# Driver’s Safety Course

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Driving is a privilege, not a right! You must earn that privilege and work to keep it. Your driver’s license carries with it a great responsibility to be courteous to other drivers on the roadways and to follow state and federal motoring laws. There are many laws that govern a driver’s responsibility. You must become familiar with these laws and obey and respect them to keep your license.

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### Who Must Have a Driver's License?

You must have a Louisiana driver’s license if you are a resident of Louisiana and want to drive a motor vehicle on public streets and highways. Always carry your license with you when driving. You are required to show your license to any law enforcement officer or any officer who may ask to see it. New residents have 30 days from the time residency is established to obtain a Louisiana license.

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### Driver Operational Requirements

• Louisiana law requires that motor vehicles be titled and registered.
• When you buy a new vehicle from a Louisiana dealer, the dealer will provide an assigned Certificate of Origin and notarized invoice. In most cases, the dealer will collect the taxes and fees and submit them with the proper documents to obtain your title and license. The dealer will issue a 60-day temporary cardboard plate which must be clearly visible from the rear of your car.
• If you buy a used vehicle, the certificate of title must be assigned to you by the previous owner or dealer. The seller is required by law to deliver a properly assigned certificate of title to the buyer at the time of sale or delivery of the vehicle. If a lien is shown on the certificate of title, be certain that is has been released by an authorized agent of the lien holder. You have 5 days from the date of sale to apply for a title in your name.
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### Driver Operational Requirements

• You will receive a registration certificate along with your license plate. This registration is proof of ownership of the vehicle. It must be kept in the vehicle at all times and must be presented when requested by law enforcement. If your registration is lost, a duplicate registration can be purchased at any Motor Vehicle Office or any public tag agent.
• If you are a new Louisiana resident, you must transfer the title and registration for any vehicles brought with you during the move.
• Any vehicle used upon the highways of Louisiana must be insured. When you apply for a license plate, you must have proof of the required liability insurance or other allowable substitute
• Every automobile, truck, trailer, boat trailer and motorcycle operated on the highways of this state must have a current motor vehicle inspection sticker.
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Which class of persons must have a driver's license in Louisiana?
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Louisiana law requires which of the following to operate a motor vehicle on public roads and highways:
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### Traffic Laws and Regulations

• You are required to obey all traffic laws when driving a vehicle upon a street or highway.
• You must operate your vehicle as indicated by traffic signs and signals and pavement markings.
• It is unlawful to negligently fail to maintain reasonable and proper control of your vehicle.
• You must obey all lawful orders and directions of a police officer.

• You must not drive a vehicle that is overloaded with passengers or any other thing that will obstruct your view in any direction or interfere with your control of the vehicle.
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### Traffic Laws and Regulations - SPEED

Speed limit signs are based on traffic congestion, intersections, and roadway conditions, are designed for the safety of all drivers and roadway users and should be followed carefully. You may be cited for traveling too fast for conditions when above the legal limitations. Remember that speed limits are posted for ideal conditions. Use good judgment to determine the safest speed for the driving conditions.

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### Traffic Laws and Regulations - Speed Limits

• You must not drive faster than the posted maximum limit. You must not drive slower than the posted minimum limit. While driving within the posted speed limit, you must not drive so slowly that you impede other traffic. Reduced speed limits are required in the following areas: On streets near schools and playgrounds and at locations marked with a “school crossing” sign when children are present. On streets in residential or business areas.

• Minimum speeds are posted for our interstates.

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### Traffic Laws and Regulations - Changing Lanes

• Never move from one lane to another until you are certain that you can do so safely. Proper lane changing rules are: Check your rear view and side mirrors. Look over your shoulder to make sure no one is in your blind spot. Check for other drivers who may also be moving into the same lane. Signal your intention to other drivers.

• Before changing lanes, look carefully behind you - someone may be passing you. Also, if you can’t see at least a quarter mile ahead, don’t attempt to pass. So, if there’s fog or any other kind of obstruction blocking your view, stay put! The best scenario for attempting this pass is a clear, sunny day on a long, flat, and clear stretch of road.

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### TRAFFIC SIGNALS - Traffic signals are lights that tell you when or where you should stop and go.

• Steady GREEN Traffic Light –This means you can go through the intersection if it is clear. You must yield to emergency vehicles and other roadway users as required by law. If you are stopped at the intersection and the light turns green, you must allow crossing traffic to clear the intersection before you go ahead. Turning left at a steady green traffic light means you may turn but only when the intersection is clear to do so. You should always yield to the oncoming traffic flow and pedestrians.

