Brooklyn is a unique place to live, work and, especially, drive.
Driving anywhere in New York City—in any of the boroughs—can be a challenge. But Brooklyn is almost a country within a country. And some specific rules apply here.
Let’s start with some basic Brooklyn road manners. Pedestrians, at times, may seem to be of a mindset that they—not motor vehicles—own the roadways. That’s not true, of course, but don’t try to convince them of that fact.
Always look both ways at intersections and school crossings. It could save a life.
And then, there’s the matter of the use of car horns. Drivers love them; pedestrians, not so much. Be prepared to use your horn—loud noises are needed to get the attention of those walkers who love their headphones—but also be prepared for the backlash you’ll get from pedestrians. Flipping the bird, it is rumored, started in Brooklyn.
Needless to say, stop signs are all too often optional in Brooklyn. A rolling stop for one of those annoying red octagons at street corners is commonplace. Of course, that’s illegal but it’s almost a tradition in the borough.
The same thing goes for a red stop traffic signal. Drivers will almost always really stop their vehicles for one of those, but they love to try to time the upcoming green light. It’s almost a rite of passage to zoom through the intersection exactly as the red light turns green.
Likewise, with the amber caution light, whose purpose is to let the driver know the light is about to turn red and to slow down. Unfortunately, many drivers seem to think that amber light means, “Speed up and beat the red light.” Pedestrians beware.
And, of course, other drivers (and pedestrians) must be aware that there are some drivers who feel the speed limit on local streets and byways are set much too low. Leadfooted drivers and would-be NASCAR enthusiasts are everywhere.
This is not to say Brooklyn drivers are dangerous and reckless. Most of them—especially those who receive instruction from Drive Rite Academy—are responsible and considerate. But, Brooklyn being Brooklyn, skill sets will vary.
Drivers: Slow down and exercise caution at all times. Pedestrians: Be careful out there.