12 Things You Need to Know When You Drive in California
By Lionel Valdellon
JANUARY 8, 2009 (http://acid42.bluechronicles.net) - A few months ago, I attended two nights of traffic school, four hours each night, in reparation for driving 10 miles above the speed limit in a small town called Dorris, CA just past the border from Oregon.
Lo and behold, we got a teacher who not only facilitated discussion, but was also funny as heck. And he did truly teach us a lot via his Socratic method of question and answer. It was either that, or have him read from the vehicle code book. I even took down notes, geekyboy that I am. THAT’S how good he was. He got me to take down notes about driving, for cripe’s sake.
Anyway, here are the 12 most interesting things we learned:
Only 2 things are allowed out of a car while it’s running: clean water and chicken feathers.
If you’re caught driving 21 miles over the speed limit, it’s POSSIBLE that you lose your car (towed), lose your license (you’ll need to reapply) and you may spend 2-3 days in jail. For a total cost of anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000.
If you have a DUI, you cannot enter Canada or France. They’ll stop you at your point of entry and send you back.
Your car has a GPS, and so does your cellphone. You can be triangulated at any time. Info is being given out ALL the time.
You can’t drink alcohol in public ANYWHERE. Not even your front yard if it’s in view of the public.
In a 30 mile zone, a red light will stay red for approximately 3 seconds. In a 40 mile zone, 4 seconds, and in a 50 mile zone, 5 seconds.
Your driving record affects everything. Including your credit record.
Unsure of your heading in a residential area? Even-numbered house numbers face either North or West. Odd-numbered houses face East or South.
Any obstruction of driver’s view is actually a violation: fuzzy dice, GPS unit mounted on dashboard, anything hanging from rearview mirror, even window tinting (unless the car was manufactured with it).
Save up to 25% of your overall gas usage by: stepping on gas pedal slowly instead of abruptly, idling up to stops (instead of stepping on gas then braking abruptly), and idling out of a stop before you step on the gas pedal.
Allow turn signals to blink 3 times before switching lanes on a highway.
Exit numbers start at the southernmost tip of an interstate highway and end at the northern most. Each exit number tells how you how far you are from the start of the highway, (Exit 27 is 27 miles from the start) as well as how far away the next exit is (Exit 30 is 3 miles away from Exit 27). Also, exits usually have an A/B identifier. (eg. Exit 27A) Exits marked A lead to the north or west, and exits marked B lead to east or south.