NASHVILLE TRAFFIC LAWS
THAT SOME DRIVERS TEND TO FORGET....
- WATCH OUT FOR MOTORCYCLES!!!!!! We are a lot smaller than cars. We don't have a cage of steel around us and we break easily when you hit us. Please, PLEASE watch out for us. I realize that a lot of my two-wheeled bretheren act like idiots sometimes; speeding, weaving through traffic, loud pipes that could wake the dead; but please don't stereotype all of us. Most of us simply want to ride and we pay attention to the traffic laws and what is going on around us. We wear helmets, padded jackets, gloves, boots, and pants even on the hottest days simply because we fear you. Keeping a bike up in traffic is hard enough sometimes without having to worry about which idiot is going to run the next red light or turn in front of us. Watch out for us or you may spend the rest of your life paying our medical bills!
- Put down that damn cell phone and pay attention to your driving! I am really getting sick of these idiots on the interstates driving 20 mph under the speed limit in the left hand lane paying a lot more attention to their cell phone conversation than they are on their driving. Let me reiterate ... Put that damn cell phone down and pay attention to your driving!
- Roadway shoulders are not for driving on. It's the truth! Shoulders of roads are for emergency stopping and for emergency vehicles, NOT for you to drive on so that you don't have to sit in the same line of traffic as everyone else.
- You do NOT have the right to stop in the middle of the road! Just because you "Need" to get on I-65 from I-40 does NOT mean that you can just stop in the middle of the road until you can find a hole to move over into. If you can't get over I guess you'll just damn well go straight.
- If you pull in front of someone and slow down or stop do not be real surprised when they call you an idiot (or worse)! If you are going to drive like one then be prepared to be called one.
- You do NOT have the right to drive to the head of the line and then try to bull your way in. If everyone else is sitting in a line of traffic it does not mean that you can blast around everyone on the shoulder or in a traffic lane and then try to cut in front of everyone else. The line of traffic is there for a reason, and even though it might inconvenience you, you are expected to play by the same rules as everyone else.
- Turning lanes in the middle of highways are NOT for driving on! Those lanes are for TURNING. You move over into the turn lane and then make your turn. This does NOT mean that you can drive 2 miles in them just because you are planning to turn "Somewhere". It also does not mean that you can use them to drive through intersections and pass everyone who is patiently sitting in the line of traffic that you are to important to sit in.
- Red, Yellow, and Green are NOT the same color! Red means stop. Green means go. Yellow does NOT mean hurry the hell up.
- STOP on those big red signs does not really mean "Stop if it's convenient to you". They really do mean "Stop" and it really does apply to you.
- YIELD on those big yellow signs does apply to you. They do not mean "Yield if you have the time" they mean "Yield"! This is an important concept to remember when you are pulling onto an interstate. The traffic on the interstate does NOT have to let you in, they do not have "Merging Traffic" signs. It is NOT their responsibility to slow down and make a hole for you, it is YOUR responsibility to merge into the traffic safely.
- LOOK AT THE TRAFFIC SIGNS! It isn't hard to understand things like "Left Turn Only" or "Right Turn Only" or "No Left Turn" or "No Right Turn" if you just look at the signs from time to time!
- There is NOT an implied "1" in front of every speed limit sign in Nashville. 40 does NOT mean 140, 55 does NOT mean 155, and so on.
- Minimum speed limits are laws to! Those signs on Interstate highways that read "Minimum Speed xxx" are not suggestions. If you can not maintain the minimum speed, or are just not willing to maintain the minimum speed, of just do not feel like maintaining the minimum speed, get the hell off of the highway!
- Those signs that read "Slower Traffic Keep Right" really do apply to you! If you are driving slower than everyone else in the left-hand lane you are doing something WRONG!
- Look at your instrument panel from time to time. That weird clicking noise and that blinking green light probably means that you have been driving for several miles with your damn turn signal on!
- Turning left with your right turn signal on is never a good idea! This does not really need much of an explanation.
- Turning right with your left turn signal on is never a good idea! See above.
- Right-hand lanes are for turning right, left-hand lanes are for turning left. NOT the other way around!
- Did I mention: WATCH OUT FOR THE MOTORCYCLES!!! We have a right to be out there to and don't want to be mashed because you do something stupid!
- Large trucks do NOT have the right to turn right from the left-hand lane and blame someone else for an accident. Those signs on the backs of large trucks that read "This Vehicle Makes Wide Right Turns" should be in front of the driver's face and not on the back of the truck. If you drive over into someone else's lane and hit them it is YOUR fault, not theirs!
- If you hear a siren LOOK for the emergency vehicle BEFORE you stop! Sirens are very loud and the sound can carry a long distance. If the emergency vehicle is half a mile from you then you do NOT need to stop yet.
