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Old 12-20-2008, 08:58 PM   #1
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Default Left foot braking legality

OK, a bit OT, but forgive me.

Monday, my son goes for his learner's permit test and 6 months after that his driver's license road test. He needs at least 40 hours seat time with an adult.
Therefore, my wife will take him out driving in the incredibly boring Ford Escape Hybrid.....while on the other hand, I think the Cup car is far more suitable.

Minor problem:
The only motorized thing he's ever driven (since about 10 or 11 yrs old) is a kart. So, he left foot brakes (no other choice in a kart). And he does it very very well.

I have been told by several people that if, during the course of the road test exam, the officer even sees him move his left foot towards the brake, he immediately fails.
Seems a bit odd and stupid (especially considering his car control skills far exceed those of the officer giving the test)

Why should left foot braking be illegal in the first place? Am I missing something obvious? Is this just a Northeast US thing?
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:08 PM   #2
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What state would fail for this reason?????????
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:10 PM   #3
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Never heard of it being illegal and not so in any state I have lived in.
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:14 PM   #4
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Lewis, I would contact the RMV and confirm that infact LFB is not acceptable......

I can't think of a reason of why it would be a reason for failure.

On another note, it seems like your Cup Car will come out of hibernation next season......
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Old 12-20-2008, 10:57 PM   #5
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I've wondered the same thing. My wife just took our daughter for her first lesson in an empty parking lot and she started left foot braking. She's done this with karts and said said "Dad always does it"!
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Old 12-20-2008, 11:48 PM   #6
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I don't think it's a law. I asked once, and the instructor just gave me a funny look and said something to the effect of they will fail you. Let's just put it this way, if the officer wants to fail you he will, and it doesn't matter what the law is. I'm sure you could contest it but I'm not sure it's worth the effort, since he should most definitely learn to RFB. All I had ever done was LFB (6+ years) and I made the transition to RFB seamlessly. Now I can do both without even thinking about it, the challenging part of moving into cars was not braking, but matching revs and double clutching (In a racing family when you start driving you start matching revs, thats the only way to drive, lol). While I got proficient at that in a few weeks, it took me at least a year if not two to get to what I now consider an acceptable level.

Last edited by MTosi; 12-21-2008 at 12:04 AM.
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Old 12-21-2008, 12:03 AM   #7
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How about just not doing it for 30 minutes and not worrying about the legality of it?
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Old 12-21-2008, 12:10 AM   #8
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You've got to be kidding me...

They give 85 year old's who can't see over the steering wheel a license (I think 95% of them live here in S. Florida) but they'll fail a kid for left foot braking
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:09 AM   #9
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See if it's listed in the test/driving manual about braking and pedal usage.
I've seen quite a lot of those 'drovers' out there with licenses, don't think your son
will have a problem getting passed.

I've gone through hand over hand quick steering to slide hand to wheel shuffle steering and back.
I'm not even sure what is the officially sanctioned way to turn the steering wheel quickly.
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:14 AM   #10
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Remember these people who are doing the testing are STUPID! If it is not the convential way of doing things it is wrong. How can you argue with a drone with a room tempature iq
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Smith View Post
How about just not doing it for 30 minutes and not worrying about the legality of it?
+1 Seems like he'd want to be able to do both. Sooner or later he needs to learn heel and toe, right?
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Old 12-21-2008, 09:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veloce Raptor View Post
What state would fail for this reason?????????
Massachusetts.
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Old 12-21-2008, 09:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Smith View Post
How about just not doing it for 30 minutes and not worrying about the legality of it?
That certainly is the plan. My concern is that he will simply 'unconsciously' move his left foot over to the brake and if it is observed, be failed.

It should be interesting, since he will be driving both his karts and his car this season. Should be interesting.
(I remember his Formula BMW test at Miller Motorsports Park. His first time in anything other than a kart. End of the front straight, first hot lap, time to brake, left foot down hard....yup, clutch in.....oh, right foot down hard, that works better.....scared the crap out of the pace car in front of him, almost went underneath.....that would have been expensive)

I did call the RMV and they confirmed you can not use your left foot unless it is for the clutch pedal or foot operated emergency brake.

I'll just put a big stick note on the steering wheel.......this is NOT your kart, you have NO left foot.
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Old 12-21-2008, 10:15 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FGL28 View Post
Remember these people who are doing the testing are STUPID! If it is not the convential way of doing things it is wrong. How can you argue with a drone with a room tempature iq
You also have to remember that the people they are testing are usually pretty dumb as well. The typical driver taking the test would probably ride the brakes and confuse pedals if they used their left foot on the brake.

It is probably good policy for the state DMV to make the test encourage whatever techniques are safest for the normal mouth-breathing driver to use.

Hopping into a student's car at a DE makes me kinda nervous. I can't even imagine getting into some random 16-year-old's car and going for a drive on public roads.
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Old 12-21-2008, 10:48 AM   #15
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He will be fine tell him to use one foot, i drove karts up until i was 16 left foot braking and i made the transition without a problem, just tell him to try and i bet he can do it!
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Old 12-21-2008, 10:48 AM
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