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10. Sharing the Road

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Light Rail & Trolleys

Light rail vehicles, or trolleys, have the same rights and responsibilities on public roadways as other vehicles. Although everyone must follow the same traffic laws, trolleys, because of their size, require exceptional handling ability. To safely share the road with trolleys, you should be aware of where trolleys operate and what their limitations are. Remember that trolleys differ from trains in many ways. In particular, they are very quiet and move more quickly than do freight trains.

Some traffic signals are used to control traffic for trolleys and light rail trains only. The lights on these signals are marked with a "T" and are used to control trolley and light rails train traffic only. Trolleys can interrupt traffic signals, so do not proceed forward until the signal light indicates you may.

The same rules apply to trolley and light rail crossings that apply to train crossings. You should always yield the right-of-way to these vehicles when they cross the roadway. Do not cross trolley or light rail tracks until you can see clearly in both directions and you are sure that no other trolley, light rail vehicle, or train is approaching.

Do not go around or under a closed trolley or light rail crossing gate.

A safety zone is a space set aside for pedestrians boarding, entering, and waiting for trolleys and light rail vehicles. They are indicated by marked by raised buttons or markers on the roadway near where these vehicles stop to pick up or let off passengers. You will most often see safety zones in areas where there are street cars or trolleys using the same streets as vehicle traffic, such as in San Francisco.

Do not drive through or otherwise enter a safety zone for any reason. When people are boarding or leaving a streetcar where there no safety zone, stop behind the nearest door or vehicle platform of the trolley or light rail and wait until the people have reached a safe place.

When a bus or streetcar is stopped at a safety zone or at an intersection where traffic is controlled by a police officer or traffic signal, you may pass as long as it is safe to do so and at no faster than 10 MPH .

You may not park in a safety zone or between a safety zone and the curb. Do not park on trolley or light rail tracks. Do not overtake and pass on the left of a trolley, streetcar, or light rail vehicle, whether it is moving or standing, except when you are on a one-way street, when the tracks are so close to the right side of the road that you cannot pass on the right, or when a traffic officer directs you to pass on the left.

Look for approaching trolleys and light rail vehicles before you turn across the tracks. Complete your turn only if a signal (if installed) indicates you may proceed.

Never turn in front of an approaching trolley or light rail vehicle. Let them pass before making your turn.

Trolleys and light rail vehicles are difficult to handle and have significant blind spots. Be aware that buildings, trees, and other objects cause blind spots for the operator.

Maintain a safe distance from the trolley or light rail vehicle if it shares a street with vehicular traffic. In many cases, you may drive in the same lane as a trolley or light rail vehicle. Motorcyclists and bicyclists should be very careful to not get their wheels caught in the tracks when doing so.

Lesson Summary


  

Lesson 10 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. In the United States, a bicyclist is killed:


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  2. If you fail to stop for a school bus with flashing red lights:


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  3. An orange trianglular sign on the back of a vehicle means:


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  4. The most common collision in a work zone is from:


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  5. Pedestrians comprise about what ratio of traffic fatalities?


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