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Old 09-22-07, 12:08 PM   #1
Mos6502
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Driver's License Test

I was wondering, for those of you who have a driver's license (which I'm assuming is probably most of you) at any point when you were getting it, were you informed as to how bicycles are regarded?
IE: were you told that bicycles are vehicles that operate on the street? etc?

The only thing I remember being mentioned in my driver's ed class was to check your blind spots, because just because you don't see a car in your mirrors doesn't mean there isn't a bicycle or motorcycle there that you can't see.

Obviously I think it should be mandatory that motorists are informed and tested about the nature of other vehicles on the road.
When you get your pilots license, you may have no intention of ever flying a hot air balloon, but you still have to know what to do when you encounter one. It should be the same way with a driver's license.
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Old 09-22-07, 05:49 PM   #2
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From what I can remember, our instructor (being a casual cyclist) did a little segment on cycling. He informed us that as soon as we get behind the wheel of a car, we'll immediately feel furious at cyclists and speed impediments. I think he told us that we were going to start yelling if we ever saw a cyclist. Well, he had a pretty good sense of humor, and his predictions tended to come true.

Also, he was a sidewalk rider because he rides like a a kid, swerving all over the place (his words). He told us to watch out for cyclists and pedestrians on sidewalks because they are moving faster than you think (at least cyclists) and often appear out of nowhere.. because you're not paying attention.
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Old 09-22-07, 06:16 PM   #3
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You mean that they actually TEACH driving?!?!?!?!

Wow. I got ripped off in that case. For my Diver's Ed class, we just sat around and watched movies about car crashes.

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Old 09-22-07, 07:58 PM   #4
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check out your states driver's-ed booklet.
nj has a few pages regarding bicycle-pedestrian rules and regs a motorist (and the bicyclist) need to be aware of.
i don't these these facts are included in the written test, or are they included in the behind the wheel "display of learnt skills" test.
the thing is, we (most of bf) know the established road laws of our state, but how do we re-educate the new (and seasoned) motorists of these laws......and reinforce compliance ? is this up to the bicyclist?
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Old 09-22-07, 08:12 PM   #5
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I'm sixteen years old and had Driver's Ed about a year ago . . . I was taught nothing about cycling. At all.

Not kidding.
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Old 09-22-07, 09:57 PM   #6
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Colorado, Virginia, Florida and Hawaii did not have any cycling questions on their test at the times I took such test.

Hawaii, for sure, still does not have any cycling questions on it.
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Old 09-22-07, 10:37 PM   #7
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They taught us hand signalling, which I guess is sorta related to cycling. Other than that, no major mention of bikes. I think it may be part of the reason people here either completely ignore bikes and treat them like they're not there at all, or are ultra polite and pass really wide and slow. They don't know what to do.
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Old 09-22-07, 11:21 PM   #8
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DC has bicycle questions on the test.
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Old 09-23-07, 09:41 AM   #9
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NY had ONE question on the permit test. that was it. but, that was 8 years ago too, they probably dont have any now.

my town is fairly good for cycling, people always stop at redlights that are trying to turn, ill just move over and wave them by. Im in NO hurry or desire to get hit. but they dont push me out of the way either.

there are some a-holes out there. truck drivers mostly that wont budge an inch, creating a very unsafe cycling condition. my thoughts on it: Hit me the rest of your offspring, their offspring and so on and so forth will be paying my offsprings bills for generations to come. Just gotta find the right lawyer
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Old 09-23-07, 09:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaverda View Post
I'm sixteen years old and had Driver's Ed about a year ago . . . I was taught nothing about cycling. At all.

Not kidding.

Sounds about right on the mark from what I can remember of my driver's ed training. What I do remember is more about peds, and bouncing balls appearing in the roadway followed by children. Bicyclists, in my case, were more from acquired riding/driving experience.
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Old 09-23-07, 10:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaverda View Post
I'm sixteen years old and had Driver's Ed about a year ago . . . I was taught nothing about cycling. At all.

Not kidding.
If you're like many teenagers, you probably weren't paying attention when it was covered. BTW, it wasn't in your manual? You may want to look again.
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Old 09-23-07, 10:57 AM   #12
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True, I wasn't a cyclist back then and thus might not have been paying much attention to cycling-related things.

I believe hand signals were in my manual, but from what I remember (from asking kids then), almost nobody read the manual. We never discussed bicyclists or hand signals at all, nor did we have any questions covering them.
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Old 09-25-07, 04:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mos6502 View Post
I was wondering, for those of you who have a driver's license (which I'm assuming is probably most of you) at any point when you were getting it, were you informed as to how bicycles are regarded?
IE: were you told that bicycles are vehicles that operate on the street? etc?

The only thing I remember being mentioned in my driver's ed class was to check your blind spots, because just because you don't see a car in your mirrors doesn't mean there isn't a bicycle or motorcycle there that you can't see.

