Real-Life Los Angeles Road Rules

taking fountain los angeles traffic

Guest Post by Aaron Francis

Everybody knows to stop at red lights and to not drive faster than speed limits--this is a list of hidden rules that you may not know.

Read these. If you do some of these, don't get defensive or upset, just try to do them better.

1) On a freeway always drive in the furthest right lane you can. Only move to your left if you have to pass the car in front of you. If the cars in the lane to your right are going faster or the same speed as you, you're in the wrong lane, move to the right.

2) Speed up to merge. Never slow down to merge. This includes between lanes and from or to an on ramp or off ramp.

3) It's OK to miss your exit if you miss your exit. It's not OK to cut people off and slow down to merge to try to get to an exit you've missed. Don't punish the rest of us for your mistake. The exit will be there when you come back to it later.

4) When two lanes merge together into one, for example going onto an on ramp, the order goes one car from the left, then one car from the right then repeat. Like a zipper. Don't get greedy.

5) Use your blinker. When merging or turning. Use it with plenty of warning before making your move.

6) When you see a blinker on another car, it is not an insult or a violation to you. Do not try to take their opening from them.

7) On a city street, do not enter an intersection unless you are positive you can get out the other side of it. Especially if there are giant words painted on the street that say DO NOT BLOCK.

8) If in traffic, do not turn left on any street if there is no left turn lane for you. I don't care if it's more convenient for you to turn on that street. Editor's Note: Carrie politely disagrees with this one. She feels that if enough people are turning left and backing up traffic, eventually a dedicated left-hand turn lane will be installed. BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD!!! Now keep reading because in my opinion this next point is THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE OF ALL TIME...

9) When in a left turn lane, you are in a race. Whether it's an arrow light or just the end of a regular light, or no light at all and you're waiting for a break in traffic, when you get the chance to go, GO! If you're at the front of the line, pay attention. If you're second or later in line, pay attention and don't let gaps form. You're in a race to get through.

10) If there are cars parked in the right lane, this is not a lane for you to drive in. Even if there are large gaps between parked cars, this is not a passing lane.

11) If you are turning right, put on your blinker and move as far to the right as you can. Oftentimes, this will allow traffic behind you that isn't turning right to stay in their lane and simply move past you.

12) Bicycles have the right of way and are entitled to an entire lane on any city street. Do not try to run them off the road or honk at them. If you do pass them, give them three feet of clearance.

13) Everybody driving on every street is on the same team. We are not enemies, we are not in competition. We all have places to go to and we're all trying to get there as fast as we can. Let us help our fellow drivers get where they're going and they'll help you get where you're going. We're all on the same team.

taking fountain los angeles traffic aaron francis

Aaron Francis is an atheist, a feminist, a socialist, a pacifist, an artist, a bicyclist, a recycler, a designer, a lover and a builder.

Interested in writing for Taking Fountain? Pitch me at carrie[at]takingfountain[dot]com! And don't forget to swing by the Taking Fountain Community group over on Facebook!