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Crossing intersections on either side of the Atlantic (Nomex zipped up all the way).

James wrote:

>Several years ago CA passed a law that "being in the intersection when 
>the light is red is illegal." No quarry, no slack, just illegal. Yes, 
>that means no waiting in the intersection on a green ball to make a 
>left turn;
>once the oncoming traffic stops for the red, you go. Not anymore . . .

Thanks for posting this, James. For years several times per year I've
been visiting CA to run the Co booth at the National Design Engineering
shows and the like and now I know that I've been violating their local
traffic laws all that time.

I've been and I am doing this in every state and country that I've been
to and I do firmly believe, along with the rest of the world, that this
is the _only_ correct and safe way to make a left (or right in the other
~1/3 of the world) turn.

What freaks me out here in general is the absence of a Federal Traffic
Code, Euro-style.
As well as of a comprehensive multi-page manual describing it.
Consisting of explicit DOs and DON'Ts, Euro-style.

Instead of this, here in PA they have a pathetic 5mm thin so called
"Drivers Manual" full of useless garbage like:
-"If you intend to drive to a party, try not to drink more than 1 drink
per hour". I kid you not! And almost no traffic code itself.
BTW, what the hell is "one drink" anyway? Mine, for example, is a
4.5-shot capacity Vodka-Martini Dry, my wife's - a glass of Merlot. Am I
violating the law? I'd love not to, just define the damn thing
explicitly, Euro-style (in promille of pure alcohol for those who have
never lived there).

Over the years I've helped a few of my friends to exchange their
European driver's licences for the PA ones. That's after a mandatory
theory _AND_ driving test here -ha! Every _one_ of those guys, after
seeing the PA Drivers Manual, burst out laughing:
-"you guys call _THIS_ a Driver Manual???"

My own story comes to mind.
Yes, it's hard to believe, but Uncle Sam in his infinite arrogance
presumes that a man, holding a Professional Class 2, Category A/B/C
pan-European Driver's Licence has no clue as to how to drive a car if he
has not yet driven in the 55mph, automatic-barge-infested USA, where the
formal driving training is not even required!!! 
Never mind that I've gone through the mandatory 4.5 mos of intensive
4-eves-per-week, 4 hour long each, theory and winter driving training in
'78, when I applied for my Euro-licence and that I spent 11 years
driving in the part of the world where people don't even recognise
automatics as means of transportation, let alone eating while driving
and so forth. I was automatically assessed 3 points and assigned to a
high risk group for 3 years when I exchanged my European Licence for the
PA one in '89.

The individual states, counties, townships and localities here have the
"freedom" of setting their personal local traffic codes. All this
nonsense is being aggressively advocated by the populous, which simply
does not realise that the only "freedom" they are gaining is the freedom
to not know when they are gonna get their a$$ grabbed by the local
constabulary for violating some obscure local laws which they have no
means to and shouldn't have to know.

Those concerned with safety on intersections, should install the
blinking-green-before-turning-red traffic lights which could be seen on
near every intersection in Europe or introduce the European headlight
code or _separate_, orange _only_ turn signals, or the mandatory driver
training in the Federal accredited driving schools and cut down on
fatalities _dramatically_. 
Naah, it's all hypocrisy, it's all about His Majesty the Greenback, no
one gives a flying crap about the lives of people.

Igor Kessel
A triple-layer-Nomex tightly zipped up in anticipation of a flame
barrage of the "freedom" lovers.