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Old 03-29-2010, 12:30 AM   #1
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Default I ♥ California.

Seriously.

I know that there are lots of haters out there. And OK, so we're broke, and we have a particularly irritating set of emissions laws. There's more, though.

This past week, I went to the DMV to officially become a CA citizen again so that I could register my new acquisition. Showed up at about 7:45am (office opens at 8am) and there were at least 50 people in line ahead of me. Weird, but whatcha gonna do? On the plus side, they handle it well. Before the doors opened, there were workers going down the line handing out clipboards with the forms appropriate to whatever particular task we were going to be doing later, so everyone could get a head start on the paperwork.

Anyway, that's not important.

Somewhat surprisingly (since I had a valid CA license < two years ago) I had to take the written exams again, both auto and M/C. And while I was taking the written exam for the car, I was reminded of one of the little things that makes life work out here. Unlike every other state I've lived in, CA acknowledges that life is imperfect, most folks couldn't care less about the speed limit, and in general, things just work better when you go with the flow and don't get all butt-hurt about the fact that some people like to drive faster than others.


Here are a couple of the questions from the car exam, with the credited response highlighted in bold:


5. Accidents tend to happen when:
a. All vehicles are traveling near or at the same speed.
b. One lane of traffic is traveling much slower than the others.
c. One vehicle is traveling faster or slower than the flow of traffic.
Yes! You there, the one who is blindly obeying the speed limit while the rest of us (including the cops) are doing 90? YOU ARE A HAZARD! SPEED UP, OR GET OFF THE FREEWAY!


6. Which statement is true about motorcyclists and motorists?
a. Motorcyclists are not allowed to drive faster than other traffic during congested road conditions.
b. Motorcyclists have the same rights/responsibilities as other motorists.
c. Motorcycles are heavier than other vehicles and are less affected by wind/rain.
That's right, folks. A is not true. So all you cagers getting pissed by the fact that we're cruising past you, riding between the lanes in our little Power Rangers outfits, while y'all are parked on highway 78 during rush hour? Suck it- we're allowed!


14. You are traveling on a road with only one lane in your direction. Many cars are pulling out to pass you. You should:
a. Use a turnout area so the other vehicles can pass you.
b. Pull onto the right shoulder of the road, but continue driving.
c. Maintain your speed and lane position.
It's ok. We get it. Not everybody is comfortable drifting the whole way down Palomar Mountain road. And not everybody has enough torque to make it up the mountain at 55. But guess what? Your little shitbox is holding up the rest of us, so by the time the third or fourth Miata passes you in the straight section, it's clear that you need to get the **** off the road so that those of us who brought the correct vehicle for this particular stretch of pavement can get on with life.


32. Driving slowly in front of traffic in the far left (fast) lane on any freeway:
a. Can frustrate other drivers and make them angry.
b. Cannot result in a traffic citation.
c. Saves lives by causing others to slow down, too.
'Nuff said.


Now, to find a buyer for my car...
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Old 03-29-2010, 12:33 AM   #2
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You have to appreciate common sense.
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Old 03-29-2010, 01:04 AM   #3
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I love CA too
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Old 03-29-2010, 02:12 AM   #4
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While it may look good on the test, in 10yrs of driving in CA freakin NO ONE knows those answers... or at least practices them.
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Old 03-29-2010, 02:41 AM   #5
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Imagine that test but where the answers are based off how 80+ year old people drive.

Do not check lane you are merging into.

Best way to pull out onto a main road is wait till the last possible moment and hit the brakes once you pull out.

Turn signals are for ******.

Never do the appropriate thing and make a gap for people merging from a ending lane.

Cuz that's how we roll in florida.
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Old 03-29-2010, 08:51 AM   #6
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I had to get used the lane splitting thing when I lived there, but I totally understand the benefits.

As far as driving slowly in the left lane. Ca was one of the worst places I've lived for people doing that. I once rode shotgun in a car with my buddy (born and raised in OC) as we followed his wife (OC born and raised) driving a van full of kids in the left lane. We were in the next lane over effectively blocking both of the fastest lanes from San Diego all the way to Magic Mountain (north of LA). He had no idea that he shouldn't be doing it (and continued after I pointed out the stupidity of it).
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Old 03-29-2010, 09:02 AM   #7
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I moved from cali to Connecticut when I was 14 and I miss cali so much it's not even funny, I've been wanting to move back but it's not as easy as it sounds. Now you have me thinking about cali again, I hate you!
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Old 03-29-2010, 09:10 AM   #8
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I was just out there in ventura. I miss it. Coming back to Connecticut sucked.
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Old 03-29-2010, 09:33 AM   #9
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Yes! You there, the one who is blindly obeying the speed limit while the rest of us (including the cops) are doing 90? YOU ARE A HAZARD! SPEED UP, OR GET OFF THE FREEWAY!
Unfortunately I have a red Miata that is just asking to get pulled over. I'm not risking some cop in a pissy mood to pick me out of a patch of cars doing 25 over. I have things that rely on me NOT get in any sort of trouble with the law. I usually do 5 over and stick to the right lane and try to be as courteous as I can.