• GREEN Arrow –This means you can safely turn in the direction of the arrow, if the intersection is clear. When the arrow is green, oncoming or crossing traffic should yield to your turning action, but be careful of others making a right turn on red from the other side of the intersection. When turning at intersections, always watch for pedestrians crossing in front or from the side of your vehicle.

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### Traffic Signals

• Steady YELLOW Traffic Light –This means the traffic light is about to change to red. You should slow down and come to a complete stop, if traffic flow to the rear allows. If you are already in the intersection when the yellow light comes on, you may continue safely through the intersection.

• Flashing YELLOW Traffic Light –This means slow down, look for any traffic entering the intersection and proceed with caution. If traffic is in the intersection, stop and let the traffic pass before proceeding.

• YELLOW Arrow –This means that the green arrow is ending; you should prepare to stop and yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic or pedestrians.

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### Traffic Signals

• RED Traffic Light –This means stop behind the stop line, crosswalk, or intersection until the traffic light turns green. When turning right at an intersection, if there is no sign prohibiting a right turn on a red light, you may turn after stopping and yielding to traffic and pedestrians. You must yield to all traffic and pedestrians crossing in front or to the side of your vehicle when turning left on red, where permitted.

• Flashing RED Traffic Light –This means you must stop behind a stop line, crosswalk, or intersection before entering and use the same procedure as you would at a stop sign, by coming to a complete stop, looking both ways before entering the intersection and yielding right-of-way.

• RED Arrow –This means you must stop and you may not go in the direction of the arrow until the green arrow or light returns on the signal.

• When a traffic-control signal is not functioning at an intersection, the intersection shall revert to an all-way or four-way stop.
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A speed limit is:
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It is important to slow down:
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When preparing to change lanes:
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A flashing red traffic signal at an intersection has the same requirements as which of the following:
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Which of the following must you obey over the other three?
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### Passenger Restraint Systems

• USE OF SAFETY BELTS -Louisiana has a mandatory safety belt use law which requires all passengers in cars, vans and pickup trucks to be properly buckled. The three-point safety belt saves more lives than any other automotive safety device.

• CRASH IMPACT- If you are pregnant, you and your unborn child are much safer if you wear a lap and shoulder belt. Properly buckled safety belts prevent you and your passengers from being thrown about inside the car. This reduces the chance of serious injury and death by 60% to 80%. A seat belt is your best defense against a drunk driver.
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### Defensive Driving

Defensive driving involves a proactive attitude behind the wheel and anticipating potential hazards instead of simply reacting to them.
The SIPDE effectively teaches how to drive defensively.

• S--Sweep, Search, and Scan (keep your eyes moving at all times to effectively see imminent danger)

• I - Identify hazards, Identify what's happening (road-way features) (take notice of things that could cause trouble)
• P - Predict which hazards could potentially come into conflict with you; predict 2 things:  1-worst case scenario and 2-actions
• D - Decide on a safe action (decide on something to do should the dog run across the road)

• E - Execute a move to avoid conflict (braking, accelerating, turning, etc.)

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### Louisiana Child Passenger Restraint Law

Louisiana Child Passenger Restraint law requires that all children must be properly restrained and secured in an age- or size-appropriate passenger restraint system. The law requiring safety seat belts for children is as follows:

• A child 13 years or younger may not be transported in the front seat of a vehicle with an active airbag.
• Birth up to 2 years - rear facing, federally approved car seat.
• At least 2 years and has outgrown the rear facing seat by height or weight - forward facing, federally approved car seat.
• 4 and has outgrown the forward facing seat by height or weight – belt positioning child booster seat using lap and shoulder restraints.
• 9 years or has outgrown the booster seat and can pass the 5 Step Test - ride restrained in the rear seat with a lap and shoulder belt.

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### Defensive Driving Characteristics

• Alertness- A defensive driver will try to predict possible danger and be prepared to act accordingly. Good defensive drivers are alert to what is going on around them and would never take any drugs or alcohol that could affect their concentration before driving.
• Anticipation- Defensive drivers maintain a safe following distance. Defensive drivers anticipate what may or may not happen, and they take action to avoid many problems. Tailgating and following too closely does not allow for the needed seconds to avoid a possible crash.
• Judgment- Make sure you do not exceed the posted speed limit. In poor weather conditions, slow down so you are able to control your vehicle. Good defensive drivers do not make risky maneuvers like trying to beat red lights or trains. They don’t try to pass unless it’s safe and they look for alternatives to any traffic situation.
• Skill- Good defensive drivers have the skills to operate a vehicle safely through traffic without endangering anyone else on the road. A defensive driver is aware of the blind spot of the vehicle in front of them. A good defensive driver will scan the road ahead, avoid being distracted, and maintain road discipline.
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### Driving at Night

