Road Rules–Pass on to Your Trimmers

The Humboldt hills get a lot of visitors this time of year.  Most aren’t used to the road and the unwritten rules.  Locals can get a bit testy about the results.  To me, the main rules are:

  1. Stay on your own side.
  2. If you don’t know the road, drive slowly.  And, if you do know the road, for this time of year you might want to drive slowly  anyway.  (To my neighbors, I’m trying to remember.  I’m getting better I swear.)
  3. Each neighborhood has its own rules.  Ask about them.  Respect them (even if you think they’re dumb.)
  4. Respect people. If you are rude to the neighbors, then the grower gets an earful and probably won’t be interested in hiring you next year.

Liz Davidson suggested the following rules if you haven’t yet learned the rules of your neighborhood. 

If you have 4wd, please use it.If you have 2wd, take it easy! Slow and steady gets you there and saves our road.

Keep right! Your half is not in the middle!

Watch for kids, especially after school.

Uphill traffic ALWAYS has the right of way. (‘Uphill’ means the grade, not whether you’re going to town or not.)

Pull over if necessary to let an oncoming vehicle pass by safely.

If you pull over at night, turn off your lights while the oncoming vehicle passes. [In our neighborhood, this one might be considered a little odd.]

SPEED LIMIT 20mph!

Respect our neighborhood

 

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39 comments

  • Having your headlights on at all times while driving forested roads is a good idea too. It gives oncoming drivers a little more time to react and adjust to you.

    Parents need to remind kids who are riding quads and motorcycles to watch out for drivers unfamiliar with their roads driving too fast down the middle and to slow down on blind curves. I know it’s hard to tell a younger person anything, but we have to try. There are several sad memorials to kids out here on the dirt roads who died in accidents—please no more new ones.

    And thanks for the reminders, they’re something I’m working on for myself, especially slowing down.

  • Thanks for posting on this topic Kym,

    This all sounds like good advice, except I’m not sure about the part about turning out your lights when pulled over at night. I guess the idea is not to blind the other driver(s). So I can understand the idea behind turning the headlights off, but in my opinion people should at LEAST keep their parking lights on.

    One thing I would add to the list is:

    When going down a steep grade, keep your vehicle in a low gear and proceed with caution at a safe speed.

    What I’m getting at are the yahoos who speed down a hill towards a curve, then slam on the brakes in order to (try to) make it around the curve. Please, people, keep it in a low gear and make sure your speed is appropriate for the coming curves in the road long before you get to them. This is important so that you don’t cross over into potential on-coming traffic when you reach the curve (or for that matter fail to negotiate the curve entirely and wind up off the road / over the bank / injured / dead / etc.), and also because you many need to YIELD TO UPHILL TRAFFIC at some point before, during, or after that next curve.

    Which brings me to the next point: It seems to me that the majority of the drivers I encounter on rural roads this time of year are either unaware of the “Uphill traffic always has right of way” rule, or they’re aware of it , but just don’t give a crap. Because I can’t even count the number of times I have been going up a steep grade on a relatively narrow road and I had to pull way over to the right and come to a near-stop as some jackass came barreling down the hill, not bothering to slow down one bit, much less pull over to the right themselves.

    I think it might be useful to start posting some signs on some of these hilly roads that say “uphill traffic ALWAYS has the right of way.” And maybe right at the top of narrow, steep grades post signs that warn downhill drivers to “yield to uphill traffic.”

    And of course, as you said, in general a lot of people need to just plain SLOW DOWN. That extra 5-10 mph of excessive speed rarely takes more than a couple minutes off the person’s trip, and it could end up costing them their life (and costing the lives of others). It’s just not worth it, folks. So chill, take the time and enjoy the scenery.

  • Thanks for posting on this topic Kym,

    This all sounds like good advice, except I’m not sure about the part about turning out your lights when pulled over at night. I guess the idea is not to blind the other driver(s). So I can understand the idea behind turning the headlights off, but in my opinion people should at LEAST keep their parking lights on.

