Terri Buckner works, walks and drives in Chapel Hill. Here’s her take on Chapel Hill drivers learning the rules of the road:
At last week’s Chapel Hill Town Council meeting, a resident petitioned the town to remove 3-way stops on Umstead Drive. His request launched a discussion about how many drivers don’t know what to do when they get to a 3-way or 4-way stop sign intersection. For the record, the first one to the intersection goes first, and if two or more cars arrive simultaneously, the one on the driver’s right goes first. If they are approaching from opposite directions, the car turning left has to yield to the car going straight. The discussion ended with a recommendation that education be provided rather than removing the stop signs. With the education on cell phones and now 3-way stops, it appears as if the town is morphing into the local drivers’ education program, so I have a few more challenges for them to undertake.
Right on Red: I’m sure everyone reading this blog knows that right on red means stop at a red light, and if no vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles or bicycles) are coming straight through the intersection, then you can turn right. But there are those in the community who believe that it means no stop is required, or that if a car is coming straight through, that car must slow down for the vehicle turning right on red. Wrong and wrong. As a daily pedestrian on Manning Drive, I can assure you that some of these individuals also believe their right turn takes precedence over pedestrians in the crosswalk. Wrong again.
Left lane: The right lane is for straight-through traffic, and the left lane is for passing or left turns. In fact, some people call the left lane the passing lane. The ordinance, Chapter_20/GS_20-146.html, lists four reasons for driving in the left lane: 1) passing another vehicle going in the same direction, 2) an obstruction in the right lane, 3) the road has three lanes or 4) the road is one way. Unfortunately, many drivers are living with the delusion that the left lane is for slow, straight-through traffic. I’ve often wondered whether there is something about the left lane that makes some drivers feel safer. They will speed up to get over to the left lane and then slow down to a crawl.
I have a few more, but I’ll save them for later. Wanna add any driving topics of your own?
– Terri Buckner