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.

- i -

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• Persons who drive farming vehicles not normally used on public highways. Carry both your driver license and discharge or separation papers during those 30 days (CVC §12817). Government on federal business. California Resident Military Personnel (U.” Licensees eligible for military extensions should carry documentation from their home state to verify their status to law enforcement. Military dependents do not qualify for this extension.) Government civilian employee who only drives vehicles owned or controlled by the U. Residency is established in a variety of ways.S. 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. see the rules for “California Residents” and “Adults Visiting California. Armed Forces) If you are out-of-state on active military duty and have a valid California driver license. you must apply for a California driver license within 10 days. • Paying resident tuition at a California college or university.S.S. - 2 - . if you are honorably discharged outside of California. Call 1-800-777-0133 to obtain an Extension of License for Person in Armed Forces (DL 236) card which extends your California license. New Residents When you become a California resident and you want to drive in California. unless they are: • Members of the Armed Forces or a United States (U. cancelled or revoked. • Receiving any other privilege or benefit not ordinarily extended to nonresidents. Who must have a license? NOTE: Your license is not valid if it has been suspended. Nonresident Military Personnel Stationed in California If you are 18 years of age or older. including the following: • Being registered to vote in California elections.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. • Persons who drive registered offhighway vehicles or snowmobiles across a highway (other than a freeway). your license will be valid for the full time you are absent from California and for 30 days following your discharge date.

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

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

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

- 6 - . Please refer to the above handbooks for additional information.000 lbs. and with endorsement. or more. regardless of weight. unladen weight may tow any vehicle weighing 6. drunk driving. • No motor vehicle under 4. may not tow more than one vehicle. or less.000 lbs. (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.NOTE: The driver must have a valid medical certification on file with DMV and carry a valid medical card.9(j)).000 lbs. but under 15. GVWR when towing is not for compensation. or hit-and-run in the last five years (CVC §12804. – 5th-wheel travel trailer exceeding 10. when towing is not for compensation. Recreational Vehicles and Trailers Handbook.000 lbs. you may tow a: – Trailer coach or 5th-wheel travel trailer under 10. unladen.000 lbs. Ambulance Drivers Handbook. GVWR. and California Motorcycle Handbook. including a tow dolly. NOTE: • Class C licensees may not tow more than one vehicle. The driver must keep in the vanpool vehicle a statement signed under penalty of perjury. if used. or less. or more gross. • With a vehicle weighing 4.000 lbs. Parent-Teen Training Guide. if used exclusively in agricultural operations and it is not for hire or compensation.000 lbs. • A passenger vehicle.000 lbs. • A farmer or employee of a farmer may drive: – Any combination of vehicles with a GVWR of 26. • You may tow a: – Single vehicle with a GVWR of 10. that he or she has not been convicted of reckless driving.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most people can take steps to eliminate or reduce air bag risk without turning off air bags. Children ages six years and older. • Weighs less than 20 lbs. and children under age six years. A child under the age of six years. but less than 16 years. • A medical reason requires the child to ride in the front seat.. As your child grows. must be properly secured in an appropriate child passenger restraint system or safety belt which meets federal safety standards. Passengers should also sit at least 10 inches away from the passengerside air bag.. children who are seated next to a side air bag may be at risk of serious or fatal injury. An air bag needs about 10 inches of space to inflate. chilD restraint system anD safety seats • Is riding in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system. • All rear seats are already occupied by children under the age of 12 years. you should consider the benefits and riDing safely With air Bags siDe-impact air Bags - 19 - . Side-impact air bags can provide extra safety benefits to adults in side-impact crashes. and weighing less than 60 lbs. that may provide this service or refer you to a Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Technician in your area. who weigh more than 60 lbs. Since side air bags are different in design and performance.Any child under the age of six years and weighing less than 60 lbs. must be secured in a federally-approved child passenger restraint system and ride in the back seat of a vehicle. Proper child passenger restraint system installation can be checked by contacting local law enforcement agencies or fire departments. The biggest risk is being too close to the air bag. check with these agencies to confirm that the car seat is the correct size for your child. if you can do this while maintaining full control of the vehicle. contact your vehicle dealer or manufacturer for advice about additional ways of moving back from your air bag. However. • The child passenger restraint system cannot be properly installed in the rear seat. Ride at least 10 inches (measured from the center of the steering wheel to your breastbone) from the air bag cover. 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. If you cannot safely sit 10 inches away from the air bag. A child may not ride in the front seat of an airbag-equipped vehicle if the child: • Is less than one year of age.