    One thing I would add to the list is:

    When going down a steep grade, keep your vehicle in a low gear and proceed with caution at a safe speed.

    What I’m getting at are the yahoos who speed down a hill towards a curve, then slam on the brakes in order to (try to) make it around the curve. Please, people, keep it in a low gear and make sure your speed is appropriate for the coming curves in the road long before you get to them. This is important so that you don’t cross over into potential on-coming traffic when you reach the curve (or for that matter fail to negotiate the curve entirely and wind up off the road / over the bank / injured / dead / etc.), and also because you many need to YIELD TO UPHILL TRAFFIC at some point before, during, or after that next curve.

    Which brings me to the next point: It seems to me that the majority of the drivers I encounter on rural roads this time of year are either unaware of the “Uphill traffic always has right of way” rule, or they’re aware of it , but just don’t give a crap. Because I can’t even count the number of times I have been going up a steep grade on a relatively narrow road and I had to pull way over to the right and come to a near-stop as some jackass came barreling down the hill, not bothering to slow down one bit, much less pull over to the right themselves.

    I think it might be useful to start posting some signs on some of these hilly roads that say “uphill traffic ALWAYS has the right of way.” And maybe right at the top of narrow, steep grades post signs that warn downhill drivers to “yield to uphill traffic.”

    And of course, as you said, in general a lot of people need to just plain SLOW DOWN. That extra 5-10 mph of excessive speed rarely takes more than a couple minutes off the person’s trip, and it could end up costing them their life (and costing the lives of others). It’s just not worth it, folks. So chill, take the time and enjoy the scenery.

  • Yes, the switching off of lights is to enable the oncoming driver to see more clearly when approaching. It’s only for a few seconds. I appreciate it when folks do it for me, it’s easier to make the pass. Some folks don’t even know enough to turn down their brights.

    I like the idea of signs at the beginning of downhill grades.

    I actually had one eejit tell me that they were going uphill–meaning they were coming from town–when they were on a downhill grade. I guess he’d heard the local term, ‘heading up the hill’ meaning heading home and took it literally.

    I’d like to make it though the season with no accidents on our roads. Last fall on our road alone, a neighbor was hit head on at a blind curve ( thankfully no injuries). And another neighbor was sideswiped by someone going too fast and in the middle on the downhill.

    The driver in that second accident was also seriously loaded. The amount of driving under the influence during harvest is also something we should be aware of.

  • Yes, the switching off of lights is to enable the oncoming driver to see more clearly when approaching. It’s only for a few seconds. I appreciate it when folks do it for me, it’s easier to make the pass. Some folks don’t even know enough to turn down their brights.

    I like the idea of signs at the beginning of downhill grades.

    I actually had one eejit tell me that they were going uphill–meaning they were coming from town–when they were on a downhill grade. I guess he’d heard the local term, ‘heading up the hill’ meaning heading home and took it literally.

    I’d like to make it though the season with no accidents on our roads. Last fall on our road alone, a neighbor was hit head on at a blind curve ( thankfully no injuries). And another neighbor was sideswiped by someone going too fast and in the middle on the downhill.

    The driver in that second accident was also seriously loaded. The amount of driving under the influence during harvest is also something we should be aware of.

  • I was always told buy my logger uncle that .down hill always has the right of way .It’s way easier to back a truck down a grade than up a grade .I think the comerical truckers have it right

    • Zifster, that’s the way i heard it also, But maybe it is different on dirt roads. Can anybody clarify ?

      • Yup, in the logging woods the number one rule was that the “load’ always has the right of way, up down or sideways. Sometimes on steep hills the drivers had to work out the best situations. Having a CB radio was a requirement, and you had to call out at each mile marker, and whether you were inbound or outbound. The “Load” always had the inside bank, so sometimes it was left hand drive and other times it was right hand drive.
        The number two rule was to go like a bat out of hell, and everybody had damn well better remember the rules and stay well on their own side of the road. After a few trips it got pretty easy. the thought of a head on with a logging truck going like a bat out of hell was a good reminder.

