Driver HanDbook

California
ENGLISH
2011
See It,
Touch It,
Trust It.
NEW
Cards
& Security
Features
S
T
A
T
E
O
F CAL
IF
O
R
N
I
A
®
Edmund G. Brown Jr., Governor
State of California
George Valverde, Director
Department of Motor Vehicles
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new 2011 lAws
Effective January 1, 2011
Motorcycle License Applicants Under 21
• Applicantsunder21yearsofageapplyingforamotorcyclelicensemust
complete an approved motorcycle training class, before applying for a
permitandmustholdthepermit6monthsbeforethemotorcyclelicense
canbeissued.
Firefighter Endorsement Change
• Afirefighter,includingatilleroperator,isrequiredtohaveavalidnoncom-
mercialClassClicense,orCommercialClassAorBlicenseandafirefighter
endorsementissuedbytheDepartmentofMotorVehicles(DMV)tooperate
firefightingequipment.
Pedicab Operator Requirements
• Operatorsofpedicabsforhirearerequiredtoholdoneormoreofthefol-
lowingdocuments:
1. AvalidCaliforniadriverlicense.
2. Proofofsuccessfulcompletionofabicyclesafetytrainingcoursecerti-
fiedbytheLeagueofAmericanBicyclistsoranequivalentorganization
asdeterminedbythelocalauthority,OR avalidCaliforniaidentifica-
tioncardandproofofsuccessfulcompletionofthewrittenportionof
theCaliforniadriver’slicenseexaminationadministeredbytheDMV.
-i-
dmv.ca.gov
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Go online
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dmv.ca.gov
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Go online
for speedy DMV transactions
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
new 2011 lAws .......................... i
new informAtion 2011 ............ viii
Where to Write ............................. viii
Dmv informAtion .....................ix
GenerAl informAtion ............... 1
Disclaimer ......................................1
Accurate Identifcation ....................1
Basic Information ...........................1
tHe cAliforniA Driver
license ................................ 2
Who Must Have a License? ...........2
California Residents .....................2
California Resident
Military Personnel
(U.S. Armed Forces) ..................2
Nonresident Military Personnel
Stationed in California ...............2
New Residents.............................2
Adults Visiting California ..............2
Minors Visiting California ..............3
oBtAininG A Driver license ........ 3
Acceptable Documents ..................3
Application Requirements for a
Basic Class C Driver License ......4
Adults’ Permit Requirements ..........4
Adults’ License Requirements ........5
license clAsses ....................... 5
tHe eXAminAtion process .......... 7
Where to Take the Tests .................7
DMV Examinations .........................7
speciAl section - minors ........... 8
Minors’ Permit Requirements ..........8
Minors’ Permit Restrictions .............9
Minors’ License Requirements........9
Exceptions - Minors License
Restrictions ..................................9
Traffic Violations ...........................10
Teenage Traffic Deaths ...............10
Actions against the
Provisional License ....................10
Keeping Your
Provisional License .................10
Habitual Truant—Persons
13 – 18 Years of Age ................ 11
Minors and Cell Phones ...............12
miscellAneoUs licensinG
informAtion ........................12
To Replace a Lost/Stolen or
Damaged License .....................12
Name Changes ............................12
License Renewals ........................12
Renewal by Mail or Internet ..........12
License Extension ........................14
License in Your Possession ..........14
Address Changes .........................14
Medical Information Card .............14
Organ and Tissue Donation ..........14
Unlicensed Drivers .......................15
Diplomatic Driver Licenses ...........15
Identifcation (ID) Card .................15
Free ID Cards for Physical and
Mental (P&M) Conditions ..........15
Driving Schools ............................16
Mature Driver Program .................16
Pedestrian Responsibilities ..........16
seAt Belts ..............................17
Mistaken Beliefs about
Seat Belts ..................................18
Child Restraint System and
Safety Seats ..............................19
Riding Safely with Air Bags ..........19
Side-Impact Air Bags ....................19
Unattended Children in
Motor Vehicles ...........................20
trAffic liGHts AnD siGns .........20
Traffic Signal Lights ......................20
Pedestrian Signal Lights ...............21
Traffic Signs ..................................22
lAws AnD rUles of tHe roAD.....23
Right-of-Way Rules ......................23
General Information ...................23
Pedestrians ................................23
Crosswalks .................................26
Intersections...............................26
Roundabouts .............................27
On Mountain Roads ...................27
Speed Limits ................................28
Maximum Speed Limit ..................28
Reduced Speeds ..........................28
Heavy Traffic or Bad Weather ...28
Towing Vehicles, Buses,
or Large Trucks .......................28
-v-
Around Children .........................29
Blind Intersections .....................29
Alleys ..........................................29
Near Railroad Tracks ..................29
Light Rail Transit Vehicle
Crossings ................................30
Near Streetcars, Trolleys,
or Buses ..................................30
Business or Residential
Districts ...................................31
Near Animals ..............................31
trAffic lAnes .........................31
Line Colors ...................................31
Choosing a Lane ..........................31
Changing Lanes ...........................32
Passing Lanes ..............................32
Carpool/High Occupancy
Vehicles (HOV) Lanes ..............34
Center Left Turn Lanes .................34
Turnout Areas and Lanes .............35
End-of-Lane Markings ..................35
Bicycle Lanes ...............................35
Shared Roadway Bicycle
Markings (Sharrows) .................35
tUrns ....................................36
Examples of Right and
Left Turns ...................................37
Legal U-Turns ...............................38
Illegal U-Turns ..............................39
pArKinG .................................39
Parking on a Hill ...........................39
Parking at Colored Curbs .............39
Illegal Parking ...............................41
Special Parking Rules ..................41
sAfe DrivinG prActices ............45
Signaling ......................................45
Steering .....................................45
Scanning ......................................46
Know What Is Ahead ..................46
Know What Is at Your Side .........48
Know What Is Behind You ..........48
Clean Windows and Mirrors .......49
Adjust Seat and Mirrors .............49
How Well Can You Stop? ............49
Driving in the Fog .........................50
Driving in Darkness ......................50
Driving in Rain or Snow ................51
Driving in Hill Country ...................51
Horn, Headlights, and
Emergency Signals ...................51
Use Your Horn ............................51
Do Not Use Your Horn ................51
Use Your Headlights ...................52
Use Your Emergency Signals .....52
Following Distances .....................53
Taking Dangers One
at a Time ..................................53
Splitting the Difference ...............53
Problem Drivers .........................53
Merging in/out of Traffic ................53
Space to Merge .........................54
Space to Cross or Enter .............54
Space to Exit ..............................54
Passing Other Traffic ....................55
Space and Speed to Pass .........55
Space to Return .........................55
sHArinG tHe roAD....................55
Large Trucks (Big Rigs)
and RVs .....................................55
Braking ......................................55
Trucker’s Blind Spots—
the “No Zone” ..........................56
Turning .......................................56
Maneuverability .........................56
Buses, Streetcars, and Trolleys ....58
Light-Rail Vehicles ........................58
Emergency Vehicles .....................59
Slow-Moving Vehicles ...................60
Neighborhood Electric Vehicles
(NEV) and Low-Speed
Vehicles (LSV) ...........................60
Animal-Drawn Vehicles .................60
Motorcycles ..................................60
Bicycles ........................................61
Pedestrians Who Are Blind ...........62
Road Workers and Work Zones
(“Cone Zones”) ..........................63
Double Fine Zones .......................64
Move Over and Slow Down ..........64
Vehicles with Hazardous Loads ...64
-vi-
importAnt DrivinG tips ............64
Dealing with Traffic Congestion ....66
Dealing with Aggressive Drivers and
Road Rage ................................66
Text Messaging and
Cell Phones ...............................66
Collision Avoidance ......................67
Keep Your Car Visible .................67
What is the Road Condition .......67
Curves ........................................67
Driving in Heavy Traffic ...............67
Traffic Speeds ............................67
Driving Hazards ............................68
Water on the Road .....................68
Slippery Roads ..........................68
Skids on Slippery Surfaces .......68
Mechanical Tips............................69
Acceleration Skids .....................69
Locked Wheel Skids ..................69
Accelerator Malfunction .............69
Steering Wheel Locking
Device .....................................69
Collisions are not Accidents .........69
Causes of Collisions ..................70
Involved in a Collision ................70
Reporting a Collision .................70
ADDitionAl DrivinG
lAws/rUles..........................71
Things You Must Not Do: ..............71
Things You Must Do: .....................72
HeAltH AnD sAfetY ...................73
Safety for the Aging Driver ............73
Good Vision for All Drivers ............73
Hearing .........................................73
Alertness ...................................... 74
Medications .................................. 74
Hot Weather Risks........................ 74
Health and Emotions ....................75
Conditions Physicians
Must Report ...............................75
Safety Tips ....................................75
Record Confdentiality ..................76
Vehicle Theft Prevention Tips ........76
Traffic Breaks ...............................77
What a Driver Should Do
During an Enforcement Stop .....77
Actions tHAt resUlt in loss of
license ...............................78
Financial Responsibility ................78
Insurance .....................................79
Insurance Requirements ............79
Collisions on Your Record ..........79
Collisions, Insurance,
and Minors ..............................82
Alcohol/Drugs while Driving .........82
Alcohol/Drugs and Driving
Is Dangerous ...........................82
Carrying Alcohol in a Vehicle .....82
Drivers Under 21
(Possession of Alcohol) ...........83
Drivers of All Ages ......................83
Blood Alcohol Concentration
(BAC) Limits ............................83
Admin Per Se ...............................84
Court DUI Convictions ..................85
Drivers 21 and Older —DUI
Programs and Restricted
Licenses ..................................85
Designated Driver Program ..........86
Getting a Ticket .............................86
Evading a Police Officer ...............87
Points on the Driver Record .........87
Vandalism/Graffiti—All Ages .........88
Speed Contests/Reckless
Driving .......................................88
Possessing Firearms ....................88
Traffic Violator School
Dismissals .................................88
Suspension or Revocation
by DMV ......................................88
Suspension by Judge ...................89
veHicle reGistrAtion
reqUirements ......................89
California Vehicles ........................89
Out-of-State Vehicles ....................90
Related Fast Facts and
Other Publications
(available online): .......................91
Sample Test #1 .............................93
Sample Test #2 .............................94
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Where to Write
If you have any comments or suggestions regarding this publication,
please send them to:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Customer Communications Section
MS H165
PO Box 932345
Sacramento, CA 94232-3450
© Copyright, Department of Motor Vehicles 2011
All rights reserved
This work is protected by U. S. Copyright Law. DMV owns the copyright of this work.
Copyright law prohibits the following: (1) reproduction of the copyrighted work; (2)
distribution of copies of the copyrighted work; (3) preparation of derivative works
based upon the copyrighted work; (4) displaying the copyrighted work publicly; or
(5) performing the copyrighted work publicly. All requests for permission to make
copies of all or any part of this publication should be addressed to:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Legal Offce MS C128
PO Box 932382
Sacramento, CA 94232-3820
new informAtion 2011
• TheCaliforniaDMVbeganissuinganewlydesigned,moresecureCalifor-
niadriverlicenseandidentificationcard.Thenewcardsaredistinguished
byadditionalsecurityfeatures,andhaveadifferentlookandfeel.Thenew
cardshavethelatestsecuritytechnologyandhaveseveralfeaturestoprotect
themagainstfraud,tamperingandcounterfeiting.Someofthenewfeatures
includeaverticallayoutforpersonsunder21;thecardholders’dateofbirth
andsignaturescanbefeltbytouch;imagesthatcanonlybeseenwiththe
useofanultravioletlight;andalaserperforationoutlineoftheCalifornia
Brown Bear, which can only be seen from the front of the card when a
flashlightispressedagainstthebackofthecard.VisitDMV’swebsiteat
www.dmv.ca.govtoviewtheredesignedDL/IDcards.
• Sharedlanemarkings,commonlycalled“Sharrows”arepavementmarkings
andareusedtoreminddriversthatbicyclingisallowedandencouragedin
atravellanewhenconditionswarrant.Seeillustrationonpage35.
-viii-
Dmv informAtion
DMVofficesareopen8a.m.to5p.m.onMonday,Tuesday,Thursday,and
Fridayandfrom9a.m.to5p.m.onWednesday.Afewofficesofferonlydriver
licenseorvehicleregistrationservices.Goonlineorcallthetoll-freenumber
belowtofindtheofficelocationsandserviceoptionsofanofficenearyou.
Goonlineat:www.dmv.ca.govfor:
• Fieldofficelocations,hours,directions,andphonenumbers
• Makingappointments(exceptforcommercialdrivingtests)
• Orderingpersonalizedplates
• Driverlicenseandidentificationcardinformation
• Vehicle/vesselregistrationinformation
• Downloadableforms
• Publications—handbooks,brochures,andsampletests
• Seniordriverinformation
• Teendriverinformation
• Linkstootherstateandfederalagencies
• Renewyourdriverlicenseorvehicleregistration
• Call1-800-777-0133duringnor-
malbusinesshoursto:
– Get driver license and ve-
hicleregistrationinformation,
forms,andpublications.
– Findofficelocationsand
hours.
– Makeadrivingtestappoint-
ment.
– SpeaktoaDMVrepresenta-
tive.
• Call 1-800-777-0133 for auto-
matedservice24hoursaday,7
daysaweekto:
– Renewyourdriverlicenseor
vehicleregistrationwiththe
RenewalIdentificationNum-
berprovidedonyourbilling
notice.Youcanpaywitha
creditcard.
– Makeanofficeappointment.
Advertising sponsorship, instead of your fees, helps defray the printing costs of this
publication. The products and services provided by the advertising sponsors are not
promoted or endorsed by DMV, but the signifcant contribution by the advertising
sponsors is most appreciated.
If you would like to advertise in this publication, please call the Offce of State
Publishing Advertising Department at 1-866-824-0603.
-ix-
dmv.ca.gov
Be courteous –
We all want to
get home safely!
GenerAl informAtion
Disclaimer
FeeslistedintheCalifornia Driver Handbookaresubjecttolegislativechange.
Thishandbookprovidesasummaryofthelawsandregulationsoutlinedinthe
California Vehicle Code (CVC).TheDepartmentofMotorVehicles(DMV),
lawenforcement,andthecourtsfollowthefullandexactlanguageoftheCVC.
TheCVCandCalifornia Code of Regulations(CCR)areavailableonlineat
www.dmv.ca.gov ortheLegislativewebsiteatwww.leginfo.ca.gov. You may
alsobuyacopyoftheCVCatanyDMVoffice.
accurate iDentification
Thereliability,integrity,andconfidentialityoftheCaliforniadriverlicense
(DL)andidentificationcard(ID)isofprimeconcerntoalllevelsofgovern-
mentandtheprivatesector.
Itiscriticalthatthesedocumentsbecompletelyauthenticatedandaccurate.
TheCaliforniaLegislaturehasdeclaredthattheDLorIDcardistheprimary
identificationdocumentinthisstate.Californialawrequiresthatallapplicants
whoapplyforanoriginalCaliforniaDL/IDcardsubmitproofoflegalpresence
intheU.S.asauthorizedunderfederallaw.Yourtruefullnameasshownon
yourlegalpresencedocumentwillappearonyourDL/IDcard.
Basic information
ACaliforniadriverlicenseshowsthatyouhavebeengivenpermissionbythe
statetodriveonpublicroadways.Youmayapplyforadriverlicenseatmost
DMVoffices(seepageix).
It is a misdemeanor to drive in California without a valid driver license. If
youdo,youcanbecited,yourvehiclemaybeimpounded,andyoumayhave
toappearincourt.
Ifyoudonothaveoutstandingactionsonyourrecord,youwillreceivealicense
afteryoupaytheapplicationfee,passallapplicableexaminations,showthat
yourphysicaland/ormentalconditionissatisfactory,anddemonstrateyour
abilitytodrivesafely.Ifyouhaveamedicalconditionoradisability,DMV
mayrequireyoutotakeadrivingtest.Youmayalsohavetoprovideastate-
mentfromyourphysicianregardingyourcurrenthealthcondition.
-1-
tHe cAliforniA Driver
license
Who must have a license?
California Residents
California residents who drive on
publichighwaysorusepublicpark-
ingfacilitiesmusthaveaCalifornia
driverlicense,unlesstheyare:
• MembersoftheArmedForcesor
a United States (U.S.) Govern-
mentcivilianemployeewhoonly
drives vehicles owned or con-
trolled by the U.S. Government
onfederalbusiness.
• Persons who drive farming ve-
hiclesnotnormallyusedonpublic
highways.
• Personswhodriveregisteredoff-
highwayvehiclesorsnowmobiles
across a highway (other than a
freeway).
California Resident Military
Personnel (U.S. Armed Forces)
Ifyouareout-of-stateonactivemili-
tarydutyandhaveavalidCalifornia
driverlicense,yourlicensewillbe
validforthefulltimeyouareabsent
fromCaliforniaandfor30daysfol-
lowingyourdischargedate,ifyou
arehonorablydischargedoutsideof
California.Carry bothyour driver
licenseanddischargeorseparation
papersduringthose30days(CVC
§12817).
Call 1-800-777-0133 to obtain an
ExtensionofLicenseforPersonin
ArmedForces(DL236)cardwhich
extendsyourCalifornialicense.
NOTE:Yourlicenseisnotvalidif
ithasbeensuspended,cancelledor
revoked.
Militarydependentsdonotqualify
forthisextension.
Nonresident Military Personnel
Stationed in California
Ifyouare18yearsofageorolder,see
therulesfor“CaliforniaResidents”
and “Adults Visiting California.”
Licenseeseligibleformilitaryexten-
sions should carry documentation
fromtheirhomestatetoverifytheir
statustolawenforcement.
New Residents
When you become a California
resident and you want to drive in
California, you must apply for a
California driver license within
10 days. Residency is established
inavarietyofways,includingthe
following:
• BeingregisteredtovoteinCali-
forniaelections.
• PayingresidenttuitionataCali-
forniacollegeoruniversity.
• Filingforahomeowner’sprop-
ertytaxexemption.
• Receivinganyotherprivilegeor
benefitnotordinarilyextendedto
nonresidents.
Adults Visiting California
Visitors over 18 years old with a
validdriverlicensefromtheirhome
stateorcountrymaydriveinCali-
forniawithoutgettingaCalifornia
driverlicenseaslongastheirhome
statelicenseisvalid.
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Minors Visiting California
Visitorsbetween16–18yearsold
may drive with their home state
license for only 10 days after ar-
rivinginCalifornia.After10days,
theymusthavea:
• CurrentCaliforniadriverlicense,
or
• NonresidentMinor’sCertificate
(which is issued by DMV) to a
minor with proof of financial
responsibility.
oBtAininG A Driver
license
When you apply for an original
DL/ID card, you must present an
acceptablebirthdate/legalpresence
documentandprovideyoursocial
security number (SSN). Depend-
ingonthebirthdate/legalpresence
document you present, your first
CaliforniaDL/IDcardmayexpire
onthesamedateasyourlegalpres-
encedocument.Ifthenameonyour
birthdate/legalpresencedocument
isdifferentfromthenameonyour
DL/ID card application, you must
also bring an acceptable true full
name document.Your fingerprint,
signature, and picture will also be
taken (see page 4). For any other
DL/ID card transaction, you must
presentphotoidentification.
acceptaBle Documents
Anacceptablebirthdate/legalpres-
enceortruefullnamedocumentis
issued by a county or state. This
documentisacertifiedcopyofthe
original(theoriginalisretainedby
the county or state) and contains
an impressed seal or an original
stampedimpression.DMVwillnot
acceptaphotocopy ofthecertified
copyforbirthdate/legalpresenceor
truefullnameverification.
Examplesofotheracceptablebirth
date/legalpresencedocumentsare:
U.S.BirthCertificate,ProofofIn-
dianBloodDegree,U.S.Passport,
U.S.ArmedForcesIDCards,Cer-
tificateofNaturalization,Permanent
ResidentCard,oraforeignpassport
orMexicanBorderCrossingCard
withavalidI-94.TheI-94expiration
date must be more than 2 months
from the DL/ID card application
date.Acompletelistofbirthdate/
legalpresencedocumentsisavail-
ableonlineatwww.dmv.ca.gov or
intheFastFactbrochureBirth Date
and Legal Presence Requirements
(FFDL05).
Examples of true full name veri-
fication documents include the
following:
• Adoptiondocumentscontaining
yourlegalnameasaresultofthe
adoption.
• Namechangedocumentscontain-
ingyourlegalnamebothbefore
andafterthenamechange.
• MarriageCertificate.
-3-
• A certificate, declaration, or
registration document verifying
the information of a domestic
partnership.
• Dissolution of marriage docu-
mentcontainingyourlegalname,
asaresultofthecourtorder.
application requirements
for a Basic class c Driver
license
To apply for a driver license, you
must:
• Submit a completed and signed
DMV Driver or Identification
Card application (DL 44) form.
Signing this form means you
agree to submit to a chemical
test to determine the alcohol or
drugcontentofyourbloodwhen
requested by a police officer. If
yourefusetosignthisstatement,
DMVwillnotissueapermitor
license.
• Presentanacceptablebirthdate/
legalpresencedocument.
• Provideyourtruefullname.
• ProvideyourSSN,whichwillbe
electronically verified with the
SocialSecurityAdministration.
• Payanonrefundableapplication
feewhenyouapplyforanynewor
changeofclasspermitorlicense.
Thisfeewillnotbereturned.The
feeisgoodfor12monthsandal-
lowsyoutotaketheappropriate
lawtest(s)threetimes.Ifyoufail
thelawtestand/ordrivetestthree
times your application will be
void,andanewapplicationand
fee are required. This fee pays
for both the instruction permit
anddriverlicense,ifyouqualify
for both documents within the
12-monthperiod.Iftheapplica-
tion expires, you must resubmit
documents,repaytheapplication
fee,andretaketherequiredtests.
• Pass a vision test.You must be
abletopassavisiontest,withor
without corrective lenses, with
visual acuity better than 20/200
in at least one eye without the
useofabioptictelescopiclensor
similarbiopticdevicetomeetthe
minimumvisionacuitystandard.
Youareallowedtouseabioptic
lens for the behind-the-wheel
road test.A bioptic lens restric-
tion and daytime driving only
restrictionwillbeaddedtoyour
driverrecord.
• Haveyourpicturetaken.
• Giveafingerprintscan.
• Signyourname.
aDults’ permit requirements
Ifyouareatleast18yearsold,meet
the application requirements, and
pass the required tests, you may
be issued a California instruction
permit.
Youmusthaveaninstructionper-
mit while learning to drive. Your
accompanying driver must be 18
years of age or older and have a
validCaliforniadriverlicense.This
personmustbeseatedcloseenough
-4-
toyouthatheorsheisabletotake
controlofthevehicleatanytime.An
instructionpermitdoesnotpermit
you to drive alone–not even to a
DMVofficetotakethedrivingtest.
Ifyouwanttoobtainprofessional
drivereducationanddrivertraining,
refertopage16.
If you have a motorcycle permit,
you cannot carry passengers, you
mustrideduringdaylighthoursonly,
andyoucannotrideonthefreeway.
Togetamotorcyclepermityoumust:
• Beatleast18yearsofage.
• Completetheapplicationrequire-
ments.
• Passatrafficlawsandroadsigns
test.
aDults’ license requirements
Ifyouhaveneverbeenlicensed,you
mustmeetthefollowingcriteria:
• Beatleast18yearsold.
• Complywiththerequirementsfor
a driving permit, and when you
arereadyyoumustscheduleyour
behind-the-wheeldrivingtest.
• Makeanappointmentandbring
yourinstructionpermitwithyou
to the behind-the-wheel driving
test.
• Passthebehind-the-wheeldriving
test.Ifyoufailthetest,youmust
pay a retest fee for a second or
subsequent test and schedule a
behind-the-wheeldrivingtestfor
anotherday.
If you have an out-of-state or
out-of-country driver license,
youmust:
• Completeallthestepsrequired
forapermit.
• Bring your valid out-of-state
driver license to DMV. Your
out-of-statedriverlicensewill
beinvalidatedandreturnedto
youunlessyouareapplyingfor
acommerciallicense.
NOTE:Thebehind-the-wheeldriv-
ingtestforholdersofout-of-stateor
U.S.territorylicensesarenormally
waived. However, the department
may require a behind-the-wheel
drivingtestforany typeofdriverli-
censeapplication.Behind-the-wheel
drivingtestsare mandatory forout-
of-countrydriverlicenseholders.
license clAsses
This handbook is primarily for a
basicClassCdriverlicense.
Class C license -
• You may drive a:
– 2-axlevehiclewithaGrossVe-
hicleWeightRating(GVWR)
of26,000lbs.orless.
– 3-axlevehicleweighing6,000
lbs.orlessgross.
– Housecar40feetorless.
– 3-wheelmotorcycle.
– Vanpool vehicle designed to
carry more than 10 persons,
but no more than 15 persons
includingthedriver.
-5-
NOTE: The driver must have a
valid medical certification on file
withDMVandcarryavalidmedical
card. The driver must keep in the
vanpoolvehicleastatementsigned
under penalty of perjury, that he
or she has not been convicted of
recklessdriving,drunkdriving,or
hit-and-run in the last five years
(CVC§12804.9(j)).
• You may tow a:
– SinglevehiclewithaGVWR
of10,000lbs.orless,including
atowdolly,ifused.
• With a vehicle weighing 4,000 lbs.
or more, unladen, you may tow a:
– Trailer coach or 5th-wheel
traveltrailerunder10,000lbs.
GVWRwhentowingisnotfor
compensation.
– 5th-wheeltraveltrailerexceed-
ing10,000lbs.butunder15,000
lbs. GVWR, when towing is
notforcompensation,and with
endorsement.
• A farmer or employee of a farmer
may drive:
– Any combination of vehicles
with a GVWR of 26,000 lbs.
or less, if used exclusively in
agricultural operations and it
isnotforhireorcompensation.
NOTE:
• Class C licensees may not tow
morethanonevehicle.
• A passenger vehicle, regardless
ofweight,maynottowmorethan
onevehicle.
• Nomotorvehicleunder4,000
lbs.unladenweightmaytow
anyvehicleweighing6,000lbs.
ormoregross.(CVC§21715)
Other classes of driver licenses/
endorsements are:
• NoncommercialClassA
• NoncommercialClassB
• CommercialClassA
• CommercialClassB
• CommercialClassC
• MotorcycleClassM1
• MotorcycleClassM2
• Commercial Endorsement for:
– Doubles/Triples
– HazardousMaterials
– PassengerTransportation
– TankVehicle
• AmbulanceDriverCertificate
• FirefighterEndorsement
• SchoolBusEndorsement
• TowTruckDriverCertificate
• Verification of Transit Training
Certificate
Detailed information on other li-
censetypesandendorsementscanbe
foundintheCalifornia Commercial
Driver Handbook, Recreational
Vehicles and Trailers Handbook,
Ambulance Drivers Handbook,
Parent-Teen Training Guide, and
California Motorcycle Handbook.
Pleaserefertotheabovehandbooks
foradditionalinformation.
-6-
tHe eXAminAtion
process
Where to take the tests
You may take the written, vision,
andbehind-the-wheeldrivingtests
atanyDMVfieldofficewhichpro-
videsdriverlicenseservices.
Tosavetime,makeanappointment
online: www.dmv.ca.gov or call
1-800-777-0133 during normal
businesshours.
NOTE: DMV will not administer
written or audio exams after 4:30
p.m.,toensureyouhavesufficient
timefortesting.
Writtenandvisiontestsarerequired
whenyouapplyforanoriginaldriver
licenseorupgradetoadifferentclass
ofdriverlicense.
The use of testing aids is strictly
prohibited.Thisincludes,butisnot
limited to: The California Driver
Handbook, cheat sheets, or elec-
troniccommunicationdevicessuch
asacellphone,hand-heldcomputer,
etc. If any testing aid(s) are used
duringthewrittentest,thewritten
test will be marked as a “failure.”
An action may also be taken by
DMVagainstyourdrivingprivilege
or the driving privilege of anyone
elsewhoassiststheapplicantinthe
examinationprocess.
Dmv examinations
Your driver license examinations
include:
• A vision test. (Bring your
eyeglasses or contact lenses to
theexam.)
• A test of traffic laws and road
signs.
• Abehind-the-wheeldrivingtest,
if required. You must have an
appointmenttotakethebehind-
the-wheel driving test. For the
drivingtest,bring:
– Your old driver license or in-
struction permit, if you have
one.
– Alicenseddriverage18years
or older with a valid driver
license.
– Proofthatthevehicleisprop-
erlyinsured.
– Avehiclethatissafetodrive
with valid registration and
displaysafrontandrearlicense
plate. The vehicle’s brake
lights, horn, parking brake,
andelectricsignalsmustwork
properly,andthevehiclecannot
have bald tires. The driver’s
side window must roll down.
The windshield must allow a
fullunobstructedfieldofvision
andtheremustbetworearview
mirrors(oneontheleftoutside
ofthevehicle).
You will be asked to locate
the controls for the vehicle’s
headlights, windshield wip-
ers, defroster, and emergency
-7-
flashers.Youmustdemonstrate
howtousetheparkingbrake.If
youusearentalvehicleforthe
drivingtest,thedriver’sname
must show on the contract as
the insured driver. You must
alsowearyourseatbelt.
NOTE:Thebehind-the-wheeldriv-
ing test will be rescheduled if the
vehicle does not meet the above
requirements,orifyourefusetouse
yourseatbeltduringthedrivingtest.
Formoreinformation,refertothe
FastFactsbrochureHow to Prepare
for Your Driving Test(FFDL22)and
sample tests which are available
onlineatwww.dmv.ca.gov.
speciAl section -
minors
minors’ permit requirements
Aminorisapersonunder18years
of age. Minors must have their
applicationforadriverlicense,or
anychangeofdriverlicenseclass,
signedbyhis/herparent(s)orlegal
guardian(s).
NOTE: Minors may not work
as a driver for pay and they may
notdriveaschoolbuscontaining
pupils.
Togetapermityoumust:
• Beatleast15
1
/2yearsofage,but
under18yearsofage.
• Complete the Driver License or
Identification Card application
(DL44)(seepages4and5).
• Haveyourparent(s)orguardian(s)
signtheDL44form.
• Passatrafficlawsandroadsigns
test.Ifyoufailthetest,youmust
wait one week before retaking
thetest.
• Ifyouare15
1
/2–17
1
/2yearsofage,
you will need to provide proof
thatyou:
– Completed driver education
(Certificate of Completion of
DriverEducation)OR
– Are enrolled and participat-
inginanapprovedintegrated
driver education/driver train-
ing program. (Certificate of
Enrollment in an Integrated
[Classroom]DriverEducation
andDriverTrainingProgram.)
For more information, refer
to the Fast Fact Provisional
Licensing Changes(FFDL19)
atwww.dmv.ca.gov.
The provisional permit is not
validuntilyou startyourbehind-
the-wheel driver training with an
instructororreachage17
1
/2.
If you have a permit and plan to
drive outside of California, check
licensingrequirementsinthatstate
orcountry.
NOTE: If you are at least 17
1
/2
years of age, you may obtain a
permit without completing driver
educationordrivertraining.How-
ever,youcannotgetalicensebefore
youare18yearsold,oryoumust
provide proof of driver education
anddrivertrainingcompletion.
-8-
minors’ permit restrictions
Your permit is not valid until you
begindrivertraining;yourinstruc-
torwillsignthepermittovalidate
it.Youmustpracticewithalicensed
Californiadriver:parent,guardian,
drivinginstructor,spouse,oranadult
25yearsofageorolder.Theperson
mustsitcloseenoughtoyoutotake
controlofthevehicleatanytime.
Aprovisionalpermitdoesnotallow
youtodrivealone–noteventoa
DMVofficetotakeadrivingtest.
minors’ license requirements
Youmust:
• Beatleast16yearsold.
• Prove that you have finished
bothdrivereducationanddriver
training.
• HavehadaCaliforniainstruction
permitforatleastsixmonths.
• Provideparent(s)orguardian(s)
signature(s) on your instruction
permit stating that you have
completed50hoursofsupervised
driving practice (10 hours must
be night driving) as outlined in
theParent-Teen Training Guide
(DL603).VisittheTeenwebsite
atwww.dmv.ca.gov/teenweb/or
call 1-800-777-0133 to request
thisbooklet.
• Passthebehind-the-wheeldriving
test. You have three chances to
passthetestwhileyourpermitis
valid.Ifyoufailthebehind-the-
wheeldrivingtest,youmustpay
aretestfeeforasecondorsub-
sequenttestandwaittwoweeks
beforeyouareretested.
Once you have your provisional
license,youmaydrivealone,aslong
asyoudonothaveanycollisionsor
trafficviolations.
Whenyoubecome18yearsold,the
“provisional” part of your license
ends.Youmaykeepyourprovisional
photo license or pay a fee for a
duplicatelicensewithouttheword
“provisional.”
During the first 12 months after
youarelicensed,youcannotdrive
between11p.m. and5a.m. and you
cannot transport passengers under
20yearsofage,unlessyouareac-
companiedbyalicensedparentor
guardian,alicenseddriver25years
ofageorolder,oralicensedorcerti-
fieddrivinginstructor.
exceptions - minors license
restrictions
The law allows the following
exceptionswhenreasonabletrans-
portationisnotavailable,anditis
necessaryforyoutodrive.Asigned
notemustbekeptinyourpossession
forthefollowingexceptions,which
explainsthenecessitytodriveand
thedatewhenthisdrivingnecessity
will end (emancipated minors are
excludedfromthisrequirement):
• Medicalnecessitytodrivewhen
reasonable transportation alter-
nativesareinadequate.Thenote
must be signed by a physician
withthediagnosisandprobable
dateofrecovery.
-9-
• Schooling or school-authorized
activity.Thenotemustbesigned
bytheschoolprincipal,dean,or
designee.
• Employment necessity and the
needtooperateavehicleaspart
of your employment. The note
mustbesignedbytheemployer
verifyingemployment.
• Thenecessitytodriveanimmedi-
atefamilymember.Aphysician’s
note and a note signed by your
parent(s) or legal guardian(s) is
required, stating the reason and
probable end date of the neces-
sitytodrivetheimmediatefamily
member.
EXCEPTION:Theserequirements
do not apply to an emancipated
minor. You must have declared
yourself emancipated and pro-
videdDMVwithProofofFinancial
Responsibility (SR1P) in lieu of
your parent(s) or guarantor(s)
signature(s).
traffic violations
Nearly 50 percent of the drivers
between 15 – 19 years of age are
convicted of a traffic violation in
theirfirstyearofdriving.
Themostcommonviolationisfor
speeding,whichoftenresultsinthe
lossofvehiclecontrolandaccounts
forabout50percentofallteentraffic
convictions.
Whenyouviolatetrafficlaws,you
increaseyourchancesofhavinga
collision.
Teenage Traffic Deaths
Drivers 15–19 years old have the
highesttrafficconviction,collision,
andinjuryratesofanyagegroup.
Traffic collisions are the leading
causeofdeathforteenagers.Ifyou
areunder18yearsold,yourriskof
afatalcollisionisabout2
1
/2times
thatofthe“average”driver.Yourrisk
ofaninjurycollisionisthreetimes
higherthantheaveragedriver’srisk.
actions against
the provisional license
Teenagersasagroupaveragetwice
asmanycollisionsasadultdrivers,
while driving only half as many
miles.Theteenagecollisionrateper
mileisfourtimesgreaterthanthe
adultdrivercollisionratepermile.
Studiesshowthatthetrafficdeaths
ofnewdriversaredeadlycombina-
tionsoftheirinexperiencedriving,
lackoffamiliaritywiththevehicle,
andtheirneedtopushthemselves
andthevehicletothelimit.
Keeping Your Provisional License
TheDMVwilltrackyourdrivingre-
cordandtakeactionsbaseduponany
collisionsorviolationsasfollows:
• Ifyougetatrafficticketandfail
to appear in court, DMV will
suspend your driving privilege
untilyouappearincourt.
• Ifyougetatrafficticketandfail
topaythefine,DMVwillsuspend
your driving privilege until you
paythefine.
-10-
dmv.ca.gov
Cell phone use on the road...
Get the picture?
It is illegal and dangerous.
• If you have one “at fault” col-
lision or conviction within 12
months, DMV will send you a
warningletter.
• If you have a second “at fault”
collisionorconviction(orcom-
bination of both) within 12
months, you cannot drive for
30 days, unless accompanied
byyourlicensedparentorother
licensedadultwhoisatleast25
yearsofage.
• If you have a third “at fault”
collision or conviction (or any
combination)within12months,
you will be suspended for six
monthsandplacedonprobation
foroneyear.
• Ifyouhaveadditional“atfault”
collisionsorpointcountconvic-
tionswhileonprobation,youwill
besuspendedagain.(Trafficlaw
violations resolved in Juvenile
CourtarealsoreportedtoDMV.)
• If you are convicted of using
alcoholoracontrolledsubstance
andyouarebetween13–21years
ofage,thecourtorderstheDMV
to suspend your driver license
foroneyear.Ifyoudonothave
adriverlicensethecourtorders
DMVtodelayyoureligibilityto
apply for a driver license. You
mayalsoberequiredtocomplete
a Driving-Under-the-Influence
(DUI)program.
Anyrestriction,suspension,orpro-
bationwillcontinueforitsfullterm
pastyour18
th
birthday.
Other,strongeractionsmaybetaken
ifyourdrivingrecordjustifiesthem.
Remember,ifyourdrivingprivilege
hasbeensuspendedorrevoked,you
may not driveinCalifornia.
Habitual Truant—
Persons 13 – 18 Years of Age
Thecourtwillsuspend,restrict,de-
lay,orrevokeyourdrivingprivilege
foroneyearifyouareconvictedof
beingahabitualtruantfromschool.
minors anD cell phones
• Itisagainstthelawforaminor
to use a cell phone while driv-
ing.Ifyourcellphonerings,do
notanswerthecallorrespondto
thetext.
• Convictionsforviolationsofthis
lawaresubjecttofines.
• Exceptions:You may use a cell
phonetocontactlawenforcement,
a health care provider, the fire
department,oranotheremergency
entityinanemergencysituation.
miscellAneoUs
licensinG
informAtion
to replace a lost/stolen or
DamageD license
Ifyourdriverlicenseislost,stolen,
ordamaged,youmustgotoaDMV
officeandpayafeeforareplacement
license. You should also present
photoidentification.IfDMVcannot
confirmyouridentity,youwillnot
beissuedatemporarylicense.
-12-
If you are a minor, your parent(s)
orguardian(s)mustsigntheDMV
applicationform(DL44).
Onceareplacementlicenseisissued,
the previous license is no longer
valid.Destroytheoldlicenseifyou
finditlater.
name changes
Whenyoulegallychangeyourname
becauseofmarriageorotherreasons,
besuretochangeyournamewith
theSocialSecurityAdministration
(SSA)beforecomingintoDMV.
BringyourdriverlicensetoDMV
in person, along with your mar-
riagecertificateorotheracceptable
verificationofyour“truefullname”
(see page 3). You must complete
theDriverLicenseorIdentification
Cardapplication(DL44)andpaythe
applicablefee.DMVwillelectroni-
callyverifyyourname,birthdate,
and social security number (SSN)
withtheSSA.
A new picture, fingerprint, and
signaturewillbetakenandyourold
photoDL/IDcardwillbeinvalidated
andreturnedtoyou.
license reneWals
The DMV sends a renewal notice
toyouraddressofrecordabouttwo
months before your driver license
expires.Followtheinstructionson
the renewal notice. If you do not
receivearenewalnotice,goonlineor
calltomakeanappointmenttorenew
yourdriverlicense(seepageix).
Qualifieddriversmaybeeligibleto
renewtheirlicenseonlineatDMV’s
websiteatwww.dmv.ca.govorby
mail.
TheDMVissuesadriverlicensefor
five years. The license expires on
yourbirthdayintheyearshownon
thelicense.Itisagainstthelawto
drivewithanexpireddriverlicense.
A driving test may be required as
part of any driver license transac-
tion.Drivingtestsarenotrequired
simplybecauseofage.
If DMV cannot confirm your
identity, you will not be issued a
temporarylicense.
Forothertypesoflicensesreferto
theCalifornia Commercial Driver
Handbook, Recreational Vehicles
and Trailers Handbook,orCalifor-
nia Motorcycle Handbook.
reneWal By mail or internet
Ifyouhavenotreceivedtwocon-
secutive five-year driver license
extensions,youmaybeeligibleto
renewbymail,internetortelephone
withouttakingalawtest,if:
• Yourcurrentlicenseexpiresbe-
foreage70.
• Youdonothaveaprobationary
license(CVC§14250).
• You have not violated a written
promisetoappearincourtorto
payafinewithinthelasttwoyears.
• Youarenotsuspendedfordriv-
ingwithanillegalBloodAlcohol
Concentration (BAC) level, or
refusingorfailingtocompletea
-13-
chemicalorpreliminaryalcohol
screeningtestwithinthelasttwo
years.
• Youdonothaveatotalviolation
pointcountgreaterthanonepoint.
NOTE:Ifyourenewbytelephone,
youneedtohavetheRenewalIden-
tificationNumber(RIN).
license extension
IfyouareawayfromCalifornia(up
tooneyear),youmayrequestafree
one-year extension before your
driver license expires. Limited
term drivers are not eligible for
thisextension.Mailyourrequestto
DMV,POBox942890,Sacramento,
CA94290-0001.Includeyourname,
driver license number, birth date,
California residence address, and
out-of-stateaddress.
license in your possession
Youmustalwayshaveyourdriver
license with you when you drive.
Show it to any police officer who
askstoseeit.Ifyouareinacolli-
sion,youmustshowittotheother
driver(s)involved(seepage69).
aDDress changes
When you move, you must give
DMV your new address within
10days.Thereisnofeetochange
your address. You may notify
DMV of your address change for
your driver license, identifica-
tion card, and vehicle(s) online at
www.dmv.ca.gov. You may also
download a Change of Address
(DMV14)formandmailittothe
addressontheform,orcallDMVat
1-800-777-0133, and request a
DMV14formbemailedtoyou.
Anewdriverlicenseisnotissued
when you change your address.A
space is provided on the back of
yourdriverlicenseoridentification
cardtorecordyouraddresschange.
Youmayalsotypeorwriteyournew
addressonasmallpieceofpaper,
sign,anddatethepaperandcarryit
(donotusetapeorstaples)withyour
driverlicenseoridentificationcard.
If you change your address at a
fieldoffice,theDMVrepresentative
willgiveyouaChangeofAddress
Certificate(DL43)tocompleteand
carrywithyourlicense.
REmINdER: The U.S. Postal
Service does not forward DMV
correspondence.
meDical information carD
Call 1-800-777-0133 to obtain a
freeMedicalInformationCard(DL
390)tolistyourbloodtype,aller-
gies,nameofphysician,andother
medicalinformation.Itcanbecar-
riedwithyourDL/IDcard.
organ anD tissue Donation
You may sign up to donate your
organsandtissuefortransplantation
afteryourdeath.Whenyouapplyfor
orrenewyourdriverlicenseorID
card,check“YES!Iwanttobean
