New Student? Please Click Here to start our New York State DMV approved internet point and insurance reduction defensive driving program to reduce four (4) points from the accumulated points you currently have on your driver's license and receive 10% auto insurance rate reduction for next three (3) years.
Chapter 4 - Traffic Laws and Procedures II
- Railroad Crossings
You must treat these signs exactly as a yield sign.
Preceding railroad crossings are railroad markings calling for a reduction in speed and extra caution. These include round yellow and white crossbuck signs. Round yellow railroad crossing signs warn you that you are approaching a location where railroads intersect a highway, road, or street grade crossing. These signs are yellow with a black "X" and black "R" letters on opposite sides. You must treat these signs exactly as a yield sign. Railroad crossbuck signs are posted at railroad crossings. Crossbuck signs are white and have the words "RAILROAD" and "CROSSING" printed across different parts of the sign. Stop signs, crossing gates, and flashers are all present as well.
You may cross railroad tracks only at designated crossings, and you must always obey all warning signs and signals. This means that when you come within a few hundred feet of a railroad crossing, you must slow down and prepare to stop. If you see a train coming, stop! Never try to beat it. Despite a train's large size, it moves faster than it appears. A train traveling at 55 mph will need at least one mile to stop after the emergency brakes are applied, even if its engineer sees you.
Railroad crossings call for a reduction in speed and extra caution.
If you will need to cross more than one track, a small sign underneath the crossbuck sign will show the number of tracks. Always slow down, look both ways at least 400 ft. down the tracks, listen, and be prepared to yield the right-of-way to an approaching train. You must check for trains even if you do not hear any coming. When the railroad crossing is next to an intersection with a traffic sign or signal, make certain not to stop on or too close to the tracks. You may get stuck there during a red light.
- When You Must Stop
You must stop no closer than 15 feet from the nearest rail of a railroad track when any of the following occurs:
- A clearly visible signal device (such as flashing red lights) warns of a train that is immediately approaching.
- The crossing gate is lowered or a flagman gives a signal that a train is approaching.
- A train approaching within 1,500 feet (2-3 blocks) of the crossing sounds an audible signal as a warning.
- You can clearly see a train approaching from the distance. If you can see a train coming from the distance, it is too close.
When there is a gate with flashing lights, stop when the lights begin to flash and before the gate lowers across your side of the road. Remain stopped until the gates are raised completely and the lights stop flashing. Never attempt to go around a lowered gate; this is illegal and, on a first conviction, may result in a fine of $250 to $450, imprisonment for up to 30 days, or both. These are just the legal penalties you will face if you are fortunate enough to escape with your life.
- Causes of Collisions at Railroad Grade Crossings
Below are some of the more common causes for collisions occurring at railroad crossings:
- Driver Complacency. The most common cause of collisions at railroad crossings is breaking the law.
- Stopping on Railroad Tracks. This occurs when you are stuck in traffic and somehow get trapped with your vehicle on the tracks. It also occurs when your vehicle stalls in the crossing. If you get stuck on the tracks, get out with all your passengers, move as far as possible from the tracks, and call the police. However, if a train is coming, get out immediately and run towards the train at an angle (about 45 degrees) away from the tracks. If you run in the same direction the train is moving, you may be hit by debris when the train hits your vehicle. Never try to move your vehicle out of the way if it stalls on the tracks. The result could be the loss of your vehicle, and possibly even your life.
- Driving into the Sides of Trains. About one-fourth of all crashes at railroad crossings involve people driving into the sides of trains.
- Misjudging the Speed of the Train. Large objects traveling at a constant rate of speed do not appear to change in size at the same rate, creating the illusion that they are moving slowly. This leads some drivers to believe that they can cross safely even when the gates are lowered. You can test this if you stand on a platform (in a safe area) and watch a train arrive from a distance.
- Depth Illusion. Parallel lines such as railroad tracks that converge on the horizon create an illusion of depth that is like when an artist draws a cube.
- Ignorance of Railroad Grade Crossing Laws.
- Why You Should Obey Railroad Grade Crossing Laws
When a car and a train collide, the driver of the car is unlikely to survive. Therefore the laws for crossing railroad tracks are for both personal and public safety. These laws are very specific on when, where, and how drivers may cross railroad tracks. Like many other laws that are not followed, the consequences of not obeying railroad crossing laws include:
- Personal injury.
- Property damage.
- Fines, violation points and license suspension.
