Category Archive: Road Rules

“Click It Or Ticket” Campaign Begins

Memorial Day weekend is near and one Memorial Day tradition is the national “Click It Or Ticket” safety campaign. From May 20th, to June 1st, law enforcement authorities nationwide will be on the lookout for drivers who aren’t wearing their seatbelts. In most states, failure to wear a seatbelt is a primary offense, meaning you can be pulled over and given a ticket for the seatbelt offense alone. The fines can be pretty stiff so, if you won’t wear a seatbelt because it’s the smart and safe thing to do, at least do it to save some money.

least courteous drivers

America’s Least Courteous Drivers

Auto Vantage, an insurance company for motorists, has come out with its annual survey of cities with the worst instances of aggressive drivers and road rage. This year’s winner is Houston which moved from eighth place in 2013 all the way to first. Portland Oregon placed first in the category of most courteous drivers for the second year in a row. Congratulations to the winners! Read more: AutoVantage Survey on Road Rage Highlights Best, Worst American Cities

There’s A Train On Every Track At All Times

If you live in a city with a light rail or streetcar system, you may want to check your rearview mirror before turning. Check out this video from Houston’s Metro Rail System of drivers who assumed the way was clear. Remember that a train, even a light one, can’t stop as quickly as a car. See more:

Yellow light

Ask The Traffic School Instructor: Is it legal to turn left on a yellow light or not?

Question: I got a ticket for turning left on a yellow light; isn’t it legal to turn on a yellow light?

Answer: OK, this one gets a bit tricky and to explain it we first have to understand the concept of a “fresh or stale yellow light.” You can get a ticket for running a yellow light if you had time to stop safely. When an officer sees you making a turn on a yellow light, he or she will first determine whether or not you a fresh or stale yellow light.

Let’s say you were the first driver in the intersection when the light turned green and you pulled out into the intersection to turn but oncoming traffic prevented you from turning safely and you couldn’t make your turn until the light turned yellow and oncoming traffic had stopped. In that case, you turned on a “fresh yellow light.”

Now, let’s say you were the second or third driver in line and couldn’t pull out into the intersection because the driver ahead was blocked from turning by oncoming traffic. If you didn’t enter the intersection until the light was about to or had already turned yellow,  you had a “stale yellow light” and are guilty of running a yellow light. In this case, instead of turning on the yellow light, you should wait behind the line until the light turns green again before entering the intersection.

Bus blocking the traffic light

Ask The Traffic School Instructor: When You Can’t See The Light

Question: I was behind a large truck at a traffic light and, when I followed it through the light, I was stopped and given a ticket for running a red light. What are you supposed to do when a large truck or bus is hiding the light ahead?

 Answer: Going through a traffic light when you aren’t really sure whether it is red or green can be very dangerous. A couple of years ago a woman in Florida followed a school bus through the light. Apparently, because she couldn’t see ahead, she didn’t know that the School bus had turned on the yellow light. By the time the bus cleared the intersection, the light had turned red and, as the woman entered the intersection, she was broadsided by a car on the cross-street that had the green light. Unfortunately, for the woman, it was a fatal crash.

 If you are behind a large vehicle and can’t see the light, don’t move until the large vehicle has moved far enough ahead so that you can clearly see the light. Once you know you have a green light, you can safely proceed. If there’s a yellow or red light, remain in place and wait for the next green cycle.