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23.3.515    DRIVING EXAMINATION FOR CLASS A, B, AND C ENDORSEMENTS

(1) The driving examination for class A, B, and C endorsements is given over a test route divided into scoring sections. Up to 6 behaviors are scored at each scoring section. The accumulation of 25 errors constitutes failure of the test.

(2) "Stopping" occurs when the driver begins deceleration to a stop and ends when he has pulled away after the stop. Stopping is scored at the first 5 places along the test route where the driver must come to a complete stop. Scoring ceases after 5 scoreable stops. The following elements of stopping are scored:

(a) Downshifting. When downshifting is properly done the transmission is shifted to the gear appropriate to the vehicle speed, the applicant shifts without hesitation (does not coast in neutral) , the vehicle does not lurch or jerk noticeably when the clutch is released, lugging the engine or excessive revving is avoided, gears are shifted smoothly without missing or clashing gears. The applicant generally must downshift through the gear pattern when reducing speed. A downshifting error is not recorded if traffic prevents the applicant from successfully shifting down through the gears to decelerate, or is moving too slow for the applicant's vehicle to reach an initial speed sufficient to require downshifting.

(b) Braking. Assessment begins when the brake is first applied and ends when the vehicle comes to a complete stop. The applicant must regulate brake pressure to bring the vehicle to a complete stop without excessive deceleration.

(c) Stopping point. The applicant must bring the vehicle to a complete stop at a designated point. Assessment of this performance takes place after the vehicle has come to a complete stop. The vehicle's front bumper must be within 3 feet of a delineated pedestrian crosswalk or stop line, but not beyond it.

(d) Pulling away. The applicant must accelerate his vehicle smoothly from a stopped position. Assessment of this performance takes place at the initial point of movement. The applicant must not accelerate excessively, and the engine must remain running.

(3) "Turning" occurs as the applicant begins a turning maneuver from one street to another, and ends after he has upshifted through four gears after completing the turn. The following elements of turning are scored:

(a) Speed. The applicant must adjust speed to safely negotiate a turn at an intersection. Assessment begins as the vehicle reaches the intersection and ends when it enters the new travel lane. The turn must be completed without excessive outward force, no braking may occur during the turn, and speed may not fall more than 4 m.p.h. below normal for the turn.

(b) Mirror checks. The applicant must check the appropriate mirror during a right or left turn to observe for clearance from other vehicles or roadside objects. Assessment of this maneuver occurs when the rear of the vehicle reaches the apex of the turn, or is nearest to any obstruction.

(c) Single turn lane. The applicant must position the vehicle close enough to the right side of the road to prevent being passed on the right when preparing for a tight right turn. Assessment of this performance begins upon approaching the intersection and ends when the vehicle has reached the apex of the turn. The vehicle must remain within 6 feet of the roadside (curb, shoulder, or parked vehicles) until the front of the vehicle has entered the new street.

(d) Multiple turn lanes. The applicant must use the proper lane when turning where multiple turn lanes are available. For a right turn the applicant must position the vehicle within the far left lane. For a left turn, the applicant must position the vehicle within the far right lane.

(e) Lanekeeping. The applicant must keep the vehicle within a single lane while turning. Assessment begins when the vehicle starts the turn and ends when trailer wheels clear the curb area. The applicant must negotiate the turn without the rear wheels touching or crossing the road edge, a lane delineator, or the curb.

(f) Cancel signal. The applicant must cancel the directional signal after completing a turn or merge. Assessment of this performance begins after the turn, and ends

3 seconds after the vehicle has straightened out following the turn.

(g) Upshifting. The applicant must upshift properly through at least the first four gears after completing the turn. Assessment of this performance begins when the first shift is made, and ends when the vehicle has been shifted into fourth gear. The transmission must be shifted through four gears, the applicant must shift without hesitation, the gears must be shifted in the proper sequence, the shifts must be completed smoothly without noticeable jerking or clashing of gears, and no gear may be missed. Skipping a gear does not count as a miss, and is not penalized if it results in a smooth shift without lugging.

(4) "Merging" begins when the vehicle has entered the merge ramp and ends 3 seconds after the vehicle has completely entered the new road. The following elements of merging are scored:

(a) Signaling. The applicant must signal intent to merge onto an adjacent roadway. Assessment begins after the vehicle enters the merge ramp and ends when any part of the vehicle enters the main roadway.

(b) Mirror check. Assessment begins as the vehicle enters the acceleration lane and ends when it starts movement to the new lane. The vehicle must be aligned parallel to the adjacent roadway before the mirror check is made. The applicant must look into the left outside mirror after the vehicle is aligned, and before any movement into the new lane.

