Road Test - Right Turn On Red

Topic 22070 | Page 1

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Kevin K's Comment
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For the last eight weeks I have attended what is allegedly the top tech school truck driving program in the state. I'm on track for a 4.0 and perfect attendance yet I failed my road test yesterday because I followed the instructions our instructors have been instructing us all class long.

The day started well enough. I got Form A (engine) on the pre-trip and hit 44 out of 47. I missed two because I didn't physically touch the part I mentioned.

Skills test went smooth as well. One pull up each on the offset (nerves) and 90 degree. No GOALs. A perfect "zero."

Road test went well too until the last stoplight on the course. I was told to turn right and the light went from yellow to red the moment I stopped at the line in the right turn only lane. There was also a "Stop" sign at that line. Kinda like this if you can picture it:


I have been told throughout the class by the instructors, "don't turn right on red, there's no law that says you have to turn, better safe than sorry," yada yada yada... I have stopped at this particular light and sign multiple times and waited through the cycle while cars stacked up behind me.

I failed because I was "impeding traffic." I have nearly 20 years experience driving vans and straight trucks for a living and have always turned right on red at lights and signs when it was legal and safe to do so. It was only when I got to this class and followed instructions I didn't agree with or feel comfortable with that it caused me to fail.

I'm ticked. My instructors are ticked (if a little chagrined). If you read all this - thank you -- and what say you?

Brett Aquila's Comment
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I say your instructors were 100% correct and the person who failed you is completely wrong. There is no law that says you have to make a right on red. It's obviously more dangerous to do so than it is to wait on green so taking the safer way out should never be punished.

Not only that, but I don't feel the person testing you was keeping the nature of the road test in mind. The test is to see if you understand the basics of handling a vehicle and whether or not you have the nerve to handle the pressure. Failing you over something like that is not the intent of a driving exam.

You didn't break any laws, you made the safest judgment, and you handled the vehicle well. You should have been passed. The person giving the test did you a disservice.

I'm going to tell you something incredibly important right now and I hope you'll keep this in mind. A huge number of the accidents that new drivers get into are because they get in a hurry. They don't want to hold up traffic or make someone wait while they're trying to get backed into a tight spot. They wind up rushing things and back into something or get in a little fender bender because they weren't watching their mirrors properly.

Trucks hold up traffic. That's a fact of life that you'll have to deal with every day. Get used to it and get used to ignoring it. If you get nervous holding people up it's only a matter of time until you run into something. So don't worry about that. There are times you'll have to wait for other trucks and in return there will be times others will wait on you. If they get angry about it then that's their shortcoming. They should have a better perspective on driving. Don't let that concern you. Safety is the only thing that matters.

Kevin K's Comment
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That's excellent advice and something that wasn't stressed much in school. Slowing down and holding up traffic makes me anxious and I start missing and grinding gears which just makes me more frustrated and anxious. I'm kind of dreading backing into tricky docks as a newbie and holding up the pros who just want to get their route done and go home. It's good to know that I did nothing wrong. I re-take the road test portion on Tuesday.


Operating While Intoxicated

PackRat's Comment
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I'd be more upset with the grader than I would be with anything or anyone else. Truck impeding traffic kind of goes with the job. I'd rather be safe and stop, too. I seldom make a right on red; maybe less than 20% of the time. Hope you get a different evaluator next time. If not, demand another person before you begin, because that was a completely incompetent call. I'd be more than upset, too.

Deke's Comment
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It is actually against our company policy to turn on red.

Diver Driver's Comment
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That is such garbage. Impeding traffic is taking the left lane and doing 10 mph under the speed limit and not passing anyone. NOT deciding not to turn on red.

Chuck 's Comment
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That has to be dumbest reason to fail someone on a road test that I have ever heard of. What the heck is wrong with that person? I mean would they rather you pull out at the wrong time and cause a wreck instead? Man you should have been commended for being safe and passed. Sorry about the misfortune you had, bang it out on Tuesday and be done with it.

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