Traffic Signs, Traffic Lights, and Highway Markings
Traffic controls such as signs, signals and markings serve one of four basic purposes:
- Warn drivers of hazards or changing conditions ahead.
- Guide drivers to their destination by identifying the route or place.
- Inform drivers of local and state regulations governing the road.
- Regulate the speed and movement of traffic on the road.
Knowing the meanings of road symbols, markings and signs cannot be a luxury or afterthought. This knowledge will make you a safer driver. First we will look at traffic signals.
Traffic lights or signals communicate different messages depending on color and type. The following are some of the more common control lights and their meanings:
Traffic lights communicate different messages depending on color and type.
1. Steady Red - A steady red light calls for an immediate stopping of a vehicle, as it would no longer have the right-of-way. You must make a complete stop at a steady red light. (You may complete a right turn on a steady red light if there are no signs prohibiting it, but you must first yield to pedestrians and other vehicles. However, it is always illegal to turn on a steady red light in New York City unless there is a sign specifically authorizing the turn, and turning on red is illegal elsewhere if there is a sign displaying "no turn on red.")
2. Flashing Red - A flashing red light has the same meaning as a stop sign. You must make a complete stop and then proceed when it is safe to do so. It is important to observe the right-of-way rules.
3. Steady Yellow - A steady yellow light warns you to be alert because a red light is imminent. A steady yellow light does not call for a speed increase or reduction, but requires extra caution and awareness. You must consider many factors when making a decision to proceed or stop on a steady yellow light. Vehicle speed, the speed of other vehicles, and the density of traffic, among others, must be factored into your decision.
4. Flashing Yellow - A flashing yellow light means you must slow down and be cautious. You may proceed when it is safe to do so. You must also observe the right-of-way rules.
5. Steady Green - A steady green light allows you to proceed, though it requires an awareness of all other vehicles and pedestrians on the road. (You should never proceed, despite a steady green light, unless it is safe to do so. When making a left turn on a steady green light, you must ensure there is enough time and space to complete the turn prior to conflict with other vehicles or road hazards.) Beware of stale green lights, or lights that you did not see turn green.
6. Red Arrow - A red arrow is essentially a red light signifying that a turn may not be made against the red arrow. The light must turn green or a green arrow must illuminate before you may proceed. This arrow normally only alerts drivers in the left or right turn lanes.
7. Green Arrow - The green arrow allows you to make a turn and assumes you have unobstructed use of the highway. You must be aware, however, of oncoming vehicles, bicycles or pedestrians. Never make a presumption of right-of-way based solely on the green arrow. A green arrow facing down indicates that you are allowed to drive in that lane.
8. Red X - This signal indicates a lane where you cannot drive during certain hours.
9. Yellow X - This signal indicates that you should move out of the lane as soon as it is safe to do so.
10. Flashing Yellow X - This signal above a lane indicates that you may use the lane to make a left turn.
NOTE: During a traffic signal blackout, you must always make a complete stop at the signal or intersection, have heightened awareness of other vehicles on the road, and yield when necessary.
You can read signs to obtain information you need to travel on the roadway. Traffic signs communicate mainly through colors and shapes so that you don't have to stop and read each one that you come across. Different colors and shapes are reserved for different purposes, which helps make the task of identifying them much easier and faster, especially on the road.
- Black/White - Signs with white backgrounds are primarily regulatory signs, such as speed limit signs, though they may also be used as route markers. If you see a black and white sign, you must follow what it says without exception.
- Red - Signs that are red in color tell you to stop or yield, or that a certain action is prohibited. These include STOP, YIELD, DO NOT ENTER, and WRONG WAY signs. In addition to red, these signs also have black and white colors.
- Yellow - Yellow warns you to be prepared to slow down. This color is used for warning and school signs. Yellow is also used to indicate curves in the road, merging traffic ahead, pedestrian crosswalks, railroad crossings, and a NO PASSING zone.
- Green - Signs that are green provide guidance and information, as well as to inform drivers of permitted actions. Parking signs and signs that let you know of your destination or exit are examples of green signs.
- Orange - Temporary traffic control signs use orange to warn or guide drivers. These are mainly found in construction and maintenance areas. When you see this color, slow down and exercise caution.
- Blue - A blue sign indicates motorist services or guidance. Some examples include CALL BOX, REST AREA, and interstate signs. Evacuation route signs are also blue. This color lets you know of gas stations or places to stay at upcoming exits, which is quite helpful when you drive in remote and strange areas. Blue is also used to indicate areas accessible to or restricted for the disabled.
