Hand signals are usually necessary only when your indicators fail. The hand signals used in all states are: left turn, arm horizontal; right turn, arm upward; stop or slow, hand and arm downward.

    (4)

    Use of a horn is prohibited in some cities; they should in any case should be used sparingly, e.g. to prevent an accident.

    (5)

    Each state has rules and regulations regarding the towing of trailers or another vehicle.

    (6)

    There’s no automatic priority to the right (or left) on any road, although generally, a turning vehicle must give way to one going straight ahead. ‘STOP’ signs are red and octagonal; ‘YIELD’ (give way) signs are an inverted triangle, usually yellow. You must stop completely at a stop sign before pulling out from a junction (motorists who practise the ‘rolling stop’ are a favourite target of traffic cops). When approaching a main highway from a secondary road, you must usually stop, even where there’s no stop sign. At a ‘YIELD’ sign you aren’t required to stop, but must give way to other traffic. Not all junctions have signs.

    (7)

    Yellow centre lines mark the separation of traffic lanes moving in opposite directions, and white broken lines separate lanes moving in the same direction. A solid yellow line to the right of the centre yellow line (i.e. on your side of the road) means that passing is prohibited; two solid yellow lines prohibit passing in both directions. Solid yellow lines are usually accompanied by ‘DO NOT PASS’ or ‘NO PASSING ZONE’ (pennant-shaped, black on yellow) signs. Yellow lines are also used on the left edge of one-way roads and dual carriageways. White road edge lines are intended to guide drivers in poor visibility.

    (8)

    At roundabouts (traffic circles or rotaries), vehicles on the roundabout (coming from the left) have priority and not those entering it, who are faced with a ‘YIELD’ sign. This shouldn’t be a problem, as most roundabouts are found only in a handful of states, such as Massachusetts (which is why you should always beware of American registered vehicles at roundabouts in your home country). In place of roundabouts, Americans have what is called a four-way stop. This is a cross-roads indicated by a ‘STOP’ sign with ‘4 WAY’ underneath, at which all motorists must stop (it was obviously invented by bureaucrats!). Priority goes to the vehicle stopping first. When two vehicles stop at the same time, a driver is supposed to give way to the vehicle on his right. When you approach at the same time as a car coming from the opposite direction, the vehicle that’s turning should yield to the one going straight on through the intersection. (Roundabouts are a much better idea!)

    (9)

    Occasionally, you will come across a three-way stop, where traffic from one direction has priority and vehicles from the other three directions must stop. Needless to say, these junctions cause a lot of confusion and it isn’t always easy to establish who has priority. Priority isn’t always clearly indicated by signs (which may be obscured) and there may be no line indicating where to stop. If in doubt, stop and proceed only when it’s clear to do so or when other motorists clearly cede priority. Failure to obey (or understand) right of way signs is a factor in over 10 per cent of fatal accidents and nearly 20 per cent of all accidents.

    (10)

    You must use dipped headlights (low beams) after dark (usually half an hour after sunset and half an hour before sunrise) in all states. You’re usually prohibited to drive on side (parking) lights. Headlights must generally be used when visibility is reduced to less than 500 or 1,000ft. Many people drive with headlights on during the daytime (which is legal), particularly in the southern states, where heat haze often makes unlit cars difficult to see. Full beam (high beams) must usually be dipped when a car approaches within 500ft (150m) or when you’re following within 200ft or 300ft (60m to 90m) of another vehicle. Headlight flashing has a different meaning in different countries. In some countries it means “after you”, while in others it means “get out of my way”. It can even mean “I thought that was the windscreen washer”. In the US, headlight flashing usually means “me first!”. Drivers often warn oncoming traffic of potential hazards (including police radar traps) by flashing their headlights (which may be illegal). Hazard warning lights (both indicators operating simultaneously) may usually be used to warn other drivers of an obstruction, e.g. an accident or traffic jam on a freeway, although in some states it’s illegal to use them while a vehicle is moving.

    (11)

    The sequence of traffic (stop) lights is usually red, green, yellow and back to red, although some are simply red-green-red. Yellow means stop at the stop line; you may proceed only if the yellow light appears when stopping might cause an accident. A green filter light may be shown in addition to the main signal, which indicates you may drive in the direction shown by the arrow, irrespective of other lights showing. Traffic lights are frequently set on the far side of a junction, sometimes making it difficult to judge where to stop, and are also strung across the road rather than fixed to posts by the roadside. A ‘Delayed Green’ sign at some stop lights indicates that the green light opposite changes first, usually to allow motorists to make a turn across your lane. In some suburban areas, there are flashing red lights to indicate traffic lights ahead. Jumping (running) red lights is a major cause of accidents in cities. Traffic lights in cities are usually set for traffic travelling at a certain speed, e.g. 25mph. These may vary according to the area, traffic density and the time of day. If you maintain the set speed, you’re able to ‘make’ most lights when they’re green. At night or in the early hours of the morning, some junctions and cross-roads have flashing traffic lights. A flashing red light indicates ‘STOP’ (as at a four-way stop) and a flashing yellow light means ‘YIELD’, i.e. you can proceed without stopping if it’s safe to do so.

    (12)

    One of the most surprising rules is that in all states you may make a right turn at a red stop light, unless otherwise indicated. The only exception is New York City, where there’s no right turn on red (although the rule does apply in other parts of New York State). You must, however, treat a red light as a stop sign and stop before making a right turn. You must also give way to pedestrians crossing at the lights. Busy junctions often have signs indicating that turning on a red light isn’t allowed (e.g. ‘NO TURN ON RED’) or is allowed at certain times only. If you’re stopped and the motorist behind you is sounding his horn, it probably means you can turn right (though it sometimes means that the motorist behind you cannot see the ‘NO TURN ON RED’ sign). Although it appears to be a sensible rule, some people claim that it increases accidents. In some states you can also make a left turn on a red light from a one-way street into another one-way street, where indicated.

