Light Rail: There is a light rail train system in Norfolk called The Tide. Light rail trains share the road with motor vehicles and bicyclists, and they intersect with motor vehicle traffic at 27 locations along the 7.4 mile route. Stay safe when driving around The Tide by obeying the tips below.
- Pay attention to changing traffic patterns and always follow the roadway.
- Never drive around lowered crossing gates.
- Always look both ways before turning across train tracks.
- Expect trains on any track at any time.
- Always obey signs and traffic signals.
- Never stop, pass or shift on train tracks.
- Don’t cross train tracks unless you have enough room to cross without stopping and can clear the tracks to a safe distance.
For more info about light rail safety, visit www.gohrt.com or call (757) 222-6100.
Low Speed Vehicles: These electrically- or gas-powered four-wheel vehicles have a maximum speed ranging from 21 to 25 MPH. Low speed vehicles may be operated on public roads with speed limits of 35 MPH or less by licensed drivers or learner’s permit holders accompanied by a licensed driver. Low speed vehicles must comply with all federal safety standards and must meet Virginia’s requirements for passenger vehicle registration and insurance coverage. Golf carts are not classified as low speed vehicles.
Trucks, Tractor-Trailers, Buses and RVs: Trucks, tractor-trailers, buses and recreational vehicles (RVs) – including motor homes, campers and travel trailers – are longer, higher and wider than other vehicles. They accelerate slowly and require greater stopping and turning distances. Plus, there are danger areas around these vehicles where crashes are more likely to occur. These areas are called No-Zones. No-Zones on the side, front and rear also include blind spots where your car disappears from the driver’s view. Learning the No-Zones can save your life.
Side No-Zones: Trucks, tractortrailers, buses and RVs have big No-Zones on both sides that are dangerous because these vehicles must make wide turns. These No-Zones or blind spots are much larger than your car’s blind spots. If you can’t see the driver’s face in his side view mirror, then he can’t see you.
Rear No-Zone: Trucks, tractor-trailers, buses and RVs have huge No-Zones directly behind them. The driver can’t see your car behind his vehicle and you can’t see what’s happening in traffic ahead of his vehicle. If the truck, bus or RV brakes or stops suddenly, you have no place to go and could crash into the vehicle’s rear-end. Always maintain a safe following distance.
Front No-Zone: You could get rear-ended by a truck, bus or RV if you cut in front too soon after passing the vehicle or if you cut in front and then suddenly slow down. The truck, bus and RV drivers would be forced to slam on their brakes. These vehicles need nearly twice the time and room to stop as cars. A truck and its trailer may be as long as 65 feet and it may take you more than half a mile of clear road to pass. When passing, look for the entire front of the truck in your rearview mirror before pulling in front. And then, maintain your speed.
Wide Turns: Trucks, buses and RVs sometimes need to swing wide to the left or right to safely make a turn. They can’t see the cars directly behind or beside them. In fact, their blind spots may stretch up to 20 feet in front of the cab and approximately 200 feet behind the vehicle. Never try to squeeze between a truck, bus or RV and the curb or another vehicle.
Light to Medium Trailers: These trailers are attached to mid-sized cars and trucks with safety chains and a trailer hitch. Large side mirrors are generally needed to increase visibility. Towing a trailer places additional stress on the vehicle; it takes the vehicle twice as long to pass, stop, accelerate and turn. Remember the No-Zones described under Trucks, Tractor-Trailers and RVs. Before driving a vehicle with a light to medium trailer attached, perform a safety inspection before each trip. Ensure:
- the pin securing the ball mount to the receiver is intact
- the hitch coupler is secured
- safety chains are properly attached
- the electrical plug is properly installed
- brake lights, turn signals, and license plate lights are functioning properly.
Before pulling a trailer on public roads, find a location such as a vacant parking lot to practice and get the feel for how your vehicle and trailer will handle.
When driving a vehicle with a light to medium trailer attached:
- always allow for the added length of the trailer when you change lanes
- if your trailer starts to sway, steer toward your target
- when backing up, place your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel
If you cannot see where you are backing up, have someone outside to help guide you.
To back the trailer to the left, use your left hand to move the wheel left. To back the trailer to the right, use your right hand to move the wheel to the right.