Intersection Etiquette

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Today’s Three Seconds: Gridlock

3 Second StopDriving in the city has many hazards including traffic. Heavy traffic can lead to gridlocked intersections. As frustrating and tedious as it is to have a green light and no room to move, remember that legally you cannot enter an intersection if you are not able to completely cross before the light turns red. In other words, being stopped in an intersection is a big no-no. The best thing to do in this situation is stay calm and wait your turn safely behind the crosswalk.

911

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Today’s Three Seconds: Emergency Vehicles

3 Second StopWhen an emergency vehicle is approaching with its siren blaring and at least one red light flashing, you must pull over to the right and stop. Just remember to never stop in an intersection. If you are already in the intersection, continue through the intersection and drive to the right as soon as it is safe and stop. If the road is so full that you cannot pull to the right, then you should just stop where you are. The emergency vehicle will go around you.

New Law Alert

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Today’s Three Seconds: Three Feet for Safety Act

sharetheroad3 Second StopAs of September 16, 2014, the Three Feet for Safety Act (California Vehicle Code 21760) went into effect. This law concerns motorists sharing the road with bicyclists. If you are in a motor vehicle traveling the same direction as a bicyclist, you may not pass the bicyclist “at a distance of less than three feet between any part of the motor vehicle and any part of the bicycle or its operator.” If it is not safe to pass a bicyclist due to the traffic or road conditions, be sure to slow down and follow at a safe distance until you are able to safely pass them. If you fail to follow this new law, you could be fined $35; and if a collision occurs “causing bodily injury to the operator of the bicycle” you could be fined $220.

It’s That Time Again…

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schoolbuskids_webToday’s Three Seconds: School Bus Safety

3 Second StopLaws vary by state, be sure to consult your local DMV for your state regulations. However in most states, when a school bus is stopped with red flashing lights to load or unload passengers, vehicles traveling in either direction are required to stop. They must remain stopped until the lights are no longer flashing. Generally the only exception is for traffic traveling in the opposite direction of the school bus on a road divided by a physical barrier.

Buckle-Up Back There

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Today’s Three Seconds: Seat Belts All Around

backseat23 Second StopYou may be surprised to know that riding in the back seat of a vehicle without a seat belt is dangerous. In fact any unbelted person not only endangers themselves, but greatly increases the risk of death and injury to other vehicle occupants. Currently not every state in the US has laws requiring use of backseat restraints; don’t let this stop you from strapping in next time you ride in the back.

Who Goes First?

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Today’s Three Seconds: Knowing Your Right-Of-Way

right-of-way3 Second StopAn intersection without a stop or yield sign could present a little confusion. Make sure to slow down and be prepared to stop. Yield to vehicles already in the intersection or entering it in front of you. If you and another driver reach the intersection at the same time, yield if the car is on your right.

Wacky State Laws

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Today’s Three Seconds: Bizarre Traffic Laws from Around the Nation

police-give-ticket-gorilla3 Second Stop Some of these seem pretty obvious, but others make you wonder what the heck happened to to have the law written in the first place!  According to researchmaniacs.com … As comfy as it may look, it is illegal in California for a woman to drive a car while wearing a housecoat.  Moving north, authorities in Alaska have found it necessary to designate a law specifying that under NO circumstance should a dog be tethered to the roof of a car.  And clearly another animal-loving state — Massachusetts — asks that you please refrain from operating your vehicle with a gorilla in the backseat.  It’s illegal in the entire state.  So as always, drive safe, and mind the law!