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  1. TRAFFIC LAWS ALABAMA COURSE OF STUDY #2, #3, #4, #5, #6 AND #7 Describe Alabama’s Basic Speed Law, list situations that require a complete stop, name situations that require drivers to yield the right of way, describe traffic signs and pavement markings that regulate passing, identify traffic signs, traffic signals and pavement markings, interpret Alabama’s Safety Belt and Child Restraint laws.

  2. SPEED REGULATIONS • Speed may not always, in itself, be the primary cause of traffic crashes, but it all too often is the factor that turns a minor mishap into a fatal accident. • Speed limits are chosen carefully by traffic engineers who study road conditions and evaluate the road surface, the average amount of traffic, any hidden dangers and number of accidents in any particular area.

  3. Alabama’s Basic Speed Law • The Alabama Basic Speed Law provides that you must never drive a vehicle faster than is reasonable under existing conditions. • This means that even though a driver is not exceeding the posted speed limit he/she can still receive a ticket. • Example: Road, weather, lights, and your vehicle condition, as well as your physical condition can determine the safest speed.

  4. Statutory Speed Limit • The law. The speed limit in various areas, when no speed limit sign is posted. • Speed limit signs indicate the maximum speed allowed by law, but does not mean that all parts of the road can be safely driven at those speeds under all conditions

  5. Alabama’s Basic Speed Law According to Alabama Law the statutory speed limits are as follows: 30 mph Urban District (Neighborhood) 35 mph Unpaved Road 45 mph Paved County Road 55 mph Other Locations (State Highways) 65 mph State Highways where posted 70 mph Interstate Highways

  6. Posted Speed Limit • This category allows either state or local authorities to alter the statutory speed limits. • However, it is usually required that, prior to increasing or decreasing a highway’s statutory speed limit, the appropriate governmental authorities conduct a study to determine the safe speed limit for such highway. • The statutory speed laws are in effect unless a limit is posted otherwise.

  7. Advisory Speed Limits A speed limit that advises drivers that an adjusted speed is necessary for a short period of time. For example: Sharp curve ahead, road work ahead, school bus stop ahead.

  8. Minimum Speed Law Minimum Speed Law provides that no person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic. 32-5A-174(a)

  9. Alabama’s Basic Speed Law Comparison: Statutory Speed Laws are in effect even if no speed limit is posted. Posted Speed Limits are the minimum or maximum speeds that are allowed. Advisory Speed Laws tell us when an adjusted speed is necessary.

  10. STOPPING • Many situations require complete stops. • When stopping always check your mirrors and, if possible, tap your brakes to warn others that you are stopping. • Apply smooth, steady, firm pressure to the brake pedal, easing up slightly as you come to a halt. • When stopping behind other vehicles, stop further enough behind the vehicle to see the back tires touching the roadway. • Allow extra stopping and braking time under adverse conditions, driving with a heavy load or when towing.

  11. Situations Requiring Drivers to Come to a Complete STOP Approaching a school bus displaying red flashing lights and stop signal arm (new law on divided highways). Exiting Private Property or Parking Lots

  12. Situations Requiring Drivers to Come to a Complete STOP Before turning right on red Approaching a flagman directing traffic (construction) At a stop sign or at the stop line

  13. Situations Requiring Drivers to Come to a Complete STOP At a crosswalk with pedestrian traffic When directed by a School Crossing Guard When directed to do so by a policeman

  14. Situations Requiring Drivers to Come to a Complete STOP At an intersection or crosswalk when traffic signal shows a red light or stop signal. At Railroad Crossing where stop signs are posted

  15. Situations Requiring Drivers to Come to a Complete STOP At a flashing red signal After being in an accident and complying with procedure by law When an emergency vehicle coming towards you or approaches from behind, displaying lights and sirens

  16. SCHOOL and CHURCH BUS • Every bus used for the transportation of school children shall have upon the front and rear plainly visible signs containing the words “school bus” in letters less than eight inches in height. • Every bus used for the transportation of passengers to or from church shall have upon the front and rear plainly visible signs containing the words “church bus” in letters not less than eight inches in height.

