Driver Handbook in Hawaii
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Any road newbie ready to begin the skill-building process involved with learning how to drive needs to pick up a copy of the Hawaii Driver's Manual. This may be one of the smallest states in the union, but it most likely has one of the thickest and possibly the flashiest manuals out there.
Topping 160 pages, it is exhaustively researched. Even savvy veteran motorists will find this book to come in handy as a reference guide―it is that indispensable. Plus, the color illustrations to demonstrate many of the topics are an added bonus. There is even a lengthy practice exam to get you ready for the real thing on test day.
The manual is available at all the licensing offices for $4.65. It is also available free of charge online in PDF format. Of course, you will want to have a pretty good processor on your computer. The file is 142 megabytes and takes a long time to download, even if you've got oodles of bandwidth. If you need a copy of Adobe Reader to view PDFs, you can download it free.
Topics covered include:
- The licensing process: An overview of how to obtain, renew, replace, or change a Hawaii driver's license.
- Vehicle registration: Explains all facets of how to register a vehicle in the state.
- Accident procedures.
- Traffic laws, rules, and regulations.
- No-fault insurance: Details how the insurance systems works and what the requirements are.
- Signs, signals, and road markings.
- Safe driving practices.
- Alcohol and other drugs.
Hawaii is a bit of an oddity when it comes to the commercial driver's license (CDL). Obviously there are some issues with "interstate" driving in a state that is separated from any other by the Pacific Ocean. The farthest you can get "over-the-road" is from leeward to windward, or from one side of the island to the other.
Even "intrastate" can require you to put the truck on a barge and ship it from one island to the next―in which case you're not even driving. So getting a CDL in this state usually means you will be working not intrastate, but intra-island.
Another difference is the general size in trucks. You just do not see the massive 18-wheelers slogging along the H1 lugging megatons of freight. Truck loads are generally smaller than those on the mainland, where combination vehicles can haul two or three connected trailers thousands of miles at a time on a 10-lane highway.
Of course, all of those miles will only get you going in a lot of circles on the islands. But if you intend to drive for any type of trucking company, haul any sort of freight, or (even more likely) cart busloads tourists around on sightseeing extravaganzas, you will need a CDL.
Getting a CDL involves a great deal of study and testing. The best place to start is by picking up a copy of the Commercial Driver License Manual.
This manual covers everything you will need to know in order to get through the entire process and hopefully come out on the other side with a license. All of the endorsement guides are included in the manual, including hazardous materials, air brakes, and transporting passengers.
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