Q You asked for tips on a solution to Kim Burke's horn-honking husband.
A Indeed I did. The San Ramon woman wrote in recently, saying: "Whenever someone accidentally or on purpose cuts off my husband as he's driving, he just lays on the car horn and won't let up for minutes. This scares me to death! I am thinking of never driving with him again. Heaven knows what the offending driver might do. What recourse do I have?"
Here is advice from folks upset with horn-honking drivers.
Q In my case, it was my fiance's impatience with slow or bad drivers in general. I made the decision to become the designated driver whenever we ride together. Now there's no more honking or tailgating, at least when we're together in the car.
A And we're off.
Q I feel the wife is perfectly within her rights and is quite prudent as well to be concerned about her husband's excessive and abusive behavior behind the wheel. The remedy is not about apologies or not cooking his favorite meals. The wife must fight fire with fire.
The remedy is to be found exclusively where the problem exists: in the car. If the husband wants to "suit himself" by expressing his anger any way he wants to, then the wife can also "suit herself" by taking a cab or public transportation on the trip home.
No matter how inconvenient or expensive it might be for her to take transit or a cab home, whenever her husband acts abusively behind the wheel she must absolutely refuse to ride home with him, for this is the only way he will ever take her seriously.
A This would fit under the "tough love" category.
Q In reference to the horn-blasting husband, how else can we voice our anger, fear, and frustration at idiots who cause accidents with their unsafe driving habits? If we do nothing, they might believe that their behavior is perfectly acceptable!
A Mrs. Roadshow shares your attitude. But I think the best you can do when other drivers behave badly is give them a stern frown and remain calm.
Q Yeah, I have a tip for Kim Burke. LEAVE YOUR HUSBAