I was talking to a New York State Trooper today. Among other things, we were discussing the Amish. What he was saying pertains to us (Model T drivers). If you have traffic in back of you, and you need to pull over to let the traffic go by. DO NOT wave the traffic on. If you do, and an accident results, you would be held responsible for the accident.
You can bet an attorney would be right on it.
Before I retired I worked for the City of Aiken, SC. When we had equipment working in the streets, we'd always use a flagger. That was until 4 years or so ago when a citizen was in an accident and sued the City because the flagger told him to go. That stopped immediately and even as a driver, we were not allowed to flag a motorist around.
I wave a certain "flag" at guys who cut me off on the freeway. I usually do it simultaneously with a honk of the horn. They usually wave their "flag" back at me. Sometimes we stop and exchange pleasantries.
Does that flag also tell you how strong the wind is blowing?
It does if he sticks it out the window. LOL
I always pull over (if safe) whenever two or more cars are behind me. That is of course unless someone is tailgating (one car length or less.) In that case, I slow down to whatever speed is necessary in order to educate the "tailgater" that I do not reward bad behavior.
When Being tailgated in my T, for whatever reason, young black women are the usual offenders. I'm not making a generalization, just an observation. This observation isn't intended as any form of racism or profiling, it just happens to be the status quo where I live.
All I can say is that the Butt Sniffers (that's what I call them) must love the smell of model t ford exhaust...Why else would they travel so close!
>> If you have traffic in back of you, and you need to pull over to let the traffic go by, don't wave but pull over. . .
My question is, are we obligated to let faster traffic go by?
So what if you are going the speed limit and still have cars piled in back of you, all of whom want to go ten miles an hour over the speed limit? Are we forced to pull over to let them go by?
But what if we are going, say, 5 mph under the speed limit? How about 10 mph under the speed limit? Is it illegal to drive under the speed limit??
Happens all the time. . . .
I pull over IF there is a safe place in which to do so, I will not pull over on a narrow shoulder or where no emergency lane exist. Texas has some of the best roads for T's in my opinion. Here I do travel on quite a few back country roads but for going any distance would rather use good four lane roads(not interstate). I am insured as my modern vehicles are and pay my taxes so feel I have a right to be on the road. The big thing I think is to be more aware of what is coming up behind you. I do not drive at night unless accidently caught out, then I have a magnetic red flashing light I stick on the back, I had rather get stopped for the flashing light than plowed into from behind. You just have to remember a model T is not a toy and will kill you the same as any other car, This in my opinion only. KGB
There are very few places where I live that a T can actually DO the speed limit. Even side roads are 45/50. Would I pull over? You bet I did. Their going to overtake/pass me at the first opportunity any way simply because I'm in the way. Their not all nuts. It's just that watching me bounce along at 30/35 MPH gets old very shortly. It's an accident avoidance issue which I'll come out the worse for without a doubt if one occurs. Do you have the right to be on that road and operate your car safely? Yes. Watching out for your own butt is a choice not a right.
Would you rather have the car behind you attempt to pass you illegally and cause an accident or you pull over and have that driver think "oh wow T drivers are so courteous".
I drive 12 miles of back roads every day and there is often one mensa reject that can't wait for a straight-a-way to pass me illegally, so he passes me on a curve. I let these drivers go by because if they are going to do something stupid I don't want to be near them when they wreck. I don't care if they kill themselves, but please don't invite me along. By the way this driving skill by others is displayed when I am driving my modern car and I am no slouch on the road.
I agree with Charlie and Bill. Most of my T driving is locally around my own small town. I go out of my way to make sure I don't hold up traffic because I'm going to see those same people on the next drive, and the next, and I want them to remember their encounter with a Model T as a pleasant experience, not as a nuisance.
Are you obligated to move over? No and yes. Depending on your state's laws, you may not be legally required to move over. But common courtesy and enlightened self-interest say you should. Now that many states have encouraged every unstable yahoo and incompetent boob to pack heat, it's wise to avoid stoking the fires of road rage.
