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8. Rules of the Road

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Speed

The urban driving environment is typically more challenging to the novice driver because there are more stimuli to be sorted and react to. Reducing speed allows more time to see details of the urban driving environment such as pedestrians, road hazards, and traffic flow. It also allows time to analyze what you see and predict what might happen, react to any hazards that might require quick reflexes, and execute decisions to safely change directions and avoid hazardous situations.


50% of all traffic violations involve speeding. Many of these occur in urban areas. There is no minimum speed limit in California , but there is a law that requires you to not drive so slowly as to be unsafe. It is: " No person shall drive so slowly or stop on the roadway so as to impede traffic or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic ." You can be cited if you are stopped for doing this.


You should reduce your speed when:

  • traffic is dense
  • near shopping centers, parking lots, and in downtown areas
  • when brake lights come on several cars ahead
  • driving on narrow bridges and in tunnels
  • when approaching toll plazas
  • near schools, playgrounds, and on residential streets

  • There are special speed limits that are to be obeyed even if there is no sign erected.

    These include:

  • railway crossings ( 15 mph )
  • blind intersections ( 15 mph )
  • alleyways ( 15 mph )
  • residential districts ( 25 mph )
  • schools ( 25 mph, when children are present )
  • bridges ( 25 mph )
  • business districts ( 25 mph )
  • Conviction of speeding when in these special areas is based on proof that the driver was unsafe and negligent.


    You can assume that the speed limit is 25 miles per hour in any business or residential district unless posted otherwise. Also, when passing a school building or school grounds when children are present, and when passing a senior center with a " senior " warning sign the speed limit is 25 mph unless otherwise posted.


    Sometimes lower speed limits are posted in the general vicinity of schools in addition to the school itself. Specially marked crosswalks and five-sided signs warns that you are approaching or are in the presence of a school.


    NOTE: All 50 states have a "basic speed law". In California, the Vehicle Code spells it out:

    22350. No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.


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    Lesson Summary


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    Lesson 8 Quiz


    You will now answer 5 questions to test what you learned during this lesson. You must answer all questions correctly to receive completion credit for this lesson. You may answer the questions as many times as necessary to get them right.

    You should review the lesson material if you don't do well on the quiz.

    1. You must use your turn signal


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    2. The minimum speed limit in California is:


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    3. A right-turn-on-red can be made, at a red arrow:


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    4. In California, changing lanes in the middle of an intersection:


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    5. Entering an intersection before you can safely cross through it, and blocking it:


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