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

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

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

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

78 - .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 .

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 .- 25 79 - .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. then turn. Merge toward the curb or into the bike lane only when it is safe. drivers should follow at a safe distance. - 36 - . When it is safe the bicyclists should move to a position that allows vehicles to pass. Make a visual check for bicyclists when changing lanes or entering traffic. 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. and not more than 200 feet in advance. Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicle and motorcycle drivers. then left again. Allow sufficent clearance. then right. Do not squeeze a bicyclist off the road. and make the turn when it is safe. drive close to the center divider line or into the left turn lane. Merge safely where it is allowed. Be careful when approaching or passing a bicyclist on a two lane highway or freeway. Not try to pass a bicyclist just before making a turn. When you turn left. do not turn too soon and “cut the corner” of the lane belonging to the vehicles coming towards you. When passing a bicyclist in the travel lane ensure enough width for the bicyclist. Bicycles are small and may be hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot. Look over your left shoulder and reduce your speed. bicyclists 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. Always look carefully for bicyclists before opening doors next to moving traffic or before turning. typically 3 feet. Look left. and ample room for movement and unexpected • • • • • • • road conditions. Allow bicyclists enough room to avoid colliding with vehicle doors that are opened into traffic. Begin signaling about 100 feet before the turn. Not drive in a bike lane unless initiating a turn at an intersection or driveway. Change lanes and pass with caution only when it is safe. Remember. Stop behind the limit line. tUrns Left turns–To make a left turn. Respect the rightof-way of bicyclists because they are entitled to share the road with other drivers. Drivers of motorized bicycles should use bicycle lanes carefully to avoid collisions with bicyclists.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Never drive with just your parking or fog lights. Do not blind other drivers with your high beam headlights. pull completely off the road. If another driver does not dim his or her lights: • Do not look directly into the oncoming headlights. Do not continue driving until you can see well. • Do not try to “get back” at the other driver by keeping your bright lights on. Make sure you can stop within the distance lighted by your eadlights. it takes about 210 feet to react and bring the vehicle to a complete stop. • Motorcycles are also harder to see at night because most have only one taillight. The light from the high beam headlights will reflect back and cause glare. • Look toward the right edge of your lane. You should consider postponing your trip until the fog clears. Use your wipers and defroster as necessary for best vision. • More highway construction takes place at night. Turn off your lights and keep your foot off the brake pedal or someone may see your taillights. However. When you drive at night. remember: • Pedestrians and bicyclists are much harder to see at night. - 50 - . both of you may be blinded. if it is hard to see or you cannot see at least 1.000 feet ahead of you. Dim your lights when necessary. then drive slowly and use your low beam headlights. Use your high beam headlights whenever possible in open country or dark city streets. Increase your following distance and be prepared to stop within the space you can see ahead. • At 35 mph. and drive into your vehicle. The best advice for driving in the fog is DON’T. it takes about 400 feet to react and bring the vehicle to a complete stop. so stay alert for them. Avoid crossing or passing lanes of traffic unless absolutely necessary.) Turn on your lights during the day. if you must drive. Adjust your driving speed to the weather and road conditions (“Basic Speed Law” page 28. 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. • Watch the oncoming vehicle out of the corner of your eye. Reduce your speed in highway construction zones. If you do. do not drive using only your parking lights. as long as it is not illegal. Listen for traffic you cannot see. h Use your low beam headlights at night when it rains.• At 55 mph. If the fog becomes so thick that you can barely see. think you are moving.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you are in an intersection when you see an emergency vehicle. However. ambulance. They sometimes use a loud speaker to talk to drivers blocking their path. or other emergency vehicle using a siren and red lights. or laws. Yield to emergency vehicles. ambulance crews. Emergency vehicles often use the wrong side of the street to continue on their way. order. or signal by a traffic or police officer or a fire fighter even if it conflicts with existing signs. firefighter. Drive to the right edge of the road and stop until the emergency vehicle(s) have passed. or other rescue or emergency personnel. never stop You must obey any traffic direction. police vehicle.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. or other emergency vehicle with a siren or flashing lights (CVC §21706). or other disaster you may be arrested. collision. signals. - 59 - . emergency vehicles You must yield the right-of-way to any police vehicle. Casual observers interfere with the essential services of police. NOTE: Light-rail vehicles can interrupt traffic signals. fire engine. • • Look for approaching light-rail vehicles before you turn across the tracks. If you drive for sight-seeing purposes to the scene of a fire. It is against the law to follow within 300 feet behind any fire engine. 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. Complete your turn only if a signal indicates you may proceed. ambulance.