- Brown - If you are looking for a national park to visit, you'll see brown signs marking the area. A sign in this color may also point to cultural landmarks, historical sites, and public recreation areas.
A sign's meaning can also be recognized in an instant by its shape. Knowing these shapes will help make your drive more pleasant.
- Octagon - An octagon is used exclusively for STOP signs.
- Circle/Round - A circular sign is used exclusively for railroad advance warning signs.
- Triangle - An equilateral triangle pointing down is used exclusively for YIELD signs.
- Diamond - A diamond is used exclusively to warn of potential hazards on roadways or adjacent areas.
- Pennant - A pennant is exclusively for NO PASSING signs, which tell you to go back to your side of the road.
- Pentagon - A pentagon pointing up is used for school zones and school crossing signs, as well as some route marker signs.
- Vertical Rectangle - A vertical rectangle is generally used for regulatory signs.
- Horizontal Rectangle - A horizontal rectangle is generally used for guidance or information.
Become familiar with these visual cues so that you can make better choices while driving on the road.
[ Check out our Sign Game! ]
Why You Should Obey Traffic Controls
Traffic controls such as signs, signals and highway markings are used to control the flow of traffic. They are also in place to provide personal and public safety. Traffic controls are very specific in their meanings. Again, like any other laws that are not followed, the consequences of not obeying these traffic controls include:
- Personal injury.
- Property damage.
- Fines and license suspension.
Recognizing Other-Driver Error
The most glaring example of drivers disregarding traffic controls is when they run stop signs and traffic lights. By doing so, they show a general disregard for the traffic environment and make the roadway unsafe for other drivers. Here are things that you can do to avoid a crash resulting from drivers making this type of error:
Crosswalks require extra awareness and caution by the driver.
- Adjust your driving speed.
- Change direction when possible.
- Try to keep up with the flow of traffic.
- Observe the three-second rule.
Markings on the pavement are used to communicate traffic regulations by type of line or color. You should always stay between the lines marking your lane unless turning, exiting a road, or changing lanes. In addition to pavement markings (discussed in the previous chapter), you also need to be aware of the following:
Crosswalks may be marked or unmarked and are located at the corner of each intersection, unless the intersection is marked with a single white limit line and posted with "NO PED XING." Crosswalks require extra awareness and caution by the driver, as conflicts with pedestrians can lead to tragedy. At a typical intersection, there are usually four pedestrian crosswalks, unless otherwise marked with "NO PED XING" signs. At a "T" intersection, there are usually three crosswalks, unless otherwise marked. At all times, a driver must yield to a pedestrian that is using either a marked or unmarked crosswalk. If you happen to stop in the middle of a crosswalk, do not back up. Remain stopped and allow pedestrians to walk around you.
Pedestrians should always be given the right-of-way, even if they are crossing illegally.
A solid line painted across the pavement indicates where you must stop your vehicle. When you do stop, you must stop behind a stop line.
A diamond-shaped symbol marks lanes reserved for buses, carpools and vanpools, bicycles, or other special vehicles. You may not use these lanes unless your vehicle meets the requirements posted on the accompanying signs.
High occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes are designated for vehicles traveling with a minimum of two or three occupants, including the driver (signs will indicate the minimum number of occupants and applicable hours and days). You should only enter and exit these lanes at the designated places, but you must never cross over the double solid yellow lines or any barriers.
When a diamond symbol is used to designate reserved lanes on city streets, vehicles that do not meet the requirements may enter an HOV lane if they make a right turn at the next intersection. These lanes promote ride-sharing to save fuel and cut down on the number of vehicles on the highways, promoting efficiency.
HOV lanes are marked with the words "HOV LANE" and a diamond-shaped symbol.
Under certain conditions, a traffic officer must take control of traffic. The directions given by a traffic officer take precedence over all other traffic controls. For example, if an officer signals you to stop even though you have a green light, you must stop. Also if an officer signals you to continue through a red light or stop sign, you must proceed as directed.
These people are authorized to direct traffic:
- Police officers.
- Other peace officers such as on-duty auxiliary or fire police.
- Highway construction flag persons.
- School crossing guards.
- Pedestrian Safety Laws
Certain areas are set aside for the exclusive use of pedestrians. Know what these areas are, and be prepared to yield the right-of-way.
You must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing the street; even if they do so illegally.
