When I’ve been to California, fortunately my friend who lives in LA gave me some tips on traffic rules that you must be complied with.
In the beginning I found some of these very useless and then, when I putted them into practice I have to say that I changed my mind; let’s see the seven rules you need to know to drive safety in California!
1. You have to stop the car when you are in front of a stop signal! And I mean that you have to stop the car, even if you have already seen that there isn’t anyone on the streets, you can’t slow down close to the intersection and pass it over without stopping as it often happens here in Italy.
Sometimes this rule could seem absurd but if you don’t respect it, you could run into stiff fines. I have personally witnessed in a park, two tourists that hadn’t stopped at a stop sign, they only slowed down the speed, and they were fined by the police!
2. Pedestrians have always priority. If you’re Italian I know that the word pedestrian is probably not in your vocabulary but remember that in California pedestrians assume that you will stop when they’re crossing. It happens that cars stop even when they don’t know if the pedestrian wants to cross or not, so be really careful to not rear-ends anybody!
3. Turn right at the traffic light with the red signal is allowed except when there’s a prohibition (a signal like “no right turns on red”). Obviously you have to stop as a normal “stop” and after you can go if there aren’t cars. Even overtake on the right side is allowed on every highway and largely urban roads with at least two lanes.
4. Wearing the seat belt is required and they will enforce you to follow this rule, remember to wear always the seat belt.
5. It Isn’t allowed to overtake the “school bus”. Be careful to respect this bizarre rule, If you encounter a school bus in front of you in the street, be patience because the law doesn’t allow overtaking it when you have a single lane and during the stops you’ll have to wait until it moves again. Typically the driver turns on a flashing red signal and a “stop” signal on the left side when the children are crossing the street.
6. It isn’t allowed to have in the car seats any alcohol bottles, opened or not. If you have purchased alcohol you have to put it in the boot.
7. Pee on the roadside (or in public) and throw trash out of the car is prohibited and could cost you a lot. If you have some trash or something else, wait to find a basket and throw it in. If you need a public restroom and you don’t know where it is, use the app Sit Or Squat.