(c) Speed. The applicant must accelerate to a speed sufficient to permit safe entry onto the adjacent roadway (as close to highway speed as possible) . Assessment begins as the vehicle enters the acceleration lane and ends when it enters the new travel lane on the adjacent roadway. The vehicle must be accelerated throughout the acceleration lane and the vehicle should not slow or stop prior to entering highway.

(5) "Straight driving" is scored over one city block or some other easily identifiable straight section approximately one-tenth of a mile long. The following elements of straight driving are scored:

(a) Speed. The applicant must operate the vehicle within 10 m.p.h. of the posted speed limit without exceeding the limit when driving on a straight road. Speed is not scored if the vehicle cannot be driven within 10 m.p.h. of the limit due to traffic.

(b) Mirror checks. The applicant must check following traffic in the rearview mirrors on each side at least once in every 10 seconds of straight driving. Errors will not be recorded if the examiner is unable to observe the applicant's eye movement or any occurrence distracts the examiner long enough for the applicant to make the correct response undetected.

(c) Lanekeeping. The applicant must keep the vehicle within the bounds of existing travel lanes on a straight road. Normal lane changes are not scored in this section.

(6) "Lane change" begins just before the applicant initiates a lane change and ends 3 seconds after the vehicle has completed the lane change. The examiner scores lane changing at the first 3 scoreable instances. The following elements of lane changes are scored:

(a) Mirror checks. The applicant must check the appropriate mirror to detect traffic before initiating a lane change. The examiner will observe whether the applicant's eyes are directed toward the appropriate outside mirror prior to initiating a lane change.

(b) Gradual change. Assessment begins when the applicant starts to change lanes and ends when the lane change is completed. After initiating the turn signal, the applicant must begin the lane change and then pause at least 3 seconds before crossing the delineator into the next lane in order to allow any unseen traffic to get out of the way. No error occurs if traffic causes an abrupt lane change.

(7) "Curves" assessment begins as the vehicle enters a curve and ends when the vehicle has completely straightened out after the curve. The following elements of curves are scored:

(a) Speed. The applicant must adjust speed to safely negotiate a curve. The vehicle must be driven through the curve without excessive force, the vehicle should not be braked while turning, gears should not be shifted up or down while the vehicle is turning, and the speed must not drop below a normal safe speed by more than 20%.

(b) Lanekeeping. The applicant must keep his vehicle within the bounds of existing travel lanes.

(8) "Hills." The following performances are scored at

hills:

(a) Starting on hill. The applicant must accelerate his vehicle smoothly from a complete stop using additional power to compensate for the vehicle's tendency to roll backwards. The applicant must not accelerate the vehicle excessively, the engine must remain running, and the vehicle must not roll backwards (parking or service brakes may be used to prevent rollback) .

(b) Shifting up hill. The applicant must keep the vehicle engine speed within normal operating range, avoiding lugging or overspeeding the engine. Assessment begins when the vehicle starts its upward path and ends when it reaches the top of the grade. The applicant must operate the vehicle within the specified operating range (the normal operating r.p.m. level) . The engine must not lug noticeably before a shift is made, and the applicant must not miss the downshift and have to shift to an even lower gear or stop and start the vehicle in first gear.

(c) Speed downhill. The applicant must maintain a safe speed on downgrades. Assessment begins as the vehicle starts its descent and ends when the entire vehicle has leveled off at the bottom of the grade. The applicant must achieve an acceptable speed not exceeding the posted limit or more than 9 m.p.h. below the posted limit. The applicant must not fan or pump the brakes.

(9) "Traffic restrictions." Assessment begins at the point where a sign, signal, or roadway marking designates the start of a travel restriction and ends when the travel restriction is passed. The applicant must comply with travel restrictions imposed by signs, signals, and roadway markings.

(10) "Blind intersections." Assessment begins prior to the vehicle entering the intersection and ends when the vehicle has entered the intersection. The following elements are scored:

(a) Speed. The applicant must release the accelerator prior to entering a blind intersection.

(b) Observation. The applicant must check to the sides by turning his head approximately 45 in each direction, making a visual check at the point where an intersecting vehicle would first become visible.

History: Sec. 61-5-112, 61-5-117, 61-5-125 MCA; IMP, Sec. 61-5-110, 61-5-112 MCA; NEW, 1988 MAR p. 62, Eff. 1/15/88; AMD, 1989 MAR p. 486, Eff. 4/28/89.

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