On some roads there actually is a minimum speed requirement. On some interstates I've seen a 45mph minimum posted. This has no impact on my T driving, as I stay off high speed roads unless I'm driving a high speed vehicle.
I'm lucky enough to live where the population density is rather sparse. I can safely drive on US highways most of the time without undue traffic building up behind me. When it does, I do try to find a place to pull off and let them pass. It's just common courtesy. To my knowledge, no law requires it, but the Golden Rule does.
As an aside, last weekend, we went up to the North Georgia mountains. We trailered the Model A up there and drove it around while we were up there. Lot's of bicycles on those twisting turning roads. I was courteous to them, not passing them until it was clear to get into the other lane. Then on one downhill stretch (No place to pull over), I was passed on the left by one bicycle on the double yellow, then passed on the right by his buddy. This one cut me off as I was about to cut toward the inside of a right hand curve. It really pissed me off. Of course, I caught up to them going up the next hill. I thought seriously about giving him a nice loud AHOOOOOGA as I approached him from the rear, but thought better of it.
If it looks like a snake and slithers like a snake.......it's a lawyer!
I have several problems. One is when I am going uphill and a string of cars forms behind me. I try to wait to the top of the hill to pull over, because if I stop while going uphill, I can't get up the speed to shift out of low and am going even slower. Sometimes I can find a place long enough to pull over and keep moving and if the cars pass quickly, I can go back on the road and still maintain speed. Unfortunately, these days I find that when I pull over someone will slow down either to ask what year my car is, and or take a picture of it, so that by the time I get to the end of the wide space, I have to stop and same old problem.
Keith, that flashing red to the rear is illegal in most states. "Amber" flashing lights are available in the same magnetic base light and are legal. (been stopped for the flashing red)
Back in 92 we had a national tour out of Dillon Colorado. Dillon is real close to I-90 Free Way. Someone got out on the Free Way with his T. and drove about 10 miles. A state congressman got behind him and was mad. The congressman introduced a bill in the Colorado State Legislature to band car of certain years from using certain highways. The Bill failed but it goes to show that T drivers should use their common sense when driving. If enough don't try to be courteous we WILL eventually get some bad laws.
Side bar: I drive one of my Ts each morning for coffee with some guys. I use a very busy FOUR LANE HIGHWAY (287). I have a flashing orange magnetic light on the back of my T. ALL the state patrolman wave and smile. I glance in my outside rear view mirror at each car as it approaches, if it does not look like it will go around me I have a WIDE paved shoulder I can pull over on. It is as wide as the regular lanes
Be careful with the flashing light thing in Florida a couple of years ago they passed a law that if you had your 4-ways on you had to be off to the side of the road I have 3 on my roadster in a triangle (slow moving vehicle) on the spare tire. The law isn't enforced to any great degree but if it looks like 4-ways and the constable had a fight with his teenage son.... you know the rest of the story
Back when I was a kid, there was this thing called "Courtesy of the Road." Truck drivers, reputed to be the most stringent practitioners of this philosophy, were known as "The Knights of the Road." Gentlemen tipped their hats to ladies and held doors open for them. On busses and subways, young people got up and gave their seats to the elderly. Kids played outside all day long, came home at sundown and parents had no reason to worry. If a teacher accidentally dropped a blackboard eraser or piece of chalk, the entire male population of the class would pounce and the kid who gave the teacher the biggest piece was the winner.
That was then. This is now.
A few blocks from my home is a car in somebody's driveway with a bumper-sticker that says, "Courtesy my ass! This is Noo Yawk!" I think that pretty much sums it up. Our culture and society have been coarsened to the point where Monday night television on CBS is a primetime-long string of dirty jokes, double-entendres and borderline four-letter words (and the show, "Two Broke Girls" is the worst offender).
