A good time for a right-of-way refresher course

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

McCook drivers are just too nice.

And they're also rude, careless and irresponsible. Come to think of it, they come in all types, just like anywhere else.

But with McCook's many open intersections, it seems that many of us need a refresher course on right of way rules. It's frustrating to approach an intersection and signal a turn (rare in itself), only to have an approaching driver hesitate, then wave you through.

We know of more than one accident were the person waved through failed to notice cross-traffic.

What are the rules?

No, it's not "I'm right, and you're in my way," or "the bigger car gets the right-of-way," or "ladies first."

The truth is, the law doesn't actually give anyone the right-of-way, it only specifies who is required to stop or yield.

* In an uncontrolled intersection, without stop or yield signs, slow down, prepare to stop, and yield to vehicles already in the intersection or entering it in front of you. If you and another vehicle arrive at the same time, yield if the car is on your right.

* But do not always insist on others going ahead of you. If another vehicle expects you to take your legal turn, you may delay traffic by stopping or slowing unnnecessarily to allow another vehicle to go ahead of you.

* At a four-way stop, if two vehicles reach the intersection simultaneously, the vehicle on the left must yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.

* If there is a stop sign but no signal control for the cross traffic, you must remain stopped until all cross traffic is gone.

* At T-intersections, vehicles on the through road have the right-of-way.

* When you are parked on the side of the road, you must yield to traffic before you enter the road again.

* Remember that emergency vehicles such as ambulances, fire trucks and police vehicles, always have the right-of-way. You must give the right-of-way to the emergency vehicle by moving to the far right side of the road and stopping until it has passed safely.

And now that school is starting, there are some important rules about pedestrians.

* Use extreme caution around schools, and follow directions of crossing guards.

* Always stop for any pedestrian crossing at corners or other crosswalks, and do not pass a car from behind that has stopped at a crosswalk.

* Just because you make eye contact with a pedestrian, doesn't mean that he or she will yield the right-of-way to you.

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