organandtissuedonor”toplaceyour
nameontheDonate Life California
Organ Tissue Donor Registry.You
may also financially contribute at
-14-
thistime,orbyvisitingtheDonate
Life Californiawebsite.
Ifyouareolderthan13,andunder
18 years of age, you may register
with Donate Life California, pro-
videdyourparent(s)orguardian(s)
authorizethedonation.
For more information about
the donor registry, adding re-
strictions to your gift, and the
donation process, visit the Do-
nate Life California website at
donateLIFEcalifornia.org,orcall
1-866-797-2366.
unlicenseD Drivers
It is against the law to loan your
vehicletoapersonwhoisunlicensed
orwhosedrivingprivilegehasbeen
suspended.Ifanunlicensedperson
is caught driving your vehicle, it
may be impounded for 30 days
(CVC§14607.6).
No person of any age may drive
on a highway or in a public park-
ing facility unless he or she has a
validdriverlicenseorpermit.The
law also states that you must not
employ, permit, or authorize any
person to drive your vehicle on a
publicstreetorhighway,unlesshe
orsheislicensedtodrivethatclass
ofvehicle.
Apersonmustbeatleast21yearsold
todrivemostcommercialvehicles
forhireininterstatecommerceand
totransporthazardousmaterialsor
wastes.
Diplomatic Driver licenses
Nonresidents who possess a valid
diplomatic driver license issued
by the U.S. Department of State
are exempt from California driver
licensing requirements.
iDentification (iD) carD
DMVissuesIDcardstopersonsof
any age. To obtain an original ID
card,youmustpresentabirthdate/
legal presence verification docu-
ment(seepage3)andprovideyour
socialsecuritynumber(seepage13).
TheIDcardisvaliduntilthesixth
birthday after the issue date. The
feeforanIDcardmaybereduced,
ifyoumeetcertainincomerequire-
mentsforspecificpublicassistance
programs.
NOTE: Governmentalornon-profit
organizationsdeterminewhetheran
individual meets the requirements
forareduced-feeIDcard.
Ifyouareage62orolder,youmay
obtainafree SeniorCitizenIDcard
thatisgoodfor10years.
free iD carDs for physical
anD mental (p&m) conDitions
Drivers with physical or mental
(P&M)conditionsmayneedtobe
reexaminedfromtimetotimebya
physician,or beretestedmoreoften
than every five years by a DMV
examiner to obtain a limited-term
driverlicense.
Drivers who are no longer able
to drive safely because of a P&M
condition may exchange their
-15-
validdriverlicenseforano-feeID
card,ifcertainguidelinesaremet.
Go online at www.dmv.ca.gov or
call1-800-777-0133foradditional
information.
Driving schools
Whenlearningtodrive,youshould
seek qualified instruction, either
withanaccreditedpublicorprivate
highschoolorastatelicensedpro-
fessionaldrivingschool.
DMVlicensesprofessionalschools
and instructors in California that
meet rigid qualifying standards.
Schoolsmustcarryliabilityinsur-
ance, hold a bond, and maintain
completerecordsforDMVinspec-
tion.Vehiclesaresubjecttoannual
inspection. Instructors must pass
a written examination every three
yearsorshowproofofcontinuing
educationinthetrafficsafetyfield.
Ifyouusetheservicesofaprofes-
sionaldrivingschool,asktoseethe
instructor’sidentificationcard.Go
onlineatwww.dmv.ca.gov orrefer
tothefastfactbrochureSelecting a
Driving School(FFDL33)forad-
ditionalinformation.
mature Driver program
The Mature Driver Program is an
eight-hourcoursefordrivers55and
older.Thiscoursecoversavariety
of topics of special interest to the
maturedriverandisavailablefrom
DMVapprovedcourseproviders.
Yourinsurancecompanymayoffer
discounts for those who complete
theclassandreceiveacompletion
certificate . The certificate is valid
forthreeyearsandcanberenewed
bycompletingafour-hourcourse.
peDestrian responsiBilities
Pedestrians (including joggers)
shouldbeawareoftrafficconditions.
Watch out for aggressive drivers
beforeassumingthatyouhavethe
right-of-waywhencrossingastreet.
Be aware that hybrid and electric
vehicles are virtually silent when
runningonelectricpowerandyou
maynothearthemapproachingan
intersection.
Yieldtheright-of-waytovehicles,
when you cross a street between
intersections and in areas with no
pedestriancrosswalksorsignals.
REmEmbER:Makingeyecontact
withadriverdoesnotmeanthatthe
driverwillyieldtheright-of-way.
Donotsuddenlyleaveacurborother
safeplaceandwalkorrunintothe
pathofavehiclecloseenoughtobe
a danger to you.This is true even
thoughyouareinacrosswalk.The
lawstatesthatdriversmustalways
yield the right-of-way to a pedes-
trian–but if the driver cannot stop
intimetoavoidhittingyouthelaw
willnotpreventyoufrombeinghit.
Alwaysobeytrafficsignals.Wheth-
er the intersection has pedestrian
signals or traffic lights, you must
obeythepedestrianrules(seepages
23-26). At an intersection where
trafficisnotcontrolledbysignals,
drivers are required to yield the
right-of-way to pedestrians within
anycrosswalk,markedorunmarked.
-16-
Whenasignalfirstchangestogreen
or“WALK”,lookleft,right,andthen
leftagain,andyieldtheright-of-way
to any vehicle in the intersection
beforethesignalchanges.
If the signal begins blinking or
changes to “DON’T WALK,” or
toanupraisedhandafteryouhave
gonepartwayacrossadividedstreet,
youmaycontinueacrossthestreet.
Donotstopordelaytrafficunneces-
sarilywhilecrossingastreet.
Pedestrians are not permitted on
any toll bridge or highway cross-
ing,unlessthereisasidewalkand
signs stating pedestrian traffic is
permitted.
Iftherearenosidewalks,walkfac-
ingoncomingtraffic(seegraphic).
Donotwalkorjogonanyfreeway
wheresignstellyouthatpedestrians
are not allowed. Do not walk or
joginabikelaneunlessthereisno
sidewalk.
Iftherearenosidewalks,walkfac-
ingoncomingtraffic(seegraphic).
Donotwalkorjogonanyfreeway
wheresignstellyouthatpedestrians
are not allowed. Do not walk or
jobinabikelaneunlessthereisno
sidewalk.
Atnight,makeyourselfmorevis-
ibleby:
• Wearingwhite,light,orreflective
materialclothing.
• Carryingaflashlight.
seAt Belts
Seat belts, both the lap belt and
shoulderharness,mustbeingood
workingorder.Youmaynotoperate
yourvehicleunlessyouandallyour
passengerssixyearsofageorolder,
orwhoweigh60lbs.ormore,are
wearingseatbelts.Youngerchildren
must be seated in a federally-
approvedchildpassengerrestraint
system. You and your passengers
must wear seat belts while your
vehicleismovingonpublicroads
and on private property, such as
publicparkinglots.Ifseatbeltsare
notwornbyanyofyourpassengers,
you and the passenger(s) mayboth
becited.Youwillbecitedifapas-
senger,youngerthan16yearsofage,
isnotwearinghisorherseatbelt.
Alwaysuseyourseatbelts(includ-
ingtheshoulderharness)evenifthe
vehicle is equipped with air bags.
You can have shoulder harnesses
or seat belts installed in older ve-
hicles.Evenifyouwearonlyalap
beltwhendriving,yourchancesof
livingthroughacollisionaretwice
as high as someone who does not
wearalapbelt.Ifyouwearalapand
shoulderbelt,yourchancesarethree
tofourtimeshighertolivethrough
acollision.
Pregnantwomenshouldwearthelap
beltaslowaspossibleundertheab-
domen,andtheshoulderstrapshould
beplacedbetweenthebreastsand
tothesideoftheabdomen’sbulge.
WARNING: Using seat belts re-
ducestheriskofbeingthrownfrom
-17-
yourvehicleinacollision.Ifyoudo
notinstallanduseashoulderharness
with the seat (lap) belt, serious or
fatalinjuriesmayhappeninsome
crashes. Lap-only belts increase
the chance of spinal column and
abdominal injuries—especially in
children. Shoulder harnesses may
be available for your vehicle, if it
isnotalreadyequippedwiththem.
mistaken Beliefs aBout seat
Belts
Manystudiesandactualcrashtests
haveprovensafetybeltscanreduce
injuriesanddeaths.Haveyouheard
thesemyths?
• “Seat belts can trap you inside
avehicle.”Itactuallytakesless
than a second to take off a seat
belt.Thismythoftendescribesa
vehiclethatcaughtfireorsankin
deepwater.Aseatbeltmaykeep
you from being “knocked out.”
Therefore,yourchancestoescape
arebetterifyouareconscious.
• “Seat belts are good on long
trips,butIdon’tneedthemifI’m
drivingaroundtown.”Morethan
half of all traffic deaths happen
within25milesofhome.Donot
takechanceswithyourlifeorthe
livesofyourpassengers.Buckle
upeverytimeyoudriveregardless
oftraveldistance.
• “Some people are thrown from
a vehicle in a crash and walk
awaywithhardlyascratch.”Your
chancesofsurvivingacollision
arefivetimesbetterif,uponim-
pact,youarenotthrownfromthe
vehicle.Aseatbeltcankeepyou
frombeingthrownintothepath
ofanothervehicle.
• “I’monlygoingtothestore.My
littlebrotherorsisterdoesn’tneed
to be secured in a safety seat.”
Car collisions are the number
one preventable cause of death
for children. The law requires
that you buckle children into a
federally-approved child pas-
sengerrestraintsystem.
The following graphics illustrate
whatcanhappeninacollision.Your
vehiclestopswhenyoucollide,but
youkeepgoingatthesamespeed
youweretraveling,untilyouhitthe
dashboardorwindshield.At30mph
thismotionisequivalenttohitting
thegroundfromthetopofathree-
storybuilding.
Ifyouarestruckfromtheside,the
impact could push you back and
forthacrosstheseat.Seatbeltsand
shoulder harnesses keep you in a
betterpositiontocontrolthevehicle
andmayminimizeseriousinjuries.
-18-
chilD restraint system anD
safety seats
Anychildundertheageofsixyears
andweighinglessthan60lbs.,must
besecuredinafederally-approved
childpassengerrestraintsystemand
rideinthebackseatofavehicle.
Proper child passenger restraint
systeminstallationcanbechecked
bycontactinglocallawenforcement
agencies or fire departments, that
may provide this service or refer
you to a Child Passenger Safety
(CPS)Technicianinyourarea.As
yourchildgrows,checkwiththese
agenciestoconfirmthatthecarseat
isthecorrectsizeforyourchild.
Achildundertheageofsixyears,
andweighinglessthan60lbs.may
rideinthefrontseatofavehicleonly
inthefollowinginstances:
• Thereisnorearseatortherear
seatsareeitherside-facingjump
seatsorrear-facingseats.
• Thechildpassengerrestraintsys-
temcannotbeproperlyinstalled
intherearseat.
• Allrearseatsarealreadyoccupied
bychildrenundertheageof 12
years.
• A medical reason requires the
childtorideinthefrontseat.
A child may not ride in the front
seatofanairbag-equippedvehicle
ifthechild:
• Islessthanoneyearofage.
• Weighslessthan20lbs.
• Is riding in a rear-facing child
passengerrestraintsystem.
Childrenagessixyearsandolder,
butlessthan16years,andchildren
under age six years, who weigh
morethan60lbs.,mustbeproperly
securedinanappropriatechildpas-
senger restraint system or safety
belt which meets federal safety
standards.
riDing safely With air Bags
Mostpeoplecantakestepstoelimi-
nateorreduceairbagriskwithout
turning off air bags. The biggest
riskisbeingtooclosetotheairbag.
An air bag needs about 10 inches
ofspacetoinflate.Rideatleast10
inches(measuredfromthecenterof
the steering wheel to your breast-
bone)fromtheairbagcover,ifyou
can do this while maintaining full
controlofthevehicle.Ifyoucannot
safelysit10inchesawayfromthe
airbag,contactyourvehicledealer
or manufacturer for advice about
additional ways of moving back
fromyourairbag.
Passengers should also sit at least
10inchesawayfromthepassenger-
sideairbag.
siDe-impact air Bags
Side-impact air bags can provide
extra safety benefits to adults in
side-impactcrashes.However,chil-
drenwhoareseatednexttoaside
airbagmaybeatriskofseriousor
fatalinjury.Sincesideairbagsare
differentindesignandperformance,
youshouldconsiderthebenefitsand
-19-
risksassociatedwiththeuseofside
air bags if you transport children.
Studies have shown that children
whoareleaningagainstasideairbag
whenitinflatesareatriskofserious
injury.Thesestudiesalsoshowthat
childrenwhoaretravelinginacor-
rectly installed child restraint system
appropriate to age and weight are
notatriskofseriousinjury.These
childrenareusuallynotinthepath
ofasideairbagwhenitinflates.
unattenDeD chilDren in
motor vehicles
Itisillegaltoleaveachildsixyears
ofageoryoungerunattendedina
motorvehicle.Beawareif:
• Weatherconditionsorothercon-
ditionspresentasignificantrisk
to the child’s health or safety.
Example: Leaving a child in a
closedvehicleonaveryhotday.
• Thevehicle’sengineisrunning,
keysareintheignition,orboth.
Children may start or move the
vehicle causing injuries and/or
deathstothemselvesorothers.
EXCEPTION: The child may be
leftunderthesupervisionofaperson
12yearsofageorolder.
The court may fine a violator and
requirehimorhertoattendacom-
munity education program. Also,
DMVandcourtpenaltiesforleaving
anunattendedchildinavehicleare
moresevereifthechildisinjured,
requires emergency medical ser-
vices,ordies.
trAffic liGHts
AnD siGns
traffic signal lights
Solid Red–A red signal
light means “STOP.”You
can make a right turn
againstaredlightafteryoustopthen
yieldtopedestrians,bicyclists,and
vehiclescloseenoughtobeahazard.
Maketherightturnonlywhenitis
safe.Donotturnifa“NOTURN
ONRED”signisposted.
Red Arrow–Aredarrow
means “STOP.” Remain
stopped until the green
signalorgreenarrowappears.Do
notturnagainstaredarrow.
Flashing Red–Aflashing
red signal light means
“STOP.” After stopping,
you may proceed when it is safe.
Observetheright-of-wayrules.
Solid Yellow–A yellow
s i gna l l i ght me a ns
“CAUTION.”Theredsignal
is about to appear. When you see
theyellowlight,stopifyoucando
sosafely.Ifyoucannotstopsafely,
crosstheintersectioncautiously.
Yellow Arrow–A yellow
arrow means the “pro-
tected”turningtimeperiod
isending.Bepreparedtoobeythe
nextsignal,whichcouldbethegreen
orredlightortheredarrow.
Flashing Yellow–Aflash-
ing yellow signal light
warnsyouto“PROCEED
WITHCAUTION.”Youdonotneed
-20-
tostopforaflashingyellowlight,
but you must slow down and be
especiallyalertbeforeenteringthe
intersection.
Fl a s h i n g Ye l l o w
Arrow–Thi s si gnal
meansturnsarepermitted
(unprotected), but you
mustfirstyieldtooncomingtraffic
and pedestrians and then proceed
withcaution.
Solid Green–Give the
right-of-waytoanyvehi-
cle,bicyclist,orpedestrian
in the intersection. A green light
means“GO.”Ifyouareturningleft,
make the turn only if you have
enoughspacetocompletetheturn
before creating a hazard for any
oncoming vehicle, bicyclist, or
pedestrian.Donotentertheintersec-
tion if you cannot get completely
acrossbeforethelightturnsred.If
youblocktheintersection,youcan
becited.
Green Arrow–A green
arrow means “GO.” You
mustturninthedirection
the arrow is pointing after you
yield to any vehicle, bicyclist, or
pedestrian still in the intersection.
The green arrow allows you to
makea“protected”turn.Oncoming
vehicles,bicyclists,andpedestrians
arestoppedbyaredlightaslongas
thegreenarrowislighted.
Traffic Signal blackout–Ifatraffic
signallightisnotworking,proceed
cautiously, as if the intersection
is controlled by a stop sign in all
directions.
peDestrian signal lights
Pedestrian signals show words or
pictures similar to the following
examples:
“Walk” or “Walking
Person”lightsmeanitis
legaltocrossthestreet.
“don’ t Wal k” or
“Raised Hand” lights
mean you may not start crossing
thestreet.
Flashing“don’t Walk”
or Flashing “Raised
Hand” lights mean do
notstartcrossingthestreet
becausethetrafficsignalisaboutto
change. If the flashing starts after
you have already started to cross,
finishcrossingthestreetasquickly
aspossible.
Countdown signals indicate how
manysecondsremainforcrossing,
andallowspedestrianstheflexibility
tospeedupifthecrossingphaseis
abouttoexpire.
Somesignalsmayprovideabeep-
ingorchirpingsoundoraverbal
message.Thesesignalsaredesigned
to help blind or visually impaired
pedestrianscrossthestreet.
At many traffic signals, you need
topushthepedestrianpushbutton
toactivatethe“Walk”or“Walk-
ing Person”signal.Ifthereareno
pedestriansignals,obeythetraffic
signallights.
-21-
traffic signs
Theshapeandcolorofasignoffers
you a clue about the information
containedonthesign.Herearethe
commonshapesused:
An eight-sided red STOP
sign indicatesthatyoumust
makeafull“STOP”when-
ever you see a STOP sign. Stop
beforeenteringacrosswalkorata
white limit line, which is a wide
whitelinepaintedonthestreet.Ifa
crosswalkorlimitlineisnotpainted
onthestreet,stopatthecorner.
Athree-sided red YIELD
sign indicates that you
must slow down and be
readytostop,ifnecessary,toletany
vehicle,bicyclist,orpedestrianpass
beforeyouproceed.
Asquare red and white
regulatory sign indi-
cates that you must
followthesign’sinstruc-
tion. For example, the
dO NOT ENTERsign
means: do not enter a
roadorofframpwherethesignis
posted,whichisusuallyonafreeway
offramp.TheWRONG WAYsign
mayormaynotbepostedwiththe
dO NOT ENTERsign.Ifyousee
oneorbothofthesesigns,driveto
thesideoftheroadandstop.You
aregoingagainsttraffic.Whensafe,
backoutorturnaroundandreturn
totheroadyouwereon.Atnightif
you are going the wrong way, the
roadreflectorswillshineredinyour
headlights.
STOP
DO NOT
WRONG
WAY
ENTER
DO NOT
WRONG
WAY
ENTER
Ifasignhasared circle with
a red line through it, it al-
ways indicates “NO.” The
pictureinsidethecircleshowswhat
you cannot do. The sign may be
shownwithorwithoutwords.
Ayellow and black circular
signindicatesthatyouare
approaching a railroad
crossing.
X-shaped signs withawhite
background that state
RAILROAd CROSSING
indicate that you must slow down
andbereadytostop,ifnecessary,
to let any trains pass before you
proceed.
A five-sided sign indicates
thatyouarenearaschool.
Stopifchildrenareinthe
crosswalk.
A four-sided diamond-shaped sign
warns you of specific road condi-
tions and dangers ahead. Many
warningsignsarediamond-shaped.
A white rectangular sign indicates
thatyoumustobeyimportantrules.
Some warning signs have a flo-
rescent yellow-green background.
These signs warn of conditions
related to pedestrians, bicyclists,
schools,playgrounds,schoolbuses,
andschoolpassengerloadingzones.
Obey all warning signs regardless
oftheirshape(seepages24and25
forexamples).
R R
R
A
I
L
R
O
A
D
C
R
O
S
S
I
N
G
-22-
lAws AnD rUles
of tHe roAD
right-of-Way rules
General Information
Right-of-way rules, together with
courtesyandcommonsense,helpto
promotetrafficsafety.Itisimportant
torespecttheright-of-wayofothers,
especiallypedestrians,motorcycle
riders, and bicycle riders. Never
assumeotherdriverswillgiveyou
theright-of-way.
Respecting the right-of-way of
others is not limited to situations
suchasyieldingtopedestriansin
crosswalks,orwatchingcarefully
toensuretheright-of-wayofbicy-
clistsandmotorcyclists.Motorists
must respect the right-of-way of
othersbynotviolatingtrafficlaws,
suchasfailingtostopatastopsign
or traffic light, speeding, making
unsafelanechanges,orillegalturns.
Statistics show that right-of-way
violationscauseahighpercentage
ofinjurycollisionsinCalifornia.
Pedestrians
Pedestriansafetyisaseriousissue.
Apedestrianisapersononfootor
whousesaconveyancesuchasroller
skates,skateboard,etc.,otherthan
abicycle.Apedestriancanalsobe
a person with a disability using a
tricycle,quadricycle,orwheelchair
fortransportation.
Pedestriandeathsoccurin17percent
of all traffic fatalities. Drive cau-
tiously when pedestrians are near
because they may suddenly cross
yourpath.
Pedestriansmaybeatriskwalking
near hybrid and electric vehicles,
becausethesevehiclesarevirtually
silentwhileoperating.Useextracau-
tionwhendrivingnearpedestrians.
• Respect the right-of-way of
pedestrians.Alwaysstopforany
pedestrian crossing at corners
or other crosswalks, even if the
crosswalkisinthemiddleofthe
block,atcornerswithorwithout
trafficlights,whetherornotthe
crosswalksaremarkedbypainted
lines.
• Do not pass a vehicle that has
stopped at a crosswalk. A pe-
destrian you cannot see may be
crossingthestreet.
• Donotdriveonasidewalk,ex-
cepttocrossittoenterorexita
drivewayoralley.Whencrossing,
yieldtoallpedestrians.
• Do not stop in a crosswalk.
You will place pedestrians in
danger.
• Remember,ifapedestrianmakes
eyecontactwithyou,heorsheis
readytocrossthestreet.Yieldto
thepedestrian.
• Allowolderpedestrians,disabled
pedestriansandpedestrianswith
youngchildrensufficienttimeto
crossthestreet.
• Important: Blind pedestrians
relyonthesoundofyourvehicle
tobecomeawareofyourvehicle’s
presence; so it is important that
-23-
- 78 -
Red and White Regulatory Signs
Highway Construction and Maintenance Signs
Guide Signs
Hazardous Loads Placards
White Regulatory Signs
Slow Moving Vehicle
NoU-turn NoLeftTurn NoRightTurn
-24-
- 79 -
Warning Signs
Slippery
When Wet
Sharp
Turn
Merging
Traffic
Divided
Highway
Lane
Ends
Two Way
Traffic
Traffic
Signal
Ahead
Pedestrian
Crossing
Stop Ahead
“T”
Intersection
Winding
Road
Reverse
Turn
Crossroad Added Lane
Yield Ahead
Directional
Arrow
End Divided
Highway
Curve
-25-
you stop your vehicle within 5
feetofthecrosswalk.Driversof
hybrid or electric vehicles must
remainespeciallyawarethatthe
lackofenginenoisemaycausea
blindpedestriantoassumethere
is not a vehicle nearby. Follow
thiscue:
– When a blind person pulls in
hisorhercaneandstepsaway
from the intersection, this
gestureusuallymeansforyou
to go (additional information
regardingblindpedestrianscan
befoundonpages62and63).
Crosswalks
A crosswalk is the part of the
roadway set aside for pedestrian
traffic. Most intersections have a
pedestriancrosswalkwhetherornot
linesarepaintedonthestreet.Most
crosswalks are located at corners,
buttheycanalsobelocatedinthe
middleoftheblock.Beforeturning
acorner,watchforpeopleaboutto
crossthestreet.Pedestrians have
the right-of-way in crosswalks.
Crosswalksareoftenmarkedwith
whitelines.Yellowcrosswalklines
maybepaintedatschoolcrossings.
Mostoften,crosswalksinresidential
areasarenotmarked.
Some crosswalks have flashing
lightstowarnyouthatpedestrians
may be crossing. Look for pe-
destrians and be prepared to stop,
whetherornotthelightsareflashing.
Intersections
Anintersectionisanyplacewhere
onelineofroadwaymeetsanother
roadway.Intersectionsincludecross
streets,sidestreets,alleys,freeway
entrances, and any other location
wherevehiclestravelingondifferent
highwaysorroadsjoineachother.
Driving through an intersection
is one of the most complex traf-
fic situations motorists encounter.
Intersection collisions account for
morethan45percentofallreported
crashesand21percentoffatalities
accordingtotheFederalHighway
Administration.
• Atintersectionswithout“STOP”
or“YIELD”signs,slowdownand
bereadytostop.Yieldtotraffic
and pedestrians already in the
intersection or just entering the
intersection. Also, yield to the
vehicleorbicyclewhicharrives
first,or tothevehicleorbicycle
onyourrightifitreachesthein-
tersectionatthesametimeasyou.
• At “T” intersections without
“STOP”or“YIELD”signs,yield
totrafficandpedestriansonthe
through road. They have the
right-of-way.
• Whenyouturnleft,givetheright-
of-waytoallvehiclesapproaching
thatarecloseenoughtobedanger-
ous.Also,lookformotorcyclists,
bicyclists,andpedestrians.When
youturnright,besuretocheckfor
pedestrianscrossingthestreetand
bicyclistscomingupbehindyou
ontheright.Ondivided,highways
-26-
or highways with several lanes,
watchforvehiclescominginany
laneyoucross.Turneitherleftor
rightonlywhenitissafe.
• Whenthereare“STOP”signsat
allcorners,stopfirstthenfollow
theaboverules.
• If you have parked off the road
orareleavingaparkinglot,etc.,
yieldtotrafficbeforereentering
theroad.
Safety suggestion:Whilewaiting
to turn left, keep your wheels
pointed straight ahead until it
issafetostartyourturn.Ifyour
wheelsarepointedtotheleft,and
a vehicle hits you from behind,
youcouldbepushedintooncom-
ingtraffic.
Roundabouts
A roundabout is an intersection
wheretraffictravelsaroundacentral
islandinacounter-clockwisedirec-
tion.Vehiclesenteringorexitingthe
roundaboutmustyieldtoalltraffic
includingpedestrians.
Multiple and single lane roundabout
Whenyouapproacharoundabout:
• Slowdownasyouapproachthe
roundabout.
• Yieldtopedestriansandbicyclists
crossingtheroadway.
• Watchforsignsand/orpavement
markingsthatguideyouorpro-
hibitcertainmovements.
• Entertheroundaboutwhenthere
isabigenoughgapintraffic.
• Drive in a counter-clockwise
direction. Do not stop or pass
othervehicles.
• Useyourturnsignalswhenyou
change lanes or exit the round-
about.
• If you miss your exit, continue
around until you return to your
exit.
For roundabouts with multiple
lanes,chooseyourentryorexitlane
basedonyourdestinationasshown
inthegraphic.Forexample,to:
• Turn right at the intersection,
choose the right-hand lane and
exitintheright-handlane(blue
car).
• Gostraightthroughtheintersec-
tion,chooseeitherlane,andexit
inthelaneyouentered(redcar).
• Turnleft,choosetheleftlane,and
exit(yellowcar).
On Mountain Roads
Whentwovehiclesmeetonasteep
roadwhereneithervehiclecanpass,
the vehicle facing downhill must
yieldtheright-of-way,bybacking
upuntilthevehiclegoinguphillcan
-27-
pass. The vehicle facing downhill
has the greater amount of control
whenbackingupthehill.
speeD limits
Californiahasa“BasicSpeedLaw.”
Thislawmeansthatyoumaynever
drivefasterthanissafeforcurrent
conditions.Forexample,ifyouare
driving45mphina55mphspeed
zoneduringadensefog,youcould
be cited for driving “too fast for
conditions.”Youmayneverlegally
drive faster than the posted speed
limit,evenifyouthinkitissafe.
Regardlessofthepostedspeedlimit,
yourspeedshoulddependon:
• The number and speed of other
vehiclesontheroad.
• Whether the road surface is
smooth, rough, graveled, wet,
dry,wide,ornarrow.
• Bicyclistsorpedestrianswalking
on the road’s edge or crossing
thestreet.
• Whetheritisraining,foggy,snow-
ing,windy,ordusty.
maximum speeD limit
Themaximumspeedlimitonmost
Californiahighwaysis65mph.You
maydrive70mphwhereposted.Un-
lessotherwiseposted,themaximum
speedlimitis55mphontwo-lane
undividedhighwaysandforvehicles
towingtrailers.
Otherspeedlimitsignsareposted
for the type of roads and traffic
in each area. All speed limits are
based on ideal driving conditions.
Construction zones usually have
reducedspeedzones.
Drivingfasterthanthepostedspeed
limit,ordrivingfasterthansafefor
current conditions on any road is
dangerousand illegal.High speed
increases your stopping distance.
Thefasteryougo,thelesstimeyou
havetoavoidahazardorcollision.
Theforceofa60mphcrashisnot
justtwiceasgreatasa30mphcrash,
it’sfourtimesasgreat!
reDuceD speeDs
Heavy Traffic or Bad Weather
Youmustdriveslowerwhenthere
is heavy traffic or bad weather.
However,ifyoublockthenormal
and reasonable movement of traf-
ficbydrivingtooslowly,youmay
begivenaticket.Ifyouchooseto
drive slower than other traffic, do
notdriveinthe“Number1”(fast)
lane(seepage31).Whentraveling
belowthespeedlimitalwaysmove
totherightwhenanotherdriveris
closebehindyouandwishestodrive
faster,unlessyouarealreadyinthe
extremerightlane.
Towing Vehicles, Buses, or Large
Trucks
Whenyoutowavehicleortrailer,
ordriveabusorthreeormoreaxle
truck, you must drive in the right
hand lane or in a lane specially
marked for slower vehicles. If no
lanesaremarkedandtherearefour
lanesormoreinyourdirection,you
mayonlydriveineitherofthetwo
lanes closest to the right edge of
theroad.
-28-
Around Children
Whendrivingwithin500to1,000
feet of a school while children
are outside or crossing the street,
the speed limit is 25 mph unless
otherwiseposted.Also,iftheschool
groundshavenofenceandchildren
areoutside,neverdrivefasterthan
25 mph. Some school zones may
havespeedlimitsaslowas15mph.
Always drive more carefully near
schools, playgrounds, parks, and
residential areas because children
may suddenly dart into the street.
Also, many children have not yet
developed the ability to judge
speeds and distances well enough
tocrossstreetssafelywhencarsare
movingfast.
All vehicles must stop
Nearschools,lookfor:
• Bicyclistsandpedestrians.
• School safety patrols or school
crossingguards.Besuretoobey
theirdirections.Forthecrossing
guard’ssafety,allowhimorherto
safelygettothesideoftheroad
beforedrivingahead.
• Stoppedschoolbusesandchildren
crossingthestreet.Someschool
buses flash yellow lights when
preparingtostoptoletchildren
offthebus.Theyellowflashing
lights warn you to slow down
and prepare to stop. When the
busflashesredlights(locatedat
thetopfrontandbackofthebus),
youmuststopfromeitherdirec-
tionuntilthechildrenaresafely
acrossthestreetandthelightsstop
flashing. The law requires you
remainstoppedaslongasthered
lightsareflashing(CVC§22454).
If you fail to stop, you may be
finedupto$1,000,andyourdriv-
ingprivilegecouldbesuspended
foroneyear.Iftheschoolbusis
ontheothersideofadividedor
multilanehighway(twoormore
lanes in each direction), you do
notneedtostop.
Blind Intersections
Thespeedlimitforablindintersec-
tion is 15 mph.An intersection is
considered “blind” if there are no
stop signs at any corner and you
cannotseefor100feetineitherdi-
rectionduringthelast100feetbefore
crossing.Trees,bushes,buildings,
orparkedcarsatintersectionscan
blockyourviewtotheside.Ifyour
view is blocked, edge forward
slowlyuntilyoucansee.
Alleys
The speed limit in any alley is 15
mph.
Near Railroad Tracks
The speed limit is 15 mph within
100feetofarailroadcrossingwhere
youcannotseethetracksfor400feet
-29-
in both directions.You may drive
faster than 15 mph if the crossing
is controlled by gates, a warning
signal,oraflagman.
Atrailroadortraincrossings:
• Lookinbothdirectionsandlisten
for trains. Many crossings have
multiple tracks, so be ready to
stop before crossing, if neces-
sary. Cross railroad tracks only
atdesignatedcrossingsandonly
whenitissafetodoso.
• Expectatrainonanytrackatany
timetravelingineitherdirection.
Ifyouneedtostopaftercrossing
thetracks,makesureyourvehicle
clearsthetracksbeforeyoustop.
• Neverstopontherailroadtracks.
Rememberthatatraincannotstop
quicklyorswerveoutoftheway.
Ifyouareonthetracksyourisk
injuryordeath.
• Watchforvehiclesthatmuststop
before they cross train tracks.
These vehicles include buses,
school buses, and trucks trans-
portinghazardousloads.
• Rememberthatflashingredlights
meanSTOP!Stopatleast15feet,
butnotmorethan50feet,from
thenearesttrackwhenthecross-
ingdevicesareactiveoraperson
warnsyouatrainiscoming.Stop
ifyouseeatraincomingoryou
hearthewhistle,horn,orbellof
anapproachingtrain.
• Donotgounderloweringgates
oraroundloweredgates.Flashing
redlightsindicateyoumuststop
andwait.Donotproceedoverthe
crossinguntiltheredlightsstop
flashing,evenifthegaterises.If
thegatesareloweredandyoudo
notseeatrainapproaching,call
the posted railroad emergency
toll-free number or 9-1-1. Be
readytogiveadetaileddescrip-
tionofyourlocation.
Light Rail Transit Vehicle
Crossings
The same rules apply to light rail
transitvehiclecrossingsastofreight
train crossings. Do not proceed
acrossthetracksuntilyoucansee
clearlyinbothdirectionsandaresure
therearenolightrailtransitvehicles
ortrainscoming.Donotgoaround
orunderanyloweredgate.
NOTE: Light rail transit vehicles
areveryquietandacceleratemore
quicklythanfreighttrains.
Near Streetcars, Trolleys, or
Buses
Thepassingspeedlimit,whensafe
topass,isnomorethan10mph.This
speedlimitappliesatasafetyzone
oranintersectionwhereastreetcar,
-30-
trolley,orbusisstoppedand traffic
iscontrolledbyapoliceofficeror
trafficsignal.Asafetyzoneismarked
byraisedbuttonsormarkersonthe
roadandissetasideforpedestrians.
Youwillmostoftenseesafetyzones
inareaswherestreetcarsortrolleys
andvehiclessharetheroadway.
Business or Residential Districts
The speed limit is 25 mph, unless
otherwiseposted.
Near Animals
Ifyouseeanimalsorlivestock,slow
downandfollowdirectionsfromthe
personinchargeoftheanimals.If
youseeastrayanimalinyourpath,
slowdownorstop,ifitissafe.
trAffic lAnes
(1) Solid yellow line: No passing if
solid yellow line is on your side.
(2) Double solid lines: DO NOT pass.
(3) Broken yellow line: May pass if
movement can be made safely.
Examplesoflanemarkings
line colors
Solid yellow linesmarkthecenter
ofaroadusedfortwo-waytraffic.
broken yellow lines indicate that
youmaypassifthebrokenlineis
nexttoyourdrivinglane.
Two solid yellow lines indicateno
passing. Never drive to the left of
theselinesunlessyouare:
• Turningleftatanintersection.
• Turning into or out of a private
roadordriveway.
• Inacarpoollanethathasadesig-
natedentranceontheleft.
• Instructedbyconstructionorother
signstodriveontheothersideof
theroadbecauseyoursideofthe
roadisclosedorblocked.
Two sets of solid double yellow
lines spaced two or more feet apart
areconsideredabarrier.Donotdrive
onoroverthisbarrierormakealeft
turnoraU-turnacrossitexceptat
designatedopenings(seediagram).
B
Solid white lines marktrafficlanes
goinginthesamedirection,suchas
one-waystreets.
broken white lines separatetraffic
lanes on roads with two or more
lanesinthesamedirection.
choosing a lane
Traffic lanes are often referred to
bynumber.Theleftor“fast”lane
iscalledthe“Number1Lane.”The
lane to the right of the “Number
1 Lane” is called the “Number 2
Lane,”thenthe“Number3Lane,”
etc.
-31-
Example of numbered traffic lanes
Driveinthelanewiththesmoothest
flow of traffic. If you can choose
amongthreelanes,pickthemiddle
lane for the smoothest driving. To
drive faster, pass, or turn left, use
the left lane. When you choose to
driveslowlyorenterorturnoffthe
road,usetherightlane.
Ifthereareonlytwolanesinyour
direction,picktherightlaneforthe
smoothestdriving.
Donotweaveinandoutoftraffic.
Stayinonelaneasmuchaspossible.
Onceyoustartthroughanintersec-
tion,keepgoing.Ifyoustarttomake
aturn,followthrough.Lastminute
changes may cause collisions. If
youmissaturn,continueuntilyou
cansafelyandlegallyturnaround.
changing lanes
Changinglanesincludes:
• Movingfromonelanetoanother.
• Entering the freeway from an
on-ramp.
• Enteringtheroadfromacurbor
theshoulder.
Beforechanginglanes,signal,look
inallyourmirrors,and:
• Checktrafficbehindandbeside
you.
• Glance over your left or right
shoulder to make sure the lane
youwantisclear.
• Look for all vehicles, motorcy-
clists,andbicycletrafficinyour
blindspot.
• Besurethereisenoughroomfor
yourvehicleinthenextlane.
passing lanes
Before you pass, look ahead for
roadconditionsandtrafficthatmay
cause other vehicles to move into
yourlane.
Neverdriveoffthepavedormain-
traveled portion of the road or on
the shoulder to pass. The edge of
the main-traveled portion of the
road may have a painted white
lineontheroad’ssurface.Passing
othervehiclesatcrossroads,railroad
crossings,andshoppingcenteren-
trancesisdangerous.
Passtrafficontheleft.Youmaypass
ontherightonlywhen:
• An open highway is clearly
markedfortwoormorelanesof
travelinyourdirection.
• Thedriveraheadofyouisturning
leftandyoudonotdriveoffthe
roadwaytopass.Neverpasson
theleft,ifthedriverissignaling
aleftturn.
Right Wrong
-32-
dmv.ca.gov
The Road MosT TRaveled
Consider Car or van Pooling
and Buddy Up!
carpool/high occupancy
vehicles (hov) lanes
Acarpoollaneisaspecialfreeway
laneusedonlyforcarpools,buses,
motorcycles,ordecaledlow-emis-
sionvehicles.Youmayuseacarpool
laneoron-rampifyourvehiclecar-
riesthepostedminimumnumberof
peoplerequiredforthecarpoollane,
or youdrivealow-emissionvehicle
displaying a special DMV-issued
decal. Motorcycle riders may use
designated carpool lanes, unless
otherwiseposted.
Signs at the on-ramp or along the
freewaytellyoutheminimumnum-
berofpeoplepervehiclerequired
forthecarpoollane(s).Thesesigns
alsolistthedaysoftheweekandthe
hourswhenthecarpoolrequirement
applies.Thepavementinthislane
ismarkedwithadiamondsymbol
and the words “Carpool Lane.”
Theselanesarealsoknownashigh-
occupancyvehicle(HOV)lanes.Do
notcrossoverdoubleparallelsolid
lines to enter or exit any carpool
lane except at designated entry or
exitplaces.
Vehicles towing trailers are typi-
cally not allowed to use carpool
lanes,becausetheymustdrivemore
slowlyandareusuallyrestrictedto
theright-handlane.
center left turn lanes
Acenterleftturnlaneislocatedin
themiddleofatwo-waystreetandis
markedonbothsidesbytwopainted
lines.Theinnerlineisbrokenand
theouterlineissolid.Ifastreethas
acenterleftturnlane,youmustuse
itwhenyouturnleft(CVC§21460.5
(c))orstartapermittedU-turn.You
B
I
K
E
L
A
N
E
B
I
K
E
L
A
N
E
mayonlydrivefor200feetinthe
centerleftturnlane.Thislaneisnot
a regular traffic lane or a passing
lane. To turn left from this lane,
signal,lookoveryourshoulder,and
drive completely inside the center
leftturnlane.Donotstopwiththe
backofyourvehicleblockingtraffic.
Makesurethelaneisclearinboth
directionsandthenturnonlywhen
itissafe.Lookforvehiclescoming
towardyouinthesamelane,prepar-
ingtostarttheirleftturn.
Whenturningleftfromasidestreet
ordriveway,signalandwaituntilit
issafe.Thenyoumaydriveintothe
center left turn lane. Enter traffic
onlywhenitissafe.
-34-
Youmaydriveacrossacenterleft
turnlanetoturnleftortoturninto
adriveway.
turnout areas anD lanes
Special “turnout” areas
are sometimes marked
ontwo-laneroads.Drive
intotheseareastoallow
carsbehindyoutopass.
Sometwo-laneroadshavepassing
lanes.Ifyouaredrivingslowlyon
atwo-lanehighwayorroadwhere
passingisunsafe,andfiveormore
vehicles are following you, drive
intotheturnoutareasorlanestolet
thevehiclespass.
enD-of-lane markings
Freewaylanes,aswellassomecity
streetlanes,whichareendingwill
usuallybemarkedbylargebroken
lines painted on the pavement. If
you are driving in a lane marked
withthesebrokenlines,beprepared
toexitthefreewayorforthelaneto
end.Lookforasignthattellsyou
toexitormerge,etc.
Bicycle lanes
Abicyclelaneisadesignated traffic
laneforbicyclists,markedbyasolid
whiteline,typicallybreakingintoa
dottedlineatthecorner.Different
from a simple white line showing
theedgeoftheroad,abicyclelane
followsspecificwidthrequirements
andisclearlymarkedasabikelane.
shareD roaDWay Bicycle
markings (sharroWs)
Sharrowsareusedtoremindmotor-
ists that bicyclists are allowed to
lawfullyusethisportionofalane.
Sharrows are used to assist bicy-
clistswithpositioningonashared
roadway.Italsoalertsmotoristsof
thelocationabicyclistmayoccupy
withinthetraveledroadway.
• Treatabicyclelanethesameas
othertrafficlanes.
• Donotturnintothelaneifthereis
abicyclistinthebikelane.Yield
tooncomingtraffic.
• Donotobstructbicycletrafficby
reducing the width required for
safe bicycle passage, typically
threetofourfeet.
Whenyouaremakingarightturn
andarewithin200feetofthecorner
orotherdrivewayentrance,youmust
enterthebicyclelaneonlyafteren-
suringthereisnobicycletraffic,
andthenmaketheturn.Donot
driveinthebicyclelaneatany
othertime.
-35-
You may park in a bicycle lane
if your vehicle does not block a
bicyclistand/orthereisnota“No
Parking”signposted.
Drivers of motorized bicycles
should use bicycle lanes carefully
toavoidcollisionswithbicyclists.
When passing a bicyclist in the
travellaneensureenoughwidthfor
the bicyclist, typically 3 feet. Do
notsqueezeabicyclistofftheroad.
Bicyclistsmayoccupythecenterof
thelanewhenconditionssuchasa
narrowlaneorroadhazardmakeit
unsafetorideinapositionthatmay
provideroomforavehicletopass.
With any slow-moving vehicle,
driversshouldfollowatasafedis-
tance.Whenitissafethebicyclists
shouldmovetoapositionthatallows
vehiclestopass.Remember,bicy-
clistsareentitledtosharetheroad
withotherdrivers.
Bicyclists have the same rights
andresponsibilitiesasvehicleand
motorcycledrivers.
Respect the right-
of-way of bicyclists
because they are en-
titledtosharetheroad
withotherdrivers.Here
aresomecriticalpoints
for drivers and bicy-
cliststoremember:
Motorvehicledriversmust:
• Pass a bicyclist as you would a
slowmovingvehicle.Allowsuf-
ficentclearance,andampleroom
for movement and unexpected
road conditions. Change lanes
andpasswithcautiononlywhen
itissafe.
• Always look carefully for bicy-
clistsbeforeopeningdoorsnextto
movingtrafficorbeforeturning.
• Allowbicyclistsenoughroomto
avoidcollidingwithvehicledoors
thatareopenedintotraffic.
• Merge toward the curb or into
thebikelaneonlywhenitissafe.
• Nottrytopassabicyclistjustbe-
foremakingaturn.Mergesafely
whereitisallowed,thenturn.
• Not drive in a bike lane un-
less initiating a turn at an
intersectionordriveway,andnot
morethan200feetinadvance.
• Makeavisualcheckforbicyclists
whenchanginglanesorentering
traffic.Bicyclesaresmallandmay
behiddeninavehicle’sblindspot.
• Becarefulwhenapproachingor
passingabicyclistonatwolane
highwayorfreeway.
tUrns
Left turns–To make a left turn,
drive close to the center divider
lineorintotheleftturnlane.Begin
signalingabout100feetbeforethe
turn.Lookoveryourleftshoulder
andreduceyourspeed.Stopbehind
thelimitline.Lookleft,thenright,
then left again, and make the turn
whenitissafe.Whenyouturnleft,
do not turn too soon and “cut the
corner”ofthelanebelongingtothe
vehiclescomingtowardsyou.
-36-
Example of a left turn
D
O
N
O
T
C
U
T
C
O
R
N
E
R
Safety suggestion:Whilewaitingto
turnleft,keepyourwheelspointed
straightaheaduntilitissafetostart
yourturn.Ifyourwheelsarepointed
to the left and a vehicle hits you
frombehind,youcouldbepushed
intooncomingtraffic.
A left turn against a red light can
onlybemadefromaone-waystreet
ontoaonewaystreet.Signalandstop
foraredtrafficlightatthelimitline
orcorner.Youmayturnleftintoa
left-moving,one-waystreetifthere
isnosigntoprohibittheturn.Yield
to pedestrians, bicyclists, or other
vehiclesmovingontheirgreenlight.
Right turns–Tomakearightturn,
driveclosetotherightedgeofthe
road. If there is a bike lane, drive
intothebikelanenomorethan200
feetbeforetheturn.Watchforbicy-
clistsormotorcyclistswhomayget
betweenyourvehicleandthecurb.
Beginsignalingabout100feetbe-
foretheturn.Lookoveryourright
shoulder and reduce your speed.
Stop behind the limit line. Look
bothwaysandturnwhenitissafe.
Donotturnwideintoanotherlane.
Completeyourturnintherightlane.
Example of a right turn
DO
N
O
T
T
U
R
N
W
I
D
E
Right turn against a red light–Sig-
nalandstopforaredtrafficlightat
thelimitlineoratthecorner.Ifthere
isnosigntoprohibittheturn,you
mayturnright.Yieldtopedestrians,
motorcyclists, bicyclists, or other
vehiclesmovingontheirgreenlight.
No turn against a red arrow–You
maynotturnrightorleftagainsta
redarrow.
examples of right anD left
turns
The numbers on the cars in the
diagrams refer to the numbered
sentences on these pages.Always
useyourturnsignals.
1. Left turn from a two-way street.
Start the turn in the left lane
closest to the middle of the
street. Complete the turn, if
safe,ineitherlaneofthecross
street (shown by arrows). Use
the center left turn lane if one
isavailable.Aleftturnmaybe
made from the other lane, if
permittedbysignsorarrows.
1
1
2
*
2. Right turn. Begin and end the
turninthelanenearesttheright-
hand curb. Do not swing wide
intoanotherlaneoftraffic.Watch
for pedestrians, motorcyclists,
-37-
andbicyclistsbetweenyourve-
hicleandthecurb.Sometimes,
signsorpavementmarkingswill
let you turnrightfromanother
laneasshownbythegraphic
2
.
3. Left turn from a two-way street
into a one-way street. Startthe
turnfromthelaneclosesttothe
middle of the street. Turn into
anylanethatissafelyopen,as
shownbythearrows.
4. Left turn from a one-way street
into a two-way street. Startthe
turnfromthefarleftlane.Turn
intoeitherofthelanesthatare
safely open, as shown by the
arrows.
5. Left turn from a one-way street
into a one-way street. Startthe
turnfromthefarleftlane.Watch
for pedestrians, motorcyclists,
andbicyclistsbetweenyourve-
hicleandthecurbbecausethey
canlegallyusetheleftturnlane
fortheirleftturns.Turnintoany
lanethatissafelyopen,asshown
bythearrows.
6. Right turn from a one-way street
into a one-way street. Startthe
turninthefarrightlane.Ifsafe,
youmayendtheturninanylane.
Sometimes, signs or pavement
markingswillletyouturnright
fromanotherlane,asshownby
thegraphic
6
.
5
6
*
o
n
e