The Greatest Generation developed a set of values forged in hardship. Their reward for surviving the Great Depression was WW-II. After saving the world—and every nation that is free today has the United States to thank for it—the Greatest Generation elected a man who said, "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country!" Try selling that concept today. Then, the Greatest Generation sent men to the Moon and back—again, to paraphrase Mr. Kennedy, "Not because it was easy, but because it was hard!" Then, there was this other man who said, "I have a dream!" The Civil Rights Movement was born and equality became enforced law. Finally, to top it all off, the Berlin Wall fell and The Greatest Generation won the Cold War.
That was an America better than we have today. It's that simple. Once upon a time, we had class. Today, we have... well, what we have.
Here the flashing red are used on the end of long poles hauled to the paper mills and such, I have never had a problem. Like I say though, I don't drive at night except when caught out accidently. KGB
AS mentioned above, "pull over" laws vary by state but common courtesy should be a constant. In Washington (state) there law says that you must pull over when safe if you are impeding 5 or more vehicles. Not unique to vintage cars, it applies to all vehicles.
I only know of one Model T driver who has been ticketed but several have been warned. Whenever we have a local tour that will travel some faster roads we encourage folks to watch their mirrors and be courteous to those coming from behind. We also encourage folks not to bunch up so passing cars have a place to merge in.
The more we enforce our "right" to be on the road, the more likely there will be restrictions. It's really easy to play nice and get the friendly wave. If you're driving a T you probably aren't in that much of a hurry anyway.
I agre and know the NYS law and several other states as I was in the O2O tour. some states required the slow moving triangle some states not. NYS does not allow slow moving triangle on the back of a registered motor vehicle. nor can you drive on the shoulder! if you pull over to let traffic by you must stop. I avoid the shoulder at all times, this is where you can hit a car that is parked, pedestrian, bicycle, animal (dead or alive) lots of nails, screws, lumber, plastic and metal car parts and stuff that has fallen from other vehicles. none of it I want to run over or hit in my T. I also do not straddle the white fog line. that is an invitation for cars to pass, plus you can hit the above mentioned stuff on the shoulder. if they want to pass, legal or illegal let them. I am courteous to cars that are behind me, and very seldom have seen upset drivers.i recently drove my T from mile marker 60 to mile 0 in key west florida. speed limit is 35, 45 and 55 in spots. many cars did pass, some legal some illegal, lots of pictures, waves etc. only 1 car on the way down and 1 car on the way back was mad and flew the bird and laid on the horn. not bad for a 120 mile trip. I say, use common sense and courtesy, do not drive on the shoulder, be very alert to the traffic behind you. yes I have been passed on the right! you never know. when teaching my nephews to drive a T I have always taught them to expect the unexpected from the cars behind you, especially when preparing to turn left or right off of the road, someone will be trying to pass you at the same time, they don't know what hand signals are. just sayin
Do they even teach hand signals in driver school any more?
Last time I gave a left turn hand signal while driveing my TT I was trying to turn in the driveway here at home.
A car sped up and went around me when I had my wheels turned and was fixen to make the turn.
Working for Dot for 14 years I learned it doesnt matter what you do, there are fools on the road and there are also sheep.1 car does something stupid,another will follow.
Mack they do teach hand signals in drivers ed however nobody in my school knows them but me and that was on the test! my generation is terrible, has anyone put a time machine on a T, John Regan I hope you got the hint I feel a need to go back to 1955 and not have to hit 88mph
The driver's book in NJ has the signals in it, but they don't test you on them on your road test.
The powers that be in Calif (at least the ones that have not been arrested yet) have decided that hand signals are illegal IF your car is equipped with mechanical signals. Now most new drives have no clue what a hand signal is.
California law says you must pull over at the first available spot if there are 5 or more cars behind you.