Although I lived in Cali for a year, I never drove while I was there so I can't comment on that But there were some awesome roads I missed out on.

(Not to mention 90 in the Miata is like 4200rpm )
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Old 03-29-2010, 09:43 AM   #10
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i thought i had seen the worst drivers in the world being near nj and ny, but then i went to california and my definition was redefined, sucks to know it's encouraged.
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Old 03-29-2010, 01:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tw34k View Post
Imagine that test but where the answers are based off how 80+ year old people drive.

Do not check lane you are merging into.

Best way to pull out onto a main road is wait till the last possible moment and hit the brakes once you pull out.

Turn signals are for ******.

Never do the appropriate thing and make a gap for people merging from a ending lane.

Cuz that's how we roll in florida.



Yeah man. I hate to say it but your state sucks *****. The worst drivers I have ever seen.



Joe, another quality post.
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Old 03-29-2010, 01:09 PM   #12
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Yeah man. I hate to say it but your state sucks *****. The worst drivers I have ever seen.



Joe, another quality post.

I like to think of myself as an exception.
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Old 03-29-2010, 01:52 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Rennkafer View Post
While it may look good on the test, in 10yrs of driving in CA freakin NO ONE knows those answers... or at least practices them.
Oh, the point of this wasn't to comment on drivers in CA, it was to comment on the state itself. In every other place where I've taken a D/L exam, the credited responses would have been "any time you or another motorist are exceeding the speed limit", or "maintain your speed and lane position", etc. Despite the bad rep that CA seems to get, they do appear to be the only state (except perhaps Montana (formerly) & Wyoming) where they actually come right out and say "Hey, if everyone else is speeding, it's safest if you speed also," or "Look, motorcyclists made a better decision than you, and as a result, we allow them to slip between lanes of traffic. Get over it."

Seriously, even the CHP motorcycle cops lane-split. Not sure I ever saw Ponch and John riding the lines, but you see it every day IRL.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Tw34k View Post
Imagine that test but where the answers are based off how 80+ year old people drive.
Oh, I know. I grew up in FL, and was back there for about a year recently.

The thing that really stood out in my mind was one day when I was at the DMV to register a car. There was a little old lady (and I do mean old getting her license renewed, and she was having trouble with the vision test. This lady was clearly blind as a bat- I mean, she could barely see the testing machine itself, much less the little projected letters inside it. Despite this, the testing agent was just bending over backwards trying to find some way to make this lady pass. After about 10 minutes, they even went aside into a darkened room where they apparently have a huge simplified chart (in printed form, not inside the little projector) set up to help people who can't pass, pass.

No such BS here. They have a bunch of eye charts hanging from the ceiling behind the desk, quite a ways above eye level, in regular ambient light. Selma says to you "Read me line 5 on chart 3" and you either can or you can't.

Several years ago, while I was living in CA, my step-grandfather had a couple of moderately severe strokes. Probably ~70-80% paralysis on his left side, he could walk with a walker, but just barely, as his arm wasn't working all that well either. Left side of face pretty much dead, drooled a lot, you get the picture. Did the state of FL think that this was reason enough to not re-issue him a license? Of course not.

One of the biggest concerns I always had was that someone was literally going to have a heart attack or a stroke behind the wheel, while right next to me, or while driving towards me on a non-divided road. This might seem like a silly concern, but those of you who haven't lived in coastal south FL just can't imagine the demographic...



Quote:
Originally Posted by miataspeed2005 View Post
I've been wanting to move back but it's not as easy as it sounds. Now you have me thinking about cali again, I hate you!
Yeah, I missed it so much I had to come back. Took a year and a half, but I made it happen.



Quote:
Originally Posted by FRT_Fun View Post
Unfortunately I have a red Miata that is just asking to get pulled over. I'm not risking some cop in a pissy mood to pick me out of a patch of cars doing 25 over.
Well, I drove a red, illegally turbocharged car here for a couple of years. Never had a problem.

