Traffic Laws You Didn’t Know You’re Breaking!
Once you pass your driving test, you may think you know all the rules of the road, like not crossing a double yellow line if the line is solid on your side. A lot of traffic laws seem like common sense, but we did some digging on unexpected traffic laws and wanted to share a few with you!
- When approaching and before passing an authorized emergency vehicle with its emergency lights activated that is parked or otherwise stopped on or next to a street or highway having two lanes in the same direction, the driver of a vehicle shall safely move the vehicle to the lane farthest away from the emergency vehicle. The vehicles listed as emergency are: patrol vehicles, ambulance, fire/rescue, utility company vehicle, tow trucks or construction vehicle with their lights on.
- Every motor vehicle shall at all times be equipped with a muffler in good working order which blends the exhaust noise into the overall vehicle noise and is in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise, and no person shall use a muffler cutout, bypass, or similar device upon a motor vehicle on a street or highway.
- You can be stopped and cited for wearing your seat belt improperly (like moving your shoulder harness around your back or under your arm). This also applies to child restraints used incorrectly.
- Cigarette filters or cigarette butts are specifically listed in the littering statutes, making them illegal to jettison from your vehicle.
- Snowplow headlights cannot be used on a vehicle unless the plow is attached to the vehicle as well. According to the law, once the plow is removed, the auxiliary plow lights must be removed or covered with opaque material. This also applies to flood lights attached to the top of trucks.
- You cannot change lanes within 100 feet of an underpass or tunnel, railroad crossing, intersection within a city, or intersection outside of the city (if it is marked with warning signs)
- You cannot pass a vehicle on the right in a bypass lane if the person is not turning left.
- You cannot pass a left-turning vehicle on the right unless there is bypass lane.
- The posted speed limits are for good road conditions and clear visibility, when there is ice or snow on the ground or there is fog present, the driver must use due care in operating a vehicle
- A right turn onto a multi-lane road must be made into the right lane. Prior to changing lanes, you must establish yourself in that lane and signal your merge.
- Same goes for left turns on a multi-lane road, it must be made into the left lane. Prior to changing lanes, you must establish yourself in that lane and signal your merge.
- All turns must be signaled at least 100 feet prior to the turn.
- You can get an open bottle ticket if you have taken one beverage out of a pack or case, not only a physically open bottle, and it is within the vehicle. They must be place in the trunk of the car or bed of a truck.
- It is illegal for drivers of all ages to compose, read, or send electronic messages or access the Internet on a wireless device when the vehicle is in motion or part of traffic. This includes being stopped in traffic or at a light. The law does not apply to devices that are permanently affixed to the vehicle or global positioning or navigation systems.
- It is illegal for drivers under age 18 to use a cell phone, whether hand-held or hands-free — except to call 911 in an emergency.
- You can get a ticket for eating food or drinking a beverage if it is distracting you from driving.
- Lights must be displayed on every vehicle upon a highway within this state at any time from sunset to sunrise; at any time when it is raining, snowing, sleeting, or hailing; and at any other time when visibility is impaired by weather, smoke, fog or other conditions or there is not sufficient light to render clearly discernible persons and vehicles on the highway at a distance of 500 feet ahead.
- When a school bus is stopped on a street or highway and is displaying an extended stop-signal arm and flashing red lights, the driver of a vehicle approaching the bus shall stop the vehicle at least 20 feet away from the bus. The vehicle driver shall not allow the vehicle to move until the school bus stop-signal arm is retracted and the red lights are no longer flashing.
- Where traffic-control signals are not in place or in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall stop to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a marked crosswalk or at an intersection with no marked crosswalk. The driver must remain stopped until the pedestrian has passed the lane in which the vehicle is stopped. No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.
*check back later, I will continue to update these as I get more information!