w
a
y
7. Turn at a “T” intersection
from a one-way street into a
two-way street. Throughtraffic
has the right-of-way. You may
turneitherrightorleftfromthe
centerlane.Watchforvehicles,
motorcyclists, and bicyclists
insideyourturn.
7
legal u-turns
A U-turn is turning your vehicle
aroundinthestreettogobackthe
wayyoucame.TomakeaU-turn,
signalandusethefarleftlaneorthe
centerleftturnlane.Youmaymake
alegalU-turn:
• Acrossadoubleyellowlinewhen
itissafeandlegal.
• Inaresidentialdistrict:
-38-
– If there are no vehicles ap-
proachingyouwithin200feet.
– Wheneveratrafficsign,light,
or signal protects you from
approachingvehicles.
• Atanintersectiononagreenlight
orgreenarrow,unlessa“NoU-
turn”signisposted.
• Onadividedhighway,onlyifan
openingisprovidedinthecenter
divider.
illegal u-turns
NevermakeaU-turn:
• Atoronarailroadcrossing.
• Onadividedhighwaybycrossing
adividingsection,curb,stripof
land, or two sets of double yel-
lowlines.
• Whereyoucannotseeclearly200
feetineachdirectionbecauseof
a curve, hill, rain, fog, or other
reason.
• Where a “No U-Turn” sign is
posted.
• Whenothervehiclesmayhityou.
• Onaone-waystreet.
• In front of a fire station. Never
useafirestationdrivewaytoturn
yourvehiclearound.
• Inbusinessdistricts.Areaswith
churches, apartments, multiple
dwellinghouses,clubs,andpublic
buildings (except schools) are
also considered to be business
districts. Turn only at an inter-
section or where openings are
providedforturns.
pArKinG
parking on a hill
Whenyoupark:
• Onaslopingdriveway,turnthe
wheelssothevehiclewillnotroll
intothestreetifthebrakesfail.
• Headeddownhill,turnyourfront
wheelsintothecurbortowardthe
sideoftheroad.Settheparking
brake.
• Headed uphill, turn your front
wheels away from the curb and
let your vehicle roll back a few
inches.Thewheelshouldgently
touch the curb. Set the parking
brake.
• Headedeitheruphillordownhill
when there is no curb, turn the
wheels so the vehicle will roll
awayfromthecenteroftheroad
ifthebrakesfail.
Alwayssetyourparkingbrakeand
leave the vehicle in gear or in the
“park”position.
down hill up hill no curb-up hill
or down hill
parking at coloreD curBs
Paintedcoloredcurbshavethefol-
lowingspecialparkingrules:
White–Stop only long enough to
pick up or drop off passengers or
mail.
-39-
Green–Parkforalimitedtime.Look
forapostedsignnexttothegreen
zone for time limits, or locate the
timelimitpaintedonthecurb.
Yellow–Stopnolongerthanthetime
postedtoloadorunloadpassengers
orfreight.Driversofnoncommercial
vehiclesareusuallyrequiredtostay
withthevehicle.
Red–Nostopping,standing,orpark-
ing.(Busesmaystopataredzone
markedforbuses.)
blue–Parking is permit-
ted only for a disabled
personoradriverofadis-
abledpersonwhodisplays
aplacardoraspeciallicenseplate
for disabled persons or disabled
veterans. Disabled people with a
placardorspecialplatesmayparkin
specialareasforunlimitedperiods
oftime,regardlessoftimerestric-
tions.Nooneotherthanadisabled
personoradriverofadisabledper-
sonmayparkthere.Acrosshatched
(diagonal lines) area adjacenttoa
designateddisabledparkingspace
isano parkingarea.Qualifiedper-
sonsmayapplyatanyDMVoffice
orvisittheDMVwebsiteatwww.
dmv.ca.govtoobtainaformfora
parking placard or special plates.
An identification card will be is-
suedtoholdersofdisabledperson
ordisabledveteranlicenseplates.
Example of crosshatched
(diagonal lines) area
NOTE:Placardabuseresultsinthe
loss of special parking privileges.
Itisalsoamisdemeanorandpun-
ishable by a fine of up to $1,000,
imprisonmentincountyjailforup
tosixmonths,orboth.
Examplesofplacardabuse:
• Usingaplacardafterithasbeen
reportedlostorstolenwithoutre-
portingthattheplacardwasfound.
• Loaningyourplacardtofriendsor
familymembers(disabledornot).
• Interchanging placards with
friendsorfamilymembers.
• Usingaplacardwhenthepersonit
wasissuedtoisnotinthevehicle
withyou(disabledchild,family
member,disabledemployer,etc.).
• Usingadeceasedperson’splac-
ard.
-40-
illegal parking
Neverparkorleaveyourvehicle:
• Where a “No Parking” sign is
posted.
• On a marked or unmarked
crosswalk, sidewalk, partially
blocking a sidewalk, or in front
ofadriveway.
• Within three feet of a sidewalk
ramp for disabled persons or in
frontoforonacurbthatprovides
wheelchairaccesstoasidewalk.
• In a disabled person parking
space,unless youaredisabledand
displayaplacardorspecialplates.
• Inthespacenexttoadisabledper-
sonparkingspace,ifitispainted
inacrosshatched(diagonal)pat-
tern(CVC§22507.8).
• Inaspacedesignatedforparking
orfuelingzero-emissionvehicles
which display an identifying
decal.
• Inatunneloronabridge,except
wherepermittedbysigns.
• Within 15 feet of a fire hydrant
orafirestationdriveway.
• Onorwithin7
1
/2feetofarailroad
track.
• Between a safety zone and the
curb.
• “Double parked.” (Parking in
thestreetwhenalllegalparking
placesatthecurbaretaken.)
• Onthewrongsideofthestreet.
• Ataredcurb.
• Onafreeway,except:
– Inanemergency,or
– When an officer or device
requiresastop,or
– Where a stop is specifically
permitted. A vehicle (even
if disabled) that is stopped,
parked, or left standing on
a freeway for more than
four hours may be removed
(CVC§22651(f)).
NOTE: If you must stop on a
freeway, park completely off the
pavementandstayinyourvehicle
with the doors locked until help
arrives. Leave enough space for
other vehicles to freely pass by
your vehicle.Your vehicle should
be visible for at least 200 feet in
eachdirection.
special parking rules
• Whenyouparkalongsideacurb
on a level street, the front and
back wheels must be parallel
andwithin18inchesofthecurb.
Parkparalleltothestreetifthere
isnocurb.
• Never leave your vehicle until
youhavestoppedtheengineand
settheparkingbrake.
• Do not open the driver’s side
doorunlessitissafeandyoudo
not interfere with traffic. Look
carefully for passing vehicles,
bicyclists,andmotorcyclists.Do
notleavethedooropenanylonger
thannecessary.
-41-
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intentionally
blank
ExprEss yoursElf!
Signaling can save lives.
Visit dmv.ca.gov for the
California Driver Handbook
sAfe DrivinG
prActices
signaling
Always signal to other drivers,
motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pe-
destrianswhenyouplantoturnleft,
right, slow down, or stop. Signals
may be given by hand-and-arm
positionsorbyusingthevehicle’s
signallights.Ifbrightsunlightmakes
thesignallightshardtosee,alsouse
hand-and-armsignals.
Motorcyclistsoftenusehandsignals
to make themselves more visible.
Bicyclistsmaygiverightturn-sig-
nalswiththeirrightarmheldstraight
out,pointingright.
Always signal—this lets other
drivers, bicylists, and pedestrians
knowyourplans.
Signal:
• When making a left or right
turn,duringthelast100feetbe-
fore reaching the turning point.
Caution!—Even though you
RIGHT TURN
SLOW or STOP
LEFT TURN
signal, do not automatically as-
sumethatthespaceyouwantto
occupyisclear.
• Beforeeverylanechangecheck
your mirrors, look over your
shoulder, and check your blind
spotbeforechanginglanes.
• Atleastfivesecondsbeforeyou
changelanesonafreeway.
• Beforepullingnexttothecurbor
awayfromthecurb.
• Whenyouchangedirections.
• Evenwhenyoudonotseeother
vehicles.Avehicleyoudonotsee
maysuddenlyappearandhityou.
Ifyouplantoturnbeyondaninter-
section,startsignalingwhenyouare
intheintersection.Ifyousignaltoo
early,theotherdrivermaythinkyou
plantoturnintotheintersectionand
heorshemaypulloutinfrontofyou.
Remember to cancel your signal
afterturning.
Steering
Steering Control–Modernvehicles
require very little steering to turn.
Lookatthesteeringwheelasaclock
faceandplaceyourhandsat9and3
o’clockorslightlylowerat8and4
o’clock.Thesearethedesiredhand
positionsthatreducethepossibility
ofturningthewheeltoosharply.
Toreduceforearmandhandinjuries,
yourhandsshouldbeplacedonthe
lowerhalfofthesteeringwheel,with
yourknucklesontheoutsideofthe
wheel, and your thumbs stretched
alongtherimofthesteeringwheel.
-45-
Pull-Push Steering–Usepull-push
steeringformostturningmaneuvers.
Putyourhandsinthe8and4o’clock
positions.Pulldownwithonehand
andpushupwiththeother.Thisre-
sultsinsmoothsteeringandreduces
thepotentialforoversteering,which
canleadtolossofcontrol.Keepyour
handsandthumbsontheoutsideof
thewheel.
Hand-Over-Hand Steering–Use
hand-over-hand steering when
steering movements are critical,
suchaswhen:
• Parking.
• Performingsharprightturns.
• Correctingaskid.
Use quick movements on entry to
the maneuver, and then use slow,
smoothmovementswhenstraight-
eningthewheel.
One-Hand Steering–Useone-hand
steeringfor:
• Backing maneuvers that do not
requirefullleftorrightturns,or
• When operating vehicle con-
trols for information, safety, or
comfort.
Steeringerrorsaredirectlyrelated
tovisionerrors.
scanning
Scanningyoursurroundings(keep-
ing your eyes moving) includes
keepingasafedistancearoundyour
vehicle.Whenanotherdrivermakes
amistake,youneedtimetoreact.
Giveyourselfthistimebykeepinga
“spacecushion”onallsidesofyour
vehicle.Thisspacecushionwillgive
youroomtobrakeormaneuverif
youneedthespace.
Know What Is Ahead
To avoid last minute moves, look
downtheroad10–15secondsahead
ofyourvehiclesoyoucanseehaz-
ardsearly.Constantlystaringatthe
road just in front of your vehicle
is dangerous. As you scan ahead,
be alert for vehicles around you.
Where is the green vehicle headed?
Use your mirrors. Allow enough
spacebetweenyouandthevehicle
ahead to give yourself an “out.”
Mistakes cause collisions. In the
city, 10–15 seconds is about one
block.Onthehighway,10–15sec-
onds is about a quarter of a mile.
Take in the whole scene–If you
onlylookatthemiddleoftheroad,
youwillmisswhatishappeningon
thesideoftheroadandbehindyou.
Scanninghelpsyoutosee:
• Carsandpeoplethatmaybeinthe
roadbythetimeyoureachthem.
-46-
• Signswarningofproblemsahead.
• Signsgivingyoudirections.
The shaded areas are your blind spots.
Before changing lanes, look into
your rear view mirror for nearby
vehiclesandalsooveryourshoulder
tocheckforblindspots.Blindspots
canhideamotorcyclist,avehicleor
abicyclist.Watchforthingsabout
to happen, like a ball rolling into
thestreetoravehicledooropening.
Watch for hazards–Lookbeyond
thevehicleaheadofyou.Donotde-
velopa“fixedstare.”Keepscanning.
Checkyourrearviewmirrorsevery
two–fivesecondssoyouknowthe
positionofvehiclesnearyou.
Onthefreeway,bereadyforchanges
in traffic conditions. Watch for
signalsfrom other drivers. Expect
merging vehicles at on-ramps and
interchanges.Bepreparedforrapid
changesinroadconditionsandtraf-
ficflow.Knowwhichlanesareclear
soyoucanusethemifnecessary.
do not be a tailgater! Manydriv-
ersdonotseeasfaraheadasthey
should because they follow too
closely (tailgate), and the vehicle
aheadblockstheirview.
Themorespaceyouallowbetween
yourvehicleandthevehicleahead,
themoretimeyouwillhavetoseea
hazardandstoporavoidthathazard.
Mostrearendcollisionsarecaused
bytailgating.Toavoidtailgating,use
the“three-secondrule.”Whenthe
vehicleaheadofyoupassesacertain
point such as a sign, count “one-
thousand-one, one-thousand-two,
one-thousand-three.” This takes
aboutthreeseconds.Ifyoupassthe
samepointbeforeyoufinishcount-
ing,youarefollowingtooclosely.
Youshouldallowafour-secondor
morecushionwhen:
• Being crowded by a tailgater.
Allow extra room ahead, do
not brake suddenly. Slow down
graduallyormergeintoanother
lane to prevent being hit from
behindbythetailgater!
• Drivingonslipperyroads.
• Following motorcyclists on wet
or icy roads, on metal surfaces
(e.g., bridge gratings, railroad
tracks,etc.),andongravel.Mo-
torcyclistscanfallmoreeasilyon
thesesurfaces.
• The driver behind you wants to
pass.Allowroominfrontofyour
vehicle so the driver will have
spacetomoveinfrontofyou.
• Towing a trailer or carrying a
heavy load. The extra weight
makesithardertostop.
• Following large vehicles that
blockyourviewahead.Theextra
space allows you to see around
thevehicle.
• You see a bus, school bus, or
a placarded vehicle at railroad
crossings. These vehicles must
-47-
stopatrailroadcrossings,soslow
down early and allow plenty of
room.
• Mergingontoafreeway.
Ifyoufollowtoocloselyandanother
driver “cuts” in front of you, just
takeyourfootoffthegas.Thisgives
youspacebetweenyourvehicleand
the other driver, without having to
slamonyourbrakesorswerveinto
anotherlane.
Know What Is at Your Side
Anytimeyoucometoaplacewhere
peoplemaycrossorenteryourpath
or onelineoftrafficmeetsanother,
youshouldlooktotheleftandright
sidesofyourvehicletomakesureno
oneiscoming.Alwayslooktoeach
sideofyourvehicleatintersections,
crosswalks,andrailroadcrossings.
Atintersections:
• Lookbothwaysevenifothertraf-
fichasaredlightorastopsign:
– Look to the left first, since
vehiclescomingfromtheleft
areclosertoyouthanvehicles
comingfromtheright.
– Looktotheright.
– Takeonemorelooktotheleft
incasethereisavehicleora
pedestrianyoudidnotseethe
firsttime.
• Do not rely on traffic signals.
Somedriversdonotobeytraffic
signals so before you enter an
intersection,lookleft,right,and
aheadforapproachingtraffic.
Tomaintainaspacecushiononeach
sideofyourvehicle:
• Do not stay in another driver’s
blindspot.Theotherdrivermay
not see your vehicle and could
changelanesandhityou.
• Avoiddrivingdirectlyalongside
othervehiclesonmultilanestreets
withorwithouttrafficintheop-
posite direction.Another driver
mightcrowdyourlaneorchange
laneswithoutlookingandcrash
intoyou.Driveeitheraheadofor
behindtheothervehicle.
• Ifpossibleandwhensafe,make
roomforvehiclesenteringfree-
wayseventhoughyouhavethe
right-of-way.
• At freeway exits, do not drive
alongsideothercars.Adrivermay
decidetoexitsuddenlyorswerve
backontothefreeway.
• Keep a space between yourself
and parked cars. Someone may
step out from between them. A
vehicledoormayopenoravehicle
maypulloutsuddenly.
• Becarefulwhendrivingnearmo-
torcyclistsorbicyclists.Always
leaveplentyofroombetweenyour
vehicleandanymotorcyclistsor
bicyclists.
Know What Is Behind You
Itisveryimportanttocheckbehind
youbeforeyou:
• Change lanes. Look over your
shouldertomakesureyouarenot
gettinginthewayofvehiclesin
thelaneyouwanttoenter.
-48-
• Reduceyourspeed.Takeaquick
glanceinyourmirrors.Alsocheck
your mirrors when you are pre-
paringtoturnintoasideroador
drivewayandwhenyouarestop-
pingtopullintoaparkingspace.
• Drivedownalongorsteephill.
Watchforlargevehiclesbecause
they can gather speed very
quickly.
• Back up. Backing up is always
dangerous because it is hard to
see behind your vehicle. When
youarebackingoutofaparking
space:
– Checkinfrontandbehindthe
vehiclebeforeyougetin.
– Know where your kids are.
Makesuretheyareawayfrom
your vehicle and in full view
beforemovingyourvehicle.
– If other children are nearby,
make sure you can see them
beforebackingup.
– Do not depend only on your
mirrors or only looking out a
sidewindow.
– Turnandlookoveryourright
and left shoulders before you
begin backing. As a safety
measure, also look over your
right and left shoulders again
whilebacking.
– Backslowlytoavoidcollisions.
Check traffic behind you often to
know if you are being tailgated
(another driver is following too
closely).Ifyouarebeingtailgated,
be careful! Brake slowly before
stopping.Tapyourbrakeslightlya
fewtimestowarnthetailgateryou
areslowingdown.
“Lose”thetailgaterassoonasyou
can,bychanginglanesandallowing
thetailgatertopassyouorslowing
down to allow enough “cushion”
betweenyouandthecarinfrontof
you.Ifthisdoesnotwork,pulloff
theroadwhenitissafeandletthe
tailgaterpass.
Clean Windows and Mirrors
Keepyourwindshieldandsidewin-
dows clean inside and out. Bright
sunorheadlightsonadirtywindow
make it hard to see out. Clear off
ice,frost,ordewfromallwindows
beforeyoudrive.
Makesureyoucanseeandbeseen.
If you drive in rain or snow, you
mayhavetostopsometimestowipe
mudorsnowoffyourwindshield,
headlights,andtaillights.
Adjust Seat and Mirrors
Adjustyourseatbeforeyouputon
yourseatbelt.Youshouldsithigh
enoughtoseetheroad.Ifyoustill
cannotsee,useaseatcushion.
Adjustyourrearandsidemirrorsbe-
foreyoustartdriving.Ifyourvehicle
hasaday/nightmirror,learnhowto
useit.Thenightsettingreducesthe
headlightglarefromthecarsbehind
youandhelpsyouseewell.
How Well Can You Stop?
If something is in your path, you
need to see it in time to stop.As-
sumingyouhavegoodtires,good
brakes,anddrypavement:
-49-
• At55mph,ittakesabout400feet
toreactandbringthevehicletoa
completestop.
• At35mph,ittakesabout210feet
toreactandbringthevehicletoa
completestop.
Adjust your driving speed to the
weatherandroadconditions(“Basic
SpeedLaw”page28.)Turnonyour
lightsduringtheday,ifitishardto
seeoryoucannotseeatleast1,000
feetaheadofyou.
Driving in the fog
The best advice for driving in the
fogisDON’T.Youshouldconsider
postponing your trip until the fog
clears.However,ifyoumustdrive,
thendriveslowlyanduseyourlow
beamheadlights.Thelightfromthe
high beam headlights will reflect
backandcauseglare.
Never drive with just your parking
or fog lights.
Increase your following distance
andbepreparedtostopwithinthe
space you can see ahead. Avoid
crossingorpassinglanesoftraffic
unlessabsolutelynecessary.Listen
fortrafficyoucannotsee.Useyour
wipers and defroster as necessary
forbestvision.
Ifthefogbecomessothickthatyou
canbarelysee,pullcompletelyoff
the road. Do not continue driving
until you can see well. Turn off
yourlightsandkeepyourfootoff
thebrakepedalorsomeonemaysee
yourtaillights,thinkyouaremoving,
anddriveintoyourvehicle.
Driving in Darkness
Drivemoreslowlyatnightbecause
you cannot see as far ahead and
youwillhavelesstimetostopfor
a hazard. Make sure you can stop
withinthedistancelightedbyyour
headlights.
Use your low beam headlights at
night when it rains. do not drive
using only your parking lights.
Use your high beam headlights
wheneverpossibleinopencountry
ordarkcitystreets,aslongasitis
notillegal.Donotblindotherdriv-
erswithyourhighbeamheadlights.
Dimyourlightswhennecessary.If
anotherdriverdoesnotdimhisor
herlights:
• Do not look directly into the
oncomingheadlights.
• Look toward the right edge of
yourlane.
• Watchtheoncomingvehicleout
ofthecornerofyoureye.
• Do not try to “get back” at the
other driver by keeping your
brightlightson.Ifyoudo,both
ofyoumaybeblinded.
Whenyoudriveatnight,remember:
• Pedestrians and bicyclists are
much harder to see at night, so
stayalertforthem.
• Motorcyclesarealsohardertosee
atnightbecausemosthaveonly
onetaillight.
• Morehighwayconstructiontakes
placeatnight.Reduceyourspeed
inhighwayconstructionzones.
-50-
• When you leave a brightly-lit
place,driveslowlyuntilyoureyes
adjusttothedarkness.
• Drive as far to the rightas pos-
sible, when a vehicle with one
lightdrivestowardyou.Itcould
be a bicyclist or motorcyclist,
butitcouldalsobeavehiclewith
amissingheadlight.
Driving in rain or snoW
Manyroadpavementsarethemost
slipperywhenitfirststartstorainor
snowbecauseoilanddusthavenot
yetwashedaway.Slowdownatthe
firstsignofrain,drizzle,orsnowon
theroad.Turnonyourwindshield
wipers,headlights,anddefroster.
Inaheavyrainstormorsnowstorm,
youmaynotbeabletoseemorethan
100feetaheadofyourvehicle.When
you cannot see any farther than
100 feet, you cannot safely drive
fasterthan30mph.Youmayhave
to stop from time to time to wipe
mudorsnowoffyourwindshield,
headlights,andtaillights.
Ifyoudriveinsnowyareas,carry
thecorrectnumberofchainsandbe
suretheywillfityourdrivewheels.
Learnhowtoputthechainsonbe-
fore youneedtousethem.
Driving in hill country
You never know what is on the
othersideofasteephillorasharp
curve.Whenyoucometoahillor
curve,slowdownsoyoucanstopfor
anyhazard.Youmustdriveslowly
enoughtostop.
Anytimeyourviewisblockedbya
hilloracurve,youshouldassume
there is another vehicle ahead of
you.Onlypassthevehicleifahillor
curveisatleastone-thirdofamile
away,becauseyouneedatleastthat
muchroomtopasssafely.
Donotdriveontheleftsideofthe
roadwhencomingtoacurveorthe
top of a hill, because you cannot
seefarenoughaheadtoknowifit
issafetopass.
horn, heaDlights, anD
emergency signals
Use Your Horn
• Only when necessary, to avoid
collisions.
• Totrytoget“eyecontact”with
otherdrivers.Youmaytapyour
horntoalertanotherdriverwho
might turn in front of you and
causeacollision.
• On narrow mountain roads,
whereyoucannotseeatleast200
feetaheadofyourvehicle.
Do Not Use Your Horn
• If a driver or bicyclist is going
slowly,andyouwanthimorher
todrivefasterorgetoutofyour
way;thedriverorbicyclistmay
notbeabletosafelygofaster,due
toillness,beinglost,intoxication,
or having mechanical problems
withthevehicle.
• To alert other drivers that they
made a mistake. Your honking
may cause them to make more
mistakesortobecomeangryand
retaliate.
-51-
• Because you may be angry or
upset.
• Tohonkatpedestrians,bicyclists,
ormotorcyclistsunlessnecessary
to avoid a collision. Remember
thatyourhornsoundsmuchlouder
outsideavehicle.
• It’ssafertoslowdownortostop,
instead of honking your horn,
whichmaystartleotherdrivers.
Use Your Headlights
• When it is cloudy, raining,
snowing, or foggy. If weather
conditionsrequireyoutouseyour
windshieldwipers,youmustturn
onyourheadlights—it’sthelaw.
• Onfrostymornings,whenother
drivers’windowsmaybeicyor
“fogged.”
• Anytimeconditionspreventyou
fromseeingothervehicles.Other
driversmayhavetroubleseeing
you,too.
• On small country or mountain
roads,evenonsunnydays.This
helps other drivers see you and
may help you avoid a head-on
crash.
• When necessary to get another
driver’sattention.
Use Your Emergency Signals
Ifyoucanseeacollisionahead,warn
thedriversbehindyoubyturningon
youremergencyflashersortapping
your brake pedal quickly three or
fourtimes.Youcanalsousethehand
signalwhenslowingandstopping.
Neverstopontheroad,unlessneces-
saryforsafetyortoobeyalaw.If
youneedtostop,thenstartbraking
earlyasasignaltothecarsbehind
you. If your vehicle breaks down
on the road, make sure that other
driverscanseeit.Ifyouexperience
vehicle trouble, and need to stop,
followtheserules:
• Pull off the road away from all
traffic,ifpossible.
• Ifyoucannotgetcompletelyoff
theroad,stopwherepeoplecan
see you and your vehicle from
behind. Do not stop just over a
hillorjustaroundacurve.
• Turnonyouremergencyflashers
if you are not moving. If your
vehicledoesn’thaveemergency
flashers,turnsignalsmaybeused
instead.
• Ifitissafe,liftthehoodtosignal
anemergency.
• Give other drivers plenty of
warning.Placeemergencyflares
ortriangles200–300feetbehind
the vehicle. This allows other
drivers time to change lanes, if
necessary.Beverycarefulwhen
using flares. They may cause
fires,especiallywhenusednear
flammableliquids.
• If you do not have emergency
flares, follow the rules listed
above and stay in your vehicle
untilhelparrives.Becarefulfor
yoursafetyandstay off the road.
Remember:donottrytochangea
tireifitmeansyouhavetostand
inatrafficlane.
-52-
folloWing Distances
Taking Dangers One at a Time
Suppose there is an oncoming
vehicletoyourleftandachildon
a bicycle to your right. Instead of
driving between the vehicle and
thechild,takeonedangeratatime.
First,slowdownandletthevehicle
pass.Then,movetothelefttoallow
plentyofroomtopassthechild.
Splitting the Difference
Sometimes there will be dangers
on both sides of the road at the
sametime.Forexample,therewill
beparkedcarstotherightandon-
comingcarstotheleft.Inthiscase,
the best thing to do is “split the
difference.”Steeramiddlecourse
betweentheoncomingcarsandthe
parkedcars.
If one danger is greater than the
other, give the most room to the
mostdangeroussituation.Suppose
thereareoncomingcarsonyourleft
sideandachildonabikeonyour
rightside.Thechildismorelikely
tomakeasuddenmove.Therefore,
slowdown,andifsafe,useasmuch
ofyourlanetotheleftaspossible
untilyoupassthechild.
Problem Drivers
Increase your following distance
and allow a bigger space cushion
fordriverswhomaybepotentially
dangerous. Persons who present
dangersare:
• Drivers who cannot see you
becausetheirviewisblockedby
buildings,trees,orothercars.
• Drivers backing out of drive-
waysorparkingspaceswiththe
vehicle’s windows covered by
snoworice.
• Driverswhopassyouwhenthere
isacurveoroncomingvehicle(s)
ahead.
• Drivers about to be forced into
your lane to avoid a vehicle, a
pedestrian, a bicyclist, an ob-
struction, or because of fewer
lanesahead.
• Pedestrians with umbrellas in
frontoftheirfacesorhatspulled
downovertheireyes.
• Distractedpeople,suchas:
– Deliverypersons.
– Constructionworkers.
– Children,whooftenrunintothe
streetwithoutlooking.
– Driverstalkingoncellphones
orspeakingtotheirpassengers.
– Driverstakingcareofchildren,
eating,orlookingatmapswhile
driving.
• Confusedpeople,suchas:
– Tourists,oftenatcomplicated
intersections.
– Drivers who are looking for
a house number or who slow
downfornoapparentreason.
merging in/out of traffic
Wheneveryouentertraffic,signal
andbesureyouhaveenoughroom
tosafelyenterthelane.Youhaveto
sharespacewithtrafficalreadyon
-53-
theroad,andyoumustknowhow
muchspaceyouneedtomergewith
traffic,crossorentertraffic,andexit
outoftraffic.
Space to Merge
Enter the freeway at or near the
speed of traffic. (Remember that
themaximumspeedallowedis65
mph on most freeways.) do not
stop before merging into freeway
traffic unlessabsolutelynecessary.
Freewaytraffichastheright-of-way.
Anytimeyoumergewithothertraf-
fic,youneedagapofatleastfour
seconds,whichgivesbothyouand
theothervehicleonlyatwo-second
followingdistance.Whenitissafe,
go back to following the “three-
secondrule”(seepage47).
• Donottrytosqueezeintoagap
thatistoosmall.Leaveyourself
abigenoughspacecushion.
• Watch for vehicles around you.
Useyourmirrorsandturnsignals.
Turn your head to look quickly
overyourshoulderbeforechang-
inglanes.Leavethreesecondsof
spacebetweenyouandthevehicle
aheadofyou.Makesureyoucan
stopsafelyifnecessary.
• Ifyouneedtocrossseveralfree-
way lanes, cross them one at a
time.Ifyouwaituntilallofthe
lanes are clear, you may cause
trafficdelaysoracollision.
Space to Cross or Enter
Whenever you cross or enter city
orhighwaytrafficfromafullstop,
you will need a large enough gap
(fromvehiclesapproachingineither
direction)togetuptothespeedof
othervehicles.Youneedagapthat
isabout:
• Halfablockoncitystreets.
• Afullblockonthehighway.
Ifyouarecrossinglanesorturning,
makesuretherearenovehiclesor
peopleblockingthepathaheadorto
thesidesofyourvehicle.Youdonot
wanttobecaughtinanintersection
withtrafficcomingatyou.
Evenifyouhavethegreenlight,do
not start across the intersection, if
therearevehiclesblockingyourway.
Whenturningleft,donotstartthe
turn just because an approaching
vehiclehasitsrightturnsignalon.
The driver may plan to turn just
beyondyou,orthesignalmayhave
beenleftonfromanearlierturn.This
isparticularlytrueofmotorcycles.
Theirsignallightsoftendonotturn
off automatically. Wait until the
other driver actually starts to turn
beforeyoucontinue.
Space to Exit
Whenyouplantoexitthefreeway,
give yourself plenty of time. You
should know the name or number
ofthefreewayexityouwantaswell
astheonethatcomesbeforeit.To
exitsafely:
• Signal,lookoveryourshoulder,
and change lanes one at a time,
untilyouareintheproperlaneto
exitthefreeway.
-54-
• Signalyourintentiontoexitfor
approximately five seconds be-
forereachingtheexit.
• Besureyouareattheproperspeed
forleavingthetrafficlane–nottoo
fast(soyouremainincontrol)and
nottooslow(sotheflowoftraffic
canstillmovefreely).
passing other traffic
Space and Speed to Pass
Always signal before passing. Do
notpullouttopassunlessyouknow
youhaveenoughspacetopullback
intoyourlane.
Avoid passing other vehicles, in-
cluding motorcycles and bicycles,
ontwo-laneroads.Itisdangerous.
Everytimeyoupass,youincrease
yourchancesofhavingacollision.
Bepatientwhenpassingabicyclist.
Slowdownandpassonlywhenit
issafe.Donotsqueezethebicyclist
offtheroad.
Athighwayspeedsof50–55mph,
you need a 10–12 second gap in
oncomingtraffictopasssafely.At55
mph,youwilltravelover800feetin
10–12seconds.Sowillanoncoming
vehicle.Thatmeansyouneedover
1,600feet(oraboutone-thirdofa
mile)topasssafely.Itishardertosee
and judge the speed of oncoming
vehiclesthataretravelingone-third
ofamileormoreawayfromyou.
Youmustjudgewhetherornotyou
haveenoughroomtopasswhenever
youapproach:
• Anoncomingvehicle.
• Ahilloracurve.
• Anintersection.
• Aroadobstruction.
Vehiclesappeartomoveslowerthan
they really are moving.A vehicle
that is far enough away generally
appearstobestandingstill.Infact,
if you can see it moving closer to
you,itisprobablytoocloseforyou
tostarttopass.
Space to Return
Before you return to your driving
lane,besureyouarenotdangerously
close to the vehicle you have just
passed.Onewaytodothisistolook
for the vehicle in your inside rear
viewmirror.Whenyoucanseeboth
headlightsinyourrearviewmirror,
youhaveenoughroomtoreturnto
yourdrivinglane.Donotcounton
havingenoughtimetopassseveral
vehiclesatonce,orthatotherdrivers
willmakeroomforyou.
sHArinG tHe roAD
large trucks (Big rigs)
anD rvs
To reduce the chance of having a
collisionwithalargetruckorRV,
you must be familiar with a big
rig’sphysicalcapabilitiesandhow
itmaneuvers.
Braking
Largetruckstakelongertostopthan
vehiclestravelingatthesamespeed.
Theaveragepassengervehicletrav-
elingat55mphcanstopwithin400
feet.However,alargetrucktraveling
atthesamespeedcantakealmost
800 feet to stop. Do not move in
-55-
frontofalargetruckandsuddenly
slowdownorstop.Thetruckerwill
notbeabletostopquicklyenough
toavoidcrashingintoyou.
Trucker’s Blind Spots—the “No
Zone”
Shaded areas are the driver’s blind spots.
Passenger vehicle drivers incor-
rectlyassumethatatruckercansee
theroadbetterbecauseheorsheis
higherofftheroad.Whiletruckers
dohaveabetterforwardviewand
biggermirrors,theystillhavelarge
blindspots,andyourvehiclecanget
lostinthoseblindspots.Ifyoustay
inthoseblindspots,youblockthe
trucker’sabilitytotakeevasiveac-
tiontoavoidadangeroussituation.
Generally speaking, if you cannot
seethetruckdriverinhisorherside
mirror, he or she cannot see you.
These blind spots are often called
the“NOZONE.”
Turning
Whenanyvehiclemakesaturn,the
rear wheels follow a shorter path
than the front wheels. The longer
the vehicle, the greater the differ-
enceisintheturningpath.Thisis
whybigrigdriversmustoftenswing
widetocompletearightturn.When
youfollowabigrig,lookatitsturn
signalsbeforeyoustarttopass.If
thetruckappearstobeturningleft,
check the turn signals again; the
drivermayactuallybeturningright
butfirstswingingwide.
Maneuverability
Trucks are designed to transport
products and they are not as ma-
neuverable as passenger vehicles.
Largetruckshavelongerstopping
and starting distances. They take
morespaceforturnsandtheyweigh
more.Onmultilanehighwaysand
freeways,largetrucksusuallystay
inthecenterportionofthelaneto
help the flow of traffic. This also
increasesthetrucker’soptionsifhe
orshemustchangelanestoavoid
ahazard.
Avoidthesemistakeswhendriving
aroundlargetrucks:
• Cutting off a truck in traffic
or on the highway to reach an
exit or turn. Cutting into the
openspaceinfrontofatruckis
dangerous.Tryingtobeatatruck
throughasingle-laneconstruction
zone, for example, removes the
truck driver’s cushion of safety
and places you in danger. Slow
down and take your turn enter-
ing the construction zone. Do
notspeeduptopassatruck,so
youcanexittheroadway.Takea
momenttoslowdown,andexit
behindatruck—itwillonlytake
youafewextraseconds.
-56-
dmv.ca.gov
Can the driver see
your vehiCle? Allow for
extra space and be safe!
• Lingering alongside a truck
when passing. Always pass a
large truck on the left side, and
after you pass the truck, move
aheadofit.Donotlinger,other-
wiseyoumakeitverydifficult,if
notimpossible,forthetruckerto
takeevasiveactionifanobstacle
appearsintheroadahead.
• Following too closely or tailgat-
ing.Whenyoufollowsoclosely
behindatruckthatyoucannotsee
thetruckdriver’ssideviewmir-
rors, the trucker cannot see you
andhasnowayofknowingyou
are there. Tailgating a truck, or
anyvehicle,isdangerousbecause
youtakeawayyourowncushion
ofsafetyifthevehicleinfrontof
youstopsquickly.
• Underestimating the size and
speed of an approaching tractor-
trailer. A large tractor-trailer
oftenappearstobetravelingata
slowerspeedbecauseofitslarge
size.Manycollisionsinvolvinga
passengervehicleandalargetruck
occur at intersections, when the
passenger vehicle driver did not
realize how close the truck was
orhowfastitwastraveling.
Buses, streetcars, anD
trolleys
Donotdrivethroughasafetyzone,
whichisaspacesetasideforpedes-
triansandmarkedbyraisedbuttons
ormarkersonaroadway.
Whenpeopleareboardingorleav-
ingastreetcarortrolleywherethere
is no safety zone, stop behind the
vehicle’s nearest door or vehicle
platformandwaituntilthepeople
havereachedasafeplace.
Whenabus,streetcar,ortrolleyis
stoppedatasafetyzoneorataninter-
sectionwheretrafficiscontrolledby
apoliceofficerortrafficsignal,you
maypassatnomorethan10mph.
Donotovertakeandpassanylight
rail vehicle or streetcar on the
left side, whether it is moving or
standing.
EXCEPTIONS:
• Whenyouareonaone-waystreet.
• When the tracks are so close to
therightsidethatyoucannotpass
ontheright.
• Whenatrafficofficerdirectsyou
topassontheleft.
light-rail vehicles
Light-rail vehicles have the same
rightsandresponsibilitiesonpublic
roadways as other vehicles. Al-
though everyone must follow the
same trafficlaws,light-railvehicles
requireexceptional handlingability
becauseoftheirsize.
Safelysharetheroadwithlight-rail
vehiclesby:
• Being aware of where light-rail
vehiclesoperate.Buildings,trees,
etc.,causeblindspotsforthetrol-
leyoperator.
• Never turninfrontofanapproach-
inglight-railvehicle.
-58-

Do not turn in front of light rail vehicles
• Maintain a safe distance from
thelight-railvehicleifitsharesa
streetwithvehiculartraffic.