One thing I've noticed over the years is that the cops here tend to be pretty reasonable. For starters, it's fairly uncommon to see a patrol car on the freeway, particularly during rush hour. Apparently, they know that their mere presence is enough to cause traffic jams, and they just don't do it.

The locals are quite reasonable as well. I did get pulled over twice in the four years I lived here last. The first time, I was doing 104 MPH in a 50 MPH zone, and I got a written warning. The second, I basically did a four-wheel drift through a right turn on a traffic light that had just turned red, and there was a cop sitting at the front of the line in the oncoming direction (to my left as I entered the turn) who of course pulled me over to have a few words. He let me off with just a stern talking-to.

Got pulled over as part of a group run a couple of years ago, too. A dozen or so illegally modified cars on Palomar, and we got off with no citations, too.

IOW, unless you're really trying (or an *******) it's actually pretty hard to get cited.

(I'm knocking on wood now, having written that.)

Quote:
(Not to mention 90 in the Miata is like 4200rpm )
Well, 90 is atypical. 80 is pretty common. That's slightly over 4k in my 4.30 car, but it doesn't seem to mind.
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Old 03-29-2010, 02:10 PM   #14
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i thought i had seen the worst drivers in the world being near nj and ny, but then i went to california and my definition was redefined, sucks to know it's encouraged.
Well, I guess it depends on your definition of "bad."

Down in Mira Mesa, I've learned that pretty much all of the stereotypes about Asian drivers are true. But the reality is that with a couple of exceptions, it's hard to generalize all of the drivers in a state one way or another.

Florida is one example of a fair generalization. The demographic is just too skewed for it to be any other way.

The NYC metro area (including NJ) is another. Drivers there are fairly aggressive, but on the other hand, they are able to function in a driving environment that's basically unlike any other outside of London or an active warzone. However I doubt that folks in Rochester or Utica would consider their brethren to the southeast to be a representative sample.


But everywhere else? Hell, just here in SoCal we've got everything; beach bums, regular ole' clock-punchers, the jetset, desert rats, even LA. On any given day, you'll just as likely pass by a Ford Model A, a '57 Bel-Air, and a F430 as a Corolla or a diesel Rabbit. (Well, more likely than the Rabbit, as they've been outlawed until just recently.) Just this past weekend, I was driving up I5 to Carlsbad, and on the side of the road there was a broken-down yellow Lamborghini Murciélago being hoisted up onto a rollback, with a CHP car in attendance, and folks just went about their business.
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Old 03-29-2010, 02:13 PM   #15
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Do people in california actually merge at the speed limit? My biggest complaint in washington is that people merge at 35mph and while I was in the south last week I was impressed to learn that everyone merges ABOVE the speed limit.
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Old 03-29-2010, 02:30 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Well, I guess it depends on your definition of "bad."

Down in Mira Mesa, I've learned that pretty much all of the stereotypes about Asian drivers are true. But the reality is that with a couple of exceptions, it's hard to generalize all of the drivers in a state one way or another.

Florida is one example of a fair generalization. The demographic is just too skewed for it to be any other way.

The NYC metro area (including NJ) is another. Drivers there are fairly aggressive, but on the other hand, they are able to function in a driving environment that's basically unlike any other outside of London or an active warzone. However I doubt that folks in Rochester or Utica would consider their brethren to the southeast to be a representative sample.


But everywhere else? Hell, just here in SoCal we've got everything; beach bums, regular ole' clock-punchers, the jetset, desert rats, even LA. On any given day, you'll just as likely pass by a Ford Model A, a '57 Bel-Air, and a F430 as a Corolla or a diesel Rabbit. (Well, more likely than the Rabbit, as they've been outlawed until just recently.) Just this past weekend, I was driving up I5 to Carlsbad, and on the side of the road there was a broken-down yellow Lamborghini Murciélago being hoisted up onto a rollback, with a CHP car in attendance, and folks just went about their business.
in reality i was kidding, there are horrible drivers everywhere, i just love hatin on california. but i must say some of the things i saw during my 1 week stay were horrifying. particularly large objects on the highway, i saw a chair bouncing down the center lane and what looked be a fire hose on 2 separate occasions. never once seen anything like that back home, though this is not necessarily due to bad drivers.

one thing i do like which your state shares with delaware and new york(maybe other but no PA) is the legal lane splitting. i don't condone doing this when there is nothing wrong with the traffic flow, but on a hot summer day sitting on an engine i do it even though it's not legal here.
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Old 03-29-2010, 02:48 PM   #17
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Do people in california actually merge at the speed limit?
Typically, yes.

