Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A refresher for drivers

For nine years, I lived in New England; in a state so notorious for aggressive, discourteous, and incompetent drivers they had their own name: Massholes. But I’ve encountered more than a few of these drivers right here in Cleveland, driving cars bearing Ohio license plates.

All too often, I see cars being driven far below the speed limit on highways. Until a few years ago, one could bet money the driver was someone well into their senior years. Now, as often as not, the driver is too busy yakking on a cell phone to drive at a reasonable rate of speed. Conversely, on my curving residential street, I frequently see drivers with cell phones whizzing by at well over the posted limit of 35MPH – I even saw one wrap his minivan around a tree on the median.

Then, there is the flagrant abuse of handicapped tags. Just this past weekend, while waiting in line at Dairy King, Daniel and I observed a portly woman park her Toyota Camry next to the building, immediately adjacent to a sign warning patrons not to park there. She then took her place behind us in line, complaining the whole time about the lack of service, while the one young person behind the counter scrambled to keep up with the orders. While we enjoyed our treats, we saw the woman get into her car and, ice cream cone in hand, move her car to a spot in the parking lot while she devoured her treat.

But I digress – let’s get back to the issue at hand: the drivers licensed by the state of Ohio. Just yesterday, my car was nearly sideswiped by a truck whose driver blew through a stop sign.

Based on my observations, Ohio should require drivers to correctly answer the following questions every time they get their license renewed:

1. How does a 4-way stop work?
A. The first vehicle at the intersection has the right of way.
B. The largest vehicle has the right of way.
C. The vehicle to the right has the right of way.
D. The vehicle blasting the loudest music has the right of way.

2. Who has the right of way on a two-way street with vehicles parked on one side?
A. The vehicle on the same side as the parked vehicles has the right of way.
B. The vehicle on the opposite side of the parked vehicles has the right of way.
C. Whichever vehicle is the fastest has the right of way.
D. Whichever vehicle arrives at the restricted section first has the right of way.

3. When do pedestrians have the right of way at a crosswalk?
A. When the traffic light is green in the pedestrian’s direction.
B. When “Walk” or symbol displays at a Pedestrian control signal.
C. When there are no traffic signals present.
D. All of the above.

4. When is it appropriate to turn left at a signaled intersection?
A. When the left-turn arrow appears.
B. If there is no left-turn arrow, but a solid green signal, once oncoming traffic has passed.
C. When there is a sign showing a red circle-slash through the left arrow.
D. Both A and B.

5. When is it appropriate to make a right-on-red?
A. When you’re in a hurry.
B. When there is no oncoming traffic, unless a restrictive sign is posted.
C. When no one’s looking.
D. When there are pedestrians in the crosswalk.

6. When should drivers activate their turn signal?
A. As you make your turn or change lanes.
B. Never. You don’t want the government agents tailing you to know where you’re headed.
C. At least 100 feet before turning or changing lanes, whether or not you see someone behind you.
D. Before turning or changing lanes if someone is behind you.

See the comments section for the correct answers.

1 comment:

Hank Drake said...

1. A. At a four-way stop, the drivers proceed in the order in which they arrived at the stop sign. Drivers must use their best judgment in determining this order. Each driver must come to a full stop at the stop sign, then proceed only after allowing any pedestrians to cross safely on all sides. Bicyclists are also expected to follow the same rules as drivers at four-way stops.

2. B

3. D

4. D

5. B

6. C. Drivers should signal at least 100 feet (in some states, it’s 200 feet) before making a turn or changing lanes – whether or not one sees another vehicle behind them (the other vehicle could be in the driver’s blind spot).