Safety Zones are marked by dotted white lines
• Look for approaching light-rail
vehicles before you turn across
the tracks. Complete your turn
onlyifasignalindicatesyoumay
proceed.
NOTE:Light-railvehiclescaninter-
rupttrafficsignals,sodonotproceed
untilthesignallightindicatesyou
mayproceed.
emergency vehicles
Youmustyieldtheright-of-wayto
anypolicevehicle,fireengine,am-
bulance,orotheremergencyvehicle
usingasirenandredlights.Drive
to the right edge of the road and
stopuntiltheemergencyvehicle(s)
havepassed.However,never stop
in an intersection.Ifyouareinan
intersectionwhenyouseeanemer-
gencyvehicle,continuethroughthe
intersection and then drive to the
rightassoonasitissafeandstop.
Emergency vehicles often use the
wrongsideofthestreettocontinue
ontheirway.Theysometimesuse
a loud speaker to talk to drivers
blockingtheirpath.
Yield to emergency vehicles.
You must obey any traffic direc-
tion,order,orsignalbyatrafficor
policeofficerorafirefightereven
if it conflicts with existing signs,
signals,orlaws.
Itisagainstthelawtofollowwithin
300 feet behind any fire engine,
policevehicle,ambulance,orother
emergencyvehiclewith a sirenor
flashinglights(CVC§21706).
If you drive for sight-seeing pur-
posestothesceneofafire,collision,
orotherdisasteryoumaybearrested.
Casualobserversinterferewiththe
essential services of police, fire-
fighter,ambulancecrews,orother
rescueoremergencypersonnel.
-59-
sloW-moving vehicles
Somevehiclesarenotdesignedto
keepupwiththespeedoftraffic.
Farmtractors,animal-drawncarts,
and road maintenance vehicles
usuallytravel25mphorless.Slow-
movingvehicleshaveanorange/red
triangleonthebackofthevehicles.
Itlookslikethesigninthepicture
onthispage.Lookforthesevehicles
and adjust your speed before you
reachthem.
A Slow-Moving Vehicle
Also, be aware that large trucks,
bicyclistsandsmall,underpowered
carslosespeedonlongorsteephills
andtakelongertogetuptospeed
whenenteringtraffic.
Othertypesofslow-movingmotor-
izedvehicles(suchaswheelchairs,
scooters, Neighborhood Electric
Vehicles (NEVs) and golf carts)
maylegallyoperateonpublicroads.
Adjust your speed accordingly to
accommodatethem.
neighBorhooD electric
vehicles (nev) anD loW-
speeD vehicles (lsv)
Youmayhaveseenlanesmarkedas
NEVUSE ONLYonroadwaysin
some California towns, especially
thosenearretirementcommunities
andgolfcourses.NEVsandLSVs
arerestrictedfromroadwayswhere
the speed limit is greater than 35
mph (CVC §§385.5 and 21260).
TheNEVandLSVvehiclesreach
amaximumspeedof25mph.
Owners of registered NEVs and
LSVsmustcomplywithfinancialre-
sponsibilitylawsandadriverlicense
isrequiredtooperatethevehicle.
animal-DraWn vehicles
Horse-drawnvehiclesandridersof
horsesorotheranimalsareentitled
to share the road with you. It is a
traffic offense to scare horses or
stampedelivestock.Slowdownor
stop,ifnecessary,orwhenrequested
todosobytheridersorherders.
motorcycles
Motorcyclistshavethesamerights
and responsibilities as automobile
drivers.Whileeveryonemustfollow
thesametrafficlaws,motorcyclists
face additional dangers because
motorcycles require exceptional
handling ability and are harder to
see. Therefore, many motorcycles
keeptheirheadlightonevenduring
daylighthours.
From ahead or behind, a motor-
cycle’soutlineismuchsmallerthan
a passenger vehicle’s outline, and
most drivers expect to see larger
vehicles on the road and are not
lookingformotorcycles.
Motorcyclistscandomanythingsto
makeiteasierforotherstorecognize
themandincreasetheirchancesof
beingseen.
-60-
• Wearabright-coloredjacket,vest,
andahelmet.
• Wearreflectivematerialonhel-
metsandclothes.
• Use turn signals when planning
tochangelanesorturn.
• Flash their brake lights before
slowing down to help others
noticethemotorcycle.
Follow these rules to respect the
right-of-way and safely share the
roadwithmotorcyclists:
• Whenyouchangelanesorentera
majorthoroughfare,makeavisual
checkformotorcycles.Alsouse
your mirrors. Motorcycles are
small,andtheycaneasilydisap-
pearintoavehicle’sblindspots.
• Allow a four-second following
distance.Youwillneedthisspace
toavoidhittingthemotorcyclist,if
heorshebrakessuddenlyorfalls
offthemotorcycle.Motorcycles
generally can stop faster than
passengervehicles.
• Allowthemotorcycleafulllane
width.Although it is not illegal
tosharelaneswithmotorcycles,
itisunsafe.
• Never try to pass a motorcycle
inthesamelaneyouaresharing
withthemotorcycle.
• When you make a turn, check
formotorcyclistsandgaugetheir
speedbeforeturning.
• Lookcarefullyformotorcyclists
beforeopeningdoorsnexttomov-
ingtrafficorbeforeturningright.
• Motorcycles may travel faster
thantrafficduringcongestedroad
conditionsandcanlegallytravel
intheunusedspacebetweentwo
linesofmovingorstationaryve-
hicles,whichiscommonlycalled
“lanesplitting.”
• Remember that road conditions
which are minor annoyances to
you pose major hazards to mo-
torcyclists.Potholes,gravel,wet
or slippery surfaces, pavement
seams, railroad crossings, and
grooved pavement can cause
motorcyclists to change speed
ordirectionsuddenly.Ifyouare
awareoftheeffectofthesecon-
ditions and drive with care and
attention,youcanhelpreducemo-
torcyclist injuries and fatalities.
Formoreinformationregarding
motorcycle safety, contact the
California Motorcyclist Safety
Program at 1-877-RIDE-411 or
www.ca-msp.org
Bicycles
Bicyclists:
• Mustobeyalltrafficsignalsand
stopsigns.
• Are lawfully per-
mitted to ride on
certain sections of
roadway in rural
areas where there
isnoalternateroute.
• Mustrideinthesamedirectionas
othertraffic,notagainstit.
-61-
Turns for bicyclists
STOP, LOOK
BEFORE CROSSING
RIDE A STRAIGHT LINE—DON’T TURN IN AND OUT
BETWEEN PARKED CARS. LEAVE SPACE TO AVOID
SUDDENLY OPENED DOORS.
MERGE LEFT TO PASS
VEHICLE TURNING RIGHT
Intersections with special lanes
• Shallrideasneartotherightcurb
oredgeoftheroadwayaspracti-
cal–notonthesidewalk.
• Arelegallyallowedtorideinthe
centerofthelanewhenmoving
atthesamespeedasothertraffic.
• Maymovelefttopassaparkedor
movingvehicle,bicycle,animal,
avoiddebris,orotherhazards.
• Maychoosetorideneartheleft
curboredgeofaone-waystreet.
• Shouldridesinglefileonabusy
ornarrowstreet.
• Must make left and right turns
inthesamewaythatdriversdo,
usingthesameturnlanes.Ifthe
bicyclist is traveling straight
ahead, he or she should use a
through traffic lane rather than
ride next to the curb and block
trafficmakingrightturns.
• Must signal all their intentions
to motorists and bicyclists near
them.
• Mustwearahelmetifunderthe
ageof18.
• Shouldcarryidentification.
• Shallnotoperateabicycleona
roadwayduringdarknessunless
thebicycleisequippedwith:
– Abrakewhichwillenablethe
operator to make one braked
wheelstopondry,level,clean
pavement.
During darkness bicyclists must
havethefollowingequipment:
– Afrontlampemittingawhite
lightvisiblefromadistanceof
300feet.
– A rear red reflector visible
fromadistanceof500feet.
– Awhiteoryellowreflectoron
eachpedaloronthebicyclist’s
shoesoranklesvisiblefroma
distanceof200feet.
peDestrians Who are BlinD
Pedestrians using guide dogs or
white canes with or without a red
tipmustbegiventheright-of-way
at all times.These pedestrians are
partiallyortotallyblind.
Whenthesepedestriansareinyour
vicinitybeespeciallycarefulwhen
turningcornersorbackingup,par-
ticularlyifyouaredrivingaquiet
hybridvehicle.
-62-
frontofthem.Turningmayresult
intheblindpedestrianbecoming
disorientedandvulnerabletobe-
ing hit by another right turning
vehiclewhenattemptingtocross
thestreet.
• do not honk your horn at a blind
person.Theblindpersonhasno
ideawhoyouarehonkingatand
maybestartledbythenoise.
• do not block any sidewalk.
roaD Workers anD
Work Zones (“cone Zones”)
Paycloseattentionwhereroadwork
isbeingperformed.Signsandmes-
sageboardswarnyouofworkers,
slowmovingequipment,andclosed
lanes ahead. Cones and/or drums
will guide you through the work
zone.Mergeassoonasitissafeto
dosoandwithoutcrossingthecones
ordrums.Reduceyourspeedandbe
preparedtoslowdownorstopfor
highwayequipment.Inworkzones
where lanes are narrow or where
the shoulder is closed, watch for
bicyclesand“sharetheroad”when
theyarepresent.
The most common
cause of deaths and
injuriesinworkzones
isrear-endcollisions.
In fact, most of the
peoplekilledinwork
zones are drivers and
passengers. For your own safety
and the safety of your passengers
remembertoslowdown,allowextra
following room between vehicles,
Herearesomesuggestionsforhelp-
ingpedestrianswhoareblind:
• do not stop your vehicle more
than five feet from the cross-
walk, unless there is an advance
stop bar (line).Ablindpedestrian
usesthesoundofyourengineas
aguide,sodriveuptothecross-
walktoallowthepersontohear
you. ImPORTANT: Drivers of
electricandhybridvehiclesmust
beextraalerttoblindpedestrians,
astheymaybeunawareofyour
presenceduetothenearlysilent
natureofthesevehicles.
• Stop at all crosswalks where
pedestrians are waiting.
• do not stop in the middle of a
crosswalk.Thisforcestheblind
pedestrian to go around your
vehicle and into traffic outside
ofthecrosswalk.
• do not give the blind pedestrian
verbal directions.Ablindpedes-
trianlistenstoalltrafficsounds
beforedecidingtocrossthestreet.
• do not wait too long for the blind
pedestrian to cross the street.
Whenablindpersonpullsinhis
orhercaneandstepsawayfrom
theintersection,thisgestureusu-
allymeansforyoutogo.
• do not turn right without
looking first. Look for any
pedestrians,especiallyblindpe-
destriansortrafficbeforestarting
yourturn.Blindpedestrianswho
haveagreenlightarenotexpect-
ingadrivertomakearightturnin
-63-
merge early, expect
sudden slowing or
stopping, watch for
drivers changing
lanesatthelastmin-
ute, and minimize
distractions. Avoid distractions
includingusingyourhands-freecell
phone while in the “Cone Zone.”
Fines for traffic violations in the
“Cone Zone”canbeupto$1,000,or
more.Anyoneconvictedofassault-
ingahighwayworkerfacesfinesof
upto$2,000andimprisonmentfor
uptooneyear.
Keep your eyes on the road and
othervehiclesaroundyou.Donot
stoptowatchtheroadwork.Obey
special signs or instructions from
workers.Drivingcarefullythrough
work zones improves safety for
drivers,pedestrians,bicyclists,and
roadworkers.
Rememberto“Slow for the Cone
Zone.”
DouBle fine Zones
Due to increased collision-related
injuriesandfatalitiescertainroads
aredesignatedas“SafetyEnhanced-
Double Fine Zones.” Fines for
violationsaredoubledinthesezones
andalsoinhighwayconstructionor
maintenance zones when workers
arepresent.(CVC§42010)
move over anD sloW DoWn
Driversarerequiredtomoveover
andslowdownwhenapproaching
a stationary emergency vehicle or
towtruckthatisdisplayingflashing
amberwarninglights,oravehicle,
markedDepartmentofTransporta-
tion that is displaying emergency
flashing or amber warning lights,
whileitisstoppedonthesideofa
statehighwayorfreeway.Thelaw
isdesignedtoreducethedeathsof
police officers, tow truck drivers,
paramedics, CalTrans employees,
andotheremergencypersonnelwho
areaidingstrandedorinjuredmotor-
istsorinvolvedinroadwork.Use
cautioniflanechangesarerequired.
vehicles With haZarDous
loaDs
- 78 -
Red and White Regulatory Signs
Highway Construction and Maintenance Signs
Guide Signs
Hazardous Loads Placards
White Regulatory Signs
Adiamond-shapedsignonatruck
means that the load on the truck
is potentially dangerous (gas, ex-
plosives,etc.)CaliforniaHighway
Patrol(CHP)orfiredepartmentof-
ficersknowwhattodoiftheloadis
accidentallyspilled.Vehicleswhich
displaythesesignsarerequiredto
stopbeforecrossingrailroadtracks.
importAnt DrivinG tips
Alwaysbecourteous.Safedriving
requires personal responsibility
to use sound judgment, reflexes,
experience, common sense and
consideration—every time you
arebehindthewheelofavehicle.
Courtesy...passiton!
-64-
Overtake other vehicles only
on the left.
Avoid blocking passing lanes.
Yield to faster traffic by mov-
ing to the right.
Keep to the right as much as
possible.
Maintain appropriate follow-
ing distance.
Provide appropriate distance
when cutting in after passing
vehicles.
Use headlights in cloudy,
rainy, low light conditions.
Yield to pedestrians.
Come to a complete stop at
stop signs, etc.
Stop for red traffic lights.
Approach intersections and
pedestrians at slow speeds.
Follow right-of-way rules at
four-way stops.
Drive below the posted speed
limit when conditions warrant.
Drive at slower speeds in
construction zones.
Maintain speeds appropriate
for conditions.
Use vehicle turn signals for
turns and lane changes.
Make eye contact and signal
intention where needed.
Acknowledge intention of oth-
ers.
Use your horn sparingly.
Avoid unnecessary use of
high beam headlights.
Yield and move to the right
for emergency vehicles.
Refrain from fashing head-
lights.
Make slow, deliberate U-
turns.
Maintain proper speeds
around roadway crashes.
Avoid returning inappropriate
gestures.
Avoid challenging other driv-
ers.
Try to get out of the way of
aggressive drivers.
Focus on driving and avoid
distracting activities.
DO YOu AVOID:
Driving when drowsy.
Blocking the right-turn lane.
Taking more than one parking
space.
Parking in a space desig-
nated for the disabled.
Letting your door hit the ve-
hicle parked next to you.
Using the cell phone while
driving.
Stopping in the road to talk.
Inficting loud music on neigh-
boring cars.
ARE YOu AN AGGRESSIVE DRIVER?
DO YOU (Check the appropriate box):
Y N Y N
Score Yourself:
Count the number of “No” Answers
(1-3) SAFE DRIVER (4-7) GOOD DRIVER
(8-11) SEMI-AGGRESSIVE DRIVER (12+) AGGRESSIVE DRIVER
-65-
Dealing With traffic
congestion
Smallchangesinyourdrivinghabits
canhelprelievechronictrafficcon-
gestion,accordingtotheCalifornia
OfficeofTrafficSafety(OTS).
Avoid the following driving
behaviors:
• Rubbernecking–slowing down
to look at collisions or virtu-
ally anything else out of the
ordinary.
• Tailgating–followingtooclosely.
• Unnecessarylanechanges–weav-
inginandoutoffreewaylanes.
• Inattention–eating, grooming,
talkingonacellphone,textmes-
saging, reading the newspaper,
etc.
• Operatingapoorly-maintainedor
malfunctioningvehicleorrunning
outoffuel.
Dealing With aggressive
Drivers anD roaD rage
Aggressive driving and road rage
happenswhencrowdedroads,rush-
ing,andimpatiencecauseonedriver
to react angrily to another driver.
Some suggestions for avoiding
aggressive driving and road rage
situationsare:
• Allowplentyoftimetoreachyour
destination.
• Donotcutoffotherdrivers.
• Do not drive slowly in the left
(fast)lane.
• Donottailgate.
• Do not make gestures to other
drivers.
• Use your horn for emergencies
only.
Prevent a potentially violent inci-
dentby:
• Avoiding eye contact with an
angrydriver.
• Giving an angry driver plenty
ofspace.
• Taking the questionnaire on the
previous page to determine the
typeofdriverthatyouare.
text messaging anD
cell phones
Regardless of age, it is illegal to
drive a motor vehicle while using
anelectronicwirelesscommunica-
tion device to write, send, or read
text messages, instant messages,
ande-mail(s).
NOTE: With certain exceptions,
adultsmaynotuseacellphonewhile
drivingunlesshands-freeequipment
isused.Minorsmaynotuseacell
phoneexceptincertainemergencies
(seepage12).
Cell phones can be a lifesaver in
emergency situations. Use your
cell phone in the following safe
andresponsiblewayswhiledriving:
• Use hands-free devices (except
minors).
• If your cell phone rings, do not
answerit.
• Letthecallgotovoicemailifyou
havethisfeature.
-66-
• Donotusethecellphoneduring
hazardousconditions.
• Do not engage in distracting
conversations.
• Payattentiontotheroad.
• Use your cell phone to call for
helpinanemergency.
collision avoiDance
Keep Your Car Visible
Thedriver’sblindspotsareshown
onpage47.Youcannotseevehicles
intheseblindspots,ifyouonlylook
inyourmirrors.Turnyourheadto
see if a vehicle is in one of these
blindspots.Donotlingerinanother
driver’sblindspot.Asquicklyasyou
can,dropbackorpassthevehicle.
What is the Road Condition
Thefasteryourspeed,thelesscon-
trolyouhaveofyourvehicle.Rather
thandrivingatthelegalpostedspeed
limit,considerwhatelsemayaffect
thesafeoperationofyourvehicle.
For example, should you drive 35
mph (the posted speed limit) on a
curvedownanicymountainroad?
Manyinexperienceddriversdonot
adjusttheirdrivingspeedforroad
conditions.Thatisonereasonwhy
inexperienced drivers have more
“out-of-control” collisions than
experienceddrivers.
Curves
Oncurves,thereisastrongoutward
pullonyourvehicle,especiallywhen
theroadisslippery.Rain,mud,snow,
iceandgravelmaketheroadslip-
pery.Ifaspeedlimitisnotposted
before a curve, you must judge
how sharp the curve is and adjust
yourspeedaccordingly.Slowdown
before youenterthecurve.Braking
onacurvemaycauseyoutoskid.
Driving in Heavy Traffic
Drive slower in heavy traffic, so
you can stop within the available
stoppingdistance.
Asageneralrule,drivemoreslowly:
• Inshoppingcenters,parkinglots,
anddowntownareas.
• Onroadswithheavytraffic.
• When you see the brake lights
ofseveralvehiclesaheadofyou.
• Overnarrowbridgesandthrough
tunnels.
• Throughtollplazas.
• Near schools, playgrounds, and
inresidentialareas.
Traffic Speeds
Collisionsaremorelikelytohappen
whenonedrivergoesfasterorslower
thantheothercarsontheroad.
Ifyoudrivefasterthanothertraffic,
youincreaseyourchancesofbeing
involvedinacollision.Studieshave
shownthatspeedingdoesnotsave
morethanafewminutesinanhour
ofdrivingtime.
Drivingslowerthanothervehicles
orstoppingsuddenlycanbejustas
dangerousasspeeding,ifnotmore
dangerousbecauseyoumaycause
arearendcollisionorcauseother
drivers to swerve to avoid hitting
yourvehicle.Ifyouareinthefast
laneandyounoticevehiclesmoving
totherightlanetopassyou,oraline
-67-
dryoutlast.
• Bridges and overpasses tend to
freezebeforetherestoftheroad
does.Theycanhidespotsofice.
• Ifitstartstorainonahotday,the
pavement can be very slippery
forthefirstseveralminutes.Heat
causesoilintheasphalttocome
tothesurface.Theoilmakesthe
roadslipperyuntiltherainwashes
theoiloffthesurfaceoftheroad.
Skids on Slippery Surfaces
Aroadthatisnormallysafecanbe-
comedangerouswhenitisslippery.
Iceandpackedsnowontheroadcan
causeyourvehicletoskid,especially
ifyouaredrivingtoofastorgoing
downhill.Ifyoustarttoskid:
• Easeoffthegaspedal,
• Stopbraking,and
• Turn the steering wheel in the
directionoftheskid.
Ifyoucannotcontrolyourvehicle
on a slippery surface, try to find
something to stop the skid.Try to
getawheelondrypavementoron
theshoulderoftheroad.Youmay
havetoedgeslowlyintoasnowbank
orsomebushestostopthevehicle.
To prevent skidding on slippery
surfaces:
• Drive slowly and stay farther
behindthevehicleaheadofyou.
• Slow down, as you approach
curvesandintersections.
• Avoidfastturns.
ofvehiclesareformingbehindyou,
thebestthingtodoismoveintothe
rightlane,whenitissafe,andletthe
vehicle(s)pass.
Driving haZarDs
Water on the Road
Slow down when there is a lot of
waterontheroad.Inaheavyrain
atspeedsof50mphormore,your
tirescanloseallcontactwiththeroad
andthenyourvehiclewillberiding
onwateror“hydroplaning.”Aslight
changeofdirectionoragustofwind
couldthrowyourvehicleintoaskid.
Ifyourvehiclestartstohydroplane,
slowdowngradually–donotapply
thebrakes.
Slippery Roads
Slowdownatthefirstsignofrain.
This is when many roads are the
mostslippery,becauseoilanddust
havenotwashedaway.Aslippery
roadwillnotgiveyourtiresthegrip
theyneed.Drivemoreslowlythan
you would on a dry road. Adjust
yourspeedasfollows:
• Wet road–go five–ten miles
slower.
• Packedsnow–reduceyourspeed
byhalf.
• Ice–slowtoacrawl.
Someroadsurfacesaremoreslip-
pery than others when wet and
usually have warning signs. Here
are some clues to help you spot
slipperyroads:
• On cold, wet days, shade from
treesorbuildingscanhidespots
ofice.Theseareasfreezefirstand
-68-
• Avoid quick stops. “Pump” the
brakes to slow or stop. (Do not
pumpantilockbrakes.)
• Shift to low gear before going
downasteephill.
• Avoid especially slippery areas,
such as ice patches, wet leaves,
oil,ordeeppuddles.
Ifthebrakesgetwet,drythemby
lightly pressing the gas pedal and
brakepedalatthesametimesothat
thevehicledrivesagainstthepres-
sureofthebrakes.Performthislight
pressingonlyuntilthebrakesdry.
mechanical tips
Acceleration Skids
An acceleration skid usually hap-
pens when the drive wheels lose
traction on the road surface. To
maintaincontrolofaskiddingve-
hicle,donotapplythebrakes.Ease
offthegaspedalandstraightenthe
frontwheelsasthevehiclebegins
tostraightenitselfout.
Locked Wheel Skids
Thistypeofskidisusuallycaused
bybrakingtoohardatahighrateof
speedandlockingthewheels.The
vehicle will skid no matter which
way the steering wheel is turned.
Takeyourfootoffthebraketoun-
lockthewheels.Thenstraightenthe
frontwheelsasthevehiclebegins
tostraightenout.Slowthevehicle
graduallyuntilyouareatasafespeed
tocontinuedriving.
Accelerator Malfunction
If your accelerator becomes stuck
youshould:
1. Shifttoneutral.
2. Applythebrakes.
3. Keepyoureyesontheroad.
4. Lookforanalternaterouteaway
fromtrafficorlookforawayout.
5. Warn other drivers by honking
and flashing your emergency
lights.
6. Try to drive the car safely off
theroad.
7. Stop and turn off the ignition.
(WARNING: Turning the ig-
nition off while the vehicle is
movinglocksthesteeringwheel
of some vehicles and you will
nothavecontrolofthesteering.)
Steering Wheel Locking Device
Neverturnyourvehicle’signitionto
the“lock”positionwhileitisstillin
motion,orthesteeringwilllockand
youwilllosecontrolofyourvehicle.
collisions are not acciDents
An“accident”impliesanunforeseen
eventthatoccurswithoutanyone’s
fault or negligence. Most often in
traffic,thatisnotthecase.
Ifyouseeavehicle’shazardlights
ahead,slowdown.Theremaybea
collision or other road emergency
ahead. Stop and give assistance
if asked by anyone, or pass very
carefully.
Avoid driving near collisions, if
you can. Those injured will be
helpedfasterifothervehiclesaren’t
-69-
blockingtheroad.Ifyoumustdrive
nearacollision,donotstoporslow
downjusttolook.Youmaycause
another crash. Drive by carefully,
watchingforpeopleintheroad.
Causes of Collisions
Themostcommoncausesofcolli-
sionsare:
• Unsafespeed.
• Driving on the wrong side of
theroad.
• Improperturns.
• Violatingtheright-of-wayrules.
• Violatingstopsignalsandsigns.
• Driverdistractions.
Involved in a Collision
Ifyouareinvolvedinacollision:
• You must stop. Someone could
be injured and need your help.
If you do not stop, you may be
convicted of “hit and run” and
couldbeseverelypunished.
• Call9-1-1,ifanyoneishurt.
• Move your vehicle out of the
traffic lane if no one is injured
orkilled.
• Showyourdriverlicense,regis-
trationcard,evidenceoffinancial
responsibility, and current ad-
dresstotheotherdriver,persons
involved,orpoliceofficer.
• You (or your insurance agent,
broker, or legal representative)
mustmakeawrittenreporttothe
policeorCHPwithin24hoursof
thecollisionifsomeoneiskilled
orinjured.
• You (or your insurance agent,
broker, or legal representative)
must make a written report to
DMVwithin10days.
• If you hit a parked vehicle or
otherproperty,leaveanotewith
your name, phone number, and
address in or securely attached
to the vehicle or property you
hit. Report the collision to the
citypoliceor,inunincorporated
areas,totheCHP.
• Ifyourparkedcarrollsawayand
hitsanothervehicle,trytofindthe
ownerandreporttheincidentto
authoritiesasmentionedabove.
• If you kill or injure an animal,
callthenearesthumanesociety,
thepolice,orCHP.Donottryto
moveaninjuredanimalorleave
aninjuredanimaltodie.
Reporting a Collision
Whenyouhaveacollision,reportit
totheDMVwithin10daysif:
• Morethan$750indamagewas
donetothepropertyofanyperson.
• Anyone was injured (no matter
howslightly)orkilled.
Each driver (orthedriver’sinsurance
agent, broker, or legal representa-
tive) must make a report to DMV
usingtheReportofTrafficAccident
OccurringinCalifornia(SR1)form.
Go online at www.dmv.ca.gov or
call1-800-777-0133andaskforthe
Report ofTrafficAccident (SR 1)
form.The CHP or police will not
makethisreportforyou.
-70-
You or your representative must
makethisreportwhetherornotyou
causedthecollision,evenifthecol-
lisionoccurredonprivateproperty.
Your driving privilege will be
suspended:
• Ifyoudonotmakethisreport.
• Foruptofouryears,ifyoudidnot
haveproperinsurancecoverage.
Duringthelastthreeyearsofthe
suspension, your license can be
returnedtoyouifyouprovidea
California Insurance Proof Cer-
tificate (SR 22) and maintain it
duringthethree-yearperiod.
ADDitionAl DrivinG
lAws/rUles
things you must not Do:
• do notsmokewhenaminorisin
thevehicleatanytime.Youcan
befinedupto$100.
• do notdumporabandonanimals
onahighway.Thiscrimeispun-
ishablebyafineofupto$1,000,
sixmonthsinjail,orboth.
• do notoperateacellphonewith-
outtheuseofahands-freedevice
(minors,seepage12).
• do notdriveamotorvehiclewhile
usingawirelesscommunications
devicetowrite,send,orreadtext-
basedcommunications.
• do not wear a headset over or
earplugsinbothyourears.
• do not driveavehiclesoloaded,
eitherwithpropertyorpeople,that
youcannotcontrolitorseeahead
ortothesidesofyourvehicle.
• It is illegal to drive any vehicle
withanunsafe,unsecuredloadthat
isasafetyhazard(CVC24002a).
• do notcarryanythinginorona
passengervehiclewhichextends
beyondthefendersontheleftside
or more than six inches beyond
the fenders on the right side.
Cargoextendingmorethanfour
feetfromthebackofthevehicle
must display a 12-inch red or
fluorescentorangesquareflagor
tworedlightsatnight.
• do not allow anyone to ride
on any part of your vehicle not
intendedforpassengers.
• do notallowanyonetorideinthe
trunkofyourvehicle.Convictions
willresultinpenaltiesforboththe
driverandtheperson(s)ridingin
thetrunk.
• do not allowapersontoridein
thebackofapickuporothertruck,
unlessthevehicleisequippedwith
seatsandthepersonusesboththe
seatandasafetybelt.
• do not transport animals in the
back of a pickup or other truck
unless the animal is properly
secured.
• do notleaveachildorananimal
unattendedinahotvehicle(see
page74).
• do nottowanyonewhoisriding
a bicycle, in a wagon, on roller
skates,rollerblades,skis,sled,toy
vehicle,orskateboard,etc.
-71-
• do not litter the roadside. The
fine is $1,000, and you may be
forcedtopickupwhatyouthrew
away.Litteringconvictionsshow
onyourdrivingrecord.
• do not wear eyeglasses with
templeswideenoughtokeepyou
fromseeingclearlytothesides.
• do not driveavehicleequipped
with a video monitor, if the
monitor is visible to the driver
anddisplaysanythingotherthan
vehicle information or global
mappingdisplays.
• do not honk your horn unless
itisasafetywarningtoavoida
collision.
• do notthrowanycigarette,cigar,
orotherflamingorglowingsub-
stancefromyourvehicle.
• do not shootfirearmsonahigh-
wayorattrafficsigns.
• do not blockyourviewbyput-
tingsignsorotherobjectsonthe
frontwindshieldorthebackside
windows.Donothangobjectson
the mirror. Windshield/window
stickers, etc., are permitted in
theselocationsonly:
– Aseven-inchsquareoneither
the passenger’s side wind-
shield, lower corner; or the
lower corner of the rear win-
dow.
– A five-inch square on the
lower corner of the driver’s
sidewindow.
– Thesidewindowsbehindthe
driver.
• do not driveanymotorvehicle
intoadesignatedwildernessarea
(CVC§38301.5).
• do not drive with illegally—
tinted safety glass. If you have
sun-sensitiveskin,youmayuse
removable sun screens during
daylighttravelifyouhavealetter
fromyourphysician.
• do notblockorhinderafuneral
procession.Vehicles taking part
inafuneralprocessionhavethe
right-of-way,andifyouinterfere,
obstruct,orinterruptthefuneral
procession you are subject to a
citation(CVC§2817).Afuneral
processionisledbyatrafficof-
ficer,andallvehiclestakingpart
intheprocessionhavewindshield
markerstoidentifythemandhave
theirheadlightson.
• do not ride,orallowachildto
ride,a“pocketbike”onapublic
streetorhighway.Thesevehicles
arenotmanufacturedordesigned
forhighwayuse,andtheydonot
meetfederalsafetystandards.
things you must Do:
• You mustdriveasfartotheright
asreasonablypossibleonnarrow
mountainroads,andifyoucannot
seeatleast200feetaheadhonk
yourhorn.
• You must use your headlights
30minutesaftersunsetandleave
themonuntil30minutesbefore
sunrise.
• You mustdimyourlightstolow
beamswithin500feetofavehicle
-72-
comingtowardyouorwithin300
feetofavehicleyouarefollowing.
• You mustturnonyourheadlights
ifsnow,rain,fog,orlow-visibility
(1,000feetorless)requiretheuse
ofwindshieldwipers.
• You must move your vehicle
out of the traffic lane (unless it
isdisabled)whenitissafetodo
so,ifyouareinvolvedinacolli-
sion.Lawenforcementmaytow
or impound your vehicle if it is
leftinanunsafeareaandcauses
safetyconcerns.
HeAltH AnD sAfetY
safety for the aging Driver
The department has published a
handbook specifically for senior
drivers. Please go online at www.
dmv.ca.gov toviewordownloada
copyoftheSenior Guide for Safe
Driving,orcall1-800-777-0133to
requestacopybymailorcontactthe
Senior Driver Ombudsman Program
inyourarea:
Sacramento/NorthernCalifornia
(916)657-6464
SanFrancisco/Oakland
(510)563-8998
Orange/SanBernardino/SanDiego
(949)553-3573
LosAngeles/Oxnard
(310)412-6103
gooD vision for all Drivers
Youneedgoodvisiontodrivesafely.
Ifyoucannotseeclearly,youcannot
judgedistancesorspottrouble,and
youwillnotbeabletomakethebest
judgements. You also need to see
peripherally or “out of the corner
of your eye” to spot cars coming
upbesideyou,whileyoureyesare
ontheroadahead.
Youmayseeclearlyandstillnotbe
able to judge distances. You need
gooddistancejudgmentsoyouknow
how far you are from other cars.
Manypeoplewhomayseeclearly
inthedaytimehavetroubleseeing
clearly at night. Some people see
poorlyindimlight.Othersmayhave
troublewiththeglareofheadlights.
Have your eyes checked every
yearortwo.Youmayneverknow
aboutpoorperipheralvisionorpoor
distancejudgment,unlessyouhave
youreyescheckedbyahealthcare
professional.
hearing
Hearingismoreimportanttodriv-
ingthanmanypeoplerealize.The
soundofhorns,asiren,orscreech-
ing tires can warn you of danger.
Sometimesyoucanhearavehicle;
butcannotseeit,especiallyifitis
inyourblindspots.
Evenpeoplewithgoodhearingcan-
nothearwelliftheradioorCDplayer
isblaring.Donotwearaheadsetor
earplugsinbothearswhiledriving;
itisagainstthelaw.
Hearingproblems,likebadeyesight,
cancomeonsoslowlythatyoudo
notnoticethem.Haveyourhearing
checked periodically. Drivers that
are deaf or hearing-impaired can
-73-
adjusttheirdriversafetyhabitsby
relyingmoreontheirseeingsense
and therefore, compensate for the
lossofhearing.
alertness
Whenyouaretired,youarelessalert.
Thebodynaturallywantstosleepat
night.Mostdriversarelessalertat
nightespeciallyaftermidnight.You
maynotseehazardsassoonorreact
asquickly,aswhenyouarerested
andalert;soyourchancesofhaving
a crash may be greater. If you are
sleepy,theonlysaferesponseisto
getofftheroadandgetsomesleep.
Tokeepfrombecomingtiredona
longtrip:
• Getanormalnight’ssleepbefore
youstartonyourtrip.
• Do not take any drugs that can
makeyoudrowsy.
• Donotdrivelonghours,andtry
nottodrivelateatnight.
• Take regular rest stops even if
youarenottired.
• Keepshiftingyoureyesfromone
partoftheroadtoanother.Lookat
objectsnearandfar,leftandright.
• Trychewinggumorsingingalong
withtheradio/CD.
• Roll your window down to get
somefreshair.
Ifyouaretiredallthetimeandfall
asleep often during the day, ask
yourphysiciantocheckforasleep
disorder.
meDications
Remember that all medications,
prescription or over-the-counter,
are potentially dangerous. Over-
the-countermedicinesthatyoutake
for colds and allergies can make
youdrowsyandaffectyourdriving
ability.Ifyoumusttakemedication
beforedriving,findouttheeffectsof
themedicationfromyourphysician
orpharmacist.It is your responsi-
bility to know the effects of the
medications you take.
Beforeyoudecidetodrive,donot:
• Mixmedications,unlessdirected
byyourphysician.
• Takemedicationsprescribedfor
someoneelse.
• Mix alcohol with your medi-
cations. This applies to both
prescribed and over-the-counter
medications.
hot Weather risks
Asstatedonpage20,itisagainst
thelawtoleaveunattendedminor
childreninavehicle.Additionally,
andequallyimportant,itisdanger-
ousanddeadlytoleavechildrenand/
or animals in a hot vehicle.After
sittinginthesun,withevenaslightly
openedwindow,thetemperaturecan
riserapidlyinsideaparkedvehicle.
Thetemperatureinsideavehiclecan
rise approximately 40-50 degrees
higherthantheoutsidetemperature.
Dehydration,heatstroke,anddeath
canresultfromoverexposuretothe
heat. Remember if it’s too hot for
you,it’stoohotforchildrenandpets.
-74-
health anD emotions
Your personality affects the way
youdrive.Donotletyouremotions
interferewithsafedriving.Useall
of your good judgment, common
sense,andcourtesywhenyoudrive
andfollowalltherecommendedsafe
drivingrules.
Discusshealthconcernssuchaspoor
vision,heartproblems,diabetes,or
epilepsywithyourphysicianandfol-
lowhisorheradvice.NotifyDMV
ifyouhaveaconditionthatmight
affectyourabilitytodrivesafely.
conDitions physicians must
report
Physiciansandsurgeonsarerequired
toreportpatientsatleast14years
ofageandolderwhoarediagnosed
ashavinglapsesofconsciousness,
Alzheimer’sDisease,orrelateddis-
orders.(CaliforniaHealth & Safety
Code§103900)
Althoughnotrequiredbylaw,your
physicianmayreporttoDMVany
othermedicalconditionthatheor
shebelievesmayaffectyourability
todrivesafely.
safety tips
According to the CHP, if your
vehicle becomes disabled on the
freeway:
• Safelypulltotherightshoulder.
Ideally,parkthevehiclenextto
acallbox,ifpossible.(Thereis
acallboxlocatedeveryquarter
miletotwomiles.)
• Ifyoumustexitthevehicle,exit
ontherightsideofyourvehicle,
awayfromtraffic.
• Onceyouarrangeforassistance,
return to your vehicle, get back
into the vehicle from the right
side(awayfromtraffic),andput
onyourseatbelts.
• Stayinsideyourvehiclewiththe
seatbeltsonuntilhelparrives.
Incertaincircumstances,exityour
vehicle, such as when there is not
enoughshoulderspaceorifthereis
aguardrailoranareatosafelystay
away from the freeway lanes, and
awayfromyourvehicle.Useyour
emergency blinking lights at your
discretion according to weather
conditions.Thelightsmaybehelp-
ful,buttheycouldalsoattractdrunk
drivers.
The California Highway Patrol’s
Freeway Service Patrol (FSP)
provides free emergency roadside
services during commute periods.
If you get stuck on the freeway
becauseyourautomobilestopsrun-
ning,FSPwill:
• Offeryouagallonofgasifyou
runout.
• “Jumpstart”yourvehicleifthe
batteryisdead.
• Refill your radiator and tape
hoses.
• Changeaflattire.
TheFSPprogram:
• Cannot tow your vehicle to a
privaterepairserviceorresidence.
-75-
• Doesnotrecommendtowservice
companies or repair and body
shops.
• Doesnottowmotorcycles.
• Does not assist vehicles which
havebeeninvolvedinacollision
unlessdirectedbytheCHP.
• Doesreportanycollisiontothe
CHP.
IfFSPcannotstartyourvehicle,it
will be towed free of charge to a
locationapprovedbytheCHP.FSP
will also contact additional assis-
tanceforyou.TheCHPwillnotify
anautoclubortowingservice.
TheFSPservesthefollowingareas:
• ValleyDivision–theSacramento
metroandTracyareas
• Golden Gate Division–the San
FranciscoBayArea
• CentralDivision–theFresnoarea
• Southern Division–the Los An-
gelesBasin
• Inland Division–the Riverside
area
• Border Division–the San Diego
andOrangeCountyareas
• Coastal Division–the Monterey
andSantaCruzareas
Call 1-800-TELLCHP (835-5247)
tofindoutiftheFSPoperateswhere
youareandhowtocontacttheFSP.
recorD confiDentiality
Most information in your driver
licensefileisavailabletothepublic.
Yourresidenceaddressmayonlybe
viewedbyauthorizedagencies.Your
mailing address, if different from
yourresidence,islessrestricted.
Records on the physical or men-
tal condition of a driver remain
confidential.
Youmayobtainacopyofyourdriv-
ingrecordatanyDMVofficefora
feewithvalididentification.
vehicle theft prevention tips
Ifyoufollowthesuggestionsbelow,
you can minimize your chances
of becoming the victim of vehicle
theft. In the United States, a ve-
hicleisstolenanaverageofevery
21minutes.Vehicletheftresultsin
coststothevictimanditincreases
insurancepremiums.Also,vehicle
thievesoftenusethestolenvehicles
tocommitothercrimes.
Vehicle thefts occur more often
wherelargegroupsofcarsareparked
at any time of day for extended
periods of time, such as shopping
centers, colleges, sporting events,
moviecomplexes,andlargeapart-
mentcomplexes.
Here are some tips you can use
to avoid becoming the victim of
vehicletheft:
• Never leave:
– Yourvehiclerunningandunat-
tendedeventodashintoastore.
– The keys in the ignition. Do
notleavekeysinsidealocked
garageorahide-a-keybox.
– Valuablessuchaspurses,lap-
tops,etc.,inplainviewevenif
your vehicle is locked. Place
themoutofsight.
-76-
– Personal identification docu-
ments, such as the ownership
title or credit cards in the
vehicle.
• Always:
– Rollupyourwindowsandlock
yourvehicleevenifitisparked
infrontofyourhouse.
– Parkinhigh-traffic,well-light-
edareaswheneverpossible.
– Reportastolenvehicleimme-
diatelytothepolice.
• Suggestions:
– Install a mechanical device
that locks the steering wheel,
column,orbrakes.
– Think about purchasing a
vehiclethefttracking/security
system,especiallyifyouown
one of the frequently-stolen
modelvehicles.
– When you must leave your
keywithavalet,attendant,or
mechanic,onlyleavetheigni-
tionkey.
– Copy your license plate and
vehicleinformationonacard,
andkeepthatinformationwith
youandnotinthecar.Thepo-
licewillneedthisinformation,
ifyourvehicleisstolen.
traffic Breaks
Trafficbreaksareusedbylawen-
forcementto:
– Sloworstoptraffictoremove
hazardsfromtheroadway.
– Conduct emergency opera-
tions.
– Prevent traffic collisions in
heavyfogorunusuallyheavy
traffic.
During a traffic break, the officer
turnsontherearemergencylights,
slowsthevehicle,anddrivesacross
the lanes of traffic in a serpentine
manner. To assist the officer in
conductingatrafficbreak:
– Activateyouremergencyflash-
erstowarnotherdriversthere
isahazardahead.
– Slowlybegintodecreaseyour
speed. Do not slow abruptly
unlessitisnecessarytoavoid
a collision. Slow to the same
speed as the officer, while
keeping a safe distance from
thepatrolvehicleaheadofyou.
– Donotattempttodrivepastthe
patrolvehicle.Donotacceler-
ateuntilthepatrolvehiclehas
turnedoffitsemergencylights
andtrafficconditionsaheadal-
lowthereturntonormalspeeds.
What a Driver shoulD Do
During an enforcement stop
Acknowledge the officer’s pres-
ence by turning on your right turn
signal. Activatingyoursignallets
the officer know that you recog-
nizehisorherpresence.Anofficer
may become alarmed if you fail
torecognizehimorherandmight
perceivethatyouhaveareasonto
avoidyieldingorthatyoumightbe
impaired.
-77-
move your vehicle to the right
shoulder of the road.Theofficer
will guide you, using his or her
patrol vehicle. Do not move onto
the center median. Do not stop in
thecentermedianofafreewayor
ontheoppositesideofatwolane
roadway.Thisplacesboththedriver
andtheofficerindangerofbeinghit
byoncomingtraffic.
On a freeway, move completely
onto the right shoulder, even if
you’re in the carpool lane. Stop
inwelllitareaswhenpossible.Pull
yourvehicleasfarofftheroadway
aspossible.Whenitisdark,lookfor
locationsthathavemorelightsuch
asareaswithstreetorfreewaylights,
nearrestaurantsorservicestations.
End your cell phone conversa-
tion and turn off your radio. The
officerneedsyourfullattentionto
communicatewithyoutocomplete
the enforcement stop in the least
amountoftimeneeded.
Remain inside your vehicle unless
otherwise directed by the officer.
Neverstepoutofyourvehicle,un-
lessanofficerdirectsyoutodoso.
During an enforcement stop, the
officer’sprioritiesareyoursafety,
thesafetyofyourpassengers,and
theofficer’sownpersonalsafety.In
mostsituations,thesafestplacefor
you and your passengers is inside
yourvehicle.Exitingyourvehicle
without first being directed by an
officercanincreasetheriskofbeing
struckbyapassingvehicleand/or
increasetheofficer’sleveloffeeling
threatened.
Place your hands in clear view,
including all passengers’ hands
such as on the steering wheel,
on top of your lap, etc. During
an enforcement stop, an officer’s
inability to see the hands of the
driver and all occupants in the
vehicle increases the officer’s
level of feeling threatened. Most
violentcriminalactsagainstalaw
enforcementofficeroccurthrough
theuseofaperson’shands,suchas
the use of a firearm, sharp object,
etc. If your windows are tinted,
it is recommended that you roll
downyourwindowsafteryouhave
stopped your vehicle on the right
shoulderoftheroadwayandbefore
theofficermakescontactwithyou.
Actions tHAt resUlt in
loss of license
financial responsiBility
TheCaliforniaCompulsoryFinan-
cial Responsibility Law requires
everydriverandeveryownerofa
motorvehicletomaintainfinancial
responsibility(liabilitycoverage)at
all times. There are four forms of
financialresponsibility:
• A motor vehicle liability insur-
ancepolicy.
• Adepositof$35,000withDMV.
• A surety bond for $35,000 ob-
tainedfromacompanylicensed
todobusinessinCalifornia.
• A DMV issued self-insurance
certificate.
-78-
Youmustcarrywrittenevidenceof
financial responsibility whenever
you drive, and show it to a police
officerafteratrafficstoporcollision
whenaskedtodoso.Youmayhave
topayafineorhaveyourvehicle
impounded if you do not comply
withthislaw.
insurance
Insurance Requirements
The law states that you must be
financially responsible for your
actionswheneveryoudriveandfor
allthemotorvehiclesyouown.Most
drivers choose to have a liability
insurancepolicyasproofoffinancial
responsibility.Ifyouhaveacollision
not covered by your insurance, or
you do not have insurance, your
driverlicensewillbesuspended.If
thedriverisnotidentified,theowner
ofthemotorvehicleinvolvedina
collisionwillhavehisorherdriver
licensesuspended.
Theminimumamountyourinsur-
ance*mustcoverpercollisionis:
• $15,000 for a single death or
injury.
• $30,000 for death or injury to
morethanoneperson.
• $5,000forpropertydamage.
Call 1-800-927-HELP, before you
purchaseinsurancetoconfirmthat
your agent/broker and insurer are
licensedbytheCaliforniaDepart-
mentofInsurance.
* LowcostautomobilepoliciesareavailableinAlameda,
ContraCosta,Fresno,Imperial,Kern,LosAngeles,
Orange,Riverside,Sacramento,SanBernardino,San
Diego,SanFrancisco,SanJoaquin,SanMateo,Santa
Clara, and Stanislaus counties. Please contact your
insuranceagent.
IfyouarevisitingCaliforniaorhave
justmovedhere,beawarethatnot
allout-of-stateinsurancecompanies
are authorized to do business in
California. Before you drive here,
askyourinsurancecompanyifyou
arecoveredincaseofacollision.If
youhaveacollisioninCalifornia,
allthreeofthefollowingconditions
mustbemettoavoidthesuspension
ofyourdrivingprivilege:
1. Your liability policy must pro-
videbodilyinjuryandproperty
damagecoveragewhichequals
or exceeds the required limits
statedabove.
2. Your insurance company must
fileapowerofattorneyallowing
DMVtoactasitsagentforlegal
serviceinCalifornia.
3. You must insure the vehicle
beforeyoucometoCalifornia.
You cannot renew the out-of-
statepolicy,oncethevehicleis
registeredinCalifornia.
Collisions on Your Record
DMVretainsinformationonevery
collisionreportedtoDMVby:
• Law enforcement, unless the
reporting officer states another
personwasatfault.
• You,oranotherpartyinvolvedin
thecollision,ifanyonepersonhas
over$750indamageorifanyone
isinjuredordies.
Itdoesnotmatterwhocausedthe
collision; DMV must keep this
record.
-79-
Provide law enforcement with the:
exact location
vehicle make & model
license plate
One call could save a life.
If you see a drunk driver
on the road, call 911.
G
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Collisions, Insurance, and Minors
Ifyouareunder18yearsofage,your
parent(s) or guardian(s) must sign
yourdriverlicenseapplicationand
assumefinancialresponsibilityfor
yourdriving.Whenyoureachage
18, your parent(s) or guardian(s)
liabilityautomaticallyends.
If you are involved in a collision
your parent(s) or guardian(s) may
beliableforcivildamagesandyou
mayalsobefined.
EXCEPTION: Your parent(s) or
guardian(s) can have your license
cancelled at any time while you
areaminor.
alcohol/Drugs While Driving
Alcohol/Drugs and Driving Is
Dangerous
Alcoholand/ordrugsimpairsyour
judgment. Impaired judgment or
goodsense,affectshowyoureactto
soundsandwhatyousee.Itisalso
dangeroustowalkintrafficorride
abicycle,whileundertheinfluence
ofalcoholordrugs.Ittakesaboutan
hourforthebodytogetridofeach
“drink.” If a person has had more
thanonedrinkanhour,onehourof
“sobering up” time should be al-
lowedforeachextradrinkconsumed
beforedriving.Betterstill,someone
whohasnotbeendrinkingshould
drive(seepage86).
Muchofwhathasbeensaidabout
alcohol also applies to drugs.
California’s drunk driving law is
also a drug driving law. It refers
to “driving under the influence of
alcoholand/ordrugs.”Ifanofficer
suspects that you are under the
influenceofdrugs,theofficercan
legallyrequireyoutotakeabloodor
urinetest.Driverswhorefusethese
tests are subject to longer license
suspensionsandrevocations.
Theuseofanydrug(thelawdoesnot
distinguish between prescription,
over-the-counter, or illegal drugs)
whichimpairsyourabilitytodrive
safely is illegal. Check with your
physician or pharmacist and read
thewarninglabelifyouarenotsure
thattakingthemedicationwillaffect
yourdriving.Herearesomefacts:
• Mostdrugstakenforcolds,hay
fever,allergy,ortocalmnerves
or muscles can make a person
drowsy.
• Medicinestakentogetherorused
with alcohol can be dangerous.
Manydrugshaveunexpectedside
effectswhentakenwithalcohol.
• Peppills,“uppers,”anddietpills
canmakeadrivermorealertfor
ashorttime.Later,however,they
cancauseapersontobenervous,
dizzy,andnotabletoconcentrate.
Theycanalsoaffectvision.
Anydrugthat“maycausedrowsi-
nessordizziness”isoneyoushould
nottakebeforedriving.Makesure
youreadthelabelandknowtheef-
fectsofanydrugyouuse.
Carrying Alcohol in a Vehicle
Thelawisverystrictaboutcarry-
ing alcohol or drugs in a vehicle,
whetherthevehicleisonoroffthe
-82-
highway. You must not drink any
amountofalcoholinanyvehicle.
Acontainerofliquor,beer,orwine
carried inside the vehicle must be
full, sealed, and unopened. Other-
wise, it must be kept in the trunk
of the vehicle or in a place where
passengers do not sit. Keeping an
openedalcoholicdrinkintheglove
compartmentisspecificallyagainst
thelaw.
In a bus, taxi, camper, or motor
home, this law does not apply to
non-drivingpassengers.
Refertopage86fortheDesignated
DriverProgram.
Drivers Under 21 (Possession of
Alcohol)
Ifyouareunder21yearsofage:
• Youmaynotcarryliquor,beer,or
wineinsideavehicleunlessyou
are accompanied by a parent or
otherpersonasspecifiedbylaw
and the container must be full,
sealed,andunopened.
• Ifyouarecaughtwithanalcoholic
beverageinyourvehicle,itmaybe
impoundedforupto30days.The
courtmayfineyouupto$1,000,
andeithersuspendyourdriving
privilegeforoneyearor require
DMVtodelaytheissuanceofyour
firstlicenseforuptooneyear,if
youarenotalreadylicensed.
• Your driving privilege will be
revokedforoneyear,ifyouare
convictedofeitherdrivingwitha
BACof0.01%orhigher,ordriv-
ingwhileundertheinfluenceof
alcoholand/ordrugs.Onthefirst
offense you will be required to
completetheeducationalportion
of a licensed driving-under-the-
influence (DUI) program. A
subsequent offense may require
a longer DUI program and you
willnothavearestrictedlicense
toattendtheDUIprogram.
EXCEPTION: You may carry
alcoholic beverages in closed
containers, while working for
someone with an off-site liquor
saleslicense.
Drivers of All Ages
It is illegal to drive after consum-
ing excessive amounts of alcohol
inanyform(includingmedications
suchascoughsyrup),ortakingany
drug(includingprescriptionmedi-
cations),orusinganycombination
ofalcoholordrugs.
Blood Alcohol Concentration
(BAC) Limits
Itisillegalforanypersontooperate
avehiclewitha:
• BAC of 0.08% or higher, if the
personisage21orolder.
• BAC of 0.01% or higher, if the
personisunderage21.
• BACof0.01%orhigheratany
age, if the person is on DUI
probation.
• BACof0.04%orhigher,inany
vehicle requiring a commercial
driver license (CDL)—with or
without a CDL issued to the
driver.
-83-
TheDMVcantakeanadministrative
actionagainstyourdrivingprivilege
after you are detained or arrested,
and thecourtmaytakeaseparate
action (suspend, revoke, or delay
the license) for the same offense.
DMV’s action is related only to
yourdrivingprivilege.Thecourt’s
action may involve the payment
of a fine, jail time, suspension, or
revocationofyourdrivingprivilege
andcompletionofaDUIprogram.
Similar provisions (California
Harbors and Navigation Code)
applywhenyouoperateanyvessel,
aquaplane, jet skis, water skis, or
similardevices.Theseconvictions
are placed on your driving record
and will be used by the court to
determine “prior convictions” for
motor vehicle DUI sentencing.
These convictions are also used
when determining the length of a
suspension or revocation action
orthereinstatementrequirements,
becauseofaviolationyoucommit-
tedwhiledrivingamotorvehicle.
aDmin per se
WhenyoudriveinCalifornia,you
consenttohaveyourbreath,blood
or, under certain circumstances,
urinetestedifyouarearrestedfor
drivingundertheinfluenceofalco-
hol,drugs,oracombinationofboth.
Under 21—Zero Tolerance for
Alcohol Use. If you are under 21
yearsofage,youmustsubmittoa
hand-held breath test, Preliminary
AlcoholScreening(PAS),oroneof
theotherchemicaltestsifyouhave
been detained andapolice officer
hasreasontobelieveyouweredrink-
ingalcohol.IfyourBACmeasures
0.01%orhigheronthePAS,theof-
ficermaytakeyourlicenseandissue
youatemporarylicenseforonly30
days,giveyouanorderofsuspen-
sionforoneyear,andthendetermine
whethertoreleaseyou,turnyouover
to juvenile authorities, or contact
yourparent(s)orguardian(s).You
mayrequestaDMVadministrative
hearingwithin10days.
IfyourPASshowsaBACof0.05%,
theofficermayrequireyoutosub-
mittoeitherabreathorbloodtest.
SomePASdevicesprovidearecord
whichmaybesubmittedtothecourt
asevidence.OtherPASdevicesdo
notprovidearecord,sotheofficer
mayaskforabreathorbloodtest
after the PAS. You do not have a
righttoconsultwithalawyerbefore
selectingorcompletingatest.
IfasubsequenttestrevealsaBAC
of0.05%orhigher,theofficerwill
issue you an order of suspension,
arrestyouforDUI(CVC§23140),
and detain you until you can be
turned over to your parent(s),
guardian(s),orjuvenileauthorities.
IfyourBACis0.08%orhigher,the
policeofficermayarrestyou(CVC
§§23152or23153).
If the officer reasonably believes
youareunderthecombinedinflu-
enceofalcoholanddrugsandyou
have already submitted to a PAS
and/orabreathtest,youmaystillbe
requiredtosubmittoabloodorurine
-84-
testbecausethebreathtestdoesnot
detectthepresenceofdrugs.
Ifyourefusetosubmittoanyofthe
tests,yourdrivingprivilegemaybe
suspendedbecauseofyourrefusal.
Evenifyouchangeyourmindlater
andagreetoatest,andyourBAC
measures 0.01% or higher on the
PAS,yourdrivingprivilegemaybe
suspendedforbothreasons,although
bothactionswillrunconcurrently.
court Dui convictions
If you are convicted of driving
whileundertheinfluenceofeither
alcoholand/ordrugsorboth(DUI),
and you have an excessive BAC
level, you may be sentenced to
serve up to six months in jail and
pay a fine between $390—$1,000
(plus about three times the fine in
penaltyassessments)thefirsttime
you are convicted. Your vehicle
may be impounded and is subject
tostoragefees.
Onthefirstconvictionthecourtwill
suspendyourdrivingprivilegeforsix
monthsandrequireyoutocomplete
a DUI program before your driver
licensecanbereinstated.Thelength
of the program may vary. If your
BAC is 0.15% or higher, and you
alreadyhavearecordofviolations
for other reasons, or you refuse to
submittoachemicaltest,thecourt
mayorderyoutocompleteanine-
month or longer program. If your
BAC is 0.20% or higher, and the
courtrefersyoutoanenhancedDUI
treatmentprogram,yourlicensewill
be suspended for 10 months. You
couldalsoberequiredtoinstallan
ignition interlock device (IID) on
yourvehicle.Acourtmayalsoorder
youtoinstallanIIDifyourBACis
0.15% or higher, or you have two
or more prior moving violations,
oryourefuseachemicaltestatthe
timeofyourarrest.AnIIDprevents
youfromstartingyourvehicleifyou
haveanyalcoholonyourbreath.If
anyone was injured as a result of
your driving under the influence,
thesuspensionperiodisoneyear.
Incasesinvolvingseriousinjuryor
death,youmaybepunishedunder
the California Three Strikes Law.
You may also face civil lawsuits.
AllDUIconvictionswillremainon
DMV’s records for 10 years. The
courts and/or DMV may impose
morestringentpenaltiesforsubse-
quentviolationsduringthatperiod.
ABACbelowlegallimitsdoesnot
meanthatyouaresafetodrive.Al-
mostalldriversshowimpairmentby
alcoholatlevelslowerthanthelegal
limit.The impairment you exhibit
atthetimeyouarestoppedmaybe
enough to convict you of driving
undertheinfluenceevenwithouta
BACmeasurement.
Drivers 21 and Older —DUI
Programs and Restricted
Licenses
ThecompletionofaDUIprogram
isrequiredforallDUIconvictions.
Generally,ifyouareover21years
of age, and you enroll in a DUI
program,fileaCaliforniaInsurance
ProofCertificate(SR22),andpay
-85-
therestrictionandreissuefees,DMV
will issue you a restricted driver
license,whichallowsyoutodrive
to/fromworkandduringthecourse
ofemployment(unlessyouholda
commercialdriverlicense)andto/
fromaDUIprogram.However,if
youareconsidereda“trafficsafety”
or“publicsafety”risk,ifpermitted
todrive,thecourtmayorderDMV
tonotgrantyouarestricteddriver
license. Other actions against you
mayalsoprohibittheissuanceofa
restrictedlicense.
SecondandsubsequentDUIconvic-
tions result in increased penalties,
includingatwo-yearsuspensionora
revocationofuptofouryears.After
you complete a prescribed period
ofyoursuspension/revocationand
eitherenrollin,orcompleteapor-
tion of, a DUI program, you may
obtainarestrictedlicensetodrive
anywherenecessary,ifyou:
• InstallanIIDonyourvehicle.
• Agree not to drive any vehicle-
withoutanIID.
• Agreetocompletetheprescribed
DUIprogram.
• FileanSR22.
• Pay the reissue and restriction
fees.
DesignateD Driver program
TheDesignatedDriverProgramis
ananti-DUIeffortthatworks.This
programencouragesoneindividual
toabstainfromconsumingalcoholic
beveragesduringanouting;soheor
shecanberesponsiblefortransport-
ingotherperson(s)safely.
Toparticipateasadesignateddriver,
anindividual:
• Shouldbeatleast21yearsofage
and must possess a valid driver
license.
• Must be part of a group of two
or more persons and verbally
identifyhimselforherselfasthe
designateddrivertotheserver.
• Must abstain from consuming
alcoholicbeveragesforthedura-
tionoftheouting.
• Mustnotbeanotherwiseimpaired
driver.
• Must understand that manage-
mentreservestherighttorefuse
servicetoanyoneatanytime.
getting a ticket
Ifyouarestoppedbyapoliceofficer
andcitedforatrafficlawviolation,
you sign a promise to appear in
trafficcourt.Whenyougotocourt,
youmaypleadguiltyornotguilty,
oryoumayforfeit(pay)thecitation
fine.Payingthefineisthesameas
aguiltyplea.
Ifyouignorethetrafficticketand
donotkeepyourpromisetoappear
incourt,thefailuretoappear(FTA)
goesonyourdriverrecord.Ifyou
failtopayafine(FTP),thecourtwill
notifyDMV,andthiswillalsoshow
onyourdriverrecord.EvenoneFTA
orFTPcancausethedepartmentto
suspend your license. Ending the
suspension willcost youalicense
reissuefeeof$55.
-86-
Each time you are convicted of a
moving traffic law violation, the
courtnotifiesDMV,andtheconvic-
tionisplacedonyourdriverlicense
record. Convictions reported by
otherstatesarealsoaddedtoyour
driverrecord.
evaDing a police officer
Anypersonwhowillfullyfleesor
attempts to evade a police officer
performing his or her duties is
guiltyofamisdemeanorpunishable
by imprisonment in a county
jail for not more than one year
(CVC§2800.1).
Ifapersonisconvictedofcausing
serious bodily injury during the
course of a police pursuit (CVC
§2800.3(a)),heorsheissubjectto:
• Imprisonment in a state prison
forthree,five,orsevenyears,or
inacountyjailfornotmorethan
oneyear.
• Afineofnotlessthan$2,000,nor
morethan$10,000.
• Bothafineandimprisonment.
Whenapersonisconvictedofman-
slaughter resulting from evading
policeduringapursuit,heorsheis
subject to imprisonment in a state
prisonforaminimumoffourtoten
years(CVC§2800.3(b)).
points on the Driver recorD
The DMV keeps a public record
of all your traffic convictions and
collisions. Each occurrence stays
on your record for 36 months, or
longer, depending on the type of
conviction.
TheNegligentOperatorTreatment
System(NOTS)isbasedonnegli-
gentoperatorpointsandconsistsof
acomputergeneratedseriesofwarn-
inglettersandprogressivesanctions
againstthedrivingprivilege.
Youmaybeconsideredanegligent
operator,whenyourdrivingrecord
showsoneofthefollowing“point
count”totals.
• 4pointsin12months
• 6pointsin24months
• 8pointsin36months
Some examples of one point
violations:
• Atrafficconviction.
• Anat-faultcollision.
Some examples of two point
violations:
• Reckless driving or hit-and-run
driving
• Driving under the influence of
alcohol/drugs
• Driving while driver license is
suspendedorrevoked
Ifyouget4pointsin12months,you
willloseyourdriverlicense.Aviola-
tionreceivedinacommercialvehicle
carries one and one-half times the
pointcountnormallyassessed.For
detailed point count information
refertotheCaliforniaCommercial
Driver Handbook.
-87-
vanDalism/graffiti—
all ages
Californialawallowsthecourtsto
suspendthedriverlicenseforupto
twoyearsofapersonconvictedof
engaging in vandalism, including
graffiti.Ifyouareconvictedanddo
nothaveadriverlicense,thecourts
candelaytheissuanceofyourdriver
licenseforuptothreeyearsfromthe
dateyouarelegallyeligibletodrive.
speeD contests/reckless
Driving
A person convicted of driving
recklessly or engaging in a speed
contestwhichcausesbodilyinjury
toanotherpersonissubjectto:
• Imprisonmentinacountyjailor
stateprisonforaminimumof30
daysto6months,
• A fine ranging from $220—
$1,000,or
• Both a fine and imprisonment
(CVC§§23105and23109.1).
possessing firearms
Thecourtwill:
• Suspend or revoke the driving
privilegeofanyminorconvicted
of possessing a concealable
weaponorliveammunition,or
• Impose driver license sanctions
for minors convicted of misde-
meanorsinvolvingfirearms.
traffic violator school
Dismissals
Whenadriveriscitedforaonepoint
trafficviolation,thejudgemay offer
thedrivertheopportunitytoattend
a Traffic Violator School. Drivers
whodonothaveacommercialli-
censemayparticipateonceinany
18-monthperiodtohaveacitation
dismissedfromtheirdrivingrecord.
NOTE:Ifyouhaveacommercial
licenseandattendtrafficschool,the
citationwillstillappearonyourdriv-
ingrecord,regardlessofthetypeof
vehicleyouweredrivingwhencited.
suspension or revocation
By Dmv
Ifyougettoomanynegligentdriver
points,DMVwillplaceyouonpro-
bationforoneyear(whichincludes
asix-monthsuspension)or revoke
yourdrivingprivilege(seepage86).
Yoursuspensionorrevocationorder
informsyouofyourrighttoahearing.
Attheendofthesuspensionorre-
vocationperiod,youmayapplyfor
anewlicense,andyoumustshow
proofoffinancialresponsibility.
TheDMVwillrevokeyourlicense
ifyouareconvictedofahit-and-run
or reckless driving, which results
ininjury.
-88-
veHicle reGistrAtion reqUirements
ThefollowingisabriefsummaryofCalifornia’svehicleregistrationrequire-
ments.PleasevisittheDMVwebsitetoobtaindetailedinformationatwww.
dmv.ca.gov.
california vehicles
WhenyoupurchaseaneworusedvehiclefromalicensedCaliforniadealer,the
dealercollectsusetaxandfeestoregisterandtitlethevehicle.
ThedealersubmitsthesefeesanddocumentstoDMVandgivesyoutemporary
operatingauthority.Usuallywithinsix—eightweeksafterthepurchasedate,
youwillreceivearegistrationcard,licenseplates,stickers,andaCertificate
ofTitle,ifappropriate.
Ifyouobtain or purchase avehiclefromaprivateparty,youmusttransfer
theownershipwithin10 days.SubmitthefollowingtoDMV:
• AproperlyendorsedandcompletedCertificateofTitleorApplicationfor
DuplicateTitle(REG227).
• Smogcertificationprovidedbythesellerifrequired.
• Usetaxpaymentifrequired.
• OdometerMileageDisclosureStatementifapplicable.
• AppropriateDMVfees.
Whenyousell or transferavehicle,reportittoDMVwithin 5 days.You
cancompletetheNoticeofTransferandReleaseofLiabilityform(REG138)
online,downloadandmailthecompletedform,orcallDMVat1-800-777-
0133torequestaformbymail.
suspension By JuDge
A judge may suspend a person’s
license,ifthedriverisconvictedof
oneofthefollowing:
• Breakingspeedlawsorreckless
driving.
• Driving under the influence of
alcoholordrugs.
• Hit-and-run.
• Engaging in lewd conduct and
prostitution in a vehicle within
1,000feetofaresidence.
• Assaulting a driver, passenger,
bicyclist, or pedestrian when
theoffenseoccursonahighway
(roadrage).
• Failure to stop as required at a
railwaygradecrossing.
• Felonyormisdemeanoroffenseof
recklesslyfleeingalawenforce-
mentofficer.
Regardlessofthepointcount,many
seriousoffensesinwhichavehicle
is used are punishable by heavy
penalties such as fines and/or im-
prisonment.Ifyouuseyourvehicle
asaweaponyourdriverlicensemay
bepermanentlyrevoked.
-89-
out-of-state vehicles
Vehicles registered in another state or foreign country must be registered
in California within 20 days after you become a resident or get a job
(seepage2).
Nonresidentmilitarypersonnelandtheirspousesmayoperatetheirvehicles
inCaliforniawiththeirvalidhomestatelicenseplatesoruntiltheplatesis-
suedfromthestateoftheirlastassigneddutystationexpire.Theymayrenew
theregistrationintheirhomestatebeforeitexpiresorregisterthevehiclein
California.
Theitemsneededtoregisteranyout-of-statevehicleare:
• Completed and signed Application for Title or Registration
(REG343).
• VerificationofthevehiclecompletedbytheDMV,lawenforcementagent,
oranautoclubemployee.
• Out-of-statetitleand/orlastissuedout-of-stateregistrationcard,ifthetitle
isnotsubmitted.
• Smogcertification(1976andnewermotorvehiclesonly).
• Weightcertificateforcommercialvehiclesonly.
• AppropriateDMVfeesandusetaxifapplicable.
• CompletedOdometerMileageDisclosurestatementifapplicable.
-90-
relateD fast facts anD other puBlications (availaBle online):
• FFDL05 Birth Date and Legal Presence Requirements
• FFDL08 Social Security Number Requirements for a
Driver License or Identification Card
• FFDL08A Supplemental Social Security Information for Applications with
VISA E1/E2 and L1/L2 (and others)
• FFDL10 Potentially Unsafe Driver
• FFDL14 Vision Requirements For Driving Class C Vehicles
• FFDL15 Retention of Driver Record Information
• FFDL16 Collisions, What To Do
• FFDL19 Provisional Licensing Changes
• FFDL22 How to Prepare for Your Driving Test
• FFDL24 Identity Theft
• FFDL25 Identity Fraud
• FFDL26 A Guide to the Driver Safety Administrative Hearing Process
• FFDL27 DMV’s Reexamination Process
• FFDL28 Driver Distractions
• FFDL29 Federal Hazardous Materials Requirements -
USA Patriot Act of 2001
• FFDL31 Ignition Interlock Devices
• FFDL32 Limited Term for Legal Presence -
Driver License and Identification Card Applications
• FFDL33 Selecting a Driving School
• FFDL34 Organ and Tissue Donation
• FFDL35 Driving Under the Influence -
Immediate Driver License Suspension:
Drivers age 21 and Older
• FFDL36 Driving Under the Influence - Immediate Driver License
Suspension: Drivers Under Age 21 With a 0.01% BAC
• FFDL37 Safety Tips for Bicyclists and Motorists
• FFDL40 Diabetes and Driving
• Senior Guide for Safe Driving (DL 625)
• Parent-Teen Training Guide (DL 603)
• Driving Test Criteria (DL 955)
-91-
dmv.ca.gov
Distractions: A split
second can change or end
your life.
sAmple test #1
1.Whenyoudrivethroughaconstructionzone,youshould:
a. Slowdowntowatchtheworkers.
b. Decreaseyourfollowingdistance.
c. Passtheconstructionzonecarefullyandnot“rubberneck”.
2.Tomakearightturnatthecorner,you:
a. Maynotenterthebicyclelane.
b. Shouldonlymergeintothebicyclelaneifyoustopbeforeturning.
c. Mustmergeintothebicyclelanebeforeturning.
3.Ifatrafficsignallightisnotworking,youmust:
a. Stop,thenproceedwhensafe.
b. Stopbeforeenteringtheintersectionandletallothertrafficgofirst.
c. Slowdownorstop,onlyifnecessary.
4.Apedestrianiscrossingyourlanebutthereisnocrosswalk.Youshould:
a. Makesurethepedestrianseesyou,butcontinuedriving.
b. Carefullydrivearoundthepedestrian.
c. Stopandletthepedestriancrossthestreet.
5.Alwaysuseyourseatbelt:
a. Unlessthevehiclewasbuiltbefore1978.
b. Unlessyouareinalimousine.
c. Whenthevehicleisequippedwithseatbelts.
6.Theextraspaceinfrontofalargetruckisneededfor:
a. Otherdriverswhenmergingontoafreeway.
b. Thetruckdrivertostopthevehicle.
c. Otherdriverswhentheywanttoslowdown.
7.Roadsareslipperyafteritfirststartstorain.Whentheroadisslipperyyou
should:
a. Avoidmakingfastturnsandfaststops.
b. Testyourtires’tractionwhilegoinguphill.
c. Decreasethedistanceyoulookaheadofyourvehicle.
8.Collisionscanhappenmoreoftenwhen:
a. Allvehiclesaretravelingaboutthesamespeed.
b. Onelaneoftrafficistravelingfasterthantheotherlanes.
c. Onevehicleistravelingfasterorslowerthantheflowoftraffic.
A N S W E R S : 1 c , 2 c , 3 a , 4 c , 5 c , 6 b , 7 a , 8 c
-93-
sAmple test #2
1.Whenyouentertrafficfromastop(awayfromthecurb),you:
a. Shoulddriveslowerthanothertrafficfor200feet.
b. Needalargeenoughgaptogetuptothespeedoftraffic.
c. Shouldwaitforthefirsttwovehiclestopass,thendriveintothelane.
2.Whenpassinganothervehicle,itissafetoreturntoyourlaneifyou:
a. Cannotseethevehicledirectlytoyourright.
b. Seethevehicle’sheadlightsinyourrearviewmirror.
c. Havepassedtheothervehicle’sfrontbumper.
3.Dim your headlights for oncoming vehicles or when you are within 300
feetofavehicle:
a. Youareapproachingfrombehind.
b. Approachingyoufrombehind.
c. Youhavealreadypassed.
4.Ifyouseeorangeconstructionsignsandconesonafreeway,youmust:
a. Slowdownbecausethelaneendsahead.
b. Bepreparedforworkersandequipmentahead.
c. Changelanesandmaintainyourcurrentspeed.
5.U-turnsinresidentialdistrictsarelegal:
a. Onaone-waystreetonagreenarrow.
b. Whentherearenovehiclesapproachingnearby.
c. Acrosstwosetsofsoliddouble,yellowlines.
6.You consent to take a blood test for the alcohol content of your blood,
breath,orurine:
a. Onlyifyouhavebeendrinkingalcohol.
b. WheneveryoudriveinCalifornia.
c. Onlyifyouhaveacollision.
7.Onagreenarrow,youmust:
a. Yieldtoanyvehicle,bicycle,orpedestrianintheintersection.
b. Yieldtopedestriansonlyintheintersection.
c. Waitfoursecondsbeforeproceeding.
8.Whendrivingatnightonadimlylitstreet,youshould:
a. Drive slowly enough so you can stop within the area lighted by your
headlights.
b. Turnonyourhighbeamheadlightstobetterseethevehiclesaheadofyou.
c. Keeptheinstrumentpanellightsbrighttobemorevisibletootherdrivers.
GOONLINEATWWW.dmV.CA.GOV FORMORESAMPLETESTS
• A N S W E R S : 1 b ; 2 b ; 3 a ; 4 b ; 5 b ; 6 b ; 7 a ; 8 a
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new 2011 lAws
Effective January 1, 2011 Motorcycle License Applicants Under 21 • Applicants under 21 years of age applying for a motorcycle license must complete an approved motorcycle training class, before applying for a permit and must hold the permit 6 months before the motorcycle license can be issued. Firefighter Endorsement Change • A firefighter, including a tiller operator, is required to have a valid noncommercial Class C license, or Commercial Class A or B license and a firefighter endorsement issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to operate firefighting equipment. Pedicab Operator Requirements • Operators of pedicabs for hire are required to hold one or more of the following documents: 1. A valid California driver license. 2. Proof of successful completion of a bicycle safety training course certified by the League of American Bicyclists or an equivalent organization as determined by the local authority, OR a valid California identification card and proof of successful completion of the written portion of the California driver’s license examination administered by the DMV.