The only hand signal most folks know these days is the raised middle finger! You mostly get it from young folks that are so sure that they are so important that they must not be delayed for any reason or from urban Cowboys in Chevy trucks with modified loud mufflers. I have found that your ratio of flat tires to pulling over to let cars go by increases by a big number for every time you pull over to let people pass. I try to pull over for regular traffic but do not pull over for tailgater's and decrease speed according to how close they are to the back of my car. We all have paid our taxes to be able to use the road. I am always amazed how many cars will fall in behind a T and not pass when they could do so without any problem and soon accumulate a long line of traffic behind them. You sometimes have to pull off onto a side road or a rest stop to let the line of traffic go by. I would like to use the middle finger salute to them most of the time but it is sort of self defeating as they are just like us and are enjoying life while driving in the slow lane. YMMV.
So reading your replies, I have two questions:
1) >>California law says you must pull over at the first available spot if there are 5 or more cars behind you.
What if I am driving 35 mph in a 35 mph zone and I have five cars behind me all wanting to do 50. I am required to let them pass, even though I am doing the speed limit?
I practice courtesy all the time for every reason mentioned. I do believe in my lifetime we will see any car not capable of 65+ being legislated off the roads, like the case in Colorado. I'm trying to forestall that as long as possible by being a nice guy. But with most people wanting to drive as fast as they possibly can, speed limit be damned, I don't feel obligated to let them pass if I am driving the speed limit. I wait for a passing zone where they pass me on their own.
2)New York apparently does not allow four-way flashers while moving AND does not allow a slow triangle on a registered motor vehicle.
So what are you supposed to do??? If I need to drive a short distance on a road where I can't do the speed limit (and where everyone wants to go 20 mph above the speed limit), how do I signal in advance to oncoming traffic that I am a slow moving vehicle?
I am trying to understand the states that prohibit four-way flashers when a vehicle is moving. Why? The flashers are a warning that the vehicle requires extra attention because there is something out of the ordinary about it. When I have driven through the Rockies, the 18-wheelers that are pulling a long uphill at 25 mph always turn on their flashers. In town, if a car is having problems and is limping along at 15 mph to get to a garage, the four-way flashers are on. Why would they be prohibited exactly when they are needed and useful?
Dick, it's because New York's legislature is especially adept at passing idiotic laws. They also forbid the restoration of YOM plates. Many states seem to delight in enacting legislation that would make Franz Kafka proud, but New York seems to take the cake for legal folly.
Yeah, Steve, nothing hard to believe about that. Perhaps a good argument for finding something for New York (and other) legislators to do to fill their spare time...
I WA state you would not have to pull over if you are doing the speed limit and have 5 vehicles behind you. You have to be a slow moving vehicle for the rule to apply. From the drivers manual, "If you are driving a slow moving vehicle on a two-lane road where it is unsafe to pass, and five or more vehicles are in a line behind you, you must pull over and stop when safe to let them pass." Driving the speed limit is not a slow moving vehicle.
Here's something I found. Individual states will vary, but it seems good advice in general:
The Law says: No person shall drive upon a highway at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation, because of a grade, or compliance with the law.
The elements of this violation are:
1)You drove on a highway at a speed less than the "normal and reasonable" speed of traffic.
2)Your reduced speed was not made necessary by safe operation or a grade, and
3)You were not speeding.
The success or failure of your defense will normally pivot on whether you can convince the judge that your view of events was more reasonable than that of the officer's. Your best defense is to show that your slow speed was reasonable because of road, weather, or traffic conditions. An officer trying to make this one stick will likely testify that you were driving below the speed limit and holding up a long line of frustrated, finger-gesturing, horn-honking drivers. The law will excuse your slow driving if you can show:
1)You were traveling at the posted speed limit, or safely above it in a "presumed" speed-limit state, or
2)You were driving slower than the posted speed, but lower speed was "necessary for safe operation" of your vehicle.
During cross-examination ask the officer, "How fast was traffic moving when I was stopped?" If the officer claims not to remember (but can remember that cars were trying to get past you), you should prevail if you can testify that you were driving at the speed limit while the cars trying to pass you were attempting to violate the posted limit.