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

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

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

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

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

ARE YOu AN AGGRESSIVE DRIVER? DO YOU (Check the appropriate box): Y N Overtake other vehicles only on the left. etc. Maintain appropriate following distance. Avoid unnecessary use of high beam headlights. Drive below the posted speed limit when conditions warrant. low light conditions. Use vehicle turn signals for turns and lane changes. Yield and move to the right for emergency vehicles. Come to a complete stop at stop signs. Yield to faster traffic by moving to the right. Acknowledge intention of others. Drive at slower speeds in construction zones. Yield to pedestrians. Y N Use your horn sparingly. DO YOu AVOID: Driving when drowsy. Stopping in the road to talk. Maintain proper speeds around roadway crashes. Avoid blocking passing lanes. Provide appropriate distance when cutting in after passing vehicles. Try to get out of the way of aggressive drivers. rainy. Inflicting loud music on neighboring cars. Follow right-of-way rules at four-way stops. Approach intersections and pedestrians at slow speeds. Using the cell phone while driving. Use headlights in cloudy. Avoid returning inappropriate gestures. Maintain speeds appropriate for conditions. Blocking the right-turn lane. Make slow. Focus on driving and avoid distracting activities. Refrain from flashing headlights. Keep to the right as much as possible. Letting your door hit the vehicle parked next to you. Stop for red traffic lights. Parking in a space designated for the disabled. 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 - . Taking more than one parking space. deliberate Uturns. Make eye contact and signal intention where needed. Avoid challenging other drivers.

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

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

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

Keep your eyes on the road. wet leaves. 7. Most often in traffic. If you see a vehicle’s hazard lights ahead. An “accident” implies an unforeseen event that occurs without anyone’s fault or negligence.) • Shift to low gear before going down a steep hill. Stop and give assistance if asked by anyone. Locked Wheel Skids This type of skid is usually caused by braking too hard at a high rate of speed and locking the wheels. slow down. 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. Those injured will be helped faster if other vehicles aren’t collisions are not acciDents - 69 - . (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. Apply the brakes. 4. or the steering will lock and you will lose control of your vehicle. mechanical tips Accelerator Malfunction If your accelerator becomes stuck you should: 1. Look for an alternate route away from traffic or look for a way out. if you can. Shift to neutral. • Avoid especially slippery areas. oil. If the brakes get wet. Stop and turn off the ignition. To maintain control of a skidding vehicle. 6. Slow the vehicle radually until you are at a safe speed g to continue driving. or pass very carefully. There may be a collision or other road emergency ahead. that is not the case. Perform this light pressing only until the brakes dry. (Do not pump antilock brakes. The vehicle will skid no matter which way the steering wheel is turned. or deep puddles. 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. Ease off the gas pedal and straighten the front wheels as the vehicle begins to straighten itself out. do not apply the brakes. 2.• Avoid quick stops. Try to drive the car safely off the road. Warn other drivers by honking and flashing your emergency lights. 3. Avoid driving near collisions. such as ice patches. Take your foot off the brake to unlock the wheels. 5. Then straighten the front wheels as the vehicle begins to straighten out. “Pump” the brakes to slow or stop.

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

even if the collision occurred on private property. that ADDitionAl DrivinG lAws/rUles things you must not Do: • • • • you cannot control it or see ahead or to the sides of your vehicle. During the last three years of the suspension. six months in jail. on roller skates. sled. do not tow anyone who is riding a bicycle. do not leave a child or an animal unattended in a hot vehicle (see page 74). if you did not have proper insurance coverage. either with property or people. do not allow anyone to ride in the trunk of your vehicle.You or your representative must make this report whether or not you caused the collision. It is illegal to drive any vehicle with an unsafe.000. skis. • do not drive a vehicle so loaded. • do not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless communications device to write. or read textbased communications. 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. You can be fined up to $100. 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. etc. do not transport animals in the back of a pickup or other truck unless the animal is properly secured. Convictions will result in penalties for both the driver and the person(s) riding in the trunk. do not allow a person to ride in the back of a pickup or other truck. • do not dump or abandon animals on a highway. 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. • do not operate a cell phone without the use of a hands-free device (minors. or skateboard. unless the vehicle is equipped with seats and the person uses both the seat and a safety belt. see page 12). send. Your driving privilege will be suspended: • If you do not make this report. • For up to four years. roller blades. • do not wear a headset over or earplugs in both your ears. unsecured load that is a safety hazard (CVC 24002a). or both. in a wagon. toy vehicle. 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. • • • • • do not smoke when a minor is in the vehicle at any time. - 71 - .