•  Louisiana law requires that your headlights (not just parking lights) be on between sunset and sunrise. You are required by law to use lower headlight beams, not your “bright lights”, when approaching within 500 feet of or following within 200 feet of another vehicle. In addition, headlights are required when moisture in the air or precipitation necessitates the use of windshield wipers and when weather conditions are unfavorable.
• The law further requires that your headlights be on when driving in weather conditions that make it difficult for other people to see your vehicle clearly from a distance of 500 feet.
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### Driving at Night

Driving at night can be made safest if you follow these rules:
• Keep your windshield and windows clean, inside and out.
• Be certain that all lights on the vehicles are operating properly.
• Reduce your speed so that you can stop within the distance you can see ahead.
• Use lower beam when approaching other cars so you won’t blind the other driver.
• If a stubborn driver refuses to dim the lights, look to the right edge of the road as a guide and slow down.
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### Pedestrian Safety

• Pedestrians occasionally use highways to walk along or cross. Pedestrians have the right of way when they are in a marked crosswalk, when crossing an intersection with a green traffic signal or walk signal, and over a vehicle making a right turn on red. You should always be careful of pedestrians crossing the roadway and give them space. You must yield to pedestrians at all times. Even if they are not in a crosswalk and crossing the street where they should not be, you must stop for them.

• Many pedestrians, especially young children, do not follow the law or use safe crossing practices. When you see people walking or standing along a road, or children playing near a roadway, you should slow down. Always allow pedestrians as much room as safely possible, and be alert for sudden movement by pedestrians into the path of your vehicle.

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### Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is any non-driving activity a person engages in that has the potential to distract him from the primary and complicated task of driving and increase the risk of crashing. Drivers are frequently distracted, perhaps as much as half the time. Three main types of distraction:

• Visual — taking your eyes off the road to look at something else

• Cognitive — taking your mind off what you’re doing While all distractions can endanger a driver’s safety, texting is the most alarming because it involves all three types of distraction.

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### Distracted Driving - Cell Phones

The increased use of cell phones while driving is becoming a hazard on our highways. Drivers who use their cell phones while operating a motor vehicle pose a serious threat to themselves and other drivers.

• Use your cell phone only in emergencies. If possible, have a passenger make the call.

• If you must make a call, pull safely off the road and stop before making the call.

• Get a model with voice-activated controls and hands-free operation.
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### Distracted Driving

• Louisiana law prohibits anyone 17 years of age and under from using any type of wireless telecommunication device while operating a motor vehicle and prohibits anyone of any age from texting while driving.

• Louisiana law prohibits the use of a wireless telecommunications device while operating a motor vehicle on a public road or highway during the posted hours within a school zone on such public road or highway.

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Wearing a properly buckled safety belt is beneficial because:
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Which of the following statements is FALSE:
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At night it is hardest to see:
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When approaching an area where children are playing, you should expect:
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Which of the following is recommended for safe driving at night?
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Who must yeild when a driver is turning and a pedestrian is crossing without a traffic light?

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Louisiana law prohibits which of the following while driving:
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### School Bus Safety

• You must stop at least thirty feet from a stopped school bus that is loading or unloading children. It is illegal to pass a school bus that is loading or unloading children. Always be prepared to stop when lights are flashing. Bus drivers will activate the flashing yellow lights of the bus at least 100 feet but no more than 500 feet before the school bus stop. Wait for the vehicle to move and scan before starting to drive again. This is required by law whether you are meeting the bus or traveling behind it.

• When a school bus is stopped in opposite lanes on a roadway separated by a ditch, grassy median, elevated concrete barrier or any obstacle that prevents traffic from driving thereon, you are not required to stop. Drivers are also not required to stop for a stopped school bus when traveling on four lane or five lane roadways which are separated by a dedicated two-way left turn lane. Drivers must stop on a four lane roadway when it is not separated by a barrier.
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### Right of Way

• The law says who must yield the right-of-way to another roadway user; it does not give anyone the right-of-way. The rules apply to all users of the road, including bicyclists, but you should never insist on taking the right-of-way.

• At yield sign intersections - slow down to a reasonable speed and stop if required. Proceed ahead only when you can do so without interfering with approaching traffic.

• At controlled intersections and 4-way stop intersections - (Remember, if a traffic light has malfunctioned, the intersection becomes a 4-way stop intersection.) When two vehicles approach an intersection at the same time, the driver on the left must yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.

