As seniors we usually have more time to get to places and thus can observe many things while we travel. One of those is the misuse of carpool lanes, and on a recent trip on Highway 4, and I saw drivers being ticketed for such.
I just don't care much for people who abuse the law and get away with it. Nowadays, with the dark tinted windows on so many cars, a lot of these drivers are using the carpool lane during rush hours. On a recent trip to Martinez, from the Railroad on-ramp to just before the end of the carpool lane, I counted 23 cars with only one person in them!
When driving in the fast lane, you can take a quick look at the approaching car in your driver's side mirror. With the sun behind them, it's very easy to see how many occupants there are in that car. Now, granted, there could have been someone lying down sleeping on the back seat in all of those cars, but I doubt it. The Highway Patrol could make enough money to hire more officers in no time by giving tickets to those offenders.
I would love to see 10 or so of those cars pulled over by two motorcycle officers and made to wait in line until they got their tickets. A patrol car with all its lights blinking behind the caravaned stop would alert others approaching to move over. What a joy that would be to observe some day.
Another thorn in my side is the amount of jerks who insist on being on their cellphones while driving. They know it's against the law and keep an eye on their rearview mirrors looking for an officer who might be coming up behind them so they can quickly put the phone down. It's too bad we can't take photos of them to turn into the different police departments.
What about the drivers who believe they can use the handicapped parking spots because they'll only be parked there for a short time? Then there are the other ones who have the parking placard, but it's not for them, and they use it anyway. I watched a man and his daughter pull into a handicapped parking spot and jog into the store. I finally found a spot large enough for me to park and entered the store to find him. I'm in my walker and can't move as fast as he does, but I did corner him finally. I looked straight into his eyes and asked, "What is your handicap anyway, I guess it must be mental?"
He just dropped his eyes and quickly left the store with his purchases. I have never seen a senior do any of the above offenses.
A week or so before last Thanksgiving, my roommate got deployed to New Jersey, as she is a member of the disaster team, to assist with her computer knowledge in that type of emergency. The huge government-issued duffle bag she carries got stuck in my trunk at the airport. In her efforts to untangle it, something got broken and my trunk lid would no longer stay up by itself.
No one could fix it and I finally had to ask a professional for assistance. He recommended a Pittsburg body shop, which I had driven by before. Much to my surprise, they not only fixed the problem, but didn't charge me anything for their labor. Now that's my kind of body shop.
A native of Minnesota, Carol Olson grew up in South Dakota and Walnut Creek and now lives in Pittsburg. She can be reached at email@example.com.