Safety on the Roads, by Dave Werner

(Photo provided — Dave Werner)

Interference with traffic devices is illegal

In early March, an article in the Malone Telegram reported that several traffic signs have been disappearing from roads in the town of Chateaugay. Town highway Superintendent Roger LaBombard allegedly reported to the town board that several stop signs were missing, apparently removed by ...

Traffic tickets received out of state

You are traveling out of state and are given a ticket for a traffic violation in another state or province — what happens next and how does it affect your New York state driver’s license? Well, it depends on the violation and where it happens. New York State Department of Motor Vehicles ...

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Traffic counts — how busy is your highway?

All that traffic! Have you ever wondered just how much traffic there is on our highways? Are counts really increasing? How do they measure traffic volumes? The New York State Department of Transportation counts traffic not only on state highways but also on county and town roads and on some ...

Test your vehicle and traffic law IQ (answers)

Last week’s article presented 20 questions on vehicle and traffic law and traffic control devices. Hopefully you took the test and kept your answers. In this article, the questions are repeated along with the answers and the authority for the answers. See how well you did. True or ...

Test your vehicle and traffic law IQ

An annual winter feature of the weekly “Did You Know” articles is a 20-question quiz on vehicle and traffic law (VTL) and traffic control devices (TCDs). The first 10 questions are true/false and questions 11-20 are multiple choice. The answers will be found in next week’s article and ...

Autonomous cars — where do we stand?

We have all read about autonomous vehicles. We have heard all about Google and Tesla and the robot cars that are being tested and that, hopefully, will be much safer than existing vehicles by removing driver error from our highways. But how close are we to giving up control and just letting the ...

Speeding, purposely or accidentally — it’s still illegal

All drivers exceed posted speed limits sometimes. The question is, when you are speeding, are you aware of it, or do you not realize it? A previous study by Saratoga Town Court and Albany Law School found that a majority of speeders are unaware that they are speeding. They may be ...

Don’t blame highway dept. for slippery roads

Did you just skid off the road and into the ditch? Or, worse yet, skid into a signpost, tree, utility pole, or some other object? Did you ever skid through a stop sign or a red light at an intersection? Most drivers, at some point in their years of driving in winter conditions, do lose control ...

10 years, 520 articles on VTL and traffic safety

On Jan. 22, 2007, the Franklin County Traffic Safety Board sent out the first “Did You Know” article to the Malone Telegram, WICY, and a few other persons associated with traffic safety. It basically was an introductory article explaining our intent to educate the general public about ...

In-depth meaning of traffic signal arrows

Most drivers have a good idea of the meaning of red, yellow and green traffic signal arrows, but many aren’t sure of what they can or can’t do legally or safely when facing these arrows. The purpose of this article is to clarify the meaning for the most common traffic signal arrows that a ...

Why do so many drivers fail to use headlights?

As you might expect, I get many emails about driver’s pet peeves and occasionally even a letter that I received from a reader in Saranac Lake who had a boatload of gripes about drivers, most of which I have addressed in past articles, some many times. This person’s biggest gripe, one that I ...

Tinted windows now subject to annual inspection

If you are someone that has had tinting applied to your vehicle’s windows, beware! Beginning Jan. 1, 2017, New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law has been amended to require that safety inspections test motor vehicle windows for conformance with light transmittance standards, as set forth in ...

Green flashing lights for ambulance volunteers

In early December, a “Did You Know” article dealt with colored flashing or rotating lights, including red, white, amber, and blue lights and on what vehicles they are authorized by the state Vehicle and Traffic Law. In that article I failed to mention the authorized use of green flashing ...

Yield to Santa Saturday night

Special legislation, mandating all traffic yield the right-of-way to Santa, is in effect every year but only on Christmas Eve. If you are out and about this Saturday night, and you see a red light (not a red light at a traffic signal, but a red light that looks a lot like a red nose), likely ...

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Wind chill values revised in 2001

(Editor’s note: Dave Werner’s column normally runs on Mondays, but this week, Werner wrote an additional, timely column about wind chill values, which are predicted to dip the next few days). --- Wind-chill, also called wind-chill factor is the perceived decrease in air ...

Blowing or plowing snow into street is illegal

Winter weather is already here. A large snowstorm on Nov. 20 and 21 dumped over a foot of snow on streets and highways in Franklin County. Unfortunately, it is apparent that many owners of snow blowers and pickups with plows are either unaware of the Vehicle and Traffic Law that prohibits ...

Colored, flashing lights have restricted use

During the large snowstorm of Nov. 20 and 21, I saw a pickup truck with a trailer containing a snowblower parked on the side of the road while the driver was snowblowing a customer’s driveway. The vehicle was parked on the wrong side of the road, which is a violation of Vehicle and Traffic ...

Zipper merge better than early merge

You’re driving along at 70 mph on an interstate highway and you see a sign stating that the right lane is closed ahead for construction. With traffic relatively heavy in both lanes, and knowing the two lanes will be reduced to only the left lane within the next couple of miles, when do ...

Winter driving a matter of physics

Like it or not, winter driving is about to hit us (or maybe already has), and so are the usual increases in traffic crashes, as we all but refuse to drive more slowly and carefully, or leave in time to get there without driving faster than we should. The laws of physics apply to all driving, ...

Drinking and driving facts you should be aware of

As a society, we’ve come a long way to reduce the prevalence of driving a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol, but we still have a long way to go, and statistics are showing that we may have plateaued out, as DWI related crashes are not dropping significantly any more. We all know how ...