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

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

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

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

Do not leave keys inside a locked garage or a hide-a-key box. laptops. vehicle theft prevention tips recorD confiDentiality - 76 - . • Does not tow motorcycles. it will be towed free of charge to a location approved by the CHP. in plain view even if your vehicle is locked. and large apartment complexes. If FSP cannot start your vehicle. 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. is less restricted.. 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. Place them out of sight. • Does not assist vehicles which have been involved in a collision unless directed by the CHP. such as shopping centers. Your residence address may only be viewed by authorized agencies. Also. You may obtain a copy of your driving record at any DMV office for a fee with valid identification. In the United States. colleges. sporting events.• Does not recommend tow service companies or repair and body shops. Vehicle thefts occur more often where large groups of cars are parked at any time of day for extended periods of time. – The keys in the ignition. FSP will also contact additional assistance for you. movie complexes. If you follow the suggestions below. vehicle thieves often use the stolen vehicles to commit other crimes. a vehicle is stolen an average of every 21 minutes. if different from your residence. you can minimize your chances of becoming the victim of vehicle theft. – Valuables such as purses. • Does report any collision to the CHP. etc. The CHP will notify an auto club or towing service. Records on the physical or mental condition of a driver remain confidential. Your mailing address. Most information in your driver license file is available to the public. Vehicle theft results in costs to the victim and it increases insurance premiums.

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

even if you’re in the carpool lane. on top of your lap. During an enforcement stop. Do not move onto the center median.000 obtained from a company licensed to do business in California. using his or her patrol vehicle. In most situations. sharp object. The officer will guide you. During an enforcement stop. the safety of your passengers. There are four forms of financial responsibility: • A motor vehicle liability insurance policy. including all passengers’ hands such as on the steering wheel.000 with DMV. On a freeway. • A deposit of $35. Never step out of your vehicle. Stop in well lit areas when possible. Pull your vehicle as far off the roadway as possible. etc.move your vehicle to the right shoulder of the road. unless an officer directs you to do so. • A surety bond for $35. This places both the driver and the officer in danger of being hit by oncoming traffic. such as the use of a firearm. 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. When it is dark. the officer’s priorities are your safety. Do not stop in the center median of a freeway or on the opposite side of a two lane roadway. Most violent criminal acts against a law enforcement officer occur through the use of a person’s hands. Place your hands in clear view. 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. the safest place for you and your passengers is inside your vehicle. 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. near restaurants or service stations. If your windows are tinted. 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. The officer needs your full attention to communicate with you to complete the enforcement stop in the least amount of time needed. and the officer’s own personal safety. look for locations that have more light such as areas with street or freeway lights. End your cell phone conversation and turn off your radio. Remain inside your vehicle unless otherwise directed by the officer. move completely onto the right shoulder. Actions tHAt resUlt in loss of license financial responsiBility - 78 - . etc. • A DMV issued self-insurance certificate.

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

call 911. . 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.

such as fatigue.11 .03 .07 .10 .12 .03 . The table below gives an estimate of blood alcohol levels based on the number of drinks consumed.00 .03 .06 .00 .08% or more (.19 .17 .11 .19 .08 .05 . Fewer than 5 persons out of 100 will exceed these values.15 100 .30 .11 .05 .11 . 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 .13 .00 .08 . 12% wine. 5% beer.00 .17 .15 .00 .07 .09 .06 .00 .00 .10 .04 .01% for each 40 minutes of drinking.07 .17 .03 .18 .14 .21 .12 . 80 proof liquor.12 .10 .09 .07 .22 .06 .09 . or 5 oz.00 . gender and body weight.00 .14 Legally Intoxicated Subtract .28 Body Weight in Pounds 140 160 180 200 .20 .01% if under 21).13 .04 . Other factors.15 .07 .03 . 12 oz.18 .15 .05 .17 240 .24 .11 .13 .05 .12 .08 .14 .00 .00 .24 .25 .12 .00 .5 oz.00 .04 .02 .00 .15 . .13 .07 .04% for commercial vehicle drivers and .09 .26 .It is illegal to drive with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of . 1 drink = 1.33 120 .20 .10 .00 .00 .17 .06 . medications or food may affect your ability to legally operate a vehicle.03 .06 .21 .04 .

