ORG XMIT: SEAT18B.jpg (11/17/03, Cabazon, Metro) California Highway Patrol public affairs officer Chris Blondon, left, gives William Godfrey, 27, of Hemet, his driver’s license and registration after giving a verbal warning during a traffic stop at the Cabazon Factory Outlets on Monday. CHP officers will be cracking down on motorists for seat belts as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches. (The Press-Enterprise/Rodrigo Pena)
Q: If the CHP existed and stopped speeding and reckless drivers on Highway 17, you could have a safer highway. People do what they normally feel entitled to. I wish there was more traffic control on the roads.
A: The cavalry is coming back. The state will hire 1,000 more CHP officers in the coming years.
Q: Hi Gary, you have a great column and I really enjoy reading it. We don’t have anything like this in Michigan (metro Detroit + Ann Arbor). I have been in Sunnyvale and San Jose since about April 11 on an automotive technology engineering project. I’m middle-aged and I have to admit that daytime driving has been a joy around here. Conscientious and courteous drivers are my observation, usually. Michigan’s highways are essentially race tracks, but everyone seems to be used to this and speeds up to keep up with the flow. Michigan State Police often work in the hallways to address this issue.
In the Bay Area, on the two occasions I drove to the ocean on the weekends, on the 92nd to Half Moon Bay and the 17th to Santa Cruz, I was completely taken aback by the high-speed motorcycle gangs passing between cars, often ripping inches from their handlebars from car mirrors. This does not happen in Michigan! One wrong move and someone could be seriously injured or killed.
Ricky Raeff, Adrian, MI
A: Welcome to the Bay Area and thank you for your observations. I agree that splitting lanes, which is legal in California, can be very risky.
Q: I travel Niles Canyon Road every day and am curious about the signal lights installed at both the Main Street intersection and Pleasanton-Sunol Road. I don’t think the Main Street lights have ever been turned on, and the ones at the three-way intersection of Niles Canyon, Pleasanton-Sunol Road, and Sunol Road were only on for a few weeks. What is Caltrans’s plan for these lights?
Wayne Starron, Pleasanton
A: The lights were on at the intersection of Niles Canyon, Pleasanton-Sunol Road, and Sunol Road in Sunol, but the light controller cabinet was damaged in a crash. Caltrans is waiting for parts to fix the lights. As for the lights on Main Street, Caltrans is waiting for PG&E to electrify the system, then it will take the remaining steps to turn the lights on.
Q: Glad to have you back. I don’t know who wrote a recent column headline (about a 1979 accident in which a driver lost control and collided head-on with another vehicle, killing himself and his girlfriend), but my grief is for the person or persons,
not mentioned, in the other car. I have been hit twice while stopped at a red light and my condolences always go out to the most innocent people in any collision.
David Russell, mountain view
A: I understand.
Find Gary Richards at facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at [email protected].