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............................2 Nonresident Military Personnel Stationed in California ...23 Crosswalks .......................12 License Renewals ..................................14 Medical Information Card .................... 2 Who Must Have a License? ..5 license clAsses ........12 License Extension .............12 Renewal by Mail or Internet .. 5 tHe eXAminAtion process ............16 Dmv informAtion ................................................................................14 Unlicensed Drivers ...........minors..............26 Roundabouts .15 Driving Schools .........15 Diplomatic Driver Licenses ................20 Traffic Signal Lights .......................8 Minors’ Permit Restrictions ..TABLE OF CONTENTS new 2011 lAws ................2 Adults Visiting California ...28 Reduced Speeds ........S............15 Free ID Cards for Physical and Mental (P&M) Conditions ........14 Organ and Tissue Donation .................28 Maximum Speed Limit .....................................3 Application Requirements for a Basic Class C Driver License ................ 11 Minors and Cell Phones ................................20 Pedestrian Signal Lights........................... 3 Acceptable Documents .....9 Minors’ License Requirements......................................12 To Replace a Lost/Stolen or Damaged License ..9 Traffic Violations ..20 oBtAininG A Driver license .26 Intersections.......................................17 Mistaken Beliefs about Seat Belts ............23 Pedestrians .......12 Name Changes ...........10 Habitual Truant—Persons 13 – 18 Years of Age ................15 Identification (ID) Card ........4 Adults’ Permit Requirements ..16 Mature Driver Program ................ viii miscellAneoUs licensinG informAtion ........................ Buses....................16 Pedestrian Responsibilities ........23 General Information ..........................7 DMV Examinations .........14 Address Changes ............10 Actions against the Provisional License ........................................... 1 Disclaimer ...3 seAt Belts ......................................19 Riding Safely with Air Bags ............2 California Resident Military Personnel (U.. 8 Minors’ Permit Requirements.28 Heavy Traffic or Bad Weather ..............................19 Unattended Children in Motor Vehicles .......... or Large Trucks ......Minors License Restrictions....ix GenerAl informAtion ..27 Speed Limits .19 Side-Impact Air Bags.......................10 Keeping Your Provisional License ..........................10 Teenage Traffic Deaths ................9 Exceptions ...........2 California Residents .......... i new informAtion 2011 ...................................4 Adults’ License Requirements ......................................23 Right-of-Way Rules .....................................21 Traffic Signs .............. 7 Where to Take the Tests .....................12 lAws AnD rUles of tHe roAD................................... Armed Forces) ..... viii Where to Write .........27 On Mountain Roads .......................................................22 speciAl section .............................................1 tHe cAliforniA Driver license ................7 trAffic liGHts AnD siGns ...................2 Minors Visiting California.........................28 Towing Vehicles........................2 New Residents.............18 Child Restraint System and Safety Seats ...................1 Accurate Identification ..........................................................................................14 License in Your Possession ............28 - v - .1 Basic Information ..

....55 Braking ............52 Following Distances ..........63 Double Fine Zones .......................53 Space to Merge ............................................................29 Blind Intersections ...53 Problem Drivers ..........39 Illegal Parking ........29 Light Rail Transit Vehicle Crossings ....30 Near Streetcars.....53 Taking Dangers One at a Time ........53 Merging in/out of Traffic .......... Headlights..............................30 Business or Residential Districts .55 Large Trucks (Big Rigs) and RVs ..51 Driving in Hill Country.......60 Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEV) and Low-Speed Vehicles (LSV) ..48 Clean Windows and Mirrors...........50 Driving in Darkness .........................................................48 Know What Is Behind You ........35 Driving in the Fog ................................................................................................31 Changing Lanes ......41 sAfe DrivinG prActices ...............60 Bicycles ....45 Scanning ...........55 Space and Speed to Pass........64 Move Over and Slow Down .... Trolleys......51 Use Your Horn ..........32 Passing Lanes .....................................................................61 Pedestrians Who Are Blind .....................................55 Space to Return .............31 Choosing a Lane ...............................................................62 Road Workers and Work Zones (“Cone Zones”) ..52 Use Your Emergency Signals .........................29 Alleys......53 Splitting the Difference.....................................................................................36 Examples of Right and Left Turns .........................39 Parking at Colored Curbs .............32 Carpool/High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV) Lanes .............................55 Trucker’s Blind Spots— the “No Zone” ...............................54 Space to Exit ......................45 Steering ...........35 Shared Roadway Bicycle Markings (Sharrows) ...................................46 Know What Is at Your Side .........................................................51 Use Your Headlights ......39 pArKinG .....................................31 Line Colors ........58 Emergency Vehicles ...............................39 Parking on a Hill ............. Streetcars...............................54 Passing Other Traffic .............................59 Slow-Moving Vehicles .41 Special Parking Rules ............................54 Space to Cross or Enter...........37 Legal U-Turns ..35 End-of-Lane Markings .............................34 Center Left Turn Lanes .....29 Near Railroad Tracks .........51 Do Not Use Your Horn ............................49 - vi - ..............................34 Turnout Areas and Lanes ....... or Buses .....51 Horn............64 Vehicles with Hazardous Loads ..56 Buses........ and Trolleys ....56 Turning ...................................................................................................................58 Light-Rail Vehicles .31 Near Animals............................31 trAffic lAnes .......................................... and Emergency Signals ............60 Animal-Drawn Vehicles..............35 Bicycle Lanes ........46 Know What Is Ahead.......55 sHArinG tHe roAD.............................60 Motorcycles ...................56 Maneuverability .................................49 How Well Can You Stop?............38 Illegal U-Turns .....................50 Driving in Rain or Snow ....................Around Children .............................45 Signaling ........................................................................49 Adjust Seat and Mirrors .64 tUrns ..................................

.72 HeAltH AnD sAfetY......73 Safety for the Aging Driver......................................85 Designated Driver Program .......71 Things You Must Do:........................89 Out-of-State Vehicles........75 Record Confidentiality .....75 Conditions Physicians Must Report .........................67 Traffic Speeds .importAnt DrivinG tips ...................89 ADDitionAl DrivinG lAws/rUles.......... Insurance........................................................75 Safety Tips................................................................................87 Vandalism/Graffiti—All Ages ....88 Suspension or Revocation by DMV................................................82 Carrying Alcohol in a Vehicle ....78 Insurance .......................79 Collisions on Your Record ........................64 Dealing with Traffic Congestion .............................................................................................76 Traffic Breaks .....................................70 Involved in a Collision ..............................................82 Drivers Under 21 (Possession of Alcohol) ........71 Things You Must Not Do: .........86 Getting a Ticket........................................................................................................68 Skids on Slippery Surfaces ....85 Drivers 21 and Older—DUI Programs and Restricted Licenses .............67 Curves.................67 Driving in Heavy Traffic ................82 Alcohol/Drugs and Driving Is Dangerous ....69 Acceleration Skids ...........70 Reporting a Collision .......83 Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits ........................................................88 Suspension by Judge ...74 Health and Emotions ..68 Mechanical Tips...........74 Hot Weather Risks........66 Collision Avoidance .........67 Driving Hazards .77 What a Driver Should Do During an Enforcement Stop ........69 Causes of Collisions ...87 Points on the Driver Record ..73 Alertness ..76 Vehicle Theft Prevention Tips...68 Water on the Road ..........73 Hearing.....69 Locked Wheel Skids .........................................................................67 What is the Road Condition .89 California Vehicles ...................69 Accelerator Malfunction .........................................79 Collisions..............88 Speed Contests/Reckless Driving . and Minors ....90 Related Fast Facts and Other Publications (available online):...............................................66 Dealing with Aggressive Drivers and Road Rage ...............................69 Steering Wheel Locking Device ...............................67 Keep Your Car Visible .......................74 Medications ......91 Sample Test #1 ..................................................69 Collisions are not Accidents ......................................................86 Evading a Police Officer .68 Slippery Roads ......................73 Good Vision for All Drivers.............66 Text Messaging and Cell Phones ....93 Sample Test #2 ..............70 Actions tHAt resUlt in loss of license .....................................83 Admin Per Se ............................................................82 Alcohol/Drugs while Driving ........88 Traffic Violator School Dismissals ...78 Financial Responsibility ...............88 Possessing Firearms ......................83 Drivers of All Ages ..77 veHicle reGistrAtion reqUirements ...................94 - vii - .................79 Insurance Requirements...................84 Court DUI Convictions .......................

dmv. The new cards are distinguished by additional security features. CA 94232-3450 © Copyright.gov to view the redesigned DL/ID cards. Visit DMV’s website at www. please send them to: Department of Motor Vehicles Customer Communications Section MS H165 PO Box 932345 Sacramento. or (5) performing the copyrighted work publicly. All requests for permission to make copies of all or any part of this publication should be addressed to: Department of Motor Vehicles Legal Office MS C128 PO Box 932382 Sacramento. DMV owns the copyright of this work. (4) displaying the copyrighted work publicly. (3) preparation of derivative works based upon the copyrighted work.ca. Some of the new features include a vertical layout for persons under 21. See illustration on page 35. commonly called “Sharrows” are pavement markings and are used to remind drivers that bicycling is allowed and encouraged in a travel lane when conditions warrant. The new cards have the latest security technology and have several features to protect them against fraud. S. Department of Motor Vehicles 2011 All rights reserved This work is protected by U. tampering and counterfeiting. Copyright law prohibits the following: (1) reproduction of the copyrighted work. images that can only be seen with the use of an ultra violet light. • Shared lane markings. (2) distribution of copies of the copyrighted work. and have a different look and feel.new informAtion 2011 • The California DMV began issuing a newly designed. and a laser perforation outline of the California Brown Bear. which can only be seen from the front of the card when a flashlight is pressed against the back of the card. the cardholders’ date of birth and signatures can be felt by touch. Copyright Law. Where to Write If you have any comments or suggestions regarding this publication. CA 94232-3820 - viii - . more secure California driver license and identification card.

brochures. directions.dmv. Go online or call the toll-free number below to find the office locations and service options of an office near you.m. and publications. on Wednesday. A few offices offer only driver license or vehicle registration services. to 5 p. and sample tests Senior driver information Teen driver information Links to other state and federal agencies Renew your driver license or vehicle registration • Call 1-800-777-0133 for automated service 24 hours a day. - ix - . – Speak to a DMV representative. Thursday. Go online at: www. and phone numbers Making appointments (except for commercial driving tests) Ordering personalized plates Driver license and identification card information Vehicle/vessel registration information Downloadable forms Publications—handbooks. but the significant contribution by the advertising sponsors is most appreciated. You can pay with a credit card. instead of your fees.m. – Make a driving test appointment.gov for: • • • • • • • • • • • Field office locations.ca.m. on Monday.Dmv informAtion DMV offices are open 8 a. please call the Office of State Publishing Advertising Department at 1-866-824-0603. The products and services provided by the advertising sponsors are not promoted or endorsed by DMV. – Find office locations and hours. forms. Tuesday. hours. helps defray the printing costs of this publication. to 5 p.m. – Make an office appointment. 7 days a week to: – Renew your driver license or vehicle registration with the Renewal Identification Number provided on your billing notice. Advertising sponsorship. • Call 1-800-777-0133 during normal business hours to: – Get driver license and vehicle registration information. and Friday and from 9 a. If you would like to advertise in this publication.

ca.gov Be courteous – We all want to get home safely! .dmv.

If you have a medical condition or a disability.ca. California law requires that all applicants who apply for an original California DL/ID card submit proof of legal presence in the U. The reliability.gov or the Legislative website at www. Your true full name as shown on your legal presence document will appear on your DL/ID card. and demonstrate your ability to drive safely. and confidentiality of the California driver license (DL) and identification card (ID) is of prime concern to all levels of govern ment and the private sector. You may also buy a copy of the CVC at any DMV office. accurate iDentification Basic information - 1 - . you will receive a license after you pay the application fee.dmv.gov. and you may have to appear in court. You may also have to provide a statement from your physician regarding your current health condition. This handbook provides a summary of the laws and regulations outlined in the California Vehicle Code (CVC). show that your physical and/or mental condition is satisfactory. If you do.GenerAl informAtion Disclaimer Fees listed in the California Driver Handbook are subject to legislative change.S.ca. law enforcement. It is critical that these documents be completely authenticated and accurate. The CVC and California Code of Regulations (CCR) are available online at www. integrity. you can be cited. If you do not have outstanding actions on your record. You may apply for a driver license at most DMV offices (see page ix).leginfo. DMV may require you to take a driving test. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). A California driver license shows that you have been given permission by the state to drive on public roadways. It is a misdemeanor to drive in California without a valid driver license. and the courts follow the full and exact language of the CVC. pass all applicable examinations. The California Legislature has declared that the DL or ID card is the primary identification document in this state. your vehicle may be impounded. as authorized under federal law.

Who must have a license? NOTE: Your license is not valid if it has been suspended. Carry both your driver license and discharge or separation papers during those 30 days (CVC §12817). see the rules for “California Residents” and “Adults Visiting California. Residency is established in a variety of ways. • Persons who drive registered offhighway vehicles or snowmobiles across a highway (other than a freeway). California Resident Military Personnel (U. • Receiving any other privilege or benefit not ordinarily extended to nonresidents.tHe cAliforniA Driver license California Residents California residents who drive on public highways or use public parking facilities must have a California driver license. • Filing for a home owner’s property tax exemption. Call 1-800-777-0133 to obtain an Extension of License for Person in Armed Forces (DL 236) card which extends your California license.S. including the following: • Being registered to vote in California elections. cancelled or revoked.” Licensees eligible for military extensions should carry documentation from their home state to verify their status to law enforcement. Nonresident Military Personnel Stationed in California If you are 18 years of age or older. - 2 - .S.) Government civilian employee who only drives vehicles owned or controlled by the U. Armed Forces) If you are out-of-state on active military duty and have a valid California driver license. your license will be valid for the full time you are absent from California and for 30 days following your discharge date.S. • Paying resident tuition at a California college or university. you must apply for a California driver license within 10 days. Military dependents do not qualify for this extension. unless they are: • Members of the Armed Forces or a United States (U. if you are honorably discharged outside of California. • Persons who drive farming vehicles not normally used on public highways. Government on federal business. Adults Visiting California Visitors over 18 years old with a valid driver license from their home state or country may drive in California without getting a California driver license as long as their home state license is valid. New Residents When you become a California resident and you want to drive in California.

Depending on the birth date/legal presence document you present.gov or in the Fast Fact brochure Birth Date and Legal Presence Requirements (FFDL 05). U. • Name change documents containing your legal name both before and after the name change. After 10 days. you must present photo identification. Proof of Indian Blood Degree. Examples of true full name verification documents include the following: • Adoption documents containing your legal name as a result of the adoption. or • Nonresident Minor’s Certificate (which is issued by DMV) to a minor with proof of financial responsibility. Passport. acceptaBle Documents - 3 - . you must present an acceptable birth date/legal presence document and provide your social security number (SSN). oBtAininG A Driver license When you apply for an original DL/ID card. Examples of other acceptable birth date/legal presence documents are: U. U. • Marriage Certificate. This document is a certified copy of the original (the original is retained by the county or state) and contains an impressed seal or an original stamped impression. If the name on your birth date/legal presence document is different from the name on your DL/ID card application. DMV will not accept a photocopy of the certified copy for birth date/legal presence or true full name verification.S. or a foreign passport or Mexican Border Crossing Card with a valid I-94.S. your first California DL/ID card may expire on the same date as your legal presence document. Your fingerprint. Certificate of Naturalization. Birth Certificate.ca. Permanent Resident Card. For any other DL/ID card transaction. and picture will also be taken (see page 4).dmv. they must have a: • Current California driver license.S.Minors Visiting California Visitors between 16 – 18 years old may drive with their home state license for only 10 days after arriving in California. you must also bring an acceptable true full name document. Armed Forces ID Cards. An acceptable birth date/legal presence or true full name document is issued by a county or state. signature. The I-94 expiration date must be more than 2 months from the DL/ID card application date. A complete list of birth date/ legal presence documents is available online at www.

You must have an instruction permit while learning to drive. repay the application fee. with or without corrective lenses. If you fail the law test and/or drive test three times your application will be application requirements for a Basic class c Driver license • • • • void. You must be able to pass a vision test. A bioptic lens restriction and daytime driving only restriction will be added to your driver record. as a result of the court order. which will be electronically verified with the Social Security Administration. and retake the required tests. This person must be seated close enough aDults’ permit requirements - 4 - . meet the application requirements. If the application expires. This fee will not be returned. You are allowed to use a bioptic lens for the behind-the-wheel road test. To apply for a driver license. Pass a vision test. This fee pays for both the instruction permit and driver license. Your accompanying driver must be 18 years of age or older and have a valid California driver license. declaration. you may be issued a California instruction permit. • Provide your true full name. with visual acuity better than 20/200 in at least one eye without the use of a bioptic telescopic lens or similar bioptic device to meet the minimum vision acuity standard. or registration document verifying the information of a domestic partnership. • Present an acceptable birth date/ legal presence document. Sign your name.• A certificate. If you are at least 18 years old. Give a fingerprint scan. The fee is good for 12 months and allows you to take the appropriate law test(s) three times. If you refuse to sign this statement. • Provide your SSN. if you qualify for both documents within the 12-month period. Signing this form means you agree to submit to a chemical test to determine the alcohol or drug content of your blood when requested by a police officer. and a new application and fee are required. • Pay a nonrefundable application fee when you apply for any new or change of class permit or license. DMV will not issue a permit or license. you must resubmit documents. and pass the required tests. Have your picture taken. • Dissolution of marriage document containing your legal name. you must: • Submit a completed and signed DMV Driver or Identification Card application (DL 44) form.

or less. Class C license • You may drive a: – 2-axle vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26. If you have a motorcycle permit. or less gross. • Pass the behind-the-wheel driving test. • Bring your valid out-of-state driver license to DMV. and you cannot ride on the freeway. If you want to obtain professional driver education and driver training.000 lbs.S. but no more than 15 persons including the driver. If you have never been licensed. Behind-the-wheel driving tests are mandatory for outof-country driver license holders. territory licenses are normally waived. – Vanpool vehicle designed to carry more than 10 persons. you must ride during daylight hours only. An instruction permit does not permit you to drive alone–not even to a DMV office to take the driving test.to you that he or she is able to take control of the vehicle at any time. Your out-of-state driver license will be invalidated and returned to you unless you are applying for a commercial license. refer to page 16. – 3-wheel motorcycle. you must: • Complete all the steps required for a permit. and when you are ready you must schedule your behind-the-wheel driving test. To get a motorcycle permit you must: • Be at least 18 years of age. you cannot carry passengers. • Comply with the requirements for a driving permit. license clAsses This handbook is primarily for a basic Class C driver license. the department may require a behind-the-wheel driving test for any type of driver license application. • Pass a traffic laws and road signs test.000 lbs. aDults’ license requirements If you have an out-of-state or out-of-country driver license. you must pay a retest fee for a second or subsequent test and schedule a behind-the-wheel driving test for another day. – 3-axle vehicle weighing 6. • Make an appointment and bring your instruction permit with you to the behind-the-wheel driving test. • Complete the application requirements. NOTE: The behind-the-wheel driving test for holders of out-of-state or U. However. you must meet the following criteria: • Be at least 18 years old. - 5 - . – Housecar 40 feet or less. If you fail the test.

and California Motorcycle Handbook.000 lbs.000 lbs. when towing is not for compensation. (CVC §21715) Other classes of driver licenses/ endorsements are: • Noncommercial Class A • Noncommercial Class B • Commercial Class A • Commercial Class B • Commercial Class C • Motorcycle Class M1 • Motorcycle Class M2 • Commercial Endorsement for: – Doubles/Triples – Hazardous Materials – Passenger Transportation – Tank Vehicle • Ambulance Driver Certificate • Firefighter Endorsement • School Bus Endorsement • Tow Truck Driver Certificate • Verification of Transit Training Certificate Detailed information on other license types and endorsements can be found in the California Commercial Driver Handbook. or less. GVWR when towing is not for compensation. - 6 - . but under 15. or hit-and-run in the last five years (CVC §12804. if used exclusively in agricultural operations and it is not for hire or compensation. drunk driving. and with endorsement. GVWR. or more gross.000 lbs. including a tow dolly. • A farmer or employee of a farmer may drive: – Any combination of vehicles with a GVWR of 26.000 lbs.000 lbs. Recreational Vehicles and Trailers Handbook.9(j)).000 lbs. • No motor vehicle under 4. • With a vehicle weighing 4. • You may tow a: – Single vehicle with a GVWR of 10. unladen weight may tow any vehicle weighing 6. that he or she has not been convicted of reckless driving. unladen. Ambulance Drivers Handbook.NOTE: The driver must have a valid medical certification on file with DMV and carry a valid medical card. or more. if used. Please refer to the above handbooks for additional information. – 5th-wheel travel trailer exceeding 10. NOTE: • Class C licensees may not tow more than one vehicle. or less. • A passenger vehicle.000 lbs. regardless of weight. The driver must keep in the vanpool vehicle a statement signed under penalty of perjury. may not tow more than one vehicle. you may tow a: – Trailer coach or 5th-wheel travel trailer under 10.000 lbs. Parent-Teen Training Guide.

if you have one. The driver’s side window must roll down.” An action may also be taken by DMV against your driving privilege or the driving privilege of anyone else who assists the applicant in the examination process. or electronic communication devices such as a cell phone. to ensure you have sufficient time for testing. make an appointment online: www. defroster. and behind-the-wheel driving tests at any DMV field office which provides driver license services. cheat sheets. If any testing aid(s) are used during the written test. etc. but is not limited to: The California Driver Handbook. hand-held computer. if required.ca.m. • A behind-the-wheel driving test.. NOTE: DMV will not administer written or audio exams after 4:30 p. parking brake. (Bring your eyeglasses or contact lenses to the exam. – A vehicle that is safe to drive with valid registration and displays a front and rear license plate. Written and vision tests are required when you apply for an original driver license or upgrade to a different class of driver license.) • A test of traffic laws and road signs. This includes. To save time. The windshield must allow a full unobstructed field of vision and there must be two rear view mirrors (one on the left outside of the vehicle). windshield wipers. and the vehicle cannot have bald tires. For the driving test. the written test will be marked as a “failure. tHe eXAminAtion process Where to take the tests Your driver license examinations include: • A vision test. bring: – Your old driver license or instruction permit. – Proof that the vehicle is properly insured.gov or call 1-800-777-0133 during normal business hours. You will be asked to locate the controls for the vehicle’s headlights. The use of testing aids is strictly prohibited. and emergency Dmv examinations - 7 - . horn. – A licensed driver age 18 years or older with a valid driver license.dmv. vision. You must have an appointment to take the behindthe-wheel driving test.You may take the written. and electric signals must work properly. The vehicle’s brake lights.

