Thursday, September 30, 2010

Driver Safety and the Rules of the Road

Contributed by Eric Tofte, Director of Training, Evergreen Safety Council
Before we get started, let’s look at some strange traffic laws from the CNN news website:
  • In California, no vehicle without a driver may exceed 60 miles per hour.
  • In Florida, if an elephant, goat or alligator is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle.
  • In Montana, it is illegal to have a sheep in the cab of your truck without a chaperone.
  • In Oregon, a door on a car may not be left open longer than necessary.
  • In Tennessee, it is illegal shoot any game other than whales from a moving automobile.

We all know there are some strange laws, but most are there to keep us safe. The issue is: How many drivers actually know the rules of the road? Well to help you become a better driver, here are some rules of the road from the State of Washington.

  • You must signal your intention to turn or changes lane for at least 100 feet before making the move (RCW 46.61.305)

  • You must yield the right-of-way to a transit vehicle traveling in the same direction that has signaled and is reentering the traffic flow. (RCW 46.61.220)

Here is one that although is in the Rules of the Road (RCW 46.61.l26) it deals with pedestrians under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A law enforcement officer may offer to transport a pedestrian who appears to be under the influence of alcohol or any drug and who is walking or moving along or within the right-of-way of a public roadway, unless the pedestrian is to be taken into protective custody under RCW 70.96A.120. The law enforcement officer offering to transport an intoxicated pedestrian under this section shall:

(1) Transport the intoxicated pedestrian to a safe place; or

(2) Release the intoxicated pedestrian to a competent person.

The law enforcement officer shall take no action if the pedestrian refuses this assistance. No suit or action may be commenced or prosecuted against the law enforcement officer, law enforcement agency, the state of Washington, or any political subdivision of the state for any act resulting from the refusal of the pedestrian to accept this assistance.

I could go on, but the point is there are a lot of rules governing driving, riding a bike or even walking on a public roadway and that as good drivers we need to be aware of these rules. In addition as good drivers we need to remember that even though the person in front of us is not following the rules, it is best to let them go and not try to “teach them how to drive”.

Evergreen believes in safe driving and that is why we created our EverSafe Driving program and we can teach you and your employees how to better operate a vehicle.

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