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Turn signal a must, not just option

by Frank Fellone | June 22, 2013 at 5:30 a.m.

Dear Mahatma, Ye of Great Wisdom: When did it become illegal to use your turn signal? Cars zip in front of me without signaling and eat up my buffer space. Also, when did it become legal to make a left turn on red? I now hesitate when my light turns green. Did I miss another update? - Confused in Little Rock

Dear Confused: Wisdom is the meld of knowledge and (mostly bad) experience, as you have learned on the streets and highways.

One of our favorite things to read is the Arkansas Driver License Study Guide, published by the Arkansas State Police. It’s a regular best-seller.

The guide says: “You must warn other drivers you are going to change direction or slow.” Note word “must.” Not expression “might should oughta.”

Also:

Get in the habit of signaling every time you change lanes, turn right or left, merge into traffic or park. Signal even when you don’t see other traffic, in case you miss someone who needs to know your intent.

Try to signal at least 100 feet before you make a change.

After a turn or lane change, make sure your turn signal is off, Grandpa.

As for your second question/observation, red means “stop.” There is no other definition. But you knew that already.

Proving once again that readers know more than columnists, we are informed by a reader from Conway that a recent column on golf carts was incomplete.

The question posed was whether or not it is legal to drive a golf cart on the streets of Little Rock. The answer was that a state law gave municipalities authority to pass an ordinance to allow carts on city streets only, and only when driven from home to golf course and back.

Turns out the Legislature, at the request of the Arkansas Municipal League, passed Act 170 of 2013. The act, signed by the governor on Feb. 26, takes out the home to course restriction.The revised act takes effect on Aug. 16, Don Zimmerman of the Arkansas Municipal League said. Talk to Mayor Paul Wellenberger of Fairfield Bay, he suggested.

Wellenberger said the retirement communities in Arkansas were losing residents to Florida and Arizona, where golf carts may be driven with fewer restrictions. The new law works well for Fairfield Bay, he said, because it has no state highways, two golf courses, and the maximum speed on city streets is 35 mph.

Gas-powered golf carts have about 10 horsepower, he said, and may be safer for older residents to drive than cars. He expects the City Council to take up an ordinance in August and expects it to pass.

Fairfield Bay has 2,338 permanent residents, Wellenberger said. In the summer, the population grows to 3,500 to 4,000.

James Carson of Cabot writes in to say he was at a Mustang gathering in May at the Museum of Automobiles on Petit Jean Mountain. He saw the following license plates: QUWKSLVER, BADSEED, WILDPNY, RMACH1, HRSEPLAY, HORSPWER and ROCNROL.

Mahatma@arkansasonline.com

Arkansas, Pages 9 on 06/22/2013

Print Headline: Turn signal a must, not just option

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