Obviously I think it should be mandatory that motorists are informed and tested about the nature of other vehicles on the road.
When you get your pilots license, you may have no intention of ever flying a hot air balloon, but you still have to know what to do when you encounter one. It should be the same way with a driver's license.

Nothing I recall, but that was almost 40 years ago.

Some groundschool a lot more recently and guess what nothing about hot air ballons in that either.
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Old 09-26-07, 01:46 PM   #14
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I took the Ontario driver's test earlier this year as part of getting my motorcycle license. (They make you retake the written test for car drivers at the same time.)

There was one question on the test that set up a scenario of passing a cyclist on a road with two lanes in each direction. The correct answer was to fully change into the left lane to pass. All in all, not a bad question and answer. I wonder how many candidates took the 'pass as close as possible without slowing down, while honking and gesturing' option :-)
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Old 09-26-07, 07:22 PM   #15
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I got points taken off (15 of the alloted 30) for not yielding/stopping where the bike trail crosses the street.

"Driver did not yield to potential hazards"
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Old 09-27-07, 08:26 AM   #16
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There are (or were, when I took the test a long time ago) ten questions on the ME License exam, three of which deal with alcohol, none of which deal with bicycles. I believe ME just passed a 3' passing clearance law, too.

From the "ME Motorist Handbook and Study Guide" (pp60-62) which is used as a textbook in Driver's Ed:

Sharing the Road with Bicyclists
There are nearly 900,000 bicycles in Maine and most bicycling is done on the roadways
of Maine. As a motorist you should drive defensively around a bicyclist because the slightest
mistake by you or the bicyclist, can result in death. The biggest differences between
bicyclists and motorists as road users is that bicycles are less visible, quieter, and do not have
a protective vehicle casing around them. This means you need to look a little harder and
drive a little more cautiously when encountering bicyclists. Here are some rules to help you
share the road with bicyclists.
• Share the road with bicyclists; they have a legal right to its’ use.
• Be courteous and cautious even if it takes a little longer.
• Bicyclists should ride on the right as far as practical or safe. In some instances it is
safest for a bicyclist to “command the lane” by riding toward the center or to the left
if turning.
• Bicyclists may be moving faster than you realize (experienced bicyclists can easily
travel over 30 mph) They also have smaller profiles and sometimes are not noticed in
traffic. Look carefully for bicyclists, especially before turning or opening a car door.
• Learn to recognize situations and obstacles which may be hazardous to cyclists, such
as potholes, debris, and drain grates. Give them adequate space to maneuver.
• Anticipate bicyclists’ movements. Bicyclists are supposed to signal their intentions
with these hand signals.
Left Right or Right Slowing or Stopping
• Don’t blast your horn when approaching bicyclists. You could startle them and cause
an accident.
• In inclement weather, give bicyclists extra trailing and passing room, just as you
would other motorists.
• Reduce your speed when passing bicyclists, especially if the roadway is narrow.
• Leave at least three feet of passing space between the right side of your vehicle and a
bicyclist.
• When a road is too narrow for cars and bikes to ride safely side by side, bicycles
should “take the travel lane,” which means riding in or near the center of the lane.
• After passing a bicyclist on your right, check over your shoulder to make sure you
have allowed adequate distance before merging back in. Remember, experienced
bicyclists may be moving at high speeds.
• When turning left at an intersection, yield to oncoming bicyclists just as you would
yield to oncoming motorists.
• Children or inexperienced adults on bicycles are often unpredictable in their actions.
Expect the unexpected.