Minors must have their application for a driver license. The provisional permit is not valid until you start your behindthe-wheel driver training with an instructor or reach age 171/2. • Pass a traffic laws and road signs test. A minor is a person under 18 years of age. To get a permit you must: • Be at least 151/2 years of age.ca. the driver’s name must show on the contract as the insured driver.dmv.flashers. or you must provide proof of driver education and driver training completion. However. or if you refuse to use your seat belt during the driving test. (Certificate of Enrollment in an Integrated [Classroom] Driver Education and Driver Training Program. NOTE: If you are at least 171/2 years of age. you will need to provide proof that you: – Completed driver education (Certificate of Completion of Driver Education) OR – Are enrolled and participating in an approved integrated driver education/driver training program.) For more information. - 8 - .gov. refer to the Fast Fact Provisional Licensing Changes (FFDL 19) at www. signed by his/her parent(s) or legal guardian(s). NOTE: Minors may not work as a driver for pay and they may not drive a school bus containing pupils. If you have a permit and plan to drive outside of California. you must wait one week before retaking the test. NOTE: The behind-the-wheel driving test will be rescheduled if the vehicle does not meet the above requirements. refer to the Fast Facts brochure How to Prepare for Your Driving Test (FFDL 22) and sample tests which are available online at www.dmv. check licensing requirements in that state or country. or any change of driver license class. speciAl section minors minors’ permit requirements • Have your parent(s) or guardian(s) sign the DL 44 form. you may obtain a permit without completing driver education or driver training.ca. If you use a rental vehicle for the driving test. If you fail the test. • Complete the Driver License or Identification Card application (DL 44) (see pages 4 and 5). • If you are 151/2–171/2 years of age. For more information. you cannot get a license before you are 18 years old. You must demonstrate how to use the parking brake. You must also wear your seat belt. but under 18 years of age.gov.

or an adult 25 years of age or older. the “provisional” part of your license ends. and you cannot transport passengers under 20 years of age. as long as you do not have any collisions or traffic violations.minors license restrictions - 9 - . Once you have your provisional license. and 5 a.gov/teenweb/ or call 1-800-777-0133 to request this booklet. a licensed driver 25 years of age or older. The law allows the following exceptions when reasonable transportation is not available. • Have had a California instruction permit for at least six months. which explains the necessity to drive and the date when this driving necessity will end (emancipated minors are excluded from this requirement): • Medical necessity to drive when reasonable transportation alternatives are inadequate. unless you are accompanied by a licensed parent or guardian. your instructor will sign the permit to validate it. You must: • Be at least 16 years old. If you fail the behind-thewheel driving test. When you become 18 years old.Your permit is not valid until you begin driver training. • Pass the behind-the-wheel driving test. The person must sit close enough to you to take control of the vehicle at any time. or a licensed or certified driving instructor. • Prove that you have finished both driver education and driver training. driving instructor. You must practice with a licensed California driver: parent.m. and it is necessary for you to drive. exceptions . you must pay a retest fee for a second or sub- minors’ permit restrictions minors’ license requirements sequent test and wait two weeks before you are retested. You have three chances to pass the test while your permit is valid. The note must be signed by a physician with the diagnosis and probable date of recovery. guardian.dmv. Visit the Teen website at www. you cannot drive between 11 p. A provisional permit does not allow you to drive alone – not even to a DMV office to take a driving test. A signed note must be kept in your possession for the following exceptions. • Provide parent(s) or guardian(s) signature(s) on your instruction permit stating that you have completed 50 hours of supervised driving practice (10 hours must be night driving) as outlined in the Parent-Teen Training Guide (DL 603).” During the first 12 months after you are licensed.ca. You may keep your provisional photo license or pay a fee for a duplicate license without the word “provisional. you may drive alone.m. spouse.

EXCEPTION: These requirements do not apply to an emancipated minor. You must have declared yourself emancipated and provided DMV with Proof of Financial Responsibility (SR1P) in lieu of your parent(s) or guarantor(s) signature(s). stating the reason and probable end date of the necessity to drive the immediate family member. which often results in the loss of vehicle control and accounts for about 50 percent of all teen traffic convictions. DMV will suspend your driving privilege until you appear in court. • Employment necessity and the need to operate a vehicle as part of your employment. traffic violations Nearly 50 percent of the drivers between 15 – 19 years of age are convicted of a traffic violation in their first year of driving. dean. DMV will suspend your driving privilege until you pay the fine. The most common violation is for speeding. or designee. Keeping Your Provisional License The DMV will track your driving record and take actions based upon any collisions or violations as follows: • If you get a traffic ticket and fail to appear in court. If you are under 18 years old. The teenage collision rate per mile is four times greater than the adult driver collision rate per mile. Your risk of an injury collision is three times higher than the average driver’s risk. A physician’s note and a note signed by your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) is required. actions against the provisional license - 10 - . • If you get a traffic ticket and fail to pay the fine. and injury rates of any age group.• Schooling or school-authorized activity. you increase your chances of having a collision. Traffic collisions are the leading cause of death for teenagers. The note must be signed by the employer verifying employment. lack of familiarity with the vehicle. and their need to push themselves and the vehicle to the limit. When you violate traffic laws. your risk of a fatal collision is about 21/2 times that of the “average” driver. Teenagers as a group average twice as many collisions as adult drivers. collision. The note must be signed by the school principal. • The necessity to drive an immediate family member. Studies show that the traffic deaths of new drivers are deadly combinations of their inexperience driving. Teenage Traffic Deaths Drivers 15–19 years old have the highest traffic conviction. while driving only half as many miles.

ca. dmv..Cell phone use on the road. Get the picture? It is illegal and dangerous.gov ..

you cannot drive for 30 days. • If you have additional “at fault” collisions or point count convictions while on probation. Any restriction. • If you have a third “at fault” collision or conviction (or any combination) within 12 months. stronger actions may be taken if your driving record justifies them. minors anD cell phones If your driver license is lost. or another emergency entity in an emergency situation. you may not drive in California. do not answer the call or respond to the text. Other. if your driving privilege has been suspended or revoked. miscellAneoUs licensinG informAtion to replace a lost/stolen or DamageD license - 12 - . DMV will send you a warning letter. If DMV cannot confirm your identity. the court orders the DMV to suspend your driver license for one year. • If you have a second “at fault” collision or conviction (or combination of both) within 12 months. you will not be issued a temporary license. You should also present photo identification. the fire department. you will be suspended again. or revoke your driving privilege for one year if you are convicted of being a habitual truant from school. If you do not have a driver license the court orders DMV to delay your eligibility to apply for a driver license. delay. • It is against the law for a minor to use a cell phone while driving. You may also be required to complete a Driving-Under-the-Influence (DUI) program. (Traffic law violations resolved in Juvenile Court are also reported to DMV. you will be suspended for six months and placed on probation for one year. restrict. a health care provider. suspension. • Exceptions: You may use a cell phone to contact law enforcement. unless accompanied by your licensed parent or other licensed adult who is at least 25 years of age. • Convictions for violations of this law are subject to fines. stolen. Habitual Truant— Persons 13 – 18 Years of Age The court will suspend.• If you have one “at fault” collision or conviction within 12 months. If your cell phone rings. or probation will continue for its full term past your 18th birthday.) • If you are convicted of using alcohol or a controlled substance and you are between 13 – 21 years of age. Remember. or damaged. you must go to a DMV office and pay a fee for a replacement license.

When you legally change your name because of marriage or other reasons. A new picture. Bring your driver license to DMV in person. • You are not suspended for driving with an illegal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level. • You do not have a probationary license (CVC §14250). The DMV sends a renewal notice to your address of record about two months before your driver license expires. or refusing or failing to complete a reneWal By mail or internet license reneWals - 13 - . If you do not receive a renewal notice.dmv. The DMV issues a driver license for five years. Once a replacement license is issued. you will not be issued a temporary license. and social security number (SSN) with the SSA. For other types of licenses refer to the California Commercial Driver Handbook. Recreational Vehicles and Trailers Handbook. or California Motorcycle Handbook. Driving tests are not required simply because of age. if: • Your current license expires before age 70. Follow the instructions on the renewal notice.If you are a minor. You must complete the Driver License or Identification Card application (DL 44) and pay the applicable fee.ca. • You have not violated a written promise to appear in court or to pay a fine within the last two years. DMV will electronically verify your name. name changes Qualified drivers may be eligible to renew their license online at DMV’s website at www. the previous license is no longer valid. you may be eligible to renew by mail. go online or call to make an appointment to renew your driver license (see page ix).gov or by mail. be sure to change your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA) before coming into DMV. The license expires on your birthday in the year shown on the license. and signature will be taken and your old photo DL/ID card will be invalidated and returned to you. internet or telephone without taking a law test. It is against the law to drive with an expired driver license. fingerprint. If DMV cannot confirm your identity. birth date. along with your marriage certificate or other acceptable verification of your “true full name” (see page 3). your parent(s) or guardian(s) must sign the DMV application form (DL 44). Destroy the old license if you find it later. A driving test may be required as part of any driver license transaction. If you have not received two consecutive five-year driver license extensions.

and other medical information. Show it to any police officer who asks to see it. license extension license in your possession address on the form. Mail your request to DMV. Limited term drivers are not eligible for this extension. you must give DMV your new address within 10 days. the DMV representative will give you a Change of Address Certificate (DL 43) to complete and carry with your license. identification card. birth date. Sacramento. There is no fee to change your address. name of physician. Include your name. CA 94290-0001. If you change your address at a field office. You must always have your driver license with you when you drive. driver license number. California residence address. you may request a free one-year extension before your driver license expires.S. It can be carried with your DL/ID card. check “YES! I want to be an organ and tissue donor” to place your name on the Donate Life California Organ Tissue Donor Registry. and request a DMV 14 form be mailed to you.chemical or preliminary alcohol screening test within the last two years. Call 1-800-777-0133 to obtain a free Medical Information Card (DL 390) to list your blood type. You may also type or write your new address on a small piece of paper. NOTE: If you renew by telephone. REmINdER: The U. or call DMV at 1-800-777-0133. • You do not have a total violation point count greater than one point. You may notify DMV of your address change for your driver license. you need to have the Renewal Identification Number (RIN). PO Box 942890. allergies. You may sign up to donate your organs and tissue for transplantation after your death. and date the paper and carry it (do not use tape or staples) with your driver license or identification card. If you are away from California (up to one year). sign. If you are in a collision. and vehicle(s) online at www. and out-of-state address. A new driver license is not issued when you change your address.ca.dmv. When you apply for or renew your driver license or ID card. Postal Service does not forward DMV correspondence. You may also financially contribute at meDical information carD aDDress changes When you move. You may also download a Change of Address (DMV 14) form and mail it to the organ anD tissue Donation - 14 - .gov. A space is provided on the back of your driver license or identification card to record your address change. you must show it to the other driver(s) involved (see page 69).

this time, or by visiting the Donate Life California website. If you are older than 13, and under 18 years of age, you may register with Donate Life California, provided your parent(s) or guardian(s) authorize the donation. For more information about the donor registry, adding restrictions to your gift, and the donation process, visit the Donate Life California website at donateLIFEcalifornia.org, or call 1-866-797-2366. It is against the law to loan your vehicle to a person who is unlicensed or whose driving privilege has been suspended. If an unlicensed person is caught driving your vehicle, it may be impounded for 30 days (CVC §14607.6). No person of any age may drive on a highway or in a public parking facility unless he or she has a valid driver license or permit. The law also states that you must not employ, permit, or authorize any person to drive your vehicle on a public street or highway, unless he or she is licensed to drive that class of vehicle. A person must be at least 21 years old to drive most commercial vehicles for hire in interstate commerce and to transport hazardous materials or wastes.

Nonresidents who possess a valid diplomatic driver license issued by the U.S. Department of State are exempt from California driver licensing equirements. r DMV issues ID cards to persons of any age. To obtain an original ID card, you must present a birth date/ legal presence verification document (see page 3) and provide your social security number (see page 13). The ID card is valid until the sixth birthday after the issue date. The fee for an ID card may be reduced, if you meet certain income requirements for specific public assistance programs. NOTE: Governmental or non-profit organizations determine whether an individual meets the requirements for a reduced-fee ID card. If you are age 62 or older, you may obtain a free Senior Citizen ID card that is good for 10 years.

Diplomatic Driver licenses

iDentification (iD) carD

unlicenseD Drivers

Drivers with physical or mental (P&M) conditions may need to be reexamined from time to time by a physician, or be retested more often than every five years by a DMV examiner to obtain a limited-term driver license. Drivers who are no longer able to drive safely because of a P&M condition may exchange their

free iD carDs for physical anD mental (p&m) conDitions

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valid driver license for a no-fee ID card, if certain guidelines are met. Go online at www.dmv.ca.gov or call 1-800-777-0133 for additional information. When learning to drive, you should seek qualified instruction, either with an accredited public or private high school or a state licensed professional driving school. DMV licenses professional schools and instructors in California that meet rigid qualifying standards. Schools must carry liability insurance, hold a bond, and maintain complete records for DMV inspection. ehicles are subject to annual V inspection. Instructors must pass a written examination every three years or show proof of continuing education in the traffic safety field. If you use the services of a professional driving school, ask to see the instructor’s identification card. Go online at www.dmv.ca.gov or refer to the fast fact brochure Selecting a Driving School (FFDL 33) for additional information. The Mature Driver Program is an eight-hour course for drivers 55 and older. This course covers a variety of topics of special interest to the mature driver and is available from DMV approved course providers. Your insurance company may offer discounts for those who complete the class and receive a completion certificate The certificate is valid .

for three years and can be renewed by completing a four-hour course. Pedestrians (including joggers) should be aware of traffic conditions. Watch out for aggressive drivers before assuming that you have the right-of-way when crossing a street. Be aware that hybrid and electric vehicles are virtually silent when running on electric power and you may not hear them approaching an intersection. Yield the right-of-way to vehicles, when you cross a street between intersections and in areas with no pedestrian crosswalks or signals. REmEmbER: Making eye contact with a driver does not mean that the driver will yield the right-of-way. Do not suddenly leave a curb or other safe place and walk or run into the path of a vehicle close enough to be a danger to you. This is true even though you are in a crosswalk. The law states that drivers must always yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian–but if the driver cannot stop in time to avoid hitting you the law will not prevent you from being hit. Always obey traffic signals. Whether the intersection has pedestrian signals or traffic lights, you must obey the pedestrian rules (see pages 23-26). At an intersection where traffic is not controlled by signals, drivers are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians within any crosswalk, marked or unmarked.

peDestrian responsiBilities

Driving schools

mature Driver program

- 16 -

When a signal first changes to green or “WALK”, look left, right, and then left again, and yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection before the signal changes. If the signal begins blinking or changes to “DON’T WALK,” or to an upraised hand after you have gone part way across a divided street, you may continue across the street. Do not stop or delay traffic unnecessarily while crossing a street. Pedestrians are not permitted on any toll bridge or highway crossing, unless there is a sidewalk and signs stating pedestrian traffic is permitted. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing oncoming traffic (see graphic). Do not walk or jog on any freeway where signs tell you that pedestrians are not allowed. Do not walk or jog in a bike lane unless there is no sidewalk. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing oncoming traffic (see graphic). Do not walk or jog on any freeway where signs tell you that pedestrians are not allowed. Do not walk or job in a bike lane unless there is no sidewalk. At night, make yourself more visible by: • Wearing white, light , or reflective material clothing. • Carrying a flashlight.

seAt Belts
Seat belts, both the lap belt and shoulder harness, must be in good working order. You may not operate your vehicle unless you and all your passengers six years of age or older, or who weigh 60 lbs. or more, are wearing seat belts. Younger children must be seated in a federallyapproved child passenger restraint system. You and your passengers must wear seat belts while your vehicle is moving on public roads and on private property, such as public parking lots. If seat belts are not worn by any of your passengers, you and the passenger(s) may both be cited. You will be cited if a passenger, younger than 16 years of age, is not wearing his or her seat belt. Always use your seat belts (including the shoulder harness) even if the vehicle is equipped with air bags. You can have shoulder harnesses or seat belts installed in older vehicles. Even if you wear only a lap belt when driving, your chances of living through a collision are twice as high as someone who does not wear a lap belt. If you wear a lap and shoulder belt, your chances are three to four times higher to live through a collision. Pregnant women should wear the lap belt as low as possible under the abdomen, and the shoulder strap should be placed between the breasts and to the side of the abdomen’s bulge. WARNING: Using seat belts reduces the risk of being thrown from

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your vehicle in a collision. but you keep going at the same speed you were traveling. Lap-only belts increase the chance of spinal column and abdominal injuries—especially in children. A seat belt may keep you from being “knocked out. • “Some people are thrown from a vehicle in a crash and walk away with hardly a scratch. Many studies and actual crash tests have proven safety belts can reduce injuries and deaths. - 18 - . My little brother or sister doesn’t need to be secured in a safety seat. the impact could push you back and forth across the seat. Seat belts and shoulder harnesses keep you in a better position to control the vehicle and may minimize serious injuries. Shoulder harnesses may be available for your vehicle. but I don’t need them if I’m driving around town. Do not take chances with your life or the lives of your passengers. your chances to escape are better if you are conscious. The law requires that you buckle children into a federally-approved child passenger restraint system.” It actually takes less than a second to take off a seat belt. Your vehicle stops when you collide. • “I’m only going to the store. If you do not install and use a shoulder harness with the seat (lap) belt. If you are struck from the side.” Your chances of surviving a collision are five times better if. Buckle up every time you drive regardless of travel distance. The following graphics illustrate what can happen in a collision. if it is not already equipped with them. A seat belt can keep you from being thrown into the path of another vehicle. Have you heard these myths? • “Seat belts can trap you inside a vehicle. • “Seat belts are good on long trips. you are not thrown from the vehicle. serious or fatal injuries may happen in some crashes.” Car collisions are the number one preventable cause of death for children. At 30 mph this motion is equivalent to hitting the ground from the top of a threestory building. until you hit the dashboard or windshield.” Therefore. This myth often describes a vehicle that caught fire or sank in deep water.” More than half of all traffic deaths happen within 25 miles of home. upon im- mistaken Beliefs aBout seat Belts pact.

. chilD restraint system anD safety seats • Is riding in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system. Passengers should also sit at least 10 inches away from the passengerside air bag. The biggest risk is being too close to the air bag. but less than 16 years. Most people can take steps to eliminate or reduce air bag risk without turning off air bags. and children under age six years. • Weighs less than 20 lbs. if you can do this while maintaining full control of the vehicle. Proper child passenger restraint system installation can be checked by contacting local law enforcement agencies or fire departments. • The child passenger restraint system cannot be properly installed in the rear seat. An air bag needs about 10 inches of space to inflate.. you should consider the benefits and riDing safely With air Bags siDe-impact air Bags - 19 - . A child under the age of six years. Since side air bags are different in design and performance. may ride in the front seat of a vehicle only in the following instances : • There is no rear seat or the rear seats are either side-facing jump seats or rear-facing seats. • A medical reason requires the child to ride in the front seat. who weigh more than 60 lbs. A child may not ride in the front seat of an airbag-equipped vehicle if the child: • Is less than one year of age. As your child grows. and weighing less than 60 lbs. check with these agencies to confirm that the car seat is the correct size for your child. If you cannot safely sit 10 inches away from the air bag. must be secured in a federally-approved child passenger restraint system and ride in the back seat of a vehicle. children who are seated next to a side air bag may be at risk of serious or fatal injury. Children ages six years and older.Any child under the age of six years and weighing less than 60 lbs. However. contact your vehicle dealer or manufacturer for advice about additional ways of moving back from your air bag. must be properly secured in an appropriate child passenger restraint system or safety belt which meets federal safety standards. that may provide this service or refer you to a Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Technician in your area. Ride at least 10 inches (measured from the center of the steering wheel to your breastbone) from the air bag cover. Side-impact air bags can provide extra safety benefits to adults in side-impact crashes. • All rear seats are already occupied by children under the age of 12 years.

DMV and court penalties for leaving an unattended child in a vehicle are more severe if the child is injured. Do not turn if a “NO TURN ON RED” sign is posted. and vehicles close enough to be a hazard. keys are in the ignition. Flashing Red–A flashing red signal light means “STOP. Be prepared to obey the next signal. • The vehicle’s engine is running. or dies.” You do not need trAffic liGHts AnD siGns traffic signal lights - 20 - . bicyclists. Flashing Yellow–A flashing yellow signal light warns you to “PROCEED WITH CAUTION. These children are usually not in the path of a side air bag when it inflates. Red Arrow–A red arrow means “STOP.” Remain stopped until the green signal or green arrow appears.risks associated with the use of side air bags if you transport children. If you cannot stop safely. Studies have shown that children who are leaning against a side air bag when it inflates are at risk of serious injury. requires emergency medical services. EXCEPTION: The child may be left under the supervision of a person 12 years of age or older.” The red signal is about to appear. Observe the right-of-way rules. Be aware if: • Weather conditions or other conditions present a significant risk to the child’s health or safety. you may proceed when it is safe. or both. Do not turn against a red arrow. Children may start or move the vehicle causing injuries and/or deaths to themselves or others. When you see the yellow light. Also. stop if you can do so safely. Solid Yellow–A yellow s i g n a l l i g h t m e a n s “CAUTION. unattenDeD chilDren in motor vehicles Solid Red–A red signal light means “STOP. The court may fine a violator and require him or her to attend a community education program. which could be the green or red light or the red arrow.” After stopping. Example: Leaving a child in a closed vehicle on a very hot day. Make the right turn only when it is safe. cross the intersection cautiously. It is illegal to leave a child six years of age or younger unattended in a motor vehicle. These studies also show that children who are traveling in a correctly installed child restraint system appropriate to age and weight are not at risk of serious injury.” You can make a right turn against a red light after you stop then yield to pedestrians. Yellow Arrow–A yellow arrow means the “protected” turning time period is ending.

These signals are designed to help blind or visually impaired pedestrians cross the street. make the turn only if you have enough space to complete the turn before creating a hazard for any oncoming vehicle. proceed cautiously. you can be cited. bicyclist. Countdown signals indicate how many seconds remain for crossing. but you must first yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians and then proceed with caution. or pedestrian. If there are no pedestrian signals. Some signals may provide a beeping or chirping sound or a verbal message. Traffic Signal blackout–If a traffic signal light is not working. finish crossing the street as quickly as possible. At many traffic signals.to stop for a flashing yellow light. as if the intersection is controlled by a stop sign in all directions. bicyclist. If you block the intersection. F l a s h i n g Ye l l o w A r ro w – T h i s s i g n a l means turns are permitted (unprotected). Do not enter the intersection if you cannot get completely across before the light turns red. Pedestrian signals show words or pictures similar to the following examples: “Walk” or “Walking Person” lights mean it is legal to cross the street.” You must turn in the direction the arrow is pointing after you yield to any vehicle. The green arrow allows you to make a “protected” turn. A green light means “GO. but you must slow down and be especially alert before entering the intersection.” If you are turning left. and allows pedestrians the flexibility to speed up if the crossing phase is about to expire. If the flashing starts after you have already started to cross. Green Arrow–A green arrow means “GO. “ d o n ’ t Wa l k ” o r “Raised Hand” lights mean you may not start crossing the street. peDestrian signal lights - 21 - . and pedestrians are stopped by a red light as long as the green arrow is lighted. you need to push the pedestrian push button to activate the “Walk” or “Walking Person” signal. Oncoming vehicles. obey the traffic signal lights. bicyclist. Solid Green–Give the right-of-way to any vehicle. or pedestrian in the intersection. or pedestrian still in the intersection. Flashing “don’t Walk” or Flashing “Raised Hand” lights mean do not start crossing the street because the traffic signal is about to change. bicyclists.

Stop if children are in the crosswalk. playgrounds.WRONG WAY tion. the road reflectors will shine red in your headlights. X-shaped signs with a white background that state RAILROAd CROSSING indicate that you must slow down and be ready to stop. If a crosswalk or limit line is not painted on the street. which is a wide white line painted on the street. which is usually on a freeway off ramp. bicyclist. stop at the corner. or pedestrian pass before you proceed. The WRONG WAY sign may or may not be posted with the dO NOT ENTER sign. When safe.DO NOT cates that you must ENTER ENTER follow the sign’s instruc. At night if you are going the wrong way. A five-sided sign indicates that you are near a school. Stop before entering a crosswalk or at a white limit line. school buses. A white rectangular sign indicates that you must obey important rules. A four-sided diamond-shaped sign warns you of specific road conditions and dangers ahead. the WRONG dO NOT ENTER sign WAY means: do not enter a road or off ramp where the sign is posted. These signs warn of conditions related to pedestrians. For example. back out or turn around and return to the road you were on. Here are the common shapes used: An eight-sided red STOP sign indicates that you must STOP make a full “STOP” whenever you see a STOP sign.” The picture inside the circle shows what you cannot do. to let any vehicle. traffic signs If a sign has a red circle with a red line through it. it always indicates “NO. A three-sided red YIELD sign indicates that you must slow down and be ready to stop. schools.The shape and color of a sign offers you a clue about the information contained on the sign. O S R S C IN O G R A IL R A D - 22 - . The sign may be shown with or without words. You are going against traffic. Obey all warning signs regardless of their shape (see pages 24 and 25 for examples). A square red and white DO NOT regulatory sign indi. bicyclists. If you see one or both of these signs. A yellow and black circular sign indicates that you are R R approaching a railroad crossing. and school passenger loading zones. Many warning signs are diamond-shaped. drive to the side of the road and stop. if necessary. if necessary. to let any trains pass before you proceed. Some warning signs have a florescent yellow-green background.

Use extra caution when driving near pedestrians. because these vehicles are virtually silent while operating. • Respect the right-of-way of pedestrians. etc. even if the crosswalk is in the middle of the block. such as failing to stop at a stop sign or traffic light. Never assume other drivers will give you the right-of-way. or illegal turns. Always stop for any pedestrian crossing at corners or other crosswalks. Yield to the pedestrian. • Do not pass a vehicle that has stopped at a crosswalk. Pedestrians may be at risk walking near hybrid and electric vehicles. Motorists must respect the right-of-way of others by not violating traffic laws. whether or not the crosswalks are marked by painted lines. making unsafe lane changes. • Do not drive on a sidewalk. yield to all pedestrians. and bicycle riders. motorcycle riders. disabled pedestrians and pedestrians with young children sufficient time to cross the street. • Remember. except to cross it to enter or exit a driveway or alley. he or she is ready to cross the street. speeding. • Important: Blind pedestrians rely on the sound of your vehicle to become aware of your vehicle’s presence. A pedestrian you cannot see may be crossing the street. other than a bicycle. especially pedestrians. if a pedestrian makes eye contact with you. together with courtesy and common sense. Statistics show that right-of-way violations cause a high percentage of injury collisions in California.General Information Right-of-way rules. A pedestrian is a person on foot or who uses a conveyance such as roller skates. Respecting the right-of-way of others is not limited to situations such as yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks. When crossing. quadricycle. so it is important that - 23 - . help to promote traffic safety. Pedestrian deaths occur in 17 percent of all traffic fatalities. A pedestrian can also be a person with a disability using a tricycle. at corners with or without traffic lights. or wheelchair for transportation. Pedestrians Pedestrian safety is a serious issue.. • Do not stop in a crosswalk. It is important to respect the right-of-way of others. • Allow older pedestrians. or watching carefully to ensure the right-of-way of bicyclists and motorcyclists. skateboard. You will place pedestrians in danger. Drive cautiously when pedestrians are near lAws AnD rUles of tHe roAD right-of-Way rules because they may suddenly cross your path.

Red and White Regulatory Signs No U-turn No Left Turn No Right Turn White Regulatory Signs Highway Construction and Maintenance Signs Guide Signs Hazardous Loads Placards Slow Moving Vehicle - 24 .78 - .

- 25 79 - .Warning Signs Slippery When Wet Merging Traffic Divided Highway Sharp Turn Two Way Traffic Lane Ends End Divided Highway Traffic Signal Ahead Pedestrian Crossing Added Lane Crossroad Stop Ahead Yield Ahead Curve “T” Intersection Directional Arrow Reverse Turn Winding Road .

and pedestrians. bicyclists. Crosswalks A crosswalk is the part of the roadway set aside for pedestrian traffic. crosswalks in residential areas are not marked. Before turning a corner. but they can also be located in the middle of the block. Intersections An intersection is any place where one line of roadway meets another roadway. yield to the vehicle or bicycle which arrives first. alleys. Drivers of hybrid or electric vehicles must remain especially aware that the lack of engine noise may cause a blind pedestrian to assume there is not a vehicle nearby. or to the vehicle or bicycle on your right if it reaches the intersection at the same time as you. On divided. • When you turn left. Follow this cue: – When a blind person pulls in his or her cane and steps away from the intersection. give the rightof-way to all vehicles approaching that are close enough to be dangerous.you stop your vehicle within 5 feet of the crosswalk. Driving through an intersection is one of the most complex traffic situations motorists encounter. Also. and any other location where vehicles traveling on different highways or roads join each other. Most intersections have a pedestrian crosswalk whether or not lines are painted on the street. Yield to traffic and pedestrians already in the intersection or just entering the intersection. • At “T” intersections without “STOP” or “YIELD” signs. Pedestrians have the right-of-way in crosswalks. Intersections include cross streets. yield to traffic and pedestrians on the through road. watch for people about to cross the street. When you turn right. Yellow crosswalk lines may be painted at school crossings. whether or not the lights are flashing. highways - 26 - . Look for pedestrians and be prepared to stop. freeway entrances. Most often. Intersection collisions account for more than 45 percent of all reported crashes and 21 percent of fatalities according to the Federal Highway Administration. They have the right-of-way. be sure to check for pedestrians crossing the street and bicyclists coming up behind you on the right. Most crosswalks are located at corners. Some crosswalks have flashing lights to warn you that pedestrians may be crossing. look for motorcyclists. • At intersections without “STOP” or “YIELD” signs. Crosswalks are often marked with white lines. this gesture usually means for you to go (additional information regarding blind pedestrians can be found on pages 62 and 63). Also. side streets. slow down and be ready to stop.

Safety suggestion: While waiting to turn left.. you could be pushed into oncoming traffic. yield to traffic before reentering the road. the vehicle facing downhill must yield the right-of-way. • Drive in a counter-clockwise direction. • Turn left. and exit in the lane you entered (red car). stop first then follow the above rules. etc. • Use your turn signals when you change lanes or exit the roundabout. On Mountain Roads When two vehicles meet on a steep road where neither vehicle can pass.or highways with several lanes. • If you have parked off the road or are leaving a parking lot. • If you miss your exit. choose either lane. choose the left lane. If your wheels are pointed to the left. to: • Turn right at the intersection. Do not stop or pass other vehicles. For roundabouts with multiple lanes. Roundabouts A roundabout is an intersection where traffic travels around a central island in a counter-clockwise direction. Multiple and single lane roundabout When you approach a roundabout: • Slow down as you approach the roundabout. choose the right-hand lane and exit in the right-hand lane (blue car). and exit (yellow car). watch for vehicles coming in any lane you cross. • Watch for signs and/or pavement markings that guide you or prohibit certain movements. continue around until you return to your exit. For example. • Yield to pedestrians and bicyclists crossing the roadway. choose your entry or exit lane based on your destination as shown in the graphic. • When there are “STOP” signs at all corners. by backing up until the vehicle going uphill can - 27 - . Turn either left or right only when it is safe. Vehicles entering or exiting the roundabout must yield to all traffic including pedestrians. and a vehicle hits you from behind. keep your wheels pointed straight ahead until it is safe to start your turn. • Enter the roundabout when there is a big enough gap in traffic. • Go straight through the intersection.

Driving faster than the posted speed limit. If no lanes are marked and there are four lanes or more in your direction. • Bicyclists or pedestrians walking on the road’s edge or crossing the street. When traveling below the speed limit always move to the right when another driver is close behind you and wishes to drive faster. California has a “Basic Speed Law. Buses. - 28 - . • Whether the road surface is smooth.” This law means that you may never drive faster than is safe for current conditions. rough. Unless otherwise posted. reDuceD speeDs maximum speeD limit The maximum speed limit on most California highways is 65 mph. you must drive in the right hand lane or in a lane specially marked for slower vehicles. or dusty. or narrow. windy. If you choose to drive slower than other traffic. or Large Trucks When you tow a vehicle or trailer. unless you are already in the extreme right lane. graveled. the less time you have to avoid a hazard or collision. you may only drive in either of the two lanes closest to the right edge of the road. foggy. However. You may drive 70 mph where posted. or driving faster than safe for current conditions on any road is dangerous and illegal.pass. The force of a 60 mph crash is not just twice as great as a 30 mph crash. • Whether it is raining. it’s four times as great! Heavy Traffic or Bad Weather You must drive slower when there is heavy traffic or bad weather. The faster you go. if you are driving 45 mph in a 55 mph speed zone during a dense fog. if you block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic by driving too slowly. you may be given a ticket. even if you think it is safe.” You may never legally drive faster than the posted speed limit. wide. you could be cited for driving “too fast for conditions. the maximum speed limit is 55 mph on two-lane undivided highways and for vehicles towing trailers. wet. speeD limits Construction zones usually have reduced speed zones. For example. Regardless of the posted speed limit. The vehicle facing downhill has the greater amount of control when backing up the hill. do not drive in the “Number 1” (fast) lane (see page 31). Towing Vehicles. High speed increases your stopping distance. your speed should depend on: • The number and speed of other vehicles on the road. snowing. dry. or drive a bus or three or more axle truck. All speed limits are based on ideal driving conditions. Other speed limit signs are posted for the type of roads and traffic in each area.

000 feet of a school while children are outside or crossing the street. Also. For the crossing guard’s safety.Around Children When driving within 500 to 1. and residential areas because children may suddenly dart into the street. parks. you must stop from either direction until the children are safely across the street and the lights stop flashing. many children have not yet developed the ability to judge speeds and distances well enough to cross streets safely when cars are moving fast. if the school grounds have no fence and children are outside. or parked cars at intersections can block your view to the side. playgrounds. Alleys The speed limit in any alley is 15 mph. If you fail to stop. Be sure to obey their directions. If your view is blocked. Near Railroad Tracks The speed limit is 15 mph within 100 feet of a railroad crossing where you cannot see the tracks for 400 feet - 29 - . Trees. When the bus flashes red lights (located at the top front and back of the bus).000. you do not need to stop. never drive faster than 25 mph. buildings. Some school zones may have speed limits as low as 15 mph. bushes. look for: • Bicyclists and pedestrians. the speed limit is 25 mph unless otherwise posted. If the school bus is on the other side of a divided or multilane highway (two or more lanes in each direction). Always drive more carefully near schools. Blind Intersections The speed limit for a blind intersection is 15 mph. An intersection is considered “blind” if there are no stop signs at any corner and you cannot see for 100 feet in either direction during the last 100 feet before crossing. • Stopped school buses and children crossing the street. you may be fined up to $1. edge forward slowly until you can see. Some school buses flash yellow lights when preparing to stop to let children off the bus. The yellow flashing lights warn you to slow down and prepare to stop. allow him or her to safely get to the side of the road before driving ahead. Also. The law requires you remain stopped as long as the red lights are flashing (CVC §22454). All vehicles must stop Near schools. and your driving privilege could be suspended for one year. • School safety patrols or school crossing guards.

Cross railroad tracks only at designated crossings and only when it is safe to do so. If the gates are lowered and you do not see a train approaching. school buses. make sure your vehicle clears the tracks before you stop. Be ready to give a detailed description of your location. • Expect a train on any track at any time traveling in either direction. You may drive faster than 15 mph if the crossing is controlled by gates. If you need to stop after crossing the tracks. call the posted railroad emergency toll-free number or 9-1-1. - 30 - . when safe to pass. or a flag man. Light Rail Transit Vehicle Crossings The same rules apply to light rail transit vehicle crossings as to freight train crossings. and trucks transporting hazardous loads. Near Streetcars. Flashing red lights indicate you must stop and wait. Stop if you see a train coming or you hear the whistle. Do not go around or under any lowered gate. so be ready to stop before crossing. • Watch for vehicles that must stop before they cross train tracks. Do not proceed across the tracks until you can see clearly in both directions and are sure there are no light rail transit vehicles or trains coming. horn. or Buses The passing speed limit. Many crossings have multiple tracks. a warning signal. from the nearest track when the crossing devices are active or a person warns you a train is coming. • Remember that flashing red lights mean STOP! Stop at least 15 feet. • Do not go under lowering gates or around lowered gates.in both directions. If you are on the tracks you risk injury or death. Do not proceed over the crossing until the red lights stop flashing. • Never stop on the railroad tracks. or bell of an approaching train. NOTE: Light rail transit vehicles are very quiet and accelerate more quickly than freight trains. These vehicles include buses. This speed limit applies at a safety zone or an intersection where a streetcar. Trolleys. even if the gate rises. is no more than 10 mph. At railroad or train crossings: • Look in both directions and listen for trains. but not more than 50 feet. if necessary. Remember that a train cannot stop quickly or swerve out of the way.

Never drive to the left of these lines unless you are: • Turning left at an intersection. Business or Residential Districts The speed limit is 25 mph.” The lane to the right of the “Number 1 Lane” is called the “Number 2 Lane. broken white lines separate traffic lanes on roads with two or more lanes in the same direction. Broken yellow line: May pass if movement can be made safely. Near Animals If you see animals or livestock. slow down and follow directions from the person in charge of the animals. broken yellow lines indicate that you may pass if the broken line is next to your driving lane. slow down or stop. You will most often see safety zones in areas where street cars or trolleys and vehicles share the roadway.” etc. Double solid lines: DO NOT pass. If you see a stray animal in your path. trAffic lAnes Examples of lane markings Two solid yellow lines indicate no passing. • In a carpool lane that has a designated entrance on the left.” then the “Number 3 Lane. B (1) (2) (3) Solid yellow line: No passing if solid yellow line is on your side.trolley. or bus is stopped and traffic is controlled by a police officer or traffic signal. such as one-way streets. Traffic lanes are often referred to by number. Two sets of solid double yellow lines spaced two or more feet apart are considered a barrier. The left or “fast” lane is called the “Number 1 Lane. A safety zone is marked by raised buttons or markers on the road and is set aside for pedestrians. choosing a lane - 31 - . • Instructed by construction or other signs to drive on the other side of the road because your side of the road is closed or blocked. line colors Solid white lines mark traffic lanes going in the same direction. if it is safe. Do not drive on or over this barrier or make a left turn or a U-turn across it except at designated openings (see diagram). • Turning into or out of a private road or driveway. Solid yellow lines mark the center of a road used for two-way traffic. unless otherwise posted.

signal. follow through. railroad crossings. Before changing lanes. To drive faster. Once you start through an intersection. Right Wrong Drive in the lane with the smoothest flow of traffic. pick the right lane for the smoothest driving. Pass traffic on the left. or turn left. Last minute changes may cause collisions. motorcyclists. If you miss a turn. Stay in one lane as much as possible.Example of numbered traffic lanes • Look for all vehicles. use the left lane. • Be sure there is enough room for your vehicle in the next lane. Never pass on the left. When you choose to drive slowly or enter or turn off the road. Do not weave in and out of traffic. look ahead for road conditions and traffic that may cause other vehicles to move into your lane. Passing other vehicles at crossroads. Never drive off the paved or maintraveled portion of the road or on the shoulder to pass. You may pass on the right only when: • An open highway is clearly marked for two or more lanes of travel in your direction. continue until you can safely and legally turn around. and: • Check traffic behind and beside you. pass. look in all your mirrors. pick the middle lane for the smoothest driving. and bicycle traffic in your blind spot. If you can choose among three lanes. use the right lane. • The driver ahead of you is turning left and you do not drive off the roadway to pass. The edge of the main-traveled portion of the road may have a painted white line on the road’s surface. passing lanes changing lanes - 32 - . keep going. • Glance over your left or right shoulder to make sure the lane you want is clear. If you start to make a turn. • Entering the freeway from an on-ramp. • Entering the road from a curb or the shoulder. and shopping center entrances is dangerous. Before you pass. Changing lanes includes: • Moving from one lane to another. if the driver is signaling a left turn. If there are only two lanes in your direction.

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You Signs at the on-ramp or along the freeway tell you the minimum number of people per vehicle required for the carpool lane(s). If a street has a center left turn lane.5 (c)) or start a permitted U-turn. Do not cross over double parallel solid lines to enter or exit any carpool lane except at designated entry or exit places. unless otherwise posted. These signs also list the days of the week and the hours when the carpool requirement applies. or you drive a low-emission vehicle displaying a special DMV-issued decal. Make sure the lane is clear in both directions and then turn only when it is safe. preparing to start their left turn.carpool/high occupancy vehicles (hov) lanes A carpool lane is a special freeway lane used only for carpools. Look for vehicles coming toward you in the same lane. To turn left from this lane. may only drive for 200 feet in the center left turn lane. buses. BIKE LANE BIKE LANE - 34 - . The pavement in this lane is marked with a diamond symbol and the words “Carpool Lane. or decaled low-emission vehicles.” These lanes are also known as highoccupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes. signal and wait until it is safe. motorcycles. You may use a carpool lane or on-ramp if your vehicle carries the posted minimum number of people required for the carpool lane. This lane is not a regular traffic lane or a passing lane. center left turn lanes A center left turn lane is located in the middle of a two-way street and is marked on both sides by two painted lines. and drive completely inside the center left turn lane. look over your shoulder. you must use it when you turn left (CVC §21460. Motorcycle riders may use designated carpool lanes. Enter traffic only when it is safe. Do not stop with the back of your vehicle blocking traffic. Vehicles towing trailers are typically not allowed to use carpool lanes. When turning left from a side street or driveway. signal. The inner line is broken and the outer line is solid. Then you may drive into the center left turn lane. because they must drive more slowly and are usually restricted to the right-hand lane.

Look for a sign that tells you to exit or merge. Drive into these areas to allow cars behind you to pass. It also alerts motorists of the location a bicyclist may occupy within the traveled roadway. If you are driving in a lane marked with these broken lines. • Do not turn into the lane if there is a bicyclist in the bike lane. Special “turnout” areas are sometimes marked on two-lane roads. Freeway lanes. enD-of-lane markings Bicycle lanes A bicycle lane is a designated traffic lane for bicyclists. as well as some city street lanes. which are ending will usually be marked by large broken lines painted on the pavement. shareD roaDWay Bicycle markings (sharroWs) Sharrows are used to remind motorists that bicyclists are allowed to lawfully use this portion of a lane. Do not drive in the bicycle lane at any other time. Different Sharrows are used to assist bicyclists with positioning on a shared roadway. be prepared to exit the freeway or for the lane to end. • Treat a bicycle lane the same as other traffic lanes. and five or more vehicles are following you. - 35 - . drive into the turnout areas or lanes to let the vehicles pass. typically breaking into a dotted line at the corner. When you are making a right turn and are within 200 feet of the corner or other driveway entrance. a bicycle lane follows specific width requirements and is clearly marked as a bike lane. etc. and then make the turn.You may drive across a center left turn lane to turn left or to turn into a driveway. marked by a solid white line. • Do not obstruct bicycle traffic by reducing the width required for safe bicycle passage. typically three to four feet. If you are driving slowly on a two-lane highway or road where passing is unsafe. you must enter the bicycle lane only after ensuring there is no bicycle traffic. Yield to oncoming traffic. Some two-lane roads have passing lanes. turnout areas anD lanes from a simple white line showing the edge of the road.

Make a visual check for bicyclists when changing lanes or entering traffic. When you turn left. Change lanes and pass with caution only when it is safe. Merge toward the curb or into the bike lane only when it is safe. then left again. and make the turn when it is safe. When it is safe the bicyclists should move to a position that allows vehicles to pass. Do not squeeze a bicyclist off the road. When passing a bicyclist in the travel lane ensure enough width for the bicyclist. Remember. Merge safely where it is allowed. Allow bicyclists enough room to avoid colliding with vehicle doors that are opened into traffic.You may park in a bicycle lane if your vehicle does not block a bicyclist and/or there is not a “No Parking” sign posted. With any slow-moving vehicle. Here are some critical points for drivers and bicyclists to remember: Motor vehicle drivers must: • Pass a bicyclist as you would a slow moving vehicle. Allow sufficent clearance. Drivers of motorized bicycles should use bicycle lanes carefully to avoid collisions with bicyclists. do not turn too soon and “cut the corner” of the lane belonging to the vehicles coming towards you. drivers should follow at a safe distance. Stop behind the limit line. then turn. Look left. Respect the rightof-way of bicyclists because they are entitled to share the road with other drivers. Bicyclists may occupy the center of the lane when conditions such as a narrow lane or road hazard make it unsafe to ride in a position that may provide room for a vehicle to pass. then right. and ample room for movement and unexpected • • • • • • • road conditions. and not more than 200 feet in advance. Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicle and motorcycle drivers. Not drive in a bike lane unless initiating a turn at an intersection or driveway. Be careful when approaching or passing a bicyclist on a two lane highway or freeway. Always look carefully for bicyclists before opening doors next to moving traffic or before turning. Not try to pass a bicyclist just before making a turn. Bicycles are small and may be hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot. bicyclists are entitled to share the road with other drivers. tUrns Left turns–To make a left turn. Begin signaling about 100 feet before the turn. drive close to the center divider line or into the left turn lane. Look over your left shoulder and reduce your speed. typically 3 feet. - 36 - .

motorcyclists. keep your wheels pointed straight ahead until it is safe to start your turn. Signal and stop for a red traffic light at the limit line or corner. Stop behind the limit line. or other vehicles moving on their green light. No turn against a red arrow–You may not turn right or left against a red arrow. A left turn may be made from the other lane. 1. Do not turn wide into another lane. if safe. in either lane of the cross street (shown by arrows). bicyclists. Complete the turn. motorcyclists. Watch for bicyclists or motorcyclists who may get between your vehicle and the curb. you could be pushed into oncoming traffic. Yield to pedestrians. Complete your turn in the right lane. Do not swing wide into another lane of traffic. drive close to the right edge of the road. Always use your turn signals. If your wheels are pointed to the left and a vehicle hits you from behind. one-way street if there is no sign to prohibit the turn. A left turn against a red light can only be made from a one-way street onto a one way street. Watch for pedestrians. you may turn right. Yield to pedestrians. Look over your right shoulder and reduce your speed. Left turn from a two-way street. Right turn. Begin and end the turn in the lane nearest the righthand curb.Example of a left turn TC CU O DO N OT Safety suggestion: While waiting to turn left. 1 examples of right anD left turns 1 *2 2. If there is no sign to prohibit the turn. If there is a bike lane. if permitted by signs or arrows. or other vehicles moving on their green light. Look both ways and turn when it is safe. Right turns–To make a right turn. Example of a right turn DO NOT T N WIDE UR Right turn against a red light–Signal and stop for a red traffic light at the limit line or at the corner. RN ER The numbers on the cars in the diagrams refer to the numbered sentences on these pages. Begin signaling about 100 feet before the turn. You may turn left into a left-moving. Start the turn in the left lane closest to the middle of the street. bicyclists. Use the center left turn lane if one is available. drive into the bike lane no more than 200 feet before the turn. - 37 - .