    (13)

    Always approach pedestrian crossings with caution and don’t park or overtake another vehicle on the approach to a crossing. Pedestrians have the legal right of way once they’ve stepped onto a crossing without traffic lights and you must stop; motorists who don’t stop are liable to heavy penalties. When crossing a public footpath, e.g. when entering or emerging from property or a car park, motorists must give way to pedestrians.

    (14)

    On-the-spot fines can be imposed for traffic offences in some states. However, never offer to pay a fine, as it may be interpreted as an attempted bribe (on the other hand, it may be accepted with pleasure). Convictions for many motoring offences result in licence penalty points being imposed. Fines can also be exacted for all offences, although the maximum fine is rarely imposed. Serious offences such as dangerous or drunk driving involving injury or death to others may result in a prison sentence. Traffic fines can usually be paid by post and many communities have a local office, e.g. Violations Bureau, where fines (e.g. parking) can be paid. Using a mobile phone while driving is now illegal in some states or you may be required to use a hands-free system.

    (15)

    A black ‘X’ in a yellow circle with RR indicates a level (railroad grade) crossing, with or without an automatic barrier. Many railway crossings don’t have barriers, although some are provided with flashing lights and/or a bell to warn motorists of an approaching train, while others rely on motorists to check that the line is clear before crossing. Trains usually whistle when approaching a level crossing. Only public railway crossings are required to have warning signs, which leaves some 120,000 crossings where no signs are required. It’s mandatory to stop at railway crossings in some states (usually indicated by a sign), although this may apply to buses and trucks only. Approach railway crossings with extreme caution and, if you have any doubts about whether it’s safe to cross, STOP and check for trains.

    (16)

    Be wary of cyclists, moped riders and motorcyclists. It isn’t always easy to see them, particularly when they’re hidden by the blind spots of a car or are riding at night without lights. When overtaking, ALWAYS give cyclists a wide . . . WIDE berth. If you knock them off their bikes, you may have a difficult time convincing the police that it wasn’t your fault; far better to avoid them (and the police).

    (17)

    Children getting on or off school (or church) buses, usually painted ‘school bus’ yellow, have priority over all traffic. In many states, buses are equipped with flashing yellow lights to warn motorists that a bus is about to stop, followed by flashing red lights when it actually stops. Take care when approaching a stopped school bus without flashing lights, as they could have failed. All motorists must usually stop not less than 20ft or 25ft behind or facing a school bus with flashing lights or ‘stop arms’, even when it has halted on the opposite side of the road (children are instructed to cross the road in front of the bus while traffic is stopped). However, vehicles travelling in the opposite direction on a dual carriageway aren’t required to stop. Motorists must remain stopped until the bus moves off or the driver signals motorists to proceed. Never pass a school bus with flashing red lights! The law regarding school buses is taken very seriously and motorists convicted of passing a stopped school bus may fined up to $1,000, imprisoned or required to do community service, and may receive up to five penalty points on their driving licence. School zones and school crossings are indicated by a sign showing children on a yellow background, in the shape of an arrow facing upwards.

    (18)

    Drivers of foreign-registered cars must have the appropriate international sign affixed to the rear (except for cars registered in Canada or Mexico). American registered cars don’t need a ‘USA’ international sign when used in Canada or Mexico.

    (19)

    Hitchhiking or picking up hitchhikers is prohibited in some states and motorists can nullify their insurance by doing it. It’s also a risky business, as a hitchhiker can be anyone from a mugger to a rapist or serial killer. You should also be wary of taking children (other than your own) over a state border, which is a federal offence on a par with kidnapping.

    (20)

    All states publish local rules of the road, obtainable free from state Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMVs). The American Automobile Association publishes a Digest of Motor Laws containing all state traffic regulations, including motor vehicle registration, taxes, driving licence, traffic rules, towing and trailer information, motorcycle and moped rules, and other information. It’s available from any AAA office and is free to AAA members. The AAA Traffic Safety Department also publishes a wide range of brochures and leaflets to help improve driving and increase safety.
    Thanks for this, I'll read it on my 12 hour plane flight..

    You don't want to know about the sale of alcohol laws... it'll sadden you.
    Some states stop selling alcohol after 2 a.m.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...tates_by_state
    Why PLAN when you can play it by BEER

  12. #12
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    You don't want to know about the sale of alcohol laws... it'll sadden you.
    My wife was asked for ID when she bought some wine in a supermarket in Charleston, SC.

    She was 42 at the time and delighted
    There can only be 11 and I'm one.

    My pics

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norm View Post
    Thanks for this, I'll read it on my 12 hour plane flight..

    You don't want to know about the sale of alcohol laws... it'll sadden you.
    Some states stop selling alcohol after 2 a.m.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...tates_by_state



    what what......I'll be getting drunk and dribbling on Aidan's shoulder as I sleep......
    <a href=http://www.nomadbiker.co.uk target=_blank>www.nomadbiker.co.uk</a>

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    Quote Originally Posted by garfield View Post
    what what......I'll be getting drunk and dribbling on Aidan's shoulder as I sleep......
    ................................
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    If I am ever on life support - Unplug me......
    Then plug me back in..........

    See if that works .....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackal View Post
    ................................
    Funny very funny


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