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### Right of Way

Left turns - the driver making a left turn must yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic, including bicyclists. You must yield the right-of-way:
• To emergency vehicles that are sounding a siren and flashing warning lights. Pull over to the right edge of the roadway clear of intersections and stop until the emergency vehicle has passed. Watch for other emergency vehicles. This applies to traffic in both directions.
• To pedestrians crossing the roadway on which you are driving (marked or unmarked crosswalks)
• At “T” intersections where you must yield to vehicles on the through road.
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• Aggressive driving is a traffic offense or combination of offenses such as following too closely, speeding, unsafe lane changes, failure to signal intent to change lanes and other forms of negligent or inconsiderate driving. Aggressive drivers can be dangerous drivers.

• Drivers who do not follow the rules of the road are a hazard to all motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians on the roadway. They put themselves and others at risk with their unsafe driving.

• Speeding, running red lights and stop signs, pulling in front of trucks too quickly when passing and making frequent lane changes, especially in the blind spots of trucks, can create dangerous and potentially fatal situations on the road.
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### Actions Associated With Road Rage

• Blowing the horn

• Pursuing another vehicle

• Forcing a car off the road

• Forcing a car to pull over

• Verbal abuse or “sign” language

• Bumping into another car

• Tailgating

• Threatening another driver

• Braking or slowing suddenly

• Cutting off or swerving in front of another

If you witness road rage, contact law enforcement as soon as possible!
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### Driving Under the Influence

• Driving under the influence of alcohol or certain drugs is a crime. According to the National Safety Council, every 33 minutes someone dies in an alcohol-related crash. Drunk driving is the leading single cause of death among young people in the age range from 16 to 24.

• If you have been drinking alcoholic beverages, you are in no condition to drive. You have placed yourself in a position where you might injure or kill yourself or some innocent person(s).

• Louisiana has a law against an open container of alcohol in the vehicle. This law prohibits both the possession of any open alcoholic beverage container and consumption of any alcohol beverage in a vehicle. Even if you are not consuming alcoholic beverages, the fact that it is in the vehicle puts you, the driver, at risk for fines and penalties.
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### Driving Under the Influence

BLOOD ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION- BAC describes the concentration of alcohol in a person’s blood expressed as weight per unit of volume. For example, at 0.10% BAC, there is a concentration of 100 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood. For most legal purposes, however, a blood sample is not necessary to determine a person’s BAC. It can be measured much more simply by analyzing exhaled breath (such as using a breathalyzer). In Louisiana the legal limit of blood alcohol concentration is:

• .04 if you are operating a commercial motor vehicle

• .08 if you are 21 years of age or older

• .02 if you are 20 years of age and younger
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### Driving Under the Influence

DRUGS- Driving while/or after using drugs (e.g., amphetamines, tranquilizers and barbiturates) can be hazardous (and possibly lethal) because of drowsiness, reduced coordination and poor judgment or risk taking. It can take hours to wear off, and if the drugs are combined with alcohol, the effects can be exaggerated and increased dramatically. Louisiana law provides the same penalty for driving under the influence of drugs as it does for alcohol. This includes over-the-counter (OTC) and prescribed medication. It is important to pay attention to the labels on medications as they may interfere with your driving ability.

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The following is a partial list of various violations for which your driving privileges may be suspended:

• Conviction of driving while intoxicated (DWI).

• Manslaughter or negligent homicide resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle.

• Any felony committed while operating a motor vehicle.

• Failure to stop and render assistance at an accident, in which you were involved, that results in the injury or death of a person.

• Three convictions of reckless driving committed within a 12 month period.

• Unlawful use of a driver’s license.

• Failure to answer a traffic law charge.

• Driving in violation of a driver’s license restriction

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• Refusal to take alcohol analysis test when arrested for DWI, or after submitting to the test where the results show a BAC level of 0.08% or more for those 21 years of age or older or 0.02 % or more for those younger than 21 years of age.

• Altering information on the license.

• Driving with a suspended driver’s license

• Text messaging while operating a motor vehicle.

• Using a wireless/cellular communication device while operating a school bus.

• Using a wireless/cellular communication device while operating a motor vehicle if the driver holds a Class ‘E’ learners or intermediate operator’s license, or is under the age of 18, or has been issued a first time operator's license that is within one year from the original issue date, excluding out-of-state transfers.

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You may pass a stopped school bus with flashing lights when:

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At an intersection with a yield sign you must:
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You must pull over to the edge of the road and allow an emergency vehicle to pass when:
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When you see other drivers acting or reacting in anger:
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Taking drugs with alcohol:
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Which of the following does not happen after drinking alcohol?
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Which may cause you to lose your driving privileges?
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I,  , certify that I have read and completed the Fourth Judicial District Attorney’s Driver Safety Course. I understand completion of this course is a requirement of the DA’s Traffic Diversion Program.

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