Start the turn from the lane closest to the middle of the street. 3. Watch for pedestrians. as shown by the arrows. Start the turn in the far right lane. • In a residential district: legal u-turns - 38 - . If safe. To make a U-turn. Sometimes. Turn into any lane that is safely open. and bicyclists between your vehicle and the curb because they can legally use the left turn lane for their left turns. Left turn from a one-way street into a two-way street. Turn into any lane that is safely open. Left turn from a one-way street into a one-way street. and bicyclists inside your turn. Left turn from a two-way street into a one-way street. motorcyclists. signs or pavement markings will let you turn right from another lane as shown by the graphic 2 . 5. Turn at a “T” intersection from a one-way street into a two-way street. motorcyclists. Watch for vehicles. as shown by the graphic 6 . you may end the turn in any lane. signs or pavement 7. as shown by the arrows. Right turn from a one-way street into a one-way street. You may turn either right or left from the center lane. Turn into either of the lanes that are safely open. Start the turn from the far left lane. Start the turn from the far left lane. You may make a legal U-turn: • Across a double yellow line when it is safe and legal. Through traffic has the right-of-way. one y wa 5 6 * 4. signal and use the far left lane or the center left turn lane. 7 A U-turn is turning your vehicle around in the street to go back the way you came. Sometimes. as shown by the arrows. markings will let you turn right from another lane.and bicyclists between your vehicle and the curb. 6.

fog. only if an opening is provided in the center divider. – Whenever a traffic sign. and public buildings (except schools) are also considered to be business districts.– If there are no vehicles approaching you within 200 feet. • Where you cannot see clearly 200 feet in each direction because of a curve. or signal protects you from approaching vehicles. Set the parking brake. Never make a U-turn: • At or on a railroad crossing. • In business districts. • When other vehicles may hit you. • Headed downhill. • On a divided highway. apartments. • On a divided highway by crossing a dividing section. turn your front wheels away from the curb and let your vehicle roll back a few inches. The wheel should gently touch the curb. or two sets of double yellow lines. turn the wheels so the vehicle will roll away from the center of the road if the brakes fail. Set the parking brake. light. • Where a “No U-Turn” sign is posted. clubs. • Headed uphill. or other reason. • At an intersection on a green light or green arrow. turn the wheels so the vehicle will not roll into the street if the brakes fail. strip of land. pArKinG parking on a hill When you park: • On a sloping driveway. illegal u-turns down hill up hill no curb-up hill or down hill parking at coloreD curBs Painted colored curbs have the following special parking rules: White–Stop only long enough to pick up or drop off passengers or mail. rain. • In front of a fire station. Turn only at an intersection or where openings are provided for turns. turn your front wheels into the curb or toward the side of the road. - 39 - . Never use a fire station driveway to turn your vehicle around. • Headed either uphill or downhill when there is no curb. curb. hill. Always set your parking brake and leave the vehicle in gear or in the “park” position. • On a one-way street. multiple dwelling houses. unless a “No Uturn” sign is posted. Areas with churches.

Green–Park for a limited time. or both. dmv. A crosshatched (diagonal lines) area adjacent to a designated disabled parking space is a no parking area. Disabled people with a placard or special plates may park in special areas for unlimited periods of time. No one other than a disabled person or a driver of a disabled person may park there. • Interchanging placards with friends or family members. - 40 - . • Using a deceased person’s placard.ca.). Look for a posted sign next to the green zone for time limits. or locate the time limit painted on the curb. parking placard or special plates. Example of crosshatched (diagonal lines) area Red–No stopping. or parking. family member. • Loaning your placard to friends or family members (disabled or not). Yellow–Stop no longer than the time posted to load or unload passengers or freight. etc. Drivers of noncommercial vehicles are usually required to stay with the vehicle. Qualified persons may apply at any DMV office or visit the DMV website at www. (Buses may stop at a red zone marked for buses.gov to obtain a form for a NOTE: Placard abuse results in the loss of special parking privileges.000. standing. regardless of time restrictions. disabled employer. It is also a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine of up to $1. • Using a placard when the person it was issued to is not in the vehicle with you (disabled child.) blue–Parking is permitted only for a disabled person or a driver of a disabled person who displays a placard or a special license plate for disabled persons or disabled veterans. An identification card will be issued to holders of disabled person or disabled veteran license plates. Examples of placard abuse: • Using a placard after it has been reported lost or stolen without reporting that the placard was found. imprisonment in county jail for up to six months.

if it is painted in a crosshatched (diagonal) pattern (CVC §22507. Leave enough space for other vehicles to freely pass by your vehicle. or in front of a driveway. the front and back wheels must be parallel and within 18 inches of the curb. and motorcyclists.) • On the wrong side of the street. NOTE: If you must stop on a freeway. • Do not open the driver’s side door unless it is safe and you do not interfere with traffic. • On or within 71/2 feet of a railroad track. or – Where a stop is specifically permitted. • In a disabled person parking space.Never park or leave your vehicle: • Where a “No Parking” sign is posted. - 41 - . • Within three feet of a sidewalk ramp for disabled persons or in front of or on a curb that provides wheelchair access to a sidewalk. park completely off the pavement and stay in your vehicle with the doors locked until help arrives. bicyclists. • On a marked or unmarked crosswalk. illegal parking • On a freeway. unless you are disabled and display a placard or special plates. except: – In an emergency. Park parallel to the street if there is no curb. Your vehicle should be visible for at least 200 feet in each direction. • At a red curb. • Within 15 feet of a fire hydrant or a fire station driveway. or – When an officer or device requires a stop. Do not leave the door open any longer than necessary. • Between a safety zone and the curb.8). parked. Look carefully for passing vehicles. partially blocking a sidewalk. A vehicle (even if disabled) that is stopped. • In a tunnel or on a bridge.” (Parking in the street when all legal parking places at the curb are taken. • Never leave your vehicle until you have stopped the engine and set the parking brake. except where permitted by signs. • “Double parked. • In the space next to a disabled person parking space. sidewalk. • In a space designated for parking or fueling zero-emission vehicles which display an identifying decal. or left standing on a freeway for more than four hours may be removed (CVC §22651(f)). special parking rules • When you park alongside a curb on a level street.

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gov for the California Driver Handbook .ExprEss yoursElf! Signaling can save lives. Visit dmv.ca.

and pedestrians know your plans. If you plan to turn beyond an intersection. your hands should be placed on the lower half of the steering wheel. • Before pulling next to the curb or away from the curb. bicylists. do not automatically assume that the space you want to occupy is clear. Caution! Even though you — signal. A vehicle you do not see may suddenly appear and hit you. Signal: • When making a left or right turn. look over your shoulder. - 45 - . or stop. signaling LEFT TURN RIGHT TURN SLOW or STOP Always signal—this lets other drivers.sAfe DrivinG prActices Always signal to other drivers. start signaling when you are in the intersection. Signals may be given by hand-and-arm positions or by using the vehicle’s signal lights. and pedestrians when you plan to turn left. slow down. These are the desired hand positions that reduce the possibility of turning the wheel too sharply. bicyclists. • When you change directions. Look at the steering wheel as a clock face and place your hands at 9 and 3 o’clock or slightly lower at 8 and 4 o’clock. • Before every lane change check your mirrors. Bicyclists may give right turn-signals with their right arm held straight out. If you signal too early. and check your blind spot before changing lanes. Remember to cancel your signal after turning. pointing right. • Even when you do not see other vehicles. • At least five seconds before you change lanes on a freeway. motorcyclists. If bright sunlight makes the signal lights hard to see. and your thumbs stretched along the rim of the steering wheel. Motorcyclists often use hand signals to make themselves more visible. also use hand-and-arm signals. during the last 100 feet before reaching the turning point. Steering Steering Control–Modern vehicles require very little steering to turn. right. To reduce forearm and hand injuries. the other driver may think you plan to turn into the intersection and he or she may pull out in front of you. with your knuckles on the outside of the wheel.

be alert for vehicles around you. Put your hands in the 8 and 4 o’clock positions. Allow enough space between you and the vehicle ahead to give yourself an “out. Scanning helps you to see: • Cars and people that may be in the road by the time you reach them. Use quick movements on entry to the maneuver. Where is the green vehicle headed? Use your mirrors. such as when: • Parking. smooth movements when straightening the wheel. scanning - 46 - . In the city. or • When operating vehicle controls for information. Give yourself this time by keeping a “space cushion” on all sides of your vehicle. Constantly staring at the road just in front of your vehicle is dangerous. This results in smooth steering and reduces the potential for over steering. 10–15 seconds is about a quarter of a mile. Keep your hands and thumbs on the outside of the wheel.Pull-Push Steering–Use pull-push steering for most turning maneuvers.” Mistakes cause collisions. This space cushion will give you room to brake or maneuver if you need the space. • Performing sharp right turns. Take in the whole scene–If you only look at the middle of the road. Pull down with one hand and push up with the other. Steering errors are directly related to vision errors. you need time to react. When another driver makes a mistake. look down the road 10–15 seconds ahead of your vehicle so you can see hazards early. Scanning your surroundings (keeping your eyes moving) includes keeping a safe distance around your vehicle. • Correcting a skid. you will miss what is happening on the side of the road and behind you. As you scan ahead. which can lead to loss of control. or comfort. Know What Is Ahead To avoid last minute moves. safety. One-Hand Steering–Use one-hand steering for: • Backing maneuvers that do not require full left or right turns. Hand-Over-Hand Steering–Use hand-over-hand steering when steering movements are critical. 10–15 seconds is about one block. On the highway. and then use slow.

” This takes about three seconds. use the “three-second rule. on metal surfaces (e. You should allow a four-second or more cushion when: • Being crowded by a tailgater. do not be a tailgater! Many drivers do not see as far ahead as they should because they follow too closely (tailgate). a vehicle or a bicyclist.). etc. These vehicles must - 47 - . The more space you allow between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead.g. The extra space allows you to see around the vehicle. Most rear end collisions are caused by tailgating. you are following too closely. On the freeway. like a ball rolling into the street or a vehicle door opening. count “onethousand-one. do not brake suddenly..” Keep scanning. Watch for signals from other drivers. Watch for things about to happen. Do not develop a “fixed stare. railroad tracks. one-thousand-three. If you pass the same point before you finish counting. Blind spots can hide a motorcyclist. and on gravel. • Following large vehicles that block your view ahead. Allow extra room ahead.• Signs warning of problems ahead. The extra weight makes it harder to stop. • Following motorcyclists on wet or icy roads. and the vehicle ahead blocks their view. Motorcyclists can fall more easily on these surfaces. Be prepared for rapid changes in road conditions and traffic flow. • The driver behind you wants to pass. Check your rear view mirrors every two – five seconds so you know the position of vehicles near you. Know which lanes are clear so you can use them if necessary. bridge gratings. To avoid tailgating. Expect merging vehicles at on-ramps and interchanges. school bus. be ready for changes in traffic conditions. one-thousand-two.” When the vehicle ahead of you passes a certain point such as a sign. Slow down gradually or merge into another lane to prevent being hit from behind by the tailgater! • Driving on slippery roads. • Signs giving you directions. look into your rear view mirror for nearby vehicles and also over your shoulder to check for blind spots. • You see a bus. Watch for hazards–Look beyond the vehicle ahead of you. • Towing a trailer or carrying a heavy load. The shaded areas are your blind spots. or a placarded vehicle at railroad crossings. Before changing lanes. the more time you will have to see a hazard and stop or avoid that hazard. Allow room in front of your vehicle so the driver will have space to move in front of you.

• Keep a space between yourself and parked cars.stop at railroad crossings. Another driver might crowd your lane or change lanes without looking and crash into you. right. crosswalks. make room for vehicles entering freeways even though you have the right-of-way. and railroad crossings. This gives you space between your vehicle and the other driver. • Do not rely on traffic signals. you should look to the left and right sides of your vehicle to make sure no one is coming. so slow down early and allow plenty of room. without having to slam on your brakes or swerve into another lane. Always leave plenty of room between your vehicle and any motorcyclists or bicyclists. The other driver may not see your vehicle and could change lanes and hit you. and ahead for approaching traffic. look left. – Take one more look to the left in case there is a vehicle or a pedestrian you did not see the first time. • Be careful when driving near motorcyclists or bicyclists. since vehicles coming from the left are closer to you than vehicles coming from the right. A driver may decide to exit suddenly or swerve back onto the freeway. • At freeway exits. Know What Is Behind You It is very important to check behind you before you: • Change lanes. A vehicle door may open or a vehicle may pull out suddenly. Look over your shoulder to make sure you are not getting in the way of vehicles in the lane you want to enter. Some drivers do not obey traffic signals so before you enter an intersection. Know What Is at Your Side Any time you come to a place where people may cross or enter your path or one line of traffic meets another. do not drive alongside other cars. Always look to each side of your vehicle at intersections. At intersections: • Look both ways even if other traffic has a red light or a stop sign: – Look to the left first. • Avoid driving directly alongside other vehicles on multilane streets with or without traffic in the opposite direction. To maintain a space cushion on each side of your vehicle: • Do not stay in another driver’s blind spot. Someone may step out from between them. If you follow too closely and another driver “cuts” in front of you. – Look to the right. just take your foot off the gas. Drive either ahead of or behind the other vehicle. • Merging onto a freeway. - 48 - . • If possible and when safe.

Clean Windows and Mirrors Keep your windshield and side windows clean inside and out. If you drive in rain or snow. Backing up is always dangerous because it is hard to see behind your vehicle. be careful! Brake slowly before stopping.• Reduce your speed. – Know where your kids are. and dry pavement: - 49 - . Also check your mirrors when you are preparing to turn into a side road or driveway and when you are stopping to pull into a parking space. headlights. Assuming you have good tires. also look over your right and left shoulders again while backing. you need to see it in time to stop. pull off the road when it is safe and let the tailgater pass. by changing lanes and allowing the tailgater to pass you or slowing down to allow enough “cushion” between you and the car in front of you. frost. Check traffic behind you often to know if you are being tailgated (another driver is following too closely). Tap your brakes lightly a few times to warn the tailgater you are slowing down. – Turn and look over your right and left shoulders before you begin backing. use a seat cushion. Watch for large vehicles because they can gather speed very quickly. you may have to stop sometimes to wipe mud or snow off your windshield. If this does not work. If you still cannot see. “Lose” the tailgater as soon as you can. If your vehicle has a day/night mirror. How Well Can You Stop? If something is in your path. make sure you can see them before backing up. Take a quick glance in your mirrors. – Back slowly to avoid collisions. or dew from all windows before you drive. • Back up. Adjust Seat and Mirrors Adjust your seat before you put on your seat belt. If you are being tailgated. good brakes. – If other children are nearby. You should sit high enough to see the road. Adjust your rear and side mirrors before you start driving. Make sure they are away from your vehicle and in full view before moving your vehicle. As a safety measure. and taillights. • Drive down a long or steep hill. When you are backing out of a parking space: – Check in front and behind the vehicle before you get in. – Do not depend only on your mirrors or only looking out a side window. The night setting reduces the headlight glare from the cars behind you and helps you see well. learn how to use it. Make sure you can see and be seen. Bright sun or headlights on a dirty window make it hard to see out. Clear off ice.

so stay alert for them. Make sure you can stop within the distance lighted by your eadlights. think you are moving. If the fog becomes so thick that you can barely see. it takes about 210 feet to react and bring the vehicle to a complete stop. Listen for traffic you cannot see. Do not continue driving until you can see well.• At 55 mph. if you must drive. h Use your low beam headlights at night when it rains. You should consider postponing your trip until the fog clears. The best advice for driving in the fog is DON’T. Use your high beam headlights whenever possible in open country or dark city streets. as long as it is not illegal. If another driver does not dim his or her lights: • Do not look directly into the oncoming headlights. The light from the high beam headlights will reflect back and cause glare. If you do. Use your wipers and defroster as necessary for best vision. remember: • Pedestrians and bicyclists are much harder to see at night. Adjust your driving speed to the weather and road conditions (“Basic Speed Law” page 28. • Motorcycles are also harder to see at night because most have only one taillight. • At 35 mph. Turn off your lights and keep your foot off the brake pedal or someone may see your taillights. do not drive using only your parking lights. • More highway construction takes place at night. Dim your lights when necessary.) Turn on your lights during the day. When you drive at night. pull completely off the road. if it is hard to see or you cannot see at least 1. it takes about 400 feet to react and bring the vehicle to a complete stop. However. Avoid crossing or passing lanes of traffic unless absolutely necessary. both of you may be blinded. then drive slowly and use your low beam headlights. • Watch the oncoming vehicle out of the corner of your eye. • Do not try to “get back” at the other driver by keeping your bright lights on. and drive into your vehicle. Increase your following distance and be prepared to stop within the space you can see ahead. • Look toward the right edge of your lane. Driving in Darkness Driving in the fog Drive more slowly at night because you cannot see as far ahead and you will have less time to stop for a hazard. Reduce your speed in highway construction zones.000 feet ahead of you. Never drive with just your parking or fog lights. - 50 - . Do not blind other drivers with your high beam headlights.

• To alert other drivers that they made a mistake. Slow down at the first sign of rain. Do Not Use Your Horn • If a driver or bicyclist is going slowly. because you cannot see far enough ahead to know if it is safe to pass. You must drive slowly enough to stop. If you drive in snowy areas. when a vehicle with one light drives toward you. heaDlights. or having mechanical problems with the vehicle. where you cannot see at least 200 feet ahead of your vehicle. carry the correct number of chains and be sure they will fit your drive wheels. Any time your view is blocked by a hill or a curve. Turn on your windshield wipers. Learn how to put the chains on before you need to use them. When you cannot see any farther than 100 feet. drizzle. When you come to a hill or curve. headlights.• When you leave a brightly-lit place. anD emergency signals - 51 - . and taillights. horn. to avoid collisions. • Drive as far to the right as possible. or snow on the road. slow down so you can stop for any hazard. It could be a bicyclist or motorcyclist. but it could also be a vehicle with a missing headlight. and defroster. In a heavy rainstorm or snowstorm. and you want him or her to drive faster or get out of your way. you should assume there is another vehicle ahead of you. • On narrow mountain roads. intoxication. You may tap your horn to alert another driver who might turn in front of you and cause a collision. drive slowly until your eyes adjust to the darkness. you may not be able to see more than 100 feet ahead of your vehicle. Do not drive on the left side of the road when coming to a curve or the top of a hill. Driving in hill country Use Your Horn • Only when necessary. Your honking may cause them to make more mistakes or to become angry and retaliate. you cannot safely drive faster than 30 mph. You never know what is on the other side of a steep hill or a sharp curve. being lost. the driver or bicyclist may not be able to safely go faster. You may have to stop from time to time to wipe mud or snow off your windshield. Only pass the vehicle if a hill or curve is at least one-third of a mile away. due to illness. headlights. Driving in rain or snoW Many road pavements are the most slippery when it first starts to rain or snow because oil and dust have not yet washed away. because you need at least that much room to pass safely. • To try to get “eye contact” with other drivers.

Be careful for your safety and stay off the road. • When necessary to get another driver’s attention. • If you cannot get completely off the road. if possible. Be very careful when using flares. too. lift the hood to signal an emergency. This allows other drivers time to change lanes. If your vehicle breaks down on the road. unless necessary for safety or to obey a law. and need to stop. especially when used near flammable liquids. if necessary. or foggy.” • Any time conditions prevent you from seeing other vehicles. They may cause fires. Remember: do not try to change a tire if it means you have to stand in a traffic lane. If you experience vehicle trouble. • It’s safer to slow down or to stop. • To honk at pedestrians. Use Your Headlights • When it is cloudy. turn signals may be used instead. Other drivers may have trouble seeing you. Use Your Emergency Signals If you can see a collision ahead. Never stop on the road. bicyclists. when other drivers’ windows may be icy or “fogged. Do not stop just over a hill or just around a curve. If you need to stop. make sure that other drivers can see it. If your vehicle doesn’t have emergency flashers.• Because you may be angry or upset. • On small country or mountain roads. • On frosty mornings. • Give other drivers plenty of warning. which may startle other drivers. stop where people can see you and your vehicle from behind. If weather conditions require you to use your windshield wipers. instead of honking your horn. snowing. This helps other drivers see you and may help you avoid a head-on crash. follow the rules listed above and stay in your vehicle until help arrives. - 52 - . • Turn on your emergency flashers if you are not moving. raining. Remember that your horn sounds much louder outside a vehicle. Place emergency flares or triangles 200–300 feet behind the vehicle. You can also use the hand signal when slowing and stopping. even on sunny days. or motorcyclists unless necessary to avoid a collision. follow these rules: • Pull off the road away from all traffic. • If it is safe. then start braking early as a signal to the cars behind you. warn the drivers behind you by turning on your emergency flashers or tapping your brake pedal quickly three or four times. you must turn on your headlights — it’s the law. • If you do not have emergency flares.

First. Persons who present dangers are: • Drivers who cannot see you because their view is blocked by buildings. a pedestrian. The child is more likely to make a sudden move. trees. slow down. You have to share space with traffic already on - 53 - . slow down and let the vehicle pass. merging in/out of traffic Whenever you enter traffic. – Children. such as: – Tourists. Splitting the Difference Sometimes there will be dangers on both sides of the road at the same time. Then. use as much of your lane to the left as possible until you pass the child. or because of fewer lanes ahead. such as: – Delivery persons. an obstruction. • Distracted people. who often run into the street without looking.folloWing Distances Taking Dangers One at a Time Suppose there is an oncoming vehicle to your left and a child on a bicycle to your right. – Drivers taking care of children. often at complicated intersections.” Steer a middle course between the oncoming cars and the parked cars. signal and be sure you have enough room to safely enter the lane. – Drivers talking on cell phones or speaking to their passengers. move to the left to allow plenty of room to pass the child. and if safe. • Confused people. Problem Drivers Increase your following distance and allow a bigger space cushion for drivers who may be potentially dangerous. Instead of driving between the vehicle and the child. or other cars. In this case. or looking at maps while driving. For example. Suppose there are oncoming cars on your left side and a child on a bike on your right side. • Drivers who pass you when there is a curve or oncoming vehicle(s) ahead. • Pedestrians with umbrellas in front of their faces or hats pulled down over their eyes. • Drivers backing out of driveways or parking spaces with the vehicle’s windows covered by snow or ice. – Drivers who are looking for a house number or who slow down for no apparent reason. • Drivers about to be forced into your lane to avoid a vehicle. take one danger at a time. a bicyclist. Therefore. eating. the best thing to do is “split the difference. give the most room to the most dangerous situation. If one danger is greater than the other. there will be parked cars to the right and oncoming cars to the left. – Construction workers.

if there are vehicles blocking your way. Turn your head to look quickly over your shoulder before changing lanes. give yourself plenty of time.the road. cross them one at a time. When it is safe. • A full block on the highway. and exit out of traffic. Space to Merge Enter the freeway at or near the speed of traffic. you will need a large enough gap (from vehicles approaching in either direction) to get up to the speed of other vehicles. • If you need to cross several freeway lanes. Any time you merge with other traffic.) do not stop before merging into freeway traffic unless absolutely necessary. Make sure you can stop safely if necessary. - 54 - . or the signal may have been left on from an earlier turn. and change lanes one at a time. which gives both you and the other vehicle only a two-second following distance. go back to following the “threesecond rule” (see page 47). • Do not try to squeeze into a gap that is too small. until you are in the proper lane to exit the freeway. Space to Exit When you plan to exit the freeway. The driver may plan to turn just beyond you. you need a gap of at least four seconds. To exit safely: • Signal. do not start across the intersection. and you must know how much space you need to merge with traffic. (Remember that the maximum speed allowed is 65 mph on most freeways. Even if you have the green light. When turning left. make sure there are no vehicles or people blocking the path ahead or to the sides of your vehicle. you may cause traffic delays or a collision. Use your mirrors and turn signals. Freeway traffic has the right-of-way. Wait until the other driver actually starts to turn before you continue. look over your shoulder. cross or enter traffic. This is particularly true of motorcycles. do not start the turn just because an approaching vehicle has its right turn signal on. You should know the name or number of the freeway exit you want as well as the one that comes before it. Leave yourself a big enough space cushion. If you wait until all of the lanes are clear. Leave three seconds of space between you and the vehicle ahead of you. If you are crossing lanes or turning. You need a gap that is about: • Half a block on city streets. Space to Cross or Enter Whenever you cross or enter city or highway traffic from a full stop. • Watch for vehicles around you. You do not want to be caught in an intersection with traffic coming at you. Their signal lights often do not turn off automatically.

Every time you pass. if you can see it moving closer to you. One way to do this is to look for the vehicle in your inside rear view mirror. • A hill or a curve. Vehicles appear to move slower than they really are moving. you will travel over 800 feet in 10–12 seconds. • A road obstruction. In fact. That means you need over 1. it is probably too close for you to start to pass. Space and Speed to Pass Always signal before passing. To reduce the chance of having a collision with a large truck or RV. Do not pull out to pass unless you know you have enough space to pull back into your lane. Avoid passing other vehicles. Do not squeeze the bicyclist off the road. When you can see both headlights in your rear view mirror. a large truck traveling at the same speed can take almost 800 feet to stop. or that other drivers will make room for you. you have enough room to return to your driving lane. you increase your chances of having a collision. The average passenger vehicle traveling at 55 mph can stop within 400 feet. Do not move in sHArinG tHe roAD large trucks (Big rigs) anD rvs - 55 - . you need a 10–12 second gap in oncoming traffic to pass safely. You must judge whether or not you have enough room to pass whenever you approach: • An oncoming vehicle.600 feet (or about one-third of a mile) to pass safely. Braking Large trucks take longer to stop than vehicles traveling at the same speed. Slow down and pass only when it is safe. So will an oncoming vehicle. Space to Return Before you return to your driving lane. Be patient when passing a bicyclist. At highway speeds of 50–55 mph. • Be sure you are at the proper speed for leaving the traffic lane–not too fast (so you remain in control) and not too slow (so the flow of traffic can still move freely). It is dangerous. At 55 mph. However. Do not count on having enough time to pass several vehicles at once. including motorcycles and bicycles. It is harder to see and judge the speed of oncoming vehicles that are traveling one-third of a mile or more away from you. be sure you are not dangerously close to the vehicle you have just passed. on two-lane roads.• Signal your intention to exit for approximately five seconds before reaching the exit. A vehicle that is far enough away generally appears to be standing still. passing other traffic • An intersection. you must be familiar with a big rig’s physical capabilities and how it maneuvers.

the greater the difference is in the turning path. and your vehicle can get lost in those blind spots. When you follow a big rig. for example. Passenger vehicle drivers incorrectly assume that a trucker can see the road better because he or she is higher off the road. If the truck appears to be turning left. and exit behind a truck—it will only take you a few extra seconds. you block the trucker’s ability to take evasive action to avoid a dangerous situation. he or she cannot see you. the driver may actually be turning right but first swinging wide. Generally speaking. This is why big rig drivers must often swing wide to complete a right turn. so you can exit the roadway. the rear wheels follow a shorter path than the front wheels. Take a moment to slow down. The longer the vehicle. Avoid these mistakes when driving around large trucks: • Cutting off a truck in traffic or on the highway to reach an exit or turn. - 56 - . removes the truck driver’s cushion of safety and places you in danger. large trucks usually stay in the center portion of the lane to help the flow of traffic. look at its turn signals before you start to pass. Trying to beat a truck through a single-lane construction zone. If you stay in those blind spots. Slow down and take your turn entering the construction zone. if you cannot see the truck driver in his or her side mirror. This also increases the trucker’s options if he or she must change lanes to avoid a hazard.front of a large truck and suddenly slow down or stop. They take more space for turns and they weigh more. Large trucks have longer stopping and starting distances. Maneuverability Trucks are designed to transport products and they are not as maneuverable as passenger vehicles. they still have large blind spots.” Turning When any vehicle makes a turn. Trucker’s Blind Spots—the “No Zone” Shaded areas are the driver’s blind spots. check the turn signals again. These blind spots are often called the “NO ZONE. Cutting into the open space in front of a truck is dangerous. The trucker will not be able to stop quickly enough to avoid crashing into you. On multilane highways and freeways. Do not speed up to pass a truck. While truckers do have a better forward view and bigger mirrors.

gov Can the driver see your vehiCle? Allow for extra space and be safe! .ca.dmv.

anD trolleys Light-rail vehicles have the same rights and responsibilities on public roadways as other vehicles. when the passenger vehicle driver did not realize how close the truck was or how fast it was traveling. whether it is moving or standing. if not impossible. for the trucker to take evasive action if an obstacle appears in the road ahead. etc. EXCEPTIONS: • When you are on a one-way street. is dangerous because you take away your own cushion of safety if the vehicle in front of you stops quickly. and after you pass the truck. - 58 - . which is a space set aside for pedestrians and marked by raised buttons or markers on a roadway. Do not overtake and pass any light rail vehicle or streetcar on the left side. Always pass a large truck on the left side. Safely share the road with light-rail vehicles by: • Being aware of where light-rail vehicles operate. stop behind the vehicle’s nearest door or vehicle platform and wait until the people have reached a safe place.• Lingering alongside a truck when passing. is no safety zone. When a bus. or any vehicle. or trolley is stopped at a safety zone or at an intersection where traffic is controlled by a police officer or traffic signal. trees. you may pass at no more than 10 mph. light-rail vehicles Do not drive through a safety zone. Al though everyone must follow the same raffic laws. When you follow so closely behind a truck that you cannot see the truck driver’s side view mirrors. Do not linger. cause blind spots for the trolley operator. • Following too closely or tailgating. move ahead of it. • When a traffic officer directs you to pass on the left. Many collisions involving a passenger vehicle and a large truck occur at intersections.. • Underestimating the size and speed of an approaching tractortrailer. • Never turn in front of an approaching light-rail vehicle. When people are boarding or leaving a streetcar or trolley where there Buses. A large tractor-trailer often appears to be traveling at a slower speed because of its large size. the trucker cannot see you and has no way of knowing you are there. streetcars. light-rail vehicles t require exceptional andling ability h because of their size. Tailgating a truck. • When the tracks are so close to the right side that you cannot pass on the right. otherwise you make it very difficult. streetcar. Buildings.

signals. Emergency vehicles often use the wrong side of the street to continue on their way. emergency vehicles You must yield the right-of-way to any police vehicle. or other emergency vehicle using a siren and red lights. fire engine. or laws. • • Look for approaching light-rail vehicles before you turn across the tracks. ambulance crews. Yield to emergency vehicles. collision. or signal by a traffic or police officer or a fire fighter even if it conflicts with existing signs. ambulance. Casual observers interfere with the essential services of police. If you are in an intersection when you see an emergency vehicle. firefighter. order. ambulance. police vehicle. They sometimes use a loud speaker to talk to drivers blocking their path. Complete your turn only if a signal indicates you may proceed. It is against the law to follow within 300 feet behind any fire engine.Do not turn in front of light rail vehicles • • Maintain a safe distance from the light-rail vehicle if it shares a street with vehicular traffic. - 59 - . or other rescue or emergency personnel. NOTE: Light-rail vehicles can interrupt traffic signals. However. Drive to the right edge of the road and stop until the emergency vehicle(s) have passed. Safety Zones are marked by dotted white lines in an intersection. continue through the intersection and then drive to the right as soon as it is safe and stop. so do not proceed until the signal light indicates you may proceed. never stop You must obey any traffic direction. If you drive for sight-seeing purposes to the scene of a fire. or other disaster you may be arrested. or other emergency vehicle with a siren or flashing lights (CVC §21706).

sloW-moving vehicles and golf courses. Other types of slow-moving motorized vehicles (such as wheelchairs. The NEV and LSV vehicles reach a maximum speed of 25 mph. animal-DraWn vehicles Horse-drawn vehicles and riders of horses or other animals are entitled to share the road with you. While everyone must follow the same traffic laws.5 and 21260). A Slow-Moving Vehicle motorcycles Also. Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs) and golf carts) may legally operate on public roads. a motorcycle’s outline is much smaller than a passenger vehicle’s outline. Farm tractors. You may have seen lanes marked as NEV USE ONLY on roadways in some California towns. Slow down or stop. underpowered cars lose speed on long or steep hills and take longer to get up to speed when entering traffic.Some vehicles are not designed to keep up with the speed of traffic. Motorcyclists can do many things to make it easier for others to recognize them and increase their chances of being seen. bicyclists and small. many motorcycles keep their headlight on even during daylight hours. From ahead or behind. scooters. NEVs and LSVs are restricted from roadways where the speed limit is greater than 35 mph (CVC §§385. Look for these vehicles and adjust your speed before you reach them. and road maintenance vehicles usually travel 25 mph or less. Adjust your speed accordingly to accommodate them. if necessary. and most drivers expect to see larger vehicles on the road and are not looking for motorcycles. motorcyclists face additional dangers because motorcycles require exceptional handling ability and are harder to see. be aware that large trucks. It looks like the sign in the picture on this page. especially those near retirement communities neighBorhooD electric vehicles (nev) anD loWspeeD vehicles (lsv) - 60 - . It is a traffic offense to scare horses or stampede livestock. or when requested to do so by the riders or herders. animal-drawn carts. Owners of registered NEVs and LSVs must comply with financial responsibility laws and a driver license is required to operate the vehicle. Motorcyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as automobile drivers. Slowmoving vehicles have an orange/red triangle on the back of the vehicles. Therefore.

• Look carefully for motorcyclists before opening doors next to moving traffic or before turning right. Also use your mirrors. Potholes. • Never try to pass a motorcycle in the same lane you are sharing with the motorcycle. and they can easily disappear into a vehicle’s blind spots. Follow these rules to respect the right-of-way and safely share the road with motorcyclists: • When you change lanes or enter a major thoroughfare. • Allow the motorcycle a full lane width. not against it. You will need this space to avoid hitting the motorcyclist. Motorcycles generally can stop faster than passenger vehicles. it is unsafe. • Motorcycles may travel faster than traffic during congested road conditions and can legally travel in the unused space between two lines of moving or stationary vehicles. If you are aware of the effect of these conditions and drive with care and attention. • Use turn signals when planning to change lanes or turn. vest. check for motorcyclists and gauge their speed before turning. which is commonly called “lane splitting. pavement seams. and grooved pavement can cause motorcyclists to change speed or direction suddenly. Although it is not illegal to share lanes with motorcycles. • Must ride in the same direction as other traffic.• Wear a bright-colored jacket. • When you make a turn. contact the California Motorcyclist Safety Program at 1-877-RIDE-411 or www. railroad crossings. wet or slippery surfaces. if he or she brakes suddenly or falls off the motorcycle. gravel. Motorcycles are small. For more information regarding motorcycle safety. • Wear reflective material on helmets and clothes.” • Remember that road conditions which are minor annoyances to you pose major hazards to motorcyclists. • Flash their brake lights before slowing down to help others notice the motorcycle.ca-msp. • Allow a four-second following distance. and a helmet.org Bicycles Bicyclists: • Must obey all traffic signals and stop signs. make a visual check for motorcycles. • Are lawfully permitted to ride on certain sections of roadway in rural areas where there is no alternate route. - 61 - . you can help reduce motorcyclist injuries and fatalities.

• Must make left and right turns in the same way that drivers do.Turns for bicyclists BEFORE CROSSING STOP. – A white or yellow reflector on each pedal or on the bicyclist’s shoes or ankles visible from a distance of 200 feet. peDestrians Who are BlinD - 62 - . • Should ride single file on a busy or narrow street. • May choose to ride near the left curb or edge of a one-way street. – A rear red reflector visible from a distance of 500 feet. LOOK RIDE A STRAIGHT LINE—DON’T TURN IN AND OUT BETWEEN PARKED CARS. avoid debris. • Should carry identification. • May move left to pass a parked or moving vehicle. During darkness bicyclists must have the following equipment: – A front lamp emitting a white light visible from a distance of 300 feet. he or she should use a through traffic lane rather than ride next to the curb and block traffic making right turns. or other hazards. When these pedestrians are in your vicinity be especially careful when turning corners or backing up. animal. LEAVE SPACE TO AVOID SUDDENLY OPENED DOORS. • Shall not operate a bicycle on a roadway during darkness unless the bicycle is equipped with: – A brake which will enable the operator to make one braked wheel stop on dry. Pedestrians using guide dogs or white canes with or without a red tip must be given the right-of-way at all times. bicycle. Intersections with special lanes MERGE LEFT TO PASS VEHICLE TURNING RIGHT • Shall ride as near to the right curb or edge of the roadway as practical–not on the sidewalk. particularly if you are driving a quiet hybrid vehicle. These pedestrians are partially or totally blind. clean pavement. • Must signal all their intentions to motorists and bicyclists near them. • Must wear a helmet if under the age of 18. If the bicyclist is traveling straight ahead. level. using the same turn lanes. • Are legally allowed to ride in the center of the lane when moving at the same speed as other traffic.

A blind pedestrian listens to all traffic sounds before deciding to cross the street. this gesture usually means for you to go. • Stop at all crosswalks where pedestrians are waiting. In fact. watch for bicycles and “share the road” when they are present. ImPORTANT: Drivers of electric and hybrid vehicles must be extra alert to blind pedestrians. This forces the blind pedestrian to go around your vehicle and into traffic outside of the crosswalk. unless there is an advance stop bar (line). • do not wait too long for the blind pedestrian to cross the street. In work zones where lanes are narrow or where the shoulder is closed. Look for any pedestrians. • do not give the blind pedestrian verbal directions. especially blind pedestrians or traffic before starting your turn. Blind pedestrians who have a green light are not expecting a driver to make a right turn in front of them. roaD Workers anD Work Zones (“cone Zones”) - 63 - . • do not honk your horn at a blind person. • do not stop in the middle of a crosswalk. Merge as soon as it is safe to do so and without crossing the cones or drums. Reduce your speed and be prepared to slow down or stop for highway equipment. When a blind person pulls in his or her cane and steps away from the intersection. Cones and/or drums will guide you through the work zone. • do not turn right without looking first. The most common cause of deaths and injuries in work zones is rear-end collisions. slow moving equipment. most of the people killed in work zones are drivers and passengers. Pay close attention where road work is being performed. • do not block any sidewalk.Here are some suggestions for helping pedestrians who are blind: • do not stop your vehicle more than five feet from the crosswalk. allow extra following room between vehicles. For your own safety and the safety of your passengers remember to slow down. and closed lanes ahead. The blind person has no idea who you are honking at and may be startled by the noise. so drive up to the crosswalk to allow the person to hear you. Signs and message boards warn you of workers. as they may be unaware of your presence due to the nearly silent nature of these vehicles. A blind pedestrian uses the sound of your engine as a guide. Turning may result in the blind pedestrian becoming disoriented and vulnerable to being hit by another right turning vehicle when attempting to cross the street.

watch for drivers changing lanes at the last minute. Driving carefully through work zones improves safety for drivers. Keep your eyes on the road and other vehicles around you. Use caution if lane changes are required.) California Highway Patrol (CHP) or fire department officers know what to do if the load is accidentally spilled. Remember to “Slow for the Cone Zone. marked Department of Transportation that is displaying emergency flashing or amber warning lights. Obey special signs or instructions from workers. paramedics. vehicles With haZarDous loaDs Hazardous Loads Placards DouBle fine Zones A diamond-shaped sign on a truck .. common sense and consideration—every time you are behind the wheel of a vehicle. expect sudden slowing or stopping. explosives. Vehicles which display these signs are required to stop before crossing railroad tracks. pass it on! move over anD sloW DoWn - 64 - . Anyone convicted of assaulting a highway worker faces fines of up to $2. Do not stop to watch the road work.” Fines for traffic violations in the “Cone Zone” can be up to $1. tow truck drivers. CalTrans employees.000 and imprisonment for up to one year.” Fines for violations are doubled in these zones and also in highway construction or maintenance zones when workers are present.” Due to increased collision-related injuries and fatalities certain roads are designated as “Safety EnhancedDouble Fine Zones. and other emergency personnel who are aiding stranded or injured motorGuide Signs ists or involved in road work.. Avoid distractions including using your hands-free cell phone while in the “Cone Zone. or more. The law Highway Construction and Maintenance S is designed to reduce the deaths of police officers.78 means that the load on the truck is potentially dangerous (gas. Courtesy. while it is stopped on the side of a state highway or freeway. importAnt DrivinG tips Always be courteous. reflexes. pedestrians. and minimize distractions. (CVC §42010) Drivers are required to move over and slow down when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle or tow truck that is displaying flashing amber warning lights. or a vehicle. etc. Safe driving requires personal responsibility to use sound judgment. bicyclists. experience. and road workers.000.merge early.

low light conditions. Yield to pedestrians. Blocking the right-turn lane. Letting your door hit the vehicle parked next to you. Come to a complete stop at stop signs. Try to get out of the way of aggressive drivers. Provide appropriate distance when cutting in after passing vehicles. Using the cell phone while driving. etc. deliberate Uturns. Stopping in the road to talk. Make slow. Avoid unnecessary use of high beam headlights. Acknowledge intention of others. Maintain speeds appropriate for conditions. Make eye contact and signal intention where needed.ARE YOu AN AGGRESSIVE DRIVER? DO YOU (Check the appropriate box): Y N Overtake other vehicles only on the left. Parking in a space designated for the disabled. Approach intersections and pedestrians at slow speeds. Score Yourself: Count the number of “No” Answers (1-3) SAFE DRIVER (8-11) SEMI-AGGRESSIVE DRIVER (4-7) GOOD DRIVER (12+) AGGRESSIVE DRIVER - 65 - . Y N Use your horn sparingly. Drive below the posted speed limit when conditions warrant. Avoid challenging other drivers. Keep to the right as much as possible. Avoid returning inappropriate gestures. Yield to faster traffic by moving to the right. Maintain appropriate following distance. Focus on driving and avoid distracting activities. Follow right-of-way rules at four-way stops. rainy. Taking more than one parking space. Maintain proper speeds around roadway crashes. Inflicting loud music on neighboring cars. Use vehicle turn signals for turns and lane changes. Refrain from flashing headlights. Yield and move to the right for emergency vehicles. Use headlights in cloudy. DO YOu AVOID: Driving when drowsy. Avoid blocking passing lanes. Drive at slower speeds in construction zones. Stop for red traffic lights.

it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle while using an electronic wireless communication device to write. Dealing With traffic congestion • Do not make gestures to other drivers. Dealing With aggressive Drivers anD roaD rage Regardless of age. and impatience cause one driver to react angrily to another driver. • Tailgating–following too closely. etc. Aggressive driving and road rage happens when crowded roads. • Use your horn for emergencies only. do not answer it. grooming. e talking on a cell phone. reading the newspaper. Cell phones can be a lifesaver in emergency situations. and e-mail(s). Avoid the following driving behaviors: • Rubbernecking–slowing down to look at collisions or virtually anything else out of the ordinary. or read text messages. • If your cell phone rings. rushing. instant messages. text messaging. according to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). NOTE: With certain exceptions. Use your cell phone in the following safe and responsible ways while driving: • Use hands-free devices (except minors).Small changes in your driving habits can help relieve chronic traffic congestion. • Operating a poorly-maintained or malfunctioning vehicle or running out of fuel. • Giving an angry driver plenty of space. • Let the call go to voicemail if you have this feature. • Unnecessary lane changes–weaving in and out of freeway lanes. Minors may not use a cell phone except in certain emergencies (see page 12). Prevent a potentially violent incident by: • Avoiding eye contact with an angry driver. send. • Taking the questionnaire on the previous page to determine the type of driver that you are. • Do not cut off other drivers. Some suggestions for avoiding aggressive driving and road rage situations are: • Allow plenty of time to reach your destination. adults may not use a cell phone while driving unless hands-free equipment is used. • Do not tailgate. text messaging anD cell phones - 66 - . • Inattention– ating. • Do not drive slowly in the left (fast) lane.