  17. School and Church Buses You must stop when you see the appropriate bus signals displayed. Stop must be at least 20 feet from the bus Flashing amber lights are a pre-warning that the bus is preparing to stop for loading or unloading

  18. School and Church Buses In rural areas amber lights are used at least 300 feet before stopping. In municipalities amber lights are used at least 100 feet before stopping. Flashing red lights and extended stop area means that the bus is stopped to either load or unload children.

  19. New school bus passing law • The driver of a vehicle upon a divided highway having four or more lanes which permits at least two lanes of traffic to travel in opposite directions need not stop the vehicle upon meeting a school or church bus which is stopped in the opposing roadway or if the school or church bus is stopped in a loading zone which is a part of or adjacent to such highway and where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway.

  20. RIGHT OF WAY • When you drive, sometimes one of more drivers or pedestrians will want to use the same roadway space at the same time that you do. • There will be times that you will have to yield the right of way – meaning letting others go first based on a set of rules. • Never assume you have the right of way, you do not have it unless the other driver gives it to you.

  21. Yielding Right of Way Right of way rules are an aid to safe, smooth traffic flow. They emphasize courtesy and common sense Violation of these rules is one of the main cause of traffic crashes It is smart to obey right of way rules.

  22. Right of Way The Right of Way rules include: If two vehicles reach an intersection not controlled by signs or signals, and from different roadways at about the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left must yield to the vehicle on the right. Special Note: If you enter an uncontrolled intersection at an unlawful speed, you lose any right of way which you would otherwise have.

  23. Right of Way Yield to emergency vehicles when they are displaying a flashing red or blue light and sounding a siren or bell. Ambulance Fire Fighters Law Enforcement

  24. Right of Way Whether the emergency vehicle is overtaking or meeting you, pull to the right side safely off the roadway and stop. Do not stop in an intersection. Do not proceed until the emergency vehicle has passed. If you cannot safety pull to the right side, stay where you are.

  25. Examples that require drivers to yield right-of way. • Approaching and entering intersections • Entering from a private road or driveway • Merging onto highways • Approaching railroad grade crossings • To a blind person with a red tip cane or using a guide dog in an intersection

  26. Right of Way Yield Signs – when entering an intersection where there is a yield sign facing you, slow down and, if necessary, stop to yield the right of way to vehicles and pedestrians legally crossing the roadway.

  27. Right of Way When making a left turn within an intersection or into an alley, driveway, or private road, you must yield the right of way to a vehicle approaching from the opposite direction when it is within the intersection or close enough to present an immediate hazard.

  28. Be the Responsible Driver! • The law gives the right-of-way to no one, but it does state who must yield the right-of-way. • Every driver, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrian must do everything possible to avoid a crash.

  29. Give the Right of Way • At T intersections where you must yield to vehicles on the through road • When turning left in which case you must yield to oncoming cars, pedestrians, etc. • When driving on an unpaved road that intersects with a paved road • When returning to the roadway after the car is parked

  30. Should you ever insist on the right-of-way? • The driver should never assume anything. • Drivers should anticipate other drivers’ actions, as well as, yielding whenever needed or required by law. • Giving up the right-of-way may help avoid a crash.

  31. Signs, Signals, and Road Markings • There is a host of information on the roadways, directing the flow the traffic and the interaction of the driving environment. • The shape of a road sign can tell you as much about the sign’s message as its color. • Traffic signs must meet both individual state and U.S. Department of Transportation specifications.

  32. NO PASSING ZONE • Many highway deaths and serious injuries occur on two-lane highways when vehicles collide head-on or sideswipe each other. Improper or careless passing causes most of these – almost always in violation of state law. • No passing zone signs are placed at the beginning of a No Passing Zone.

  33. NO PASSING ZONE This area on the roadway will have a yellow and black triangular shaped sign placed on the left side of the roadway. It means that no passing is allowed. NO PASSING ZONE

  34. PAVEMENT MARKINGS FOR NO PASSING AREAS Solid yellow lines: If solid on your side of the centerline you may not pass. If two solid yellow lines: passing is not allowed in either direction.