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

• Your driving privilege will be revoked for one year.08% or higher. if the person is on DUI probation. if the person is age 21 or older. if the person is under age 21. it may be impounded for up to 30 days.01% or higher.01% or higher. 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. while working for someone with an off-site liquor sales license. it must be kept in the trunk of the vehicle or in a place where passengers do not sit. • BAC of 0. 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. Refer to page 86 for the Designated Driver Program. The court may fine you up to $1. Drivers Under 21 (Possession of Alcohol) If you are under 21 years of age: • You may not carry liquor. or wine carried inside the vehicle must be full.000. - 83 - . • BAC of 0. • If you are caught with an alcoholic beverage in your vehicle. A subsequent offense may require a longer DUI program and you will not have a restricted license to attend the DUI program. if you are convicted of either driving with a BAC of 0. or motor home. sealed. beer. camper. or taking any drug (including prescription medications). EXCEPTION: You may carry alcoholic beverages in closed containers.01% or higher at any age. On the first offense you will be required to complete the educational portion of a licensed driving-under-theinfluence (DUI) program. • BAC of 0. if you are not already licensed.04% or higher. this law does not apply to non-driving passengers. or using any combination of alcohol or drugs. Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits It is illegal for any person to operate a vehicle with a: • BAC of 0. Drivers of All Ages It is illegal to drive after consuming excessive amounts of alcohol in any form (including medications such as cough syrup). In a bus. taxi. and unopened. and unopened. A container of liquor. beer. sealed.highway. in any vehicle requiring a commercial driver license (CDL)—with or without a CDL issued to the driver. or driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Keeping an opened alcoholic drink in the glove compartment is specifically against the law. You must not drink any amount of alcohol in any vehicle. Otherwise.

jet skis. arrest you for DUI (CVC §23140). If your BAC is 0.05% or higher. or contact your parent(s) or guardian(s). the police officer may arrest you (CVC §§23152 or 23153). Some PAS devices provide a record which may be submitted to the court as evidence. so the officer may ask for a breath or blood test after the PAS. blood or. These convictions are placed on your driving record and will be used by the court to determine “prior convictions” for motor vehicle DUI sentencing. You may request a DMV administrative hearing within 10 days. The court’s action may involve the payment of a fine. These convictions are also used when determining the length of a suspension or revocation action or the reinstatement requirements. If a subsequent test reveals a BAC of 0. If you are under 21 years of age. under certain circumstances. drugs. or revocation of your driving privilege and completion of a DUI program. you may still be required to submit to a blood or urine - 84 - . revoke. or similar devices. or a combination of both. If your BAC measures 0.08% or higher. urine tested if you are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. Other PAS devices do not provide a record. and the court may take a separate action (suspend. the officer may take your license and issue you a temporary license for only 30 days. give you an order of suspension for one year. you consent to have your breath. or delay the license) for the same offense. Similar provisions (California Harbors and Navigation Code) apply when you operate any vessel. 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. and then determine whether to release you. Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS). suspension. the officer will issue you an order of suspension. When you drive in California. or juvenile authorities. water skis.01% or higher on the PAS. 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. you must submit to a hand-held breath test. turn you over to juvenile authorities. guardian(s). Under 21—Zero Tolerance for Alcohol Use.05%. If your PAS shows a BAC of 0. jail time. DMV’s action is related only to your driving privilege. the officer may require you to submit to either a breath or blood test. because of a violation you committed while driving a motor vehicle.The DMV can take an administrative action against your driving privilege after you are detained or arrested. and detain you until you can be turned over to your parent(s). aquaplane.

