Q Okay, please explain the situation in the retirement community in Rossmoor in Walnut Creek. I cannot tell you how many times I have had close calls in and outside of Rossmoor from seniors behind the wheel. Often these dangerous drivers stray outside the borders to the neighboring Safeway, post office, gas station and, since they're out anyway, why not just mosey on in to Broadway Plaza for lunch?
Why aren't these people being ticketed? Is the senior voting bloc so large and strong that no one wants to stand up to them?
A Hmmm. I went on a Rossmoor blog and read angry comment after angry comment about elderly drivers here. This is an issue that is going to be around for some time, as the number of Americans 65 and older will grow by 60 percent by 2025, when one in every five drivers will be 65 or older.
There are alternatives to driving for seniors in the East Bay. Go to "Access Alameda," which contains information on these resources (accessalameda.org). Contra Costa County has "Way to Go Contra Costa" at www.co.contra-costa.ca.us/DocumentCenter/Home/View/4478.
Q I remember seeing an article about revoking the driver's license of an elderly person. That was years ago, before it was an issue in our family. Is there a way to have an elderly driver reassessed? In particular, without them knowing who requested it? I'd really like my parents to continue speaking to me.
A concerned daughter
A So do I. But first you may want to consider attending a meeting Sunday to discuss senior transportation options. The meeting will be at 2:30 p.m. at Congregation Beth David, 9700 Prospect Road in Saratoga. For more information, contact Kathy Huynh at 408-757-2280 or email NotenYad@Beth-David.org.
Among the speakers will be Santa Clara County Supervisor David Cortese, San Jose City Councilman Ash Kalra, Campbell Mayor Evan Low, VTA Chairman Joe Pirzynski, and Katie Heatley, president and CEO of Outreach Paratransit.
As for reporting an elderly driver, you can download a "Request for Driver Reexamination" at www.dmv.ca.gov/forms/ds/ds699.htm. This cannot be submitted online, but is sent to the state safety office. You must sign the form, but you can request that your identity remain anonymous and not be reported to the driver.
The person will receive a notice in the mail to come in to be tested. Even if the person passes, they may be asked to come in again after a certain period (three, six or 12 months, depending on the examiner) for a retest. If the person refuses to submit to the driving test, his or her license may be suspended.
Q I'm desperate. I just got a citation for making an illegal left turn in Fremont. I was in the wrong and deserved it.
But, I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO WAY OF PAYING THIS! My husband is not working. I can't tell him about this. I work full-time, but what I make isn't enough. I don't know what I can do. Will throwing myself on the mercy of the court do any good? Will I still have to pay if I go to traffic school?
Will I just have to give my car to a deserving charity and give up any activity that I can't reach by VTA or bicycle? I hope you can answer this, or at least give me some peace of mind.
A Matt-the-Roadshow-Attorney weighs in:
"Alameda County allows community service to pay off a fine. However, if your reader chooses that option, then she cannot go to traffic school. Alameda also has a payment plan option. I would suggest she set a court hearing date and ask the judicial officer what her options are for paying the ticket. She might have the fine reduced or the judge may allow her to do community service."
Q What the heck is going on at Foothill Expressway -- AGAIN? Northbound south of Page Mill Road is all torn up and plated -- AGAIN!
I can read the sign telling us it is a gas line project. That is known. What is unknown and unfathomable is this section of road was opened and seriously worked earlier this year. Did they forget to do something the first time around?
A Sort of. PG&E is using contractors for this work, and one contractor didn't finish its job. Now a new contractor is completing the work.
Q I'm considering buying a car with a diesel engine for the mileage. They say you need to use Diesel No. 2. Would I have to search every pump island at a fuel station to find the correct fuel?
A No. Only Diesel No. 2 is sold in California, so no worries.