  35. DO NOT PASS • On a curve or hill where you cannot see a clearly for at least 500 feet ahead. • At a highway intersection • When meeting an oncoming vehicle • Where signs prohibit passing, or where there is a solid yellow line on your side of the centerline. Double solid yellow lines prohibits traffic in both directions from crossing the centerline to pass

  36. DO NOT PASS • On multi-lane road, the left-most lane is intended to be used to pass slower vehicles. If you pass on the right, the other driver may have difficulty seeing you and might suddenly change lanes in front of you. • Never pass on the shoulder. It is illegal and other drivers will not expect you to be there and may pull off the road without looking.

  37. TRAFFIC CONTROLS • There are three basic types of traffic control devices: • Signs • Signals • Pavement Markings

  38. TRAFFIC SIGNS • Traffic signs can be easily recognized by their shape, color and symbol or legend • It is important to know, recognize, and obey traffic signs immediately. • There are three types of traffic signs: • Regulatory • Warning • Informational or Guide

  39. REGULATORY SIGNS • These signs regulate or control the movement of traffic. These signs tell the drivers what they must do and what they must not do when driving. • They are red, white, black, green on white or white on black and MUST be obeyed.

  40. Regulatory Signs • Failure to obey these signs could lead to a traffic ticket. • Most regulatory signs have a vertical, rectangular shape. • A red circle with a red slash on any of these signs means NO. • You can easily recognize these signs by their shape and color.

  41. Examples of Regulatory Signs YIELD SIGNS: • Yield signs are red and white with red letters. • A yield sign calls on the driver to do the following: Slow down, defer to oncoming or intersecting traffic, stop when necessary, proceed when safe, and remain aware of oncoming vehicles.

  42. A Common Regulatory Sign STOP SIGN • The stop sign is red with white letters. • The stop sign calls on the driver to make a mandatory stop at the stop line and proceed when safe. • Rolling stops are not acceptable.

  43. WARNING SIGNS • These are black and yellow, except those used in construction areas that are orange and black. • These signs are used to warn drivers of hazardous conditions requiring the driver to proceed with extra caution. • These are usually diamond shaped, but with some exceptions. • When you see a warning sign, increase your level of alertness to changes in the roadway, in traffic, or in environmental changes • Fluorescent yellow indicates pedestrian crossings and school zones

  44. WARNING SIGNS • Examples of warning signs: • Sharp turn to the right • There is a bump in the roadway ahead • Railroad crossing (circle) • Number of highway lanes ahead changes • No Passing Zone (pennant)

  45. INFORMATION/GUIDE SIGNS • These signs inform and direct motorists. • The green and white signs are for motorist directions. • The blue and white signs are for motorist services. • The brown and white signs are for points of public recreational or cultural interest.

  46. GUIDE/INFORMATIONAL SIGNS • Mile markers or mileposts are another example of these types of signs. • These signs are used to assist drivers in pinpointing locations and to provide a means of identifying the location of emergency incidents and aid in highway maintenance and service. • Zero mileage begins at the South and West state lines or at junctions where routes begin

  47. INTERSTATE HIGHWAY SIGNS • These are red, white and blue shield shaped signs. • Odd numbered highways travel east and west. • Even numbered highways travel north and south. • The numbers on interstate signs go from 5 to 95 with the lower the number, the further south or west it is located. • The higher the number the further north or east the highway is located.

  48. INTERSTATE SIGNS • If the first number on a 3 digit sign is odd then the highway is a spur, meaning it goes into a city. • If the first number on a 3 digit sign is even then the highway is a bypass, meaning it goes around a downtown area and reconnects to the interstate. • The Interstate Highway System was designed and started during the Eisenhower administration. • One requirement of the HIS was to have 2 miles of straight, flat highway, with no overpasses, for every 100 miles of interstates. • These were to be used as airstrips in the event of a national disaster.

  49. What do traffic signals do? • Traffic control signals, or traffic lights, keep traffic moving in a orderly manner and help to indicate right of way. • Most signals operate automatically using a timer system to change the lights through their sequence.

  50. Traffic Lights Red Stop when steady circular red. Remain stopped until signal turns green. Right turns and, in certain circumstances, left turn movements after stopping are permitted unless a sign is posted prohibiting the turn (NO TURN ON RED).

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