A re­fresher on rules of the road


Dear edi­tor,

I write con­cerninga very se­ri­ous mat­ter — the driv­ing on our roads and the rules that are not be­ing ap­plied.

When I was first mar­ried, I had wanted to learn how to drive and liv­ing in Mon­treal, my hus­band sug­gested that I take a driver’s ed­u­ca­tion course, to be fa­mil­iar with the rules of the road.

I know that most driv­ers nowa­days are in­structed by fam­ily mem­bers, then briefly go over the rules in or­der to pass the driver’s test. Years go by with­out even re­mem­ber­ing some of those rules.

I would like to sug­gest that peo­ple take the time to Google “Road users guide in New­found­land” on the In­ter­net.

Among the trou­bling driv­ing habits I have en­coun­tered, some at a risk to my life, are as de­tailed:

• Dis­tance be­tween cars — it is not a good idea to be within a few feet of the other per­son’s bumper and tail­gate them. Rules say you should be one car length be­hind for ev­ery 15 km/h, and dou­ble this on slip­pery roads.

Fol­low the two sec­ond rule to see if you are far enough apart. That is watch the other car pass a pole or sign — then count one thou­sand and one, one thou­sand and two — and if you pass the same sign be­fore you do this, then you are too close.

How many times do we see peo­ple driv­ing right up some­one else’s bumper and if that per­son stops sud­denly, it be­comes a dan­ger to all.

• Sig­nalling be­fore turn­ing — the rules state that a driver is to sig­nal when he is do­ing a right or left turn be­forehe ap­proaches the in­ter­sec­tion — not while he is do­ing it.

Per­haps one of the worse habits I see are peo­ple who drive along and are cross­ing over the yel­low line in the mid­dle of the road.Count­less near-misses have oc­curred be­cause of this. Stay on your side of the road.

• Dim­ming high beams when ap­proach­ing other cars — it is a rule of the road to dim your high beams if some­one is ap­proach­ing you from the other side. Once you pass it is safe to turn them on again.

• Merg­ing —one rule I no­ticed that many do not fol­low is the proper way to merge onto a di­vided high­way.Rules state: “Driv­ers on a di­vided high­way, see­ing some­one try­ing to en­ter the high­way, should move into the left lane, leav­ing the right lane open for the mo­torists try­ing to merge safely.”

Maybe if peo­ple took the time to re­view the rules of the road, it would mean safer driv­ing for all of us. Linda Walker


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