Driving in California: With a network of over 50,000 miles of freeways and amazing highways, navigating the roads of California can be tricky. Because of the size of the state and numerous neighborhoods, it’s easy to get lost or make a navigation error while driving in California. Additionally, the state has several unique customs and rules that you need to be aware of to drive safely.
Here’s a basic guide of essential traffic rules you need to be aware of before getting behind the wheel.
Mandatory Personal Safety Requirements
As with any other state driving rules, drivers in California are always expected to wear their seatbelts while in the car. Children under the age of 5 years should sit in approved child car-seats. Motorcyclists must wear a DMV-approved helmet while driving on all roads, freeways, and highways.
Speed limits in California are posted in accepted miles per hour. Most freeways have a speed limit of 65mph; however, it can go up to 70 mph in some areas. The general speed limit on a two-lane highway is 55 mph. The city street speed limits are usually 35 mph. Roads that are near schools or residential areas have a lower speed limit of 25 mph.
Speed limits on California road are monitored via air or speed-detecting roadside cameras. Excessive speeds are detected instantly and are reported to the nearest police cars. Usually, the vehicle is pulled over and fined within a few minutes.
Carpool Lane Rules
Many of the far-left L.A. freeway lanes are designated as HOV, High Occupancy Vehicle lanes. They are distinguished with a diamond pattern painted on the pavements. The access to these lanes is limited and is only allowed in case there’s a break in the double yellow line on the road. They’re also known as carpool lanes, and there’s a minimum occupancy limit of two to three cars in each lane as marked on the entrance. Regardless of the number of cars in the carpool lane, towing trailers and large trucks aren’t allowed to enter those lanes.
For a detailed guide to driving on the roads of California, you can browse the full California Vehicle Code (CVC) available on the California Department of Motor Vehicles website.
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