Q: Way back in 2011, I commented on your Prius lovefest. My beloved Passat had just been totaled by an enormous SUV. As I drive-tested new cars (including Audi A4, BMW and Infiniti), I was surprised that I preferred the Prius. I bought it. You contacted me a year later and asked me how I felt then. Of course, I loved it… and still do.
I’m glad that I listened to you.
A: I’m glad the advice, and Prius, worked out well for you.
Q: I recall a requirement to signal for at least 100 feet before making the advertised move. Is that true?
A: The California Driver’s Handbook says to signal:
- At least 100 feet before you turn
- Before every lane change
- At least five seconds before you change lanes on a freeway
- Before pulling next to or away from a curb
- Even when you do not see other vehicles around you
- When you are almost through an intersection if you will turn shortly after the intersection
Q: I really love your newspaper articles on Bay Area road woes.
I’ve commuted all my career in the Bay Area and have noticed much more traffic on freeways post-pandemic.
Here’s my pet peeve. It’s at the left turn at northbound Coleman and Brokaw. Because there is always a huge backup there, I’ve noticed almost 50 percent of drivers make a right turn at Brokaw, then U-turn to try to circumvent the long line at Coleman. They are a bunch of cheaters, while most of us dutifully get in the long line at Coleman.
Please report this to the SJ Police Department so they can catch them.
Now I feel better!
A: Glad you love the column. I’ll forward your concern.
Q: You shared drivers’ excuse stories recently. Here’s mine.
Some 45+ years ago, I was living in Palo Alto, working in Burlingame. Finishing up late one Sunday night, I had about 25 minutes to get to my favorite burger joint in Menlo Park (the Oasis, since shuttered). Driving on Middlefield Road at probably 10-15 mph over the limit, I was red-lighted by an Atherton PD cruiser.
When he asked, “Why could you possibly need to be speeding this late on a Sunday night?” I said, “Honest answer… I’m trying to get to the Oasis before they give last call for the grill.” He said, “And what time would that be?” “Midnight,” I answered. With that, he looked at his watch, and said, “Well, you’ve got about five minutes,” and he let me go.
When I got to the Oasis and told them my story, they even comped my meal!
A: Great story, thanks for sharing it.