- If an emergency vehicle needs to get around you, LET IT! There is a reason that vehicle has all those flashing lights and siren screaming. LET IT GO! DO NOT TRY TO BLOCK IT!
- Knees were NOT designed for steering! Just because you need one hand for your cell phone and the other for your coffee does NOT mean you can use your knees to steer your vehicle!
- Put your makeup on (or shave, or read the newspaper, or read that book) BEFORE OR AFTER your trip, NOT during it! If you want to read something, READ THE DAMN TRAFFIC SIGNS!
- If you want to talk to someone in another vehicle, get off the road and do it! Do not just stop in the middle of the road and talk to a friend in another vehicle, pull OFF the road and talk to them!
- Those pretty stripes painted down the pavement have a meaning! The whole idea is to place your vehicle BETWEEN them, NOT to line one up with the center of your vehicle!
- Right-Of-Way is NOT based on vehicle size or vehicle cost! Right-Of-Way is very explicit, and is based on your location in a traffic pattern and the design of the roadway system. It is not determined by the size of your vehicle or how much it cost. Large trucks do not automatically have the right-of-way just because they weigh more (although in some cases they may have the right-of-way because they are the less maneuverable vehicle). Expensive vehicles do not automatically have the right-of-way just because they cost more (there is no exception to this rule).
- On a similar note to the statement above, Motorcycles have exactly the same right of way as your big cage. Tennessee state law spefically stipulates that no motorist has the right to deprive a motorcycle of any part of the lane in which it is traveling. In other words KEEP YOUR DAMN SUV OUT OF MY LANE!
- Pay Attention When You Change Lanes! Changing from one lane to another is relatively simple. What you do is look in your mirror to see if anything is already in the lane, use your turn signal to indicate that you are making a lane change, and then change lanes. Failure to adhere to these simple rules frequently ends up with one person driving into the side of another person.
- Don't Turn Left Before You Turn Right (or turn right before you turn left!)! I will never understand why some people feel that they cannot turn right without first veering to the left (or turn left without first veering to the right). Unless you happen to be driving a 50' truck there is no reason for this and it makes the person in the lane you are veering into quite nervous.
- You really aren't as important as you think! If you are going to try and take advantage of other drivers, fail to recognize their right-of-way, bully your way into lines of sitting traffic, and just generally make an ass of yourself, don't be too disappointed when someone doesn't play the way you think they should. Not everyone cares that you are late, have things to do, and in your own mind really believe that you are more important than they are.
- You are not the director of traffic. Just because you wave someone on to cross in front of you, does not mean that the lane to your right will cooperate! (thanks, Wilma!)
- One more time: WATCH OUT FOR THE MOTORCYCLES!!! We have a right to be out there to and don't want to be mashed because you do something stupid!
- The left lane is a passing lane. If you're not passing, move to the right. Don't wait until someone gets behind you and flashes their lights at you. Also, just in case you didn't know, when they flash their lights, that means that they would like for you to move to the right so they can pass you- since they are in the "passing lane". (Thanks To Beverly for this one!)
- Those big white signs with numbers on them are speed limit signs. While they are denoting the upper limit of allowable speed, it is NOT a very good idea to be doing 1/2 that speed! In other words, if the speed limit is 55 it is not a good idea to be doing 15 (or 25 or even 35!). PEOPLE WILL RUN OVER YOU!
- Contributed by Steven:
The white line at a cross walk means you do not intrude any part of your vehicle when stopping at the cross walk. It is not the line you align you front wheels with, or worse, your back wheels with!
I've noticed that more and more drivers in my area, Pasadena, California when stopping at a stop sign align the back of the front wheels with the line, or their bumper with the line on the far side of the cross walk.
- Contributed by Steven:
A similar situation: discussion: In California we are allowed to make a right turn at a red light. You must stop first and look to see that there is no oncoming traffic before turning. So, I stop in the right lane intending to turn. Sometimes there is another car to the left of me also stopped at the red light. As I pull out to turn, the other car often drifts out as well, blocking my view of any oncoming traffic.
I guess the rule would be: When stopping at a red light, stop at the white line and stay there (unless making a legal right turn). Do not drift forward until you have a green light. The also prevents intrusion into the cross walk.
Of course, both of these are under the umbrella of "I have to get there first" syndrome.
This page was intended for fun, but at the same time with a grain of truth. Everything presented here is something that has happened to me at one time or another. The information presented here may sound ridiculous and obvious, but apparently it isn't. Perhaps it is the same way everywhere, but Nashville seems to be full of people with inflated egos who feel that their time is more important than everyone else's or that they are more important than everyone else. This is not the truth. They do not have the right to expect everyone else to get out of their way and they do not have the right to violate traffic laws and endanger others just because they are in a hurry or because the laws inconvenience them in some way. Any time a person drives a motor vehicle that person is responsible for its safe operation.
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