ACtion Magazine - April 2013 - (Page 14)

Leonard’s Law Keith N. Leonard Esquire License to drive T he fact that I have had a driver’s license for over forty years may not qualify me to conduct a scientific study of driving behavior but it does allow me to make a few observations in that regard. Of course, my observations may also be characterized as pet peeves by another person. My commute to and from work most days is a combination of driving (to and from a train station) and using mass transit. Thus, I have the “benefit” of observing human behavior both behind the wheel and on a train (we will leave those observations for another day) on an almost daily basis. It is self-evident that safety should be the number one consideration while driving a motor vehicle anywhere in the world. However, I suggest courtesy should be another important consideration for drivers, but courtesy on the road unfortunately appears to be on the decline. On roads where there are at least two lanes of traffic going in the same direction, I was taught that the right lane (the lane of traffic closest to the shoulder of the road in the United THE NEW SAE STANDARD: R-1234yf WE’RE READY, ARE YOU? Valve cores and housings sold separately. Reader Reply 14 ACTION • April 2013 States) is the normal traffic lane and that the number one lane (the lane closest to the center median of the road) is the passing lane. Lest someone suggest that I learned to drive during the Stone Age and that things are different now, I suggest that they more closely study their local traffic laws. A set of traffic laws in the United States known as the Uniform Vehicle Code (the “Code”) has been established by the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Laws and Ordinances (the “Committee”). Though the Committee is a private non-profit organization, most of its members are state governments. The Code’s provisions are followed in most states, and under the Code a vehicle driving below the “normal speed of traffic” (which is not necessarily the speed limit) should be driven in the right-hand lane. The next time that you are out driving on a four lane road, take note of the number of vehicles in the number one lane that are not passing any other vehicle anytime in the near future or are in that lane despite the fact that no vehicles are even in the right-hand lane. I would like to know why that lane is so popular, particularly when there is a perfectly good lane to the right. If someone is driving in any lane and he/she is passed on the right, then unless the passing vehicle is on the shoulder of the road, the vehicle being passed is going too slowly for the lane that it is in and courtesy suggests (maybe even demands) that the driver safely change lanes to the right. Unfortunately, I have too often observed in the last few yars the driver of a vehicle in front of other vehicles in the number one lane deciding that he/she should force the vehicle(s) behind him/her to slow down for their own safety. However, is that really safer and perhaps contributing to an “in-a-hurry” driver weaving through traffic to get around the first vehicle, or is it safer for all concerned for the first vehicle to safely move out of the way and allow the other driver to pass in the lane intended for passing vehicles? I believe that a lot of drivers would say that other than speed limit signs, Stop signs are the most commonly ignored traffic signs on the road. While police departments likely issue a lot of citations for that violation, another sign that seems to be more commonly ignored than observed is the Yield sign. Driver’s manuals generally describe a Yield sign as a sign requiring a driver to slow down as he/she approaches the sign, to check carefully for traffic, and to be prepared to stop. A driver is supposed to come to a complete stop at a Yield sign if traffic conditions require it. While Yield signs are commonplace on entrance ramps, many drivers (that I have observed lately) view them as a go-fast signal so they can get in front of other drivers already on the

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ACtion Magazine - April 2013

ACtion Magazine - April 2013
Freeze Frame
Virtual View
Under the Southern Cross
Leonard’s Law
News & Updates
State of the Industry
R-1234YF Design and Service Considerations
Heavy Duty/Off Road Technical Session
Hybrid Evolution Continues
Modern Automotive HVAC Systems
Old-Timers, Team Players, Slackers and Kids: Do Your Employees ‘play’ Well Together?
Cheap Isn’t Always Best
A/C Season Check List: Is Your Shop Ready?
MACS 2013 Training Event Social Wrap-Up
Wallace Talks Up Big Brother
Association News
Quick Check
New Products & Services
Last Watch

ACtion Magazine - April 2013