• Over narrow bridges and through tunnels. • Pay attention to the road. and in residential areas. or a line - 67 - . Braking on a curve may cause you to skid. • Use your cell phone to call for help in an emergency. Driving in Heavy Traffic Drive slower in heavy traffic. Keep Your Car Visible The driver’s blind spots are shown on page 47. and downtown areas. Curves On curves. playgrounds. Do not linger in another driver’s blind spot. • Near schools. Traffic Speeds Collisions are more likely to happen when one driver goes faster or slower than the other cars on the road. You cannot see vehicles in these blind spots. snow. Rain. • When you see the brake lights of several vehicles ahead of you. ice and gravel make the road slippery. If you are in the fast lane and you notice vehicles moving to the right lane to pass you. you must judge collision avoiDance how sharp the curve is and adjust your speed accordingly. • On roads with heavy traffic. there is a strong outward pull on your vehicle. drive more slowly: • In shopping centers. Driving slower than other vehicles or stopping suddenly can be just as dangerous as speeding. As a general rule. If a speed limit is not posted before a curve. Rather than driving at the legal posted speed limit. mud. If you drive faster than other traffic. As quickly as you can. Studies have shown that speeding does not save more than a few minutes in an hour of driving time. That is one reason why inexperienced drivers have more “out-of-control” collisions than experienced drivers. Slow down before you enter the curve.• Do not use the cell phone during hazardous conditions. if not more dangerous because you may cause a rear end collision or cause other drivers to swerve to avoid hitting your vehicle. What is the Road Condition The faster your speed. should you drive 35 mph (the posted speed limit) on a curve down an icy mountain road? Many inexperienced drivers do not adjust their driving speed for road conditions. • Do not engage in distracting conversations. the less control you have of your vehicle. especially when the road is slippery. Turn your head to see if a vehicle is in one of these blind spots. consider what else may affect the safe operation of your vehicle. drop back or pass the vehicle. if you only look in your mirrors. you increase your chances of being involved in a collision. parking lots. For example. so you can stop within the available stopping distance. • Through toll plazas.

The oil makes the road slippery until the rain washes the oil off the surface of the road. A slippery road will not give your tires the grip they need. Adjust your speed as follows: • Wet road–go five–ten miles slower. Some road surfaces are more slippery than others when wet and usually have warning signs.” A slight change of direction or a gust of wind could throw your vehicle into a skid. shade from trees or buildings can hide spots of ice. These areas freeze first and Driving haZarDs dry out last. This is when many roads are the most slippery. the best thing to do is move into the right lane. especially if you are driving too fast or going downhill. If you cannot control your vehicle on a slippery surface. They can hide spots of ice. and • Turn the steering wheel in the direction of the skid. Ice and packed snow on the road can cause your vehicle to skid. wet days. Heat causes oil in the asphalt to come to the surface. Try to get a wheel on dry pavement or on the shoulder of the road. • Packed snow–reduce your speed by half. because oil and dust have not washed away. • If it starts to rain on a hot day. • Ice–slow to a crawl. If you start to skid: • Ease off the gas pedal. If your vehicle starts to hydroplane. the pavement can be very slippery for the first several minutes. • Bridges and overpasses tend to freeze before the rest of the road does. your tires can lose all contact with the road and then your vehicle will be riding on water or “hydroplaning. In a heavy rain at speeds of 50 mph or more. Slippery Roads Slow down at the first sign of rain. Here are some clues to help you spot slippery roads: • On cold. slow down gradually–do not apply the brakes. as you approach curves and intersections. You may have to edge slowly into a snow bank or some bushes to stop the vehicle. try to find something to stop the skid. - 68 - . To prevent skidding on slippery surfaces: • Drive slowly and stay farther behind the vehicle ahead of you.of vehicles are forming behind you. Water on the Road Slow down when there is a lot of water on the road. • Slow down. Drive more slowly than you would on a dry road. when it is safe. and let the vehicle(s) pass. • Avoid fast turns. • Stop braking. Skids on Slippery Surfaces A road that is normally safe can become dangerous when it is slippery.

Slow the vehicle radually until you are at a safe speed g to continue driving. Those injured will be helped faster if other vehicles aren’t collisions are not acciDents - 69 - . (Do not pump antilock brakes. An “accident” implies an unforeseen event that occurs without anyone’s fault or negligence. Take your foot off the brake to unlock the wheels. slow down. • Avoid especially slippery areas. Then straighten the front wheels as the vehicle begins to straighten out. Locked Wheel Skids This type of skid is usually caused by braking too hard at a high rate of speed and locking the wheels. Acceleration Skids An acceleration skid usually happens when the drive wheels lose traction on the road surface.) Steering Wheel Locking Device Never turn your vehicle’s ignition to the “lock” position while it is still in motion. If the brakes get wet. 6. 7. oil. Avoid driving near collisions.• Avoid quick stops. Try to drive the car safely off the road. Warn other drivers by honking and flashing your emergency lights. Keep your eyes on the road. There may be a collision or other road emergency ahead. or pass very carefully. Look for an alternate route away from traffic or look for a way out. (WARNING: Turning the ignition off while the vehicle is moving locks the steering wheel of some vehicles and you will not have control of the steering. Stop and turn off the ignition. such as ice patches. 2. or deep puddles. mechanical tips Accelerator Malfunction If your accelerator becomes stuck you should: 1. If you see a vehicle’s hazard lights ahead. or the steering will lock and you will lose control of your vehicle. if you can. Shift to neutral. The vehicle will skid no matter which way the steering wheel is turned. To maintain control of a skidding vehicle. Ease off the gas pedal and straighten the front wheels as the vehicle begins to straighten itself out. 5. Most often in traffic. “Pump” the brakes to slow or stop. dry them by lightly pressing the gas pedal and brake pedal at the same time so that the vehicle drives against the pressure of the brakes. wet leaves. 3. 4.) • Shift to low gear before going down a steep hill. that is not the case. do not apply the brakes. Stop and give assistance if asked by anyone. Apply the brakes. Perform this light pressing only until the brakes dry.

• Show your driver license. try to find the owner and report the incident to authorities as mentioned above. and current address to the other driver. • Driving on the wrong side of the road. if anyone is hurt. broker. • Anyone was injured (no matter how slightly) or killed.blocking the road. and address in or securely attached to the vehicle or property you hit. call the nearest humane society. broker. The CHP or police will not make this report for you. report it to the DMV within 10 days if: • More than $750 in damage was done to the property of any person. • Move your vehicle out of the traffic lane if no one is injured or killed. Go online at www.gov or call 1-800-777-0133 and ask for the Report of Traffic Accident (SR 1) form. • You (or your insurance agent. or CHP. • Violating the right-of-way rules. registration card. watching for people in the road. Someone could be injured and need your help. • If you hit a parked vehicle or other property. Do not try to move an injured animal or leave an injured animal to die. Report the collision to the city police or. Drive by carefully. • If you kill or injure an animal. persons involved. • You (or your insurance agent.ca. Involved in a Collision If you are involved in a collision: • You must stop. or legal representative) must make a written report to the police or CHP within 24 hours of the collision if someone is killed or injured. or legal representative) must make a report to DMV using the Report of Traffic Accident Occurring in California (SR 1) form. You may cause another crash. If you must drive near a collision. Causes of Collisions The most common causes of collisions are: • Unsafe speed. • Violating stop signals and signs. Each driver (or the driver’s insurance agent.dmv. or legal representative) must make a written report to DMV within 10 days. leave a note with your name. phone number. If you do not stop. Reporting a Collision When you have a collision. evidence of financial responsibility. do not stop or slow down just to look. • Driver distractions. • If your parked car rolls away and hits another vehicle. in unincorporated areas. or police officer. you may be convicted of “hit and run” and could be severely punished. to the CHP. • Call 9-1-1. • Improper turns. - 70 - . broker. the police.

You or your representative must make this report whether or not you caused the collision. six months in jail. skis. • • • • • do not smoke when a minor is in the vehicle at any time. your license can be returned to you if you provide a California Insurance Proof Certificate (SR 22) and maintain it during the three-year period. • do not dump or abandon animals on a highway. if you did not have proper insurance coverage. roller blades. • do not operate a cell phone without the use of a hands-free device (minors. do not leave a child or an animal unattended in a hot vehicle (see page 74). etc. do not transport animals in the back of a pickup or other truck unless the animal is properly secured. on roller skates. that ADDitionAl DrivinG lAws/rUles things you must not Do: • • • • you cannot control it or see ahead or to the sides of your vehicle. either with property or people. or skateboard.000. During the last three years of the suspension. Your driving privilege will be suspended: • If you do not make this report. unsecured load that is a safety hazard (CVC 24002a). unless the vehicle is equipped with seats and the person uses both the seat and a safety belt. or both. toy vehicle. Cargo extending more than four feet from the back of the vehicle must display a 12-inch red or fluorescent orange square flag or two red lights at night. - 71 - . or read textbased communications. • do not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless communications device to write. do not carry anything in or on a passenger vehicle which extends beyond the fenders on the left side or more than six inches beyond the fenders on the right side. sled. do not allow anyone to ride in the trunk of your vehicle. do not allow a person to ride in the back of a pickup or other truck. in a wagon. This crime is punishable by a fine of up to $1. do not allow anyone to ride on any part of your vehicle not intended for passengers. • For up to four years. do not tow anyone who is riding a bicycle. see page 12). You can be fined up to $100. send. Convictions will result in penalties for both the driver and the person(s) riding in the trunk. even if the collision occurred on private property. • do not drive a vehicle so loaded. • do not wear a headset over or earplugs in both your ears. It is illegal to drive any vehicle with an unsafe.

• do not block or hinder a funeral procession. These vehicles are not manufactured or designed for highway use. lower corner. or interrupt the funeral procession you are subject to a citation (CVC §2817). • do not drive a vehicle equipped with a video monitor. • You must use your headlights 30 minutes after sunset and leave them on until 30 minutes before sunrise.000. • You must drive as far to the right as reasonably possible on narrow mountain roads. cigar. obstruct. Windshield/window stickers. • do not honk your horn unless it is a safety warning to avoid a collision. Do not hang objects on the mirror. and if you cannot see at least 200 feet ahead honk your horn. are permitted in these locations only: – A seven-inch square on either the passenger’s side windshield. A funeral procession is led by a traffic officer. or the lower corner of the rear window. etc. Vehicles taking part in a funeral procession have the right-of-way. • do not shoot firearms on a highway or at traffic signs. • do not drive with illegally— tinted safety glass. Littering convictions show on your driving record. or other flaming or glowing substance from your vehicle. • do not drive any motor vehicle into a designated wilderness area (CVC §38301. if the monitor is visible to the driver and displays anything other than vehicle information or global mapping displays. If you have sun-sensitive skin. The fine is $1. and you may be forced to pick up what you threw away.5). and if you interfere.. you may use removable sun screens during daylight travel if you have a letter from your physician. and they do not meet federal safety standards. – A five-inch square on the lower corner of the driver’s side window. • do not wear eyeglasses with temples wide enough to keep you from seeing clearly to the sides. a “pocket bike” on a public street or highway. or allow a child to ride. – The side windows behind the driver. • do not block your view by putting signs or other objects on the front windshield or the back side windows. • do not throw any cigarette. • do not ride. • You must dim your lights to low beams within 500 feet of a vehicle things you must Do: - 72 - . and all vehicles taking part in the procession have windshield markers to identify them and have their headlights on.• do not litter the roadside.

Even people with good hearing cannot hear well if the radio or CD player is blaring. Drivers that are deaf or hearing-impaired can hearing gooD vision for all Drivers You need good vision to drive safely. if you are involved in a collision. or call 1-800-777-0133 to request a copy by mail or contact the Senior Driver Ombudsman Program in your area: Sacramento/Northern California (916) 657-6464 San Francisco/Oakland (510) 563-8998 Orange/San Bernardino/San Diego (949) 553-3573 Los Angeles/Oxnard (310) 412-6103 you will not be able to make the best judgements. Have your eyes checked every year or two.000 feet or less) require the use of windshield wipers. • You must move your vehicle out of the traffic lane (unless it is disabled) when it is safe to do so. You also need to see peripherally or “out of the corner of your eye” to spot cars coming up beside you.ca. Some people see poorly in dim light. rain. while your eyes are on the road ahead. it is against the law. Hearing is more important to driving than many people realize. Please go online at www. but cannot see it. Do not wear a headset or earplugs in both ears while driving. You need good distance judgment so you know how far you are from other cars. You may never know about poor peripheral vision or poor distance judgment. Hearing problems. unless you have your eyes checked by a healthcare professional. Have your hearing checked periodically. The sound of horns. dmv. Law enforcement may tow or impound your vehicle if it is left in an unsafe area and causes safety concerns. like bad eyesight.coming toward you or within 300 feet of a vehicle you are following. If you cannot see clearly. you cannot judge distances or spot trouble. Others may have trouble with the glare of headlights. especially if it is in your blind spots. a siren. can come on so slowly that you do not notice them. HeAltH AnD sAfetY safety for the aging Driver The department has published a handbook specifically for senior drivers. • You must turn on your headlights if snow. or screeching tires can warn you of danger. You may see clearly and still not be able to judge distances. Many people who may see clearly in the daytime have trouble seeing clearly at night. Sometimes you can hear a vehicle. or low-visibility (1. fog. and - 73 - .gov to view or download a copy of the Senior Guide for Safe Driving.

as when you are rested and alert.adjust their driver safety habits by relying more on their seeing sense and therefore. left and right. If you are tired all the time and fall asleep often during the day. • Do not drive long hours. s t are potentially angerous. Overd the-counter medicines that you take for colds and allergies can make you drowsy and affect your driving ability. Look at objects near and far. and equally important. do not: • Mix medications. • Keep shifting your eyes from one part of the road to another. Remember if it’s too hot for you. The temperature inside a vehicle can rise approximately 40-50 degrees higher than the outside temperature. you are less alert. compensate for the loss of hearing. To keep from becoming tired on a long trip: • Get a normal night’s sleep before you start on your trip. ask your physician to check for a sleep disorder. unless directed by your physician. pre crip ion or over-the-counter. heat stroke. meDications hot Weather risks - 74 - . • Roll your window down to get some fresh air. and death can result from overexposure to the heat. It is your responsibility to know the effects of the medications you take. As stated on page 20. Before you decide to drive. This applies to both prescribed and over-the-counter medications. • Mix alcohol with your medications. find out the effects of the medication from your physician or pharmacist. it’s too hot for children and pets. so your chances of having a crash may be greater. You may not see hazards as soon or react as quickly. • Do not take any drugs that can make you drowsy. alertness When you are tired. Dehydration. After sitting in the sun. with even a slightly opened window. • Take medications prescribed for someone else. If you must take medication before driving. Additionally. and try not to drive late at night. If you are sleepy. Most drivers are less alert at night especially after midnight. The body naturally wants to sleep at night. it is dangerous and deadly to leave children and/ or animals in a hot vehicle. it is against the law to leave unattended minor children in a vehicle. the temperature can rise rapidly inside a parked vehicle. • Try chewing gum or singing along with the radio/CD. • Take regular rest stops even if you are not tired. Remember that all medications. the only safe response is to get off the road and get some sleep.

Use all of your good judgment. such as when there is not enough shoulder space or if there is a guard rail or an area to safely stay away from the freeway lanes. park the vehicle next to a call box. if your vehicle becomes disabled on the freeway: • Safely pull to the right shoulder. Discuss health concerns such as poor vision. or epilepsy with your physician and follow his or her advice. • Stay inside your vehicle with the seatbelts on until help arrives. health anD emotions conDitions physicians must report Physicians and surgeons are required to report patients at least 14 years of age and older who are diagnosed as having lapses of consciousness. Use your emergency blinking lights at your discretion according to weather conditions. In certain circumstances. or related disorders. • “Jump start” your vehicle if the battery is dead. • Refill your radiator and tape hoses. away from traffic. exit your vehicle. The California Highway Patrol’s Freeway Service Patrol (FSP) provides free emergency roadside services during commute periods. Notify DMV if you have a condition that might affect your ability to drive safely. your physician may report to DMV any other medical condition that he or she believes may affect your ability to drive safely. exit on the right side of your vehicle. The lights may be helpful. Alzheimer’s Disease. return to your vehicle.Your personality affects the way you drive. - 75 - . If you get stuck on the freeway because your automobile stops running. FSP will: • Offer you a gallon of gas if you run out. if possible. (There is a call box located every quarter mile to two miles. get back into the vehicle from the right side (away from traffic). safety tips According to the CHP. diabetes. and away from your vehicle. The FSP program: • Cannot tow your vehicle to a private repair service or residence. heart problems. • Change a flat tire. and put on your seatbelts. (California Health & Safety Code §103900) Although not required by law. Ideally.) • If you must exit the vehicle. • Once you arrange for assistance. but they could also attract drunk drivers. common sense. Do not let your emotions interfere with safe driving. and courtesy when you drive and follow all the recommended safe driving rules.

is less restricted. If you follow the suggestions below. – The keys in the ignition. Your mailing address. a vehicle is stolen an average of every 21 minutes. The CHP will notify an auto club or towing service. The FSP serves the following areas: • Valley Division–the Sacramento metro and Tracy areas • Golden Gate Division–the San Francisco Bay Area • Central Division–the Fresno area • Southern Division–the Los Angeles Basin • Inland Division–the Riverside area • Border Division–the San Diego and Orange County areas • Coastal Division–the Monterey and Santa Cruz areas Call 1-800-TELLCHP (835-5247) to find out if the FSP operates where you are and how to contact the FSP. vehicle thieves often use the stolen vehicles to commit other crimes. etc..• Does not recommend tow service companies or repair and body shops. • Does report any collision to the CHP. – Valuables such as purses. Most information in your driver license file is available to the public. • Does not tow motorcycles. • Does not assist vehicles which have been involved in a collision unless directed by the CHP. you can minimize your chances of becoming the victim of vehicle theft. sporting events. Place them out of sight. it will be towed free of charge to a location approved by the CHP. Also. You may obtain a copy of your driving record at any DMV office for a fee with valid identification. vehicle theft prevention tips recorD confiDentiality - 76 - . In the United States. Vehicle thefts occur more often where large groups of cars are parked at any time of day for extended periods of time. FSP will also contact additional assistance for you. Records on the physical or mental condition of a driver remain confidential. such as shopping centers. Your residence address may only be viewed by authorized agencies. movie complexes. if different from your residence. Vehicle theft results in costs to the victim and it increases insurance premiums. in plain view even if your vehicle is locked. and large apartment complexes. laptops. Do not leave keys inside a locked garage or a hide-a-key box. Here are some tips you can use to avoid becoming the victim of vehicle theft: • Never leave: – Your vehicle running and unattended even to dash into a store. If FSP cannot start your vehicle. colleges.

especially if you own one of the frequently-stolen model vehicles. Do not accelerate until the patrol vehicle has turned off its emergency lights and traffic conditions ahead allow the return to normal speeds. Slow to the same speed as the officer. and drives across the lanes of traffic in a serpentine manner. Activating your signal lets the officer know that you recognize his or her presence. • Suggestions: – Install a mechanical device that locks the steering wheel. if your vehicle is stolen. the officer turns on the rear emergency lights. and keep that information with you and not in the car. or mechanic. – Park in high-traffic. Traffic breaks are used by law enforcement to: – Slow or stop traffic to remove hazards from the roadway. slows the vehicle. An officer may become alarmed if you fail to recognize him or her and might perceive that you have a reason to avoid yielding or that you might be impaired. or brakes. – Conduct emergency operations.– Personal identification documents. – Report a stolen vehicle immediately to the police. well-lighted areas whenever possible. only leave the ignition key. attendant. such as the ownership title or credit cards in the vehicle. – Copy your license plate and vehicle information on a card. To assist the officer in conducting a traffic break: – Activate your emergency flashers to warn other drivers there is a hazard ahead. Do not slow abruptly unless it is necessary to avoid a collision. – Think about purchasing a vehicle theft tracking/security system. • Always: – Roll up your windows and lock your vehicle even if it is parked in front of your house. – Prevent traffic collisions in heavy fog or unusually heavy traffic. The police will need this information. column. – When you must leave your key with a valet. – Slowly begin to decrease your speed. – Do not attempt to drive past the patrol vehicle. traffic Breaks Acknowledge the officer’s presence by turning on your right turn signal. During a traffic break. while keeping a safe distance from the patrol vehicle ahead of you. What a Driver shoulD Do During an enforcement stop - 77 - .

On a freeway. an officer’s inability to see the hands of the driver and all occupants in the vehicle increases the officer’s level of feeling threatened. Place your hands in clear view. This places both the driver and the officer in danger of being hit by oncoming traffic. • A surety bond for $35. Remain inside your vehicle unless otherwise directed by the officer. the officer’s priorities are your safety. The officer will guide you. Do not move onto the center median. etc. it is recommended that you roll down your windows after you have stopped your vehicle on the right shoulder of the roadway and before the officer makes contact with you. etc.move your vehicle to the right shoulder of the road. There are four forms of financial responsibility: • A motor vehicle liability insurance policy. even if you’re in the carpool lane. During an enforcement stop. near restaurants or service stations. • A deposit of $35. including all passengers’ hands such as on the steering wheel. When it is dark. the safest place for you and your passengers is inside your vehicle. Never step out of your vehicle. Pull your vehicle as far off the roadway as possible.000 obtained from a company licensed to do business in California. The officer needs your full attention to communicate with you to complete the enforcement stop in the least amount of time needed. sharp object. Stop in well lit areas when possible. Most violent criminal acts against a law enforcement officer occur through the use of a person’s hands. Do not stop in the center median of a freeway or on the opposite side of a two lane roadway. Exiting your vehicle without first being directed by an officer can increase the risk of being struck by a passing vehicle and/or increase the officer’s level of feeling threatened. Actions tHAt resUlt in loss of license financial responsiBility - 78 - . move completely onto the right shoulder. the safety of your passengers. unless an officer directs you to do so. • A DMV issued self-insurance certificate. and the officer’s own personal safety. using his or her patrol vehicle.000 with DMV. such as the use of a firearm. During an enforcement stop. If your windows are tinted. on top of your lap. In most situations. End your cell phone conversation and turn off your radio. look for locations that have more light such as areas with street or freeway lights. The California Compulsory Financial Responsibility Law requires every driver and every owner of a motor vehicle to maintain financial responsibility (liability coverage) at all times.

your driver license will be suspended. DMV must keep this record. Contra Costa. • $30.You must carry written evidence of financial responsibility whenever you drive. 2. San Diego. Please contact your insurance agent. If the driver is not identified. unless the reporting officer states another person was at fault.000 for death or injury to more than one person. * Low cost automobile policies are available in Alameda. and show it to a police officer after a traffic stop or collision when asked to do so. Sacramento. or another party involved in the collision. - 79 - . Your insurance company must file a power of attorney allowing DMV to act as its agent for legal service in California. Los Angeles. If you have a collision not covered by your insurance. or you do not have insurance. San Francisco. San Mateo. It does not matter who caused the collision. • You. Most drivers choose to have a liability insurance policy as proof of financial responsibility. Orange. ask your insurance company if you are covered in case of a collision. Fresno. Kern. once the vehicle is registered in California. You cannot renew the out-ofstate policy. If you have a collision in California. insurance Insurance Requirements The law states that you must be financially responsible for your actions whenever you drive and for all the motor vehicles you own. Santa Clara. Your liability policy must provide bodily injury and property damage coverage which equals or exceeds the required limits stated above. all three of the following conditions must be met to avoid the suspension of your driving privilege: 1. San Bernardino. You may have to pay a fine or have your vehicle impounded if you do not comply with this law. You must insure the vehicle before you come to California. Call 1-800-927-HELP. the owner of the motor vehicle involved in a collision will have his or her driver license suspended. if any one person has over $750 in damage or if anyone is injured or dies. Imperial. Before you drive here. • $5. and Stanislaus counties. Riverside.000 for property damage. Collisions on Your Record DMV retains information on every collision reported to DMV by: • Law enforcement. The minimum amount your insurance* must cover per collision is: • $15. San Joaquin.000 for a single death or injury. before you purchase insurance to confirm that your agent/broker and insurer are licensed by the California Department of Insurance. 3. If you are visiting California or have just moved here. be aware that not all out-of-state insurance companies are authorized to do business in California.

If you see a drunk driver on the road. Provide law enforcement with the: exact location vehicle make & model license plate One call could save a life. . call 911.

00 .09 .00 . REMEMBER: Even one drink is likely to affect your ability to drive safely! Get a DuI – Lose Your License! BLOOD ALCOHOL CONTENT (BAC) Table for Male (M) / Female (F) Driving Condition Only Safe Driving Limit Driving Skills Impaired Number of Drinks M 0 F M 1 F M 2 F M 3 F M 4 F M 5 F 220 .05 .33 120 .11 .07 .00 .05 .19 .10 .12 .15 100 .12 .07 . 12 oz.13 .11 .14 Legally Intoxicated Subtract .12 .24 .00 .09 .07 .17 . 5% beer.05 . .00 .24 .00 .08 .15 .25 .03 .21 .04 .13 .18 .14 .28 Body Weight in Pounds 140 160 180 200 .12 .00 .04% for commercial vehicle drivers and .14 .17 .08 .00 .10 . 12% wine.20 .13 .17 . such as fatigue. 1 drink = 1.02 .06 .00 .00 .04 .13 .10 .15 .21 .10 .06 .03 .00 .5 oz.15 .12 .11 .20 . The table below gives an estimate of blood alcohol levels based on the number of drinks consumed.00 .30 .08 .07 .00 .04 . 80 proof liquor.07 .18 .06 .09 . Fewer than 5 persons out of 100 will exceed these values.15 .22 .00 . Other factors.17 240 .06 .03 .01% for each 40 minutes of drinking. gender and body weight.17 .05 .06 .07 .03 .01% if under 21).It is illegal to drive with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .03 .04 . or 5 oz.26 .00 .00 .19 .11 . medications or food may affect your ability to legally operate a vehicle.11 .08% or more (.03 .09 .

and Minors If you are under 18 years of age. It takes about an hour for the body to get rid of each “drink. Drivers who refuse these tests are subject to longer license suspensions and revocations. Make sure you read the label and know the effects of any drug you use. EXCEPTION: Your parent(s) or guardian(s) can have your license cancelled at any time while you are a minor. the officer can legally require you to take a blood or urine test.” If a person has had more than one drink an hour. It is also dangerous to walk in traffic or ride a bicycle. whether the vehicle is on or off the - 82 - . your parent(s) or guardian(s) must sign your driver license application and assume financial responsibility for your driving. Check with your physician or pharmacist and read the warning label if you are not sure that taking the medication will affect your driving. “uppers. your parent(s) or guardian(s) liability automatically ends. If you are involved in a collision your parent(s) or guardian(s) may be liable for civil damages and you may also be fined. Any drug that “may cause drowsiness or dizziness” is one you should not take before driving. The use of any drug (the law does not distinguish between prescription. Better still. affects how you react to sounds and what you see. California’s drunk driving law is also a drug driving law. Impaired judgment or good sense. someone who has not been drinking should drive (see page 86). or to calm nerves or muscles can make a person drowsy. Many drugs have unexpected side effects when taken with alcohol. When you reach age 18. and not able to concentrate.” If an officer suspects that you are under the influence of drugs. Later. dizzy. they can cause a person to be nervous.Collisions. Insurance. allergy. however. • Pep pills. one hour of “sobering up” time should be allowed for each extra drink consumed before driving. Alcohol/Drugs and Driving Is Dangerous Alcohol and/or drugs impairs your judgment. while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. or illegal drugs) which impairs your ability to drive safely is illegal. Much of what has been said about alcohol also applies to drugs. over-the-counter. They can also affect vision. Here are some facts: • Most drugs taken for colds. It refers to “driving under the influence of alcohol/Drugs While Driving alcohol and/or drugs. hay fever.” and diet pills can make a driver more alert for a short time. • Medicines taken together or used with alcohol can be dangerous. Carrying Alcohol in a Vehicle The law is very strict about carrying alcohol or drugs in a vehicle.

it may be impounded for up to 30 days. Refer to page 86 for the Designated Driver Program. if you are not already licensed.08% or higher. or taking any drug (including prescription medications). or wine inside a vehicle unless you are accompanied by a parent or other person as specified by law and the container must be full. • BAC of 0. • If you are caught with an alcoholic beverage in your vehicle. - 83 - . beer. Drivers of All Ages It is illegal to drive after consuming excessive amounts of alcohol in any form (including medications such as cough syrup).01% or higher. Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits It is illegal for any person to operate a vehicle with a: • BAC of 0. in any vehicle requiring a commercial driver license (CDL)—with or without a CDL issued to the driver. or wine carried inside the vehicle must be full. beer. EXCEPTION: You may carry alcoholic beverages in closed containers. if the person is age 21 or older.01% or higher. this law does not apply to non-driving passengers. if the person is on DUI probation. and unopened. In a bus. or using any combination of alcohol or drugs.000.01% or higher at any age. A subsequent offense may require a longer DUI program and you will not have a restricted license to attend the DUI program. You must not drink any amount of alcohol in any vehicle. sealed. Drivers Under 21 (Possession of Alcohol) If you are under 21 years of age: • You may not carry liquor. and either suspend your driving privilege for one year or require DMV to delay the issuance of your first license for up to one year.04% or higher. it must be kept in the trunk of the vehicle or in a place where passengers do not sit. Otherwise. • BAC of 0. The court may fine you up to $1. camper. while working for someone with an off-site liquor sales license. if the person is under age 21. if you are convicted of either driving with a BAC of 0. • BAC of 0. taxi. and unopened. • Your driving privilege will be revoked for one year.highway. sealed. or driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. On the first offense you will be required to complete the educational portion of a licensed driving-under-theinfluence (DUI) program. or motor home. A container of liquor. Keeping an opened alcoholic drink in the glove compartment is specifically against the law.

01% or higher on the PAS. arrest you for DUI (CVC §23140). Other PAS devices do not provide a record. jet skis. suspension. you must submit to a hand-held breath test. Similar provisions (California Harbors and Navigation Code) apply when you operate any vessel. and detain you until you can be turned over to your parent(s). the officer will issue you an order of suspension. Some PAS devices provide a record which may be submitted to the court as evidence. Under 21—Zero Tolerance for Alcohol Use. You do not have a right to consult with a lawyer before selecting or completing a test. or one of the other chemical tests if you have aDmin per se been detained and a police officer has reason to believe you were drinking alcohol. so the officer may ask for a breath or blood test after the PAS. revoke. drugs. or similar devices. the officer may take your license and issue you a temporary license for only 30 days. you consent to have your breath. aquaplane. If your PAS shows a BAC of 0. These convictions are placed on your driving record and will be used by the court to determine “prior convictions” for motor vehicle DUI sentencing. Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS). or juvenile authorities. urine tested if you are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. If a subsequent test reveals a BAC of 0. When you drive in California. turn you over to juvenile authorities.08% or higher. you may still be required to submit to a blood or urine - 84 - . or contact your parent(s) or guardian(s). If your BAC measures 0. or delay the license) for the same offense. These convictions are also used when determining the length of a suspension or revocation action or the reinstatement requirements. give you an order of suspension for one year. or a combination of both. the police officer may arrest you (CVC §§23152 or 23153). The court’s action may involve the payment of a fine. and the court may take a separate action (suspend.05% or higher. the officer may require you to submit to either a breath or blood test. guardian(s). or revocation of your driving privilege and completion of a DUI program. DMV’s action is related only to your driving privilege. You may request a DMV administrative hearing within 10 days.05%. jail time. water skis. and then determine whether to release you. If the officer reasonably believes you are under the combined influence of alcohol and drugs and you have already submitted to a PAS and/or a breath test. If your BAC is 0. blood or.The DMV can take an administrative action against your driving privilege after you are detained or arrested. If you are under 21 years of age. because of a violation you committed while driving a motor vehicle. under certain circumstances.

and pay - 85 - .000 (plus about three times the fine in penalty assessments) the first time you are convicted. your driving privilege may be suspended for both reasons. Almost all drivers show impairment by alcohol at levels lower than the legal limit. and you already have a record of violations for other reasons. file a California Insurance Proof Certificate (SR 22). In cases involving serious injury or death. Generally. An IID prevents you from starting your vehicle if you have any alcohol on your breath. and your BAC measures 0. On the first conviction the court will suspend your driving privilege for six months and require you to complete a DUI program before your driver license can be reinstated.15% or higher.01% or higher on the PAS.20% or higher. court Dui convictions If you are convicted of driving while under the influence of either alcohol and/or drugs or both (DUI). The courts and/or DMV may impose more stringent penalties for subsequent violations during that period. and you have an excessive BAC level. All DUI convictions will remain on DMV’s records for 10 years. or you have two or more prior moving violations. If you refuse to submit to any of the tests. A BAC below legal limits does not mean that you are safe to drive. Even if you change your mind later and agree to a test. A court may also order you to install an IID if your BAC is 0. If anyone was injured as a result of your driving under the influence. you may be punished under the California Three Strikes Law. the court may order you to complete a ninemonth or longer program. your driving privilege may be suspended because of your refusal. your license will be suspended for 10 months.15% or higher. and the court refers you to an enhanced DUI treatment program. or you refuse a chemical test at the time of your arrest. you may be sentenced to serve up to six months in jail and pay a fine between $390—$1. if you are over 21 years of age. If your BAC is 0. Drivers 21 and Older—DUI Programs and Restricted Licenses The completion of a DUI program is required for all DUI convictions. Your vehicle may be impounded and is subject to storage fees. The length of the program may vary. and you enroll in a DUI program. The impairment you exhibit at the time you are stopped may be enough to convict you of driving under the influence even without a BAC measurement. or you refuse to submit to a chemical test. You could also be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle. although both actions will run concurrently. You may also face civil lawsuits. the suspension period is one year.test because the breath test does not detect the presence of drugs. If your BAC is 0.

• File an SR 22. • Must be part of a group of two or more persons and verbally identify himself or herself as the designated driver to the server. an individual: • Should be at least 21 years of age and must possess a valid driver license. • Must understand that management reserves the right to refuse service to anyone at any time. DMV will issue you a restricted driver license. • Must not be an otherwise impaired driver. if you are considered a “traffic safety” or “public safety” risk. Second and subsequent DUI convictions result in increased penalties. If you fail to pay a fine (FTP). The Designated Driver Program is an anti-DUI effort that works. • Pay the reissue and restriction fees. and this will also show on your driver record. including a two-year suspension or a revocation of up to four years. the court will notify DMV. However. you sign a promise to appear in traffic court. getting a ticket DesignateD Driver program - 86 - . This program encourages one individual to abstain from consuming alcoholic beverages during an outing. After you complete a prescribed period of your suspension/revocation and either enroll in. if you: • Install an IID on your vehicle. If you are stopped by a police officer and cited for a traffic law violation. To participate as a designated driver. so he or she can be responsible for transporting other person(s) safely. Other actions against you may also prohibit the issuance of a restricted license. • Must abstain from consuming alcoholic beverages for the duration of the outing. or complete a portion of. Ending the suspension will cost you a license reissue fee of $55. Even one FTA or FTP can cause the department to suspend your license. if permitted to drive. • Agree not to drive any vehiclewithout an IID. Paying the fine is the same as a guilty plea. the court may order DMV to not grant you a restricted driver license. which allows you to drive to/from work and during the course of employment (unless you hold a commercial driver license) and to/ from a DUI program. or you may forfeit (pay) the citation fine. you may plead guilty or not guilty. • Agree to complete the prescribed DUI program. you may obtain a restricted license to drive anywhere necessary.the restriction and reissue fees. When you go to court. a DUI program. the failure to appear (FTA) goes on your driver record. If you ignore the traffic ticket and do not keep your promise to appear in court.

five. you will lose your driver license. depending on the type of conviction. • An at-fault collision.000. A violation received in a commercial vehicle carries one and one-half times the point count normally assessed. when your driving record shows one of the following “point count” totals. You may be considered a negligent operator. he or she is subject to: • Imprisonment in a state prison for three. • A fine of not less than $2.Each time you are convicted of a moving traffic law violation. • 4 points in 12 months • 6 points in 24 months • 8 points in 36 months Some examples of one point violations: • A traffic conviction. the court notifies DMV. or seven years. nor more than $10.000. and the conviction is placed on your driver license record. For detailed point count information refer to the California Commercial Driver Handbook. If a person is convicted of causing serious bodily injury during the course of a police pursuit (CVC §2800. or longer.1). Some examples of two point violations: • Reckless driving or hit-and-run driving • Driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs • Driving while driver license is suspended or revoked If you get 4 points in 12 months. The DMV keeps a public record of all your traffic convictions and collisions.3(a)). Convictions reported by other states are also added to your driver record. evaDing a police officer points on the Driver recorD The Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) is based on negligent operator points and consists of a computer generated series of warning letters and progressive sanctions against the driving privilege. he or she is subject to imprisonment in a state prison for a minimum of four to ten years (CVC §2800. When a person is convicted of manslaughter resulting from evading police during a pursuit. Each occurrence stays on your record for 36 months. - 87 - . Any person who willfully flees or attempts to evade a police officer performing his or her duties is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year (CVC §2800. or in a county jail for not more than one year.3(b)). • Both a fine and imprisonment.

regardless of the type of vehicle you were driving when cited.California law allows the courts to suspend the driver license for up to two years of a person convicted of engaging in vandalism. speeD contests/reckless Driving When a driver is cited for a one point traffic violation. the citation will still appear on your driving record. At the end of the suspension or revocation period. DMV will place you on probation for one year (which includes a six-month suspension) or revoke your driving privilege (see page 86). the judge may offer the driver the opportunity to attend a Traffic Violator School.000. NOTE: If you have a commercial license and attend traffic school. vanDalism/graffiti— all ages A person convicted of driving recklessly or engaging in a speed contest which causes bodily injury to another person is subject to: • Imprisonment in a county jail or state prison for a minimum of 30 days to 6 months. or • Both a fine and imprisonment (CVC §§23105 and 23109.1). Your suspension or revocation order informs you of your right to a hearing. you may apply for a new license. suspension or revocation By Dmv - 88 - . If you get too many negligent driver points. or • Impose driver license sanctions for minors convicted of misdemeanors involving firearms. which results in injury. traffic violator school Dismissals possessing firearms The court will: • Suspend or revoke the driving privilege of any minor convicted of possessing a concealable weapon or live ammunition. • A fine ranging from $220— $1. The DMV will revoke your license if you are convicted of a hit-and-run or reckless driving. including graffiti. the courts can delay the issuance of your driver license for up to three years from the date you are legally eligible to drive. and you must show proof of financial responsibility. If you are convicted and do not have a driver license. Drivers who do not have a commercial license may participate once in any 18-month period to have a citation dismissed from their driving record.

• Hit-and-run. california vehicles - 89 - . or call DMV at 1-800-7770133 to request a form by mail. If you obtain or purchase a vehicle from a private party. or pedestrian when suspension By JuDge the offense occurs on a highway (road rage). Usually within six—eight weeks after the purchase date. the dealer collects use tax and fees to register and title the vehicle.ca. and a Certificate of Title. if appropriate. bicyclist.A judge may suspend a person’s license. • Smog certification provided by the seller if required. You can complete the Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability form (REG 138) online. you must transfer the ownership within 10 days. veHicle reGistrAtion reqUirements The following is a brief summary of California’s vehicle registration requirements.gov. • Appropriate DMV fees. • Use tax payment if required. • Assaulting a driver. download and mail the completed form. Regardless of the point count. many serious offenses in which a vehicle is used are punishable by heavy penalties such as fines and/or imprisonment. Please visit the DMV website to obtain detailed information at www. When you purchase a new or used vehicle from a licensed California dealer. report it to DMV within 5 days. if the driver is convicted of one of the following: • Breaking speed laws or reckless driving. • Odometer Mileage Disclosure Statement if applicable. you will receive a registration card. When you sell or transfer a vehicle. Submit the following to DMV: • A properly endorsed and completed Certificate of Title or Application for Duplicate Title (REG 227). If you use your vehicle as a weapon your driver license may be permanently revoked. The dealer submits these fees and documents to DMV and gives you temporary operating authority. dmv.000 feet of a residence. • Felony or misdemeanor offense of recklessly fleeing a law enforcement officer. stickers. • Engaging in lewd conduct and prostitution in a vehicle within 1. passenger. license plates. • Failure to stop as required at a railway grade crossing. • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

• Verification of the vehicle completed by the DMV. • Appropriate DMV fees and use tax if applicable. Nonresident military personnel and their spouses may operate their vehicles in California with their valid home state license plates or until the plates issued from the state of their last assigned duty station expire. out-of-state vehicles - 90 - .Vehicles registered in another state or foreign country must be registered in California within 20 days after you become a resident or get a job (see page 2). law enforcement agent. • Smog certification (1976 and newer motor vehicles only). if the title is not submitted. • Completed Odometer Mileage Disclosure statement if applicable. They may renew the registration in their home state before it expires or register the vehicle in California. The items needed to register any out-of-state vehicle are: • Completed and signed Application for Title or Registration (REG 343). or an auto club employee. • Out-of-state title and/or last issued out-of-state registration card. • Weight certificate for commercial vehicles only.

relateD fast facts anD other puBlications (availaBle online):
• FFDL 05 Birth Date and Legal Presence Requirements • FFDL 08 Social Security Number Requirements for a Driver License or Identification Card • FFDL 08A Supplemental Social Security Information for Applications with VISA E1/E2 and L1/L2 (and others) • FFDL 10 Potentially Unsafe Driver • FFDL 14 Vision Requirements For Driving Class C Vehicles • FFDL 15 Retention of Driver Record Information • FFDL 16 Collisions, What To Do • FFDL 19 Provisional Licensing Changes • FFDL 22 How to Prepare for Your Driving Test • FFDL 24 Identity Theft • FFDL 25 Identity Fraud • FFDL 26 A Guide to the Driver Safety Administrative Hearing Process • FFDL 27 DMV’s Reexamination Process • FFDL 28 Driver Distractions • FFDL 29 Federal Hazardous Materials Requirements USA Patriot Act of 2001 • FFDL 31 Ignition Interlock Devices • FFDL 32 Limited Term for Legal Presence Driver License and Identification Card Applications • FFDL 33 Selecting a Driving School • FFDL 34 Organ and Tissue Donation • FFDL 35 Driving Under the Influence Immediate Driver License Suspension: Drivers age 21 and Older • FFDL 36 Driving Under the Influence - Immediate Driver License Suspension: Drivers Under Age 21 With a 0.01% BAC • FFDL 37 Safety Tips for Bicyclists and Motorists • FFDL 40 Diabetes and Driving • Senior Guide for Safe Driving (DL 625) • Parent-Teen Training Guide (DL 603) • Driving Test Criteria (DL 955)

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Distractions: A split second can change or end your life.

dmv.ca.gov

sAmple test #1
1. When you drive through a construction zone, you should: a. Slow down to watch the workers. b. Decrease your following distance. c. Pass the construction zone carefully and not “rubberneck”. 2. To make a right turn at the corner, you: a. May not enter the bicycle lane. b. Should only merge into the bicycle lane if you stop before turning. c. Must merge into the bicycle lane before turning. 3. If a traffic signal light is not working, you must: a. Stop, then proceed when safe. b. Stop before entering the intersection and let all other traffic go first. c. Slow down or stop, only if necessary. 4. A pedestrian is crossing your lane but there is no crosswalk. You should: a. Make sure the pedestrian sees you, but continue driving. b. Carefully drive around the pedestrian. c. Stop and let the pedestrian cross the street. 5. Always use your seat belt: a. Unless the vehicle was built before 1978. b. Unless you are in a limousine. c. When the vehicle is equipped with seat belts. 6. The extra space in front of a large truck is needed for: a. Other drivers when merging onto a freeway. b. The truck driver to stop the vehicle. c. Other drivers when they want to slow down. 7. Roads are slippery after it first starts to rain. When the road is slippery you should: a. Avoid making fast turns and fast stops. b. Test your tires’ traction while going uphill. c. Decrease the distance you look ahead of your vehicle. 8. Collisions can happen more often when: a. All vehicles are traveling about the same speed. b. One lane of traffic is traveling faster than the other lanes. c. One vehicle is traveling faster or slower than the flow of traffic.

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ANSWERS: 1c, 2c, 3a, 4c, 5c, 6b, 7a, 8c

Yield to any vehicle. Yield to pedestrians only in the intersection.sAmple test #2 1. c. c. b. 4. bicycle. or urine: a. b. b. Drive slowly enough so you can stop within the area lighted by your headlights. 6b. Only if you have a collision. You are approaching from behind. Be prepared for workers and equipment ahead. Whenever you drive in California. Approaching you from behind. U-turns in residential districts are legal: a. c. 2b. Keep the instrument panel lights bright to be more visible to other drivers. 5. b.dmV. 8. 3a. c. On a one-way street on a green arrow. When driving at night on a dimly lit street. When there are no vehicles approaching nearby. then drive into the lane. you must: a. breath. you must: a. c. Dim your headlights for oncoming vehicles or when you are within 300 feet of a vehicle: a.CA. Across two sets of solid double. 8a - 94 - . 2. When passing another vehicle. 7. Change lanes and maintain your current speed. 5b. you should: a. Have passed the other vehicle’s front bumper. 7a. b. b. b. you: a. Wait four seconds before proceeding. or pedestrian in the intersection. c. yellow lines. c. You have already passed. 4b. When you enter traffic from a stop (away from the curb). it is safe to return to your lane if you: a.GOV FOR MORE SAMPLE TESTS • ANSWERS: 1b. Slow down because the lane ends ahead. See the vehicle’s headlights in your rearview mirror. b. On a green arrow. c. You consent to take a blood test for the alcohol content of your blood. Need a large enough gap to get up to the speed of traffic. Should wait for the first two vehicles to pass. If you see orange construction signs and cones on a freeway. Turn on your high beam headlights to better see the vehicles ahead of you. Cannot see the vehicle directly to your right. 6. 3. Only if you have been drinking alcohol. GO ONLINE AT WWW. Should drive slower than other traffic for 200 feet.

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1/2011) . Mail to: Address: City.Page left intentionally blank Products or services provided by advertisers are not promoted or endorsed by DMV. State. ZIP Code: DL 600 ENGLISH (REV.

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