What's interesting is, is it a valid defense that it would have been unsafe to operate your vehicle at a faster speed??
Basically, even though there are truly arcane laws (especially in NY), frequently it is the judgement of the officer whether to issue a citation or look the other way. I've driven for 30-some years with four-way flashers on busy roads as well as have always had a slow triangle, but was never stopped. In fact, this is the first I've heard that you can't use either one (which is also bizarre. Why not allow yourself to be more easily seen???)
Bottom line seems to be, be as reasonably courteous and friendly to other drivers as you can, even though they want to run you off the road.
One aspect of other drivers that you have to think about is: Road Rage, which can go along with drunk driving and drug driving. Even though you maybe in the right, the Model T is no match for an idiot behind the wheel of a modern car. An instance that happened locally in a road rage: the driver chased the guy down and kept smashing into his pickup until he drove him off the road. The guy was killed. The driver that did this was no young hot shot, he was in his mid 70's.
A road rage incident happened to us on a T Tour. A guy was driving an 18 wheeler on a main road, we were at the intersection waiting to turn on his road, he went by in the other direction leaning out his window yelling profanity's and flipping us off. We had no idea what his problem was, unless at some other point he was held up by T drivers.
Better off to give a little than to be DEAD right.
I say, why be an ass - if I've got cars piling up behind me, I pull over and let them go by, regardless of who's doing the speed limit or not.
They obviously want to go faster than I do so what skin off my nose is it?
I never understood the attitude.
And there's a big difference between one jerk tailgater and a parade of cars tailing.
I'm with Daniel on this. Far better, in my opinion, to pull over and let someone go by just ASAP so they look back at the T with a smile and not the one-finger salute!
We were driving the Touring yesterday and I was telling my wife about some of the asinine laws some of you have mentioned. I pulled over to let some cars pass. I told her that in some states, I would be required to come to a complete stop when I pulled over. Where I pulled over, my left wheel was still on asphalt, my right wheel was in the dirt/grass. I just cut the throttle and was slowing, but not braking, and intended to pull back on the road when the last car passed. I told her that I would just have to tell the cop that I was in the process of stopping, just hadn't gotten there yet. I bet they would be hard pressed to cite a specific distance one would have to stop in under those circumstances. While I have been pulled over in antique cars, I certainly wouldn't classify our local law enforcement as unfriendly to antique cars. They generally look the other way for a lot of things. No one gets speeding tickets unless they are at least 10 over. No one gets tickets for running stop signs unless they truly just blew threw it. If you slow down and can make sure nothing is coming, you're not getting a ticket for not coming to an absolute complete stop. Same goes for SMV triangles on vehicles moving faster than 25 mph and same goes for flashing red lights. Our cops use common sense and are trying to make sure everyone is safe. If what you are doing is safe, even if it may be technically against some law, most will not mess with you. To hear some of you guys tell it, I don't even want to drive through your state, much less live there.
Boy Hal, your post is right on in my opinion! Most police officers are good guys, but there are some out there who don't care much about common sense, and they know nothing about the concept of "the spirit of the law" vs the law itself... Of course, I am blessed to live in an area of beautiful "Model T" roads in every direction and very little traffic, so I don't have to face many of the problems a lot of others have. PS: Anyone want to come visit and get in some great touring????????
Joe, I'd love to come up there and tour the UP. I was last up there in '77 on a solo motorcycle trip around the US and met up with some of the birds you call mosquito's. Beautiful country!
"Most police officers are good guys..."
Yes, I am aware of one in particular ;>)
While on the recent Florida Winter Tour, one of our group was stopped by police because he was going less than 20 MPH below the posted speed limit. That appeared to be the law. When the T driver stated to the officer that there were possibly + 70 more like him to follow, he let him go with a verbal warning. But who knew? Should we read the MV laws in each state we tour in? I agree with Doug, the shoulder is where the tires go flat, but I will now not signal when pulled over to let modern traffic pass! They can do so at their own risk.