Q Someone posted this on Facebook about calling 112. Is it true?
"An UNMARKED police car pulled up behind a woman named Lauren and put his lights on. Lauren's parents told her to never pull over for an unmarked car on the side of the road, but rather to wait until they get to a gas station, etc. Lauren promptly called 112 on her cellphone to tell police that she would not pull over right away. She proceeded to tell the dispatcher that there was an unmarked police car with a flashing red light on his rooftop behind her.
"The dispatcher checked to see if there were police cars where she was and there weren't, and he told her to keep driving, remain calm and that he had backup on the way. Ten minutes later four cop cars surrounded her and the unmarked car behind her. Police pulled the guy from the car and tackled him to the ground. The man was a convicted rapist and wanted for other crimes."
Does dialing 112 work here in the Bay Area, too?
A The story itself has the ring of an urban legend, and the hoax debunkers at Snopes.com call it "unconfirmed," saying there aren't enough details in the account to confirm it.
But dialing 112 to reach police will actually work. This is the European equivalent for 911, and if you dial 112 in the Bay Area from a cellphone you will be connected to the CHP's 911 dispatch center in Vallejo.
Public telephone networks in many countries have a single emergency number that allows a caller to contact local authorities. These emergency numbers differ from country to country -- 112 and 999 are common overseas -- and are preprogrammed into most mobile phones. So a traveler visiting a foreign country does not have to know the local emergency number. When a caller uses a familiar number like 911 overseas, the special emergency call setup redirects the call to the local emergency services center.
Q My daughter will be 18 in two months and is ready to learn to drive. Can my husband or I teach her or do we have to use a professional driving school? She has completed the driver ed classroom course, but didn't get a permit. Isn't she too old now for the permit process? What do you recommend as the best way for her to learn to be a safe driver?
A The best way? Insist that she drive with you or your husband in the car for as many hours as possible. And I would not allow her to drive other teens until you both feel comfortable that she can handle that distraction.
I also highly recommend the CHP's "Start Smart," a free, two-hour driver safety education class that is offered throughout the state. Contact your local CHP office on when classes are scheduled.
According to the DMV, teens over 17½ but under 18 may get a permit without the driver education and driver training certificates. Once she passes a written test, she will be issued a provisional permit. However, she will not be able to take the driving test until she's 18.
After she passes her driving test, she will be issued an interim license for 90 days until she receives a photo license in the mail.
The DMV has a teen driver Web page that has a lot of good information at www.dmv.ca.gov/coi/teen/teen.htm.
Q There is a new metering light at the onramp to north Interstate 280 off Meridian Avenue. This light is on past 9 a.m. even when there is no traffic. Will they regulate the light so it is on or off based on the flow of traffic? One day, the freeway was flowing fast, but we all had to stop at the metering light to get on 280.
A The meter will stay on until 10 a.m., but Caltrans will be tweaking the length of the red-to-green phase over the next few weeks.
Q Is it legal to turn left onto 11th Street from the exit off I-280 on a red light? It's two lanes one way coming off the exit to a one-way on 11th.
A Yes, it is legal to make a left turn on a red light from a one-way street onto another one-way street after first coming to a complete stop.