Bicycle Driving Recommendations
Bicyclists are vehicles and have all the rights and responsibilities of other vehicle drivers.
Although a license isn’t required to drive a bicycle on Maine’s roadways, bicycle drivers
must obey all the rules of the road. If you break any traffic laws, like riding a bike on the left
side of the road, riding at night without a head and tail light, or running a stop sign or traffic
light you are subject to fines.
Be sure to practice on your bicycle before entering traffic. Never ride in traffic above your
skill level. When riding a bicycle follow these rules:
• Regularly inspect and maintain your bicycle. Bicycles like any machine need to be
cared for to perform correctly. Be safe and keep your bike tuned up or take it to a
bicycle shop for inspection regularly (a professional inspection is recommended every
six months.)
• Properly secure loads. Never hang bags or packages on your handlebars or hold
them in your arms. Secure loads on a rack, in bike bags, or on a bicycle trailer. Only
use back packs for light loads.
• Wear a helmet correctly. When worn correctly, a bicycle helmet can reduce your chances of head
injury in an accident. Only use an ANSI/Snell approved helmet designed specifically for bicycling. Once a helmet has sustained any impact it should be replaced. Helmets should also be replaced if they are five years old or older or are left in a hot car. Worn correctly, a helmet should be set just above your eyebrows and is snug on your head so that it stays in place if you shake your head. If your helmet is loose or tilted back exposing your forehead it can not adequately protect your head. All persons under 16 years of age riding on bicycles are required to wear helmets and sit on passenger seats when traversing public ways.
• Ride with traffic. Always ride on the right side of the road. Do not pass motorists on
the right side. If you approach an intersection with a right turning lane and intend to
continue straight, do not enter the right turn lane. Ride with the through traffic.
• Watch for potential road hazards. Scan the road 50 to 100 feet ahead at all times
for road hazards like drain grates, potholes, railroad tracks (cross them at right
angles), puddles (which may be hiding a pothole), or road debris. Slow down and
allow time to maneuver around these hazards and negotiate with traffic.
• Avoid opening car doors. Give yourself three or four feet of room between yourself
and parked vehicles.
• Ride in a predictable manner. Always ride straight and be predictable. Do not
weave from side to side, or suddenly move out into traffic. Be alert and plan ahead to
avoid obstacles. If the road is narrow for a bicycle and a car to travel side by side, the
bicyclist should occupy the lane until it is safe to move back to the right. Always
check over your shoulder before changing your lane position. Never weave between
parked cars.
• Signaling turns. As vehicle driver you must always signal your intent to turn, using
the hand signals illustrated earlier in this section. Look before you make a lane
change or turn. Make sure lanes are clear of traffic to make a lane change or turn.
• Left hand turns. You may turn left as a vehicle by moving in to the left lane or the
left side of the travel lane. Before you maneuver, look behind for traffic, signal your
turn and change lane position when clear to do so. Or, you can make a left turn in two
parts by crossing the intersection and pulling over to the side. Then, when it is safe to
do so, turn to your left and proceed across the intersection.
• Always ride with lights on if riding at night. While most bicycles are equipped
with reflectors, they are not sufficient and rely on the lights of other vehicles to work.
Always ride with head and tail lights visible from at least 500 feet away.
• Be prepared for conditions. Always carry water and appropriate clothing when
traveling by bicycle. In the rain, allow yourself extra stopping distance when you use
your brakes.

http://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/license...ExamManual.pdf

Actually a pretty good overview, and note that they inlcude vehiucular bicycle instruction in their *motorist* handbook. Not bad at all. Think I'll tuck a copy of this in my wallet...
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Old 09-27-07, 08:47 AM   #17
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This is from Illinois Rules of The Road, a booklet from the IL Secretary of State given to people strudying for the driver's test

Quote:
Bicyclists

On most roadways, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other roadway users. Bicyclists are prohibited on limited-access highways, expressways and certain other marked roadways. Following are laws and safety tips you should know:

Bicyclists are required to travel in the same direction as vehicles.

Bicyclists should travel just to the right of faster moving traffic. However, certain hazards, such as rough surfaces, debris, drainage grates or a narrow traffic lane, may require bike riders to move toward the center of the lane.

Drivers must yield the right-of-way to a bicyclist just as they would to another vehicle.

When passing a bicyclist do so slowly and leave at least 3 feet of passing space.

A motorist should not park or drive in marked bike lanes.

When following bicyclists, give them plenty of room and be prepared to stop quickly. Use extra caution during rainy and icy weather. At night do not use high beams when you see an oncoming bicycle rider.

After parking and before opening vehicle doors, a motorist should first check for bicyclists.

When a motorist is turning left and there is a bicyclist entering the intersection from the opposite direction, the driver should wait for the bicyclist to pass before making the turn. Also, if a motorist is sharing the left turn lane with a bicyclist, stay behind them until they have safely completed their turn.

If a motorist is turning right and a bicyclist is approaching on the right, let the bicyclist go through the intersection first before making a right turn. Remember to always signal your turns.
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Old 09-27-07, 09:11 AM   #18
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The NC drivers manual, which people are supposed to read before taking the test, has a decent section on sharing the road with bikes, pedestrians, mopeds, etc. It includes diagrams showing some common types of car/bike accidents and reminders such as:

"Bicyclists usually ride on the right side of the lane, but are entitled to the use of a full lane."
and
"A bicyclist staying to the right in their lane is accommodating the following drivers by making
it easier to see when it is safe to pass, and easier to execute the pass. Drivers wishing to
pass a bicyclist may do so only when there is abundant clearance and no oncoming traffic is in
the opposing lane
. When passing a bicyclist, always remember the bicyclist is entitled to the
use of the full lane
."

After seeing how much emphasis the NC DMV has placed on bikes being entitled to the use of the full lane, and the driver's responsibility to only pass when there is enough clearance and no oncoming traffic, I'll probably be taking a wee bit more of the lane from now on, especially in situations where I know someone approaching from behind can't pass safely.
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Old 09-27-07, 09:20 AM   #19
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After seeing how much emphasis the NC DMV has placed on bikes being entitled to the use of the full lane, and the driver's responsibility to only pass when there is enough clearance and no oncoming traffic, I'll probably be taking a wee bit more of the lane from now on, especially in situations where I know someone approaching from behind can't pass safely.
You should be doing that anyway.
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Old 09-27-07, 10:41 AM   #20
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Start writing letters to state representatives, it works. When they get enough they do things. Write one now , and ask friend to do the same. It's a start. Isn't it worth ten minutes.
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