- Driver Responsibilities
You have a duty to drive with care around pedestrians within a crosswalk by slowing down or otherwise ensuring their safety when approaching. You must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing the street in a crosswalk at an intersection, or any marked crosswalk. This includes stopping before the crosswalk at or before the stop line and letting that person cross the street. Pedestrians also have the right-of-way on sidewalks, so you must also stop and allow them to pass before you cross a sidewalk. You must yield to pedestrians when turning. If you fail to yield, you may be fined $100 and have 3 points added to your license.
If you are approaching a vehicle that has stopped at a crosswalk or intersection, be aware that its driver may be stopping for a pedestrian. You must stop and not pass that vehicle if there is a pedestrian crossing the street. It is illegal to enter and block a crosswalk with your vehicle; you must keep it clear for pedestrians who are using it.
Be sure to pay special attention to children, the elderly, and the physically or visually disabled. They may need more time to cross the street. You are required to yield at all times to visually disabled persons carrying a white or metallic cane or using a guide dog. Also watch for runners and people walking dogs. Be sure these pedestrians are aware of you before you cross in front of them. Give them extra room and tap your horn when necessary for their safety.
- Watch for pedestrians crossing in the middle of the street.
- Watch for pedestrians who walk on "DON'T WALK" signals.
- Be extra cautious and drive slowly around schools, playgrounds and residential areas.
- Pedestrian Responsibilities
As a pedestrian, you are expected to be responsible and respect the rules of the road by obeying all traffic and pedestrian signals. Always use the appropriate crosswalks and intersections to cross the street. In addition, you should never impede or block the flow of traffic in any way. If you cross the street anywhere other than in a crosswalk (known as jaywalking), understand that this is illegal. In any case, if you cross the street outside a crosswalk, you must yield to approaching vehicular traffic. Use sidewalks where they are available, and do not walk in the street. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the side of the road facing traffic. Be prepared to step off the pavement when a vehicle approaches. An approaching car should be on your right.
When you prepare to cross the street, look both ways before crossing the street. Do not leave the curb suddenly or get into the path of a vehicle that is about to cross in front of you. You should make eye contact with any approaching driver and wait until you can safely cross. Keep right when crossing at a crosswalk. When waiting for the traffic lights to change to green or "WALK," wait on the curb and not in the street.
- Always wear light-colored clothing or carry a light reflector when walking at night.
- Look both ways before stepping from behind parked cars.
- Get in or out of cars on the curb side of the road.
- Never stand in the roadway to hitchhike or conduct business with passing motorists.
- Why You Should Obey Pedestrian Safety Laws
The laws governing pedestrians are in place to keep traffic flowing while providing pedestrians with safety. Like other traffic laws, pedestrian safety laws are very specific on when you must yield. Again, like any other laws that are not followed, the consequences of not obeying these traffic controls include:
- Personal injury.
- Property damage.
- Fines and license suspension.
Recognizing Pedestrian Error
Pedestrians who fail to obey pedestrian safety laws will either be jaywalking or crossing the street against traffic. So what can you do to avoid conflicts with these pedestrians?
- Slow down around pedestrian traffic.
- Expect the unexpected from pedestrians.
- Always yield to pedestrians, regardless of who is supposed to have the right-of-way.
Normally you may not drive on a paved, or improved, shoulder located to the right of the main traveled portion of the roadway. However, you may drive on the improved shoulder if necessary and when you can do so safely in these situations:
- To stop, stand or park your vehicle.
- To accelerate prior to entering a lane of traffic.
- To slow down prior to making a right turn.
- To overtake and pass another vehicle that is:
- Slowing down or stopped on the highway
- Preparing to make a left turn
- To allow faster vehicles to pass.
- When permitted or required by a sign, signal or traffic officer.
- At any time to avoid a crash.
Occupant Restraint Laws
- General Law on Occupant Restraints
New York law requires that all front seat occupants (both the driver and passengers) wear a seat belt at all times. This applies to all passenger vehicles, including trucks and similar vehicles. You are responsible for all passengers who are under 16 years of age, and you will be fined $25 to $100 and receive three points on your license if any passengers under 16 are not properly restrained. Drivers who have a class DJ learner's permit, a class DJ license, or a limited class DJ or MJ license must wear seat belts and require all their passengers to also use seat belts.
- Laws on Child Restraints
All children younger than sixteen years old must use an appropriate child restraint or seat belt, whether in the front or back seat. Children younger than seven years of age must be secured in an approved safety seat or booster seat in the back seat. If there is no rear seat, the child must be properly restrained in the front seat.