If your BAC is 0.15% or higher. A BAC below legal limits does not mean that you are safe to drive. The courts and/or DMV may impose more stringent penalties for subsequent violations during that period. file a California Insurance Proof Certificate (SR 22). and the court refers you to an enhanced DUI treatment program. Generally.01% or higher on the PAS. you may be punished under the California Three Strikes Law. your driving privilege may be suspended for both reasons. or you refuse a chemical test at the time of your arrest. Drivers 21 and Older—DUI Programs and Restricted Licenses The completion of a DUI program is required for all DUI convictions.000 (plus about three times the fine in penalty assessments) the first time you are convicted. If your BAC is 0. If anyone was injured as a result of your driving under the influence. 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. your license will be suspended for 10 months. and you already have a record of violations for other reasons. and pay - 85 - . you may be sentenced to serve up to six months in jail and pay a fine between $390—$1. The length of the program may vary. and you have an excessive BAC level. although both actions will run concurrently. If you refuse to submit to any of the tests. All DUI convictions will remain on DMV’s records for 10 years. You could also be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle. and you enroll in a DUI program. Your vehicle may be impounded and is subject to storage fees. the suspension period is one year. You may also face civil lawsuits. An IID prevents you from starting your vehicle if you have any alcohol on your breath. Almost all drivers show impairment by alcohol at levels lower than the legal limit.15% or higher. your driving privilege may be suspended because of your refusal. or you have two or more prior moving violations. In cases involving serious injury or death. the court may order you to complete a ninemonth or longer program. if you are over 21 years of age. or you refuse to submit to a chemical test.test because the breath test does not detect the presence of drugs. court Dui convictions If you are convicted of driving while under the influence of either alcohol and/or drugs or both (DUI). A court may also order you to install an IID if your BAC is 0.20% or higher. and your BAC measures 0. Even if you change your mind later and agree to a test. 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.

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

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. when your driving record shows one of the following “point count” totals. • An at-fault collision. For detailed point count information refer to the California Commercial Driver Handbook. You may be considered a negligent operator.000. or in a county jail for not more than one year. the court notifies DMV. five. • A fine of not less than $2.000. • Both a fine and imprisonment. 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. and the conviction is placed on your driver license record. or seven years. The DMV keeps a public record of all your traffic convictions and collisions. • 4 points in 12 months • 6 points in 24 months • 8 points in 36 months Some examples of one point violations: • A traffic conviction.3(b)).Each time you are convicted of a moving traffic law violation.3(a)). A violation received in a commercial vehicle carries one and one-half times the point count normally assessed. he or she is subject to: • Imprisonment in a state prison for three.1). If a person is convicted of causing serious bodily injury during the course of a police pursuit (CVC §2800. you will lose your driver license. Each occurrence stays on your record for 36 months. When a person is convicted of manslaughter resulting from evading police during a pursuit. - 87 - . nor more than $10. he or she is subject to imprisonment in a state prison for a minimum of four to ten years (CVC §2800. 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. Convictions reported by other states are also added to your driver record. or longer. depending on the type of conviction.

DMV will place you on probation for one year (which includes a six-month suspension) or revoke your driving privilege (see page 86). or • Both a fine and imprisonment (CVC §§23105 and 23109.1). • A fine ranging from $220— $1. If you get too many negligent driver points. the courts can delay the issuance of your driver license for up to three years from the date you are legally eligible to drive. If you are convicted and do not have a driver license. the judge may offer the driver the opportunity to attend a Traffic Violator School. At the end of the suspension or revocation period. the citation will still appear on your driving record. regardless of the type of vehicle you were driving when cited. which results in injury. 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. suspension or revocation By Dmv - 88 - . Your suspension or revocation order informs you of your right to a hearing.California law allows the courts to suspend the driver license for up to two years of a person convicted of engaging in vandalism. NOTE: If you have a commercial license and attend traffic school. you may apply for a new license.000. speeD contests/reckless Driving When a driver is cited for a one point traffic violation. or • Impose driver license sanctions for minors convicted of misdemeanors involving firearms. 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. and you must show proof of financial responsibility. including graffiti. The DMV will revoke your license if you are convicted of a hit-and-run or reckless driving. 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.

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

• Appropriate DMV fees and use tax if applicable. • Smog certification (1976 and newer motor vehicles only). • Weight certificate for commercial vehicles only. 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. law enforcement agent. They may renew the registration in their home state before it expires or register the vehicle in California. if the title is not submitted.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). • Verification of the vehicle completed by the DMV. out-of-state vehicles - 90 - . • Completed Odometer Mileage Disclosure statement 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.

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

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

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

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