not a beautiful or unique snowflake (nothings) wrote,
not a beautiful or unique snowflake

I finally got my California driver's license (well, it'll be in the mail, probably not quite in time for me to have reasonable photo ID when I fly in August). Although I didn't have to take a driving test, I did have to take the written test, which is 36 questions with 3 possible answers. I missed 3 questions (and was allowed to miss up to 6). None of the stupid, usless numbers which I studied carefully came up (slow to 15 mph when 100 feet from an uncontrolled railroad crossing with visibility less than 400 feet in each direction), and instead almost all the numbers were ones I hadn't bothered with. (I don't drink or drive, so I didn't remember the exact blood alcohol level limit in CA. Ok, actually I drink a little.)

When reading up on this, I came across one interesting difference from the rules I'd originally learned, learning to drive in Maryland. In fact, the current Maryland handbook is different from what I remember; whether I remember wrong or it's changed I don't know.

  • Maryland twenty years ago: when making a right turn, turn into either of the two right lanes. When make a left turn, turn into the leftmost lane only.
  • California: when making a right turn, turn into the rightmost lane only, unless turning from a one-way street onto a one-way street. When turning left, turn into any lane, regardless of one-way/two-way-ness. Well, obviously only turn into lanes going the right correct way.

Presumably these rules are designed to allow the lanes to be used, but to minimize danger of someone turning left and someone turning right at the same time ending up in the same lane. I wonder how much this varies in other states. (I was going to say California's exception for one-way-to-one-way right turns was bizarro, but actually the explanation in this first sentence would seem to explain it, in fact--nobody could be turning left into the same lanes.)

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