If all lap-and-shoulder belts are in use by other children, a child weighing over 40 pounds may wear a lap belt without a child restraint (a booster seat cannot be safely used with a lap-only belt). Children should use a booster seat until the vehicle's seat belt fits them properly (usually when they are 4'9" or 80 lbs.) as seat belts are designed for adults.
- Why You Should Obey Occupant Restraint Laws
The purpose of the safety belt law is to protect vehicle occupants. The law makes it clear that seat belts must be worn at all times as described above. The consequences of not wearing seat belts include:
- Personal injury.
- Property damage.
- Fines and violation points.
Recognizing Other-Driver Error
You can tell if the occupant restraint law is being broken if you observe any of the following:
- The driver is not wearing a seat belt.
- The front seat passenger is not wearing a seat belt.
- A child is moving about freely in the vehicle.
- A child is sitting in someone's lap.
If possible, communicate the need to be restrained through hand signals, body motions, horn, and lights. Because many people consider this an issue of privacy, do not take this any further than necessary.
Laws on Yielding and Insurance
Law Enforcement and Emergency Vehicles
- Yielding to Emergency Vehicles
You must yield the right-of-way to:
- Police cars.
- Fire trucks.
- All other emergency vehicles.
Emergency vehicles use sirens, air-horns or flashing red lights to warn other drivers of their approach. When an emergency vehicle approaches, you must immediately pull over to the right side of the road and stop. If traffic prevents you from stopping, slow down to leave a clear path so the emergency vehicle can safely pass you on your left. Also, if you are in the middle of the intersection, get through first before stopping to keep the intersection clear. In addition, you must observe these rules:
Always yield to emergency vehicles.
- Do not follow within 500 feet of a fire truck answering an alarm or an ambulance with flashing red lights on.
- Do not drive into or park within the block where a fire truck has stopped to respond to an alarm.
- Do not park where you will interfere with the arrival or departure of an ambulance that is at the scene of an emergency.
- Do not drive over fire hoses unless directed to do so by a fire department official.
- When Stopped by the Police
When you are stopped by a police officer, you should do the following:
- Remain in your vehicle.
- Keep your hands in plain sight, i.e. on the top of your steering wheel.
- Avoid making any sudden movements.
- Obey the officer's instructions.
Why You Should Comply with the Emergency Vehicle Provisions
Complying with the above will help you avoid possible arrest as well as make the job of emergency responders as simple as possible. They perform a public service and may one day assist you when you have an emergency. The consequences of not obeying these traffic controls include:
- Personal injury.
- Property damage.
- Fines and violation points.
- License suspension or revocation.
Recognizing Other-Driver Error
A driver who is being arrested by a police officer most likely failed to comply with the above procedures. When you approach the stop, you should:
- Slow down.
- Move with caution away from where the vehicles have stopped.
Stopping For School Buses
School buses are considered the safest mode of transportation. However, incidences involving school buses still occur. The most dangerous place for students is actually outside the school bus, when it is loading and unloading passengers, rather than inside. Most school bus-related deaths and injuries are a result of collisions with children crossing the street while going to or leaving the bus, not collisions with the buses themselves.
School buses have two sets of lights, amber/yellow and red.
- Overhead Amber Warning Lights
Before a school bus stops to load or unload passengers, it will activate its flashing yellow lights. The flashing yellow lights are a warning to drivers around the bus that it will stop soon. When you see these lights, slow down to no more than 25 MPH and be prepared to stop. These lights will stay on until the door of the bus is opened.
- Overhead Red Stop Lights and Stop Sign Arm
When the bus stops and opens its door, it will activate its flashing red lights and display a stop sign arm. You must not proceed until the red flashing lights have stopped and the stop sign arm has been retracted. This law applies on all roadways in New York.
- When You Must Stop
Before reaching any school bus from either direction that is stopped to load or unload passengers, you must make a complete stop. This requirement applies in front of the school and in school parking lots. You also must stop even if you are on the opposite side of a highway divided by a median or physical barrier. You should stop at a reasonable distance from the bus - at least 20 feet. Once you have stopped for a school bus, watch for children entering or leaving the bus. If they are leaving and the red lights and stop arm have been retracted, you should drive slowly until you have passed them.
School buses need to be respected.
- Consequences for Passing a School Bus
Passing a stopped school bus that is flashing its red lights and displaying a stop sign arm will result in severe penalties. The minimum fine for a first violation is $250, and it will go up to $1,000 for three violations within three years. With three convictions, DMV will also revoke your license for at least 6 months. Always stop for a stopped school bus, even if the road is divided by a median or barrier.
