Safety on the Roads, by Dave Werner

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 ...

windchillchart

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 ...

Utility task vehicles have restricted use

Those small 4X4 utility task vehicles, such as the Kubota RTV, Cub Cadet, and the Polaris Ranger, also known as Cargo All-Terrain Vehicles are now more popular than ever and are very useful in performing a variety of small jobs around one’s property. They are made for family farmers, ...

Clarification needed on riding bikes in crosswalk

Last week's DYK article was about the danger of riding a bicycle in a crosswalk, and I made the statement that this action was against vehicle and traffic law. Although no one should ride in a crosswalk, further scrutiny of VTL concludes that it isn't really illegal to do so.While the Vehicle ...

Bicyclists, do not ride in the crosswalk

Last month a person on a bicycle was hit by a car while riding his bicycle on a crosswalk at the corner of U.S. Route 11 (West Main Street) and Webster Street in the village of Malone.Furthermore, this is not the first time a person riding a bike in a crosswalk has been hit in this village. The ...

Flashing yellow arrow —?What does it mean?

A flashing (blinking) yellow arrow, usually associated with a left turn, is becoming more commonplace in our cities and villages, and here is why. A blinking left arrow is used when a left turn is permitted, but oncoming traffic still has a green light and turning vehicles must yield the right ...

Motorcycle ABS now required in India

Do you ride a motorcycle? If you do, does it have antilock brakes? It should. India has joined a growing number of countries that require antilock braking systems (ABS) on motorcycles - an important step for highway safety that U.S. regulators have yet to take, says the Insurance Institute for ...

How safe are large pickup trucks?

Since a large percentage of residents of Franklin County drive pickup trucks, have you ever questioned whether or not they are as safe in a crash test as you might think? Well, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently evaluated two body styles of each 2016 model-year pickup - crew ...

School speed limits must meet requirements

Now that school has resumed for another school year, reduced speed limits in the vicinity of schools during certain times are in effect. Have you ever wondered just what criteria are involved in creating school speed limits? Read on.A school speed limit does not guarantee lower operating ...

School resumes — watch for students, buses

Probably the worst thing any driver could encounter is hitting a child. Then, why do an estimated 50,000 motorists illegally pass a stopped school bus in New York state EVERY SCHOOL DAY? Certainly every driver knows it is against the law to pass a stopped school bus with red lights flashing, no ...

Distracted driving seen as biggest problem

If you asked police officers 20 years ago what they deemed to be the biggest traffic safety issue, they would have most likely said either impaired driving or speeding.In May, Police Chief magazine asked their readers, most of which are either in enforcement in some manner or closely associated ...