Rules of the Road: Back to the Basics - Part I

The privilege of getting your driver’s license is certainly an exciting time during the teenage years.   The basics of driving takes practice, but soon becomes second nature. With so many traffic regulations to remember, even veteran drivers forget the rules of the road.  Each month we will be giving driving law reminders in an effort to keep Kenton County roads safer for all.  

Flashing Traffic Lights

A common occurrence of summer storms is traffic light disruption. Whenever an illuminated flashing red or yellow light is used in a traffic signal or with a traffic sign it shall require obedience by vehicular traffic.  A flashing red light means a driver must come to a complete stop, and the right to proceed shall be subject to the rules applicable after making a stop at a stop sign.  A flashing yellow light means drivers may proceed through the intersection or past such signal only with caution.  It is important to be mindful of other cars approaching the intersection even if you have the yellow signal to proceed.  Other drivers may not be aware that they must yield to you and an accident could be avoided.


Another common misconception is that pedestrians have the right of way.  This is only the case if they are adhering to the traffic signals. (KRS § 189.570) Pedestrians shall obey the instruction of any official traffic control devices specifically applicable to them, unless otherwise directed by a police officer or other officially designated persons.  When traffic control signals are not in place or in operation the operator of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slowing down or stopping if needed. Additionally (6) (a) Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.  Vehicles and pedestrians alike should commonly be aware of their surroundings for both persons and other drivers on the roadways. 

Distracted Driving

Lastly two very important “rules of the road” are to wear your seatbelt and to never text and drive. It is illegal to use a “personal communication device”  device capable of two (2) way audio or text communication that emits an audible signal, vibrates, displays a message, or otherwise summons or delivers communication to the possessor, including but not limited to a paging device and a cellular telephone.  Although the initial fine is low ($25), subsequent fines will double and you’re risking injury to yourself and others.  According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet,  Kentucky suffered 50,500 accidents caused by distracted driving in 2014.  The three types of distractions include things that impair your visual, manual, and cognitive responses.   While knowing the already high risks associated with driving such as distracted drivers, wearing your seatbelt can be one of the most important things you do.  While you may be a very safe driver, accidents do happen and seatbelts are designed to save lives and protect you and other passengers from injury. 

Remember to practice safe driving this summer.


Posted June 9, 2016 at 12:14 PM