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My name is Steve Young and I am a retired California Highway Patrol Officer. I will also be your instructor in one of the online traffic courses with B Line Traffic Schools. No matter what course you sign up for, my goals are the same: Present you with the information that you need in a way that will not put you to sleep and then get you back to your life.  Throughout some of the courses I have included interesting situations, people and other random things I have come across in my 25+ years with the CHP to break things up a bit. Ok ok, enough about me. Close this window and start your course with B Line Traffic Schools today.

General Traffic Laws

15 Sep Blog | Comments

Although most states have their own set of traffic laws, there are many traffic laws that are pretty much the same across the board. Having a set of “general traffic laws” allows people to travel state to state knowing the basic traffic laws. However, keep in mind that these are general traffic laws and for clarification purposes it is important to check the traffic laws for each specific state.

Right of Way

One of the most important traffic laws is knowing who has the “right of way”. This group of laws set the ground rules for who gets to go first. This is important because if you are at a stop sign, with 2 other cars and with pedestrians knowing who goes first will help avoid accidents. The answer to who goes first here, is the pedestrians. Pedestrians, in most cases, have the right of way.

When it comes to the cars and a stop sign, it depends. Normally the person arriving first, in the car, has the right of way. However, many times 2 cars will approach at the same time. In that case the car on the left side must allow the car on the right to go first. By following that traffic law many accidents will be avoided.

If you approach a round-about intersection then it is pretty simple, the traffic that is already inside the circle has the right of way. You must wait until all is clear before entering the circle.

The same rule applies if you are pulling out of your driveway or a driveway from a store. You are wanting to enter the flow of traffic so you much yield and wait for an opening.

Reckless Driving vs. Careless Driving

Reckless driving is reckless no matter what state you are in. It is when a person intentionally puts others’ lives at risk. For example, drag racing on a public road is reckless driving. Both parties involved were intentionally speeding and one was driving on the wrong side of the road knowing they could hurt others.

While careless driving is more unintentionally putting others’ lives at risk. For example, a person driving in an unfamiliar area runs a stop sign that he or she did not realize was there. That action still puts lives at risk, but the person certainly did not intend to do, nor realize he/she was doing, any harm.

Time-frame to Pull Over

You see them, the red and blue lights in your mirror and you are instantly nervous and know you need to pull over. The problem is, you are on a 2 lane road and there is nowhere to pull over. The last thing you want to do is get pulled over and get arrested. Fortunately there is no traffic law that states a specific time. It is really up to the discretion of the officer. So, as long as you pull over as soon as it is safe to do so you will be fine, in any state.

There are several other traffic laws that are also pretty standard across the board: what do when you hit a car without anyone in it, passing on the right, cell phone usage, and a few others. However, as stated above, to be sure about a traffic law in a specific state it never hurts to look up the traffic laws of the state(s) you will be traveling through.


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