Financial Responsibility/Compulsory Insurance
To legally operate a motor vehicle in the State of New York, you must show proof of financial responsibility, whether you are a resident or not. The law (the Safety Responsibility Act) is in place to make sure every driver in New York has insurance or enough money to pay for losses in case of an automobile collision. This law helps to keep our highways safer from irresponsible drivers.
You can prove financial responsibility by purchasing a liability insurance policy from a company licensed to do business in New York. New York is a no-fault state, so your coverage pays for certain expenses resulting from a collision. The policy must provide the following minimum limits of these types of coverage in any one collision:
- $25,000 against bodily injury to one person
- $50,000 against bodily injury to two or more persons
- $50,000 against death to one person
- $100,000 against death to two or more persons
- $10,000 against property damage
Your vehicle must be covered by liability insurance while the registration for the vehicle is valid, even if you do not drive it (this requirement does not apply to motorcycles). You must be able to provide proof of financial responsibility to a law enforcement officer or to another person who was involved in the collision. Below are acceptable proofs of financial responsibility:
- An original liability insurance policy or copy reflecting the minimum amounts of coverage.
- A written instrument issued by the insurance company that includes:
- The name of the insurance company.
- The policy number.
- The policy period.
- The name of the insured.
- The policy limits or a statement that the coverage complies with the minimum amount of coverage required by the law.
- An insurance binder that indicates the owner and/or operator is in compliance with the law.
- Consequences for Failure to Comply
If you receive a letter from DMV asking about your insurance coverage, be aware that you must read it and respond within 7 days. You must turn in your license plates when your insurance lapses or is cancelled; otherwise you will pay a civil penalty for each day you are uninsured to prevent your registration from being suspended. After 90 days, DMV will suspend your driver's license if you are still uninsured and you haven't turned in your license plates.
If you are a non-resident and drive or permit your vehicle to be driven in New York, you must be able to prove that you have adequate liability insurance on that vehicle. If you cannot provide proof, or your coverage does not meet the minimum requirements in New York, your privilege to drive in New York may be revoked for at least one year.
Work Zone Safety
Be patient! Allow extra time, stay calm, and expect the unexpected when in a work zone.
The Vehicle and Traffic Law (Section 160) defines a work area as the "part of the highway being used or occupied for the conduct of highway work, within which workers, vehicles, equipment, materials, supplies, excavations or other obstructions are present." Roads and highways must be rebuilt or improved periodically, so work zones are set up for these purposes. At any given time, there are several highway construction and maintenance projects being worked on in the State of New York. Below are some facts about work zones:
- Nationally, 832 people died in work zones in the year 2007. In New York, 11 people were killed in these areas.
- The most common type of crash in a highway work zone is the rear-end collision.
- Fines for speeding in work zones are doubled.
- Traffic laws in work zones are enhanced and enforced 24 hours a day due to the potential risks and hazards. Speed limits in work zones are enforced even if no work appears to be underway.
Problems or situations that you may encounter as a result of work zones include:
- Lack of shoulders or median areas.
- Narrower lanes.
- Fewer available lanes.
- Speed reduction.
- Changing lane patterns.
- Detours leading to unfamiliar routes.
- Large construction or maintenance vehicles parked at the side of the road obstructing vision.
- Highway workers standing and working near traffic.
- Slow-moving construction/maintenance vehicles.
- Drivers slow to reduce speed or merging at the last minute.
- Aggressive drivers ignoring work zone restrictions.
- Drivers not using common sense while in the work zone.
- Mobile work zones. Some work zones move along the highway until the work is completed, such as line painting and road patching operations. Drive with extreme caution until you pass a sign stating that you have left the work zone.
Below are some tips for driving safely through work zones:
- Be patient! Allow extra time, stay calm, and expect the unexpected.
- Diamond-shaped orange warning signs are posted in advance of work zone areas. These are a warning to slow down. You must slow down when a sign indicates a lower speed.
- Follow the instructions on the work zone signs and those given by flaggers. A flagger has the same authority as a regulatory sign, so you must obey his or her directions or be ticketed. Observe all posted signs until you see one that states you have left the work zone.
- Merge as soon as possible when you see flashing arrow panels or "lane closed ahead" signs.
- Follow other vehicles at a safe distance using the three-second rule to avoid a rear-end collision.
- Plan an alternate route if you know of the existence of a work zone.
Is it ever legal to make a "rolling stop" at intersections that have stop signs? Why or why not?