        Ah… the good old days. Nowadays, if we were still logging, there would probably be a lot of squashed trimmers.

        • , if we were still logging, there would probably be a lot of squashed trimmers.

          I’ll be glad when all the old timers with sentiments like this are dead and gone.

          • i’ll be glad when all the idiots and hippies are dead and gone

            • Idiots, like the poor, will always be with us. Hippies, I fear are an endangered breed. If they go, I will miss the music and the magic they bring with them. Old timers too, with their crotchety complaints but willingness to jump in and help are endangered. The world will be a poorer place without them.

            • G Dog (AKA occupy everything)

              Reply to Hippies Suck:

              Wear gloves pal, your knuckles are dragging.

          • Anne on a mouse. your rude , get back on your mouse and ride out of town.

            • I don’t give credibility to violence and bias, whether it be about squashing trimmers, or newcomers, or hippies, blacks, homeless, homosexuals, mexicans, transients, vagrants, crazy people, chinese, american indians, woman, etc. etc. Even when it’s supposed to be a “joke”.

  • I was always told buy my logger uncle that .down hill always has the right of way .It’s way easier to back a truck down a grade than up a grade .I think the comerical truckers have it right

    • Zifster, that’s the way i heard it also, But maybe it is different on dirt roads. Can anybody clarify ?

      • Yup, in the logging woods the number one rule was that the “load’ always has the right of way, up down or sideways. Sometimes on steep hills the drivers had to work out the best situations. Having a CB radio was a requirement, and you had to call out at each mile marker, and whether you were inbound or outbound. The “Load” always had the inside bank, so sometimes it was left hand drive and other times it was right hand drive.
        The number two rule was to go like a bat out of hell, and everybody had damn well better remember the rules and stay well on their own side of the road. After a few trips it got pretty easy. the thought of a head on with a logging truck going like a bat out of hell was a good reminder.

        Ah… the good old days. Nowadays, if we were still logging, there would probably be a lot of squashed trimmers.

        • , if we were still logging, there would probably be a lot of squashed trimmers.

          I’ll be glad when all the old timers with sentiments like this are dead and gone.

          • i’ll be glad when all the idiots and hippies are dead and gone

            • Idiots, like the poor, will always be with us. Hippies, I fear are an endangered breed. If they go, I will miss the music and the magic they bring with them. Old timers too, with their crotchety complaints but willingness to jump in and help are endangered. The world will be a poorer place without them.

            • G Dog (AKA occupy everything)

              Reply to Hippies Suck:

              Wear gloves pal, your knuckles are dragging.

          • Anne on a mouse. your rude , get back on your mouse and ride out of town.

            • I don’t give credibility to violence and bias, whether it be about squashing trimmers, or newcomers, or hippies, blacks, homeless, homosexuals, mexicans, transients, vagrants, crazy people, chinese, american indians, woman, etc. etc. Even when it’s supposed to be a “joke”.

  • http://dmv.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/right_of_way.htm Up hill traffic has the right of way. It is the final section.

  • http://dmv.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/right_of_way.htm Up hill traffic has the right of way. It is the final section.

  • Even tho uphill traffic does have the right away, and that works great most of the time, large trucks with loads, or in my case a trailer full of horses, thats not always possible. I have had a couple uphill drivers actually continue past their turnout and park in the middle of road to get out and yell at me that I needed to back my 4 horse trailer back up the hill and around the bend because they had right of way.

  • Even tho uphill traffic does have the right away, and that works great most of the time, large trucks with loads, or in my case a trailer full of horses, thats not always possible. I have had a couple uphill drivers actually continue past their turnout and park in the middle of road to get out and yell at me that I needed to back my 4 horse trailer back up the hill and around the bend because they had right of way.

