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5 Common Traffic Violations in Missoula

Photo courtesy of martinhoward/Flickr
When you first got your driver’s license, you were probably extra careful when it came to following the rules of the road. But, as time goes on, most drivers start to get a little lazy, and some end up developing some pretty bad habits. Lately, I’ve noticed a lot of rule-breaking on the streets of Missoula. Everyone could use a little driver’s ed refresher — so take a look at these five commonly overlooked traffic rules.


Photo courtesy of martinhoward/Flickr
Photo courtesy of martinhoward/Flickr
1

U-turns

 
 

In Montana, you’re allowed to make a U-turn on any country, two-lane road if it can be done safely. But, there is a long list of places where flipping a U-ie is illegal, including business districts, main highways, residential areas and intersections with traffic signals.

 
Photo courtesy of cincooldesigns/Flickr
Photo courtesy of cincooldesigns/Flickr
2

Four-way stops

 
 

I find it very irritating when drivers choose to ignore — or, perhaps, are just ignorant of — four-way stop right-of-way rules. First, you must come to a full and complete stop. The first car to arrive at the intersection goes first. If you arrive at the intersection at the same time as another car, yield to the driver on your right (or, if you are to the right of the other driver, you should go first).

 
Photo courtesy of dewet/Flickr
Photo courtesy of dewet/Flickr
3

Emergency vehicles

 
 

If you see and hear sirens moving toward you or coming up behind you, signal and pull over to the right edge of the road until the emergency vehicle has passed. If you are in an intersection, move through the intersection and then pull over.

 
Photo courtesy of Cyren/Flickr
Photo courtesy of Cyren/Flickr
4

Parking

 
 

There are all sorts of rules about parallel parking, most of which are designed to ensure a safe amount of visibility for other drivers. It is unlawful to park: closer than 20 feet to a crosswalk at an intersection; closer than 30 feet to a stop sign, traffic light or flashing light; closer than 15 feet to a fire hydrant; or closer than 20 feet to a fire station.

 
Photo courtesy of Martin Cathrae/Flickr
Photo courtesy of Martin Cathrae/Flickr
5

Roundabouts

 
 

These circular intersection features were designed to help ease the flow of traffic, but you must still approach them with caution. I’ve seen too many people blow through roundabouts without even checking for other cars. You should always yield to vehicles that are already in the roundabout as you merge into the flow of traffic. If there is a high volume of traffic flow, you might actually have to come to a complete stop.

 

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