In FL, that was one of my huge gripes. I-75 has huge, long on-ramps, and yet folks will typically tool along 'em at 45, and then panic when they find that traffic on the freeway is, for some inexplicable reason, going at 70 and they can't merge. It's not uncommon for folks to actually stop at the end of the ramp and wait for a gap at least half a mile long.

In CA, we have on-ramp metering in most of the urban areas. Basically, it's a drag launch at the ramp. Each lane (typically 2-3 lanes wide per ramp) has a red/green stoplight above or beside it, and for each green light, either one or two cars (as signed) may launch. After the launch, you typically have at least a half-mile runup before you have to merge, either because the lane is ending, or because the runup lane is becoming an exit-only lane for the next exit.

This system does a phenomenal job of preventing slowdowns on the freeway itself because of a dozen cars all trying to pile on at once. For the most part, drivers all launch at an acceptable rate, and achieve parity with traffic flow before merging. It can be a bit problematic when you have a heavily-loaded semi on the ramp, but the runup lane is typically wide enough that the next couple of launch groups can pass the truck as it is accelerating.

Perfect? No. But it's easily the best practical implementation I've seen yet.
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Old 03-29-2010, 02:56 PM   #18
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i'll corroborate joe's account of on ramps. people in CA do merge at the limit.

in virginia, i have (more than once) passed someone on an on ramp when they were stopped to merge.

pop quiz: is it harder to merge into 60 mph traffic from:

a) 0 mph

b) 30 mph

c) 60 mph

d) whoever answered "a" should be banned from driving.
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Old 03-29-2010, 03:03 PM   #19
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In the driving I have done around the country, I still think Atlanta is the worst when it comes to people who blatantly don't give a **** about learning or following traffic laws. Hell, I thought I'd want to kill everyone on my way out to L.A. but after 3 days and 1,000 miles of driving around, only one bitch in a Prius made me use my horn. She must have been from Atlanta as she went from the lar left lane to the exit ramp in one fell swoop with no blinker and had to cut the gord to do so and almost hit me. That is a hourly activity here. I mean, I drive from Grand Junction to Atlanta in 2 days and the exact moment I got to 285 (our perimeter) traffic turned into an instant free-for-all. It's amazing. Downtown Boston- no problem. Denver? Nada. L.A. traffic on a holiday weekend? Bring it. Salt Lake City? Cake walk. Dallas....slightly irritating. Atlanta? Get me out of here. We finally "got modern" and improvised those on-ramp flow signals and 70% of people still don't understand the concept. People stop at them when they aren't even on, they'll get a green light and be a ******* slow *** and start to go only for the light to change back to red for the car behind them but instead they'll slam on the brakes thinking they're about to run a red light, some people simply don't stop....and I want to kill them all.

CARB is the only reason I would not get along in Cali....unless I got to keep my car registered somewhere else.
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Old 03-29-2010, 03:10 PM   #20
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In the driving I have done around the country, I still think Atlanta is the worst when it comes to people who blatantly don't give a **** about learning or following traffic laws. Hell, I thought I'd want to kill everyone on my way out to L.A. but after 3 days and 1,000 miles of driving around, only one bitch in a Prius made me use my horn. She must have been from Atlanta as she went from the lar left lane to the exit ramp in one fell swoop with no blinker and had to cut the gord to do so and almost hit me. That is a hourly activity here. I mean, I drive from Grand Junction to Atlanta in 2 days and the exact moment I got to 285 (our perimeter) traffic turned into an instant free-for-all. It's amazing. Downtown Boston- no problem. Denver? Nada. L.A. traffic on a holiday weekend? Bring it. Salt Lake City? Cake walk. Dallas....slightly irritating. Atlanta? Get me out of here. We finally "got modern" and improvised those on-ramp flow signals and 70% of people still don't understand the concept. People stop at them when they aren't even on, they'll get a green light and be a ******* slow *** and start to go only for the light to change back to red for the car behind them but instead they'll slam on the brakes thinking they're about to run a red light, some people simply don't stop....and I want to kill them all.

CARB is the only reason I would not get along in Cali....unless I got to keep my car registered somewhere else.
+1 on ATL for worst driving. I have to prepare myself a few days prior if I'm going that way. NOBODY obeys road laws and common sense or common courtesy there. At least you guys have superior roads there. Smooth!
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