  • “If two vehicles meet on a narrow mountain road in which there is only room for one vehicle to travel at a time, the vehicle going downhill must yield to the vehicle traveling uphill. The downhill vehicle should pull over enough to allow the other vehicle through; unless it is more practical for the uphill vehicle to find a wider space or turnout.”

    The “load” consideration is only practical when it is practical. An 18-wheeler with a full load can practically go into reverse to yield right-of-way to an uphill motorist unless they are already occupying the road where the uphill motorist has a better oppirtunity to pull over. The true traffic safety rule is to always turn out to other vehicles whenever it is practical. Insisting on the right of way when it is practical to yield is never a safe practice.

  • “If two vehicles meet on a narrow mountain road in which there is only room for one vehicle to travel at a time, the vehicle going downhill must yield to the vehicle traveling uphill. The downhill vehicle should pull over enough to allow the other vehicle through; unless it is more practical for the uphill vehicle to find a wider space or turnout.”

    The “load” consideration is only practical when it is practical. An 18-wheeler with a full load can practically go into reverse to yield right-of-way to an uphill motorist unless they are already occupying the road where the uphill motorist has a better oppirtunity to pull over. The true traffic safety rule is to always turn out to other vehicles whenever it is practical. Insisting on the right of way when it is practical to yield is never a safe practice.

  • often your so community helpful-thanks-1 acre of hemp=20 of trees-

  • often your so community helpful-thanks-1 acre of hemp=20 of trees-

  • Funny you should bring this up. We were nearly hit by a local yahoo jamming down the dirt road at 35 MPH in his beat up little white truck, swerving around us, and burning out in a storm of dust without even a pause– like a bat out of hell and oblivious to us or his surroundings.

    We were stopped at the turnout of the Honeydew-Mattole road where it meets… Kemp Road.

  • Funny you should bring this up. We were nearly hit by a local yahoo jamming down the dirt road at 35 MPH in his beat up little white truck, swerving around us, and burning out in a storm of dust without even a pause– like a bat out of hell and oblivious to us or his surroundings.

    We were stopped at the turnout of the Honeydew-Mattole road where it meets… Kemp Road.

  • It’s a pity that common sense can’t be taught. The exception to the uphill rule is a common sense one.

  • It’s a pity that common sense can’t be taught. The exception to the uphill rule is a common sense one.

  • So I have a concern about our comunity. In recent years I have noticed, as im sure you have noticed, a huge growth of the transiant population in Garberville/Redway during harvest season. These people are here with the hopes of finding trim work… They hold sighn’s with pictures of sisors and the words “need work”. Why the hell would any of you hire these people??!!! You dont know them.. I cant walk three feet from my truck without being asked for a hand out of some sort!! It gets to be to much!!! Please boycott these “workers”! Maybe if they cant find work they will leave and not come back next year! Lets keep our area a place we want to be. Thank you! You’re neibor Chad Kirk.

  • So I have a concern about our comunity. In recent years I have noticed, as im sure you have noticed, a huge growth of the transiant population in Garberville/Redway during harvest season. These people are here with the hopes of finding trim work… They hold sighn’s with pictures of sisors and the words “need work”. Why the hell would any of you hire these people??!!! You dont know them.. I cant walk three feet from my truck without being asked for a hand out of some sort!! It gets to be to much!!! Please boycott these “workers”! Maybe if they cant find work they will leave and not come back next year! Lets keep our area a place we want to be. Thank you! You’re neibor Chad Kirk.

  • “Respect our neighborhood.”
    Then I suggest rule #1 should be: Do not bring illegal acitivity and criminals into the neighborhood.
    Just because you don’t think growing should be illegal it does not change the fact that IT IS! I do not appreciate the growers bringing this negative element into the neighborhood. It is NOT being a good neighbor.

  • “Respect our neighborhood.”
    Then I suggest rule #1 should be: Do not bring illegal acitivity and criminals into the neighborhood.
    Just because you don’t think growing should be illegal it does not change the fact that IT IS! I do not appreciate the growers bringing this negative element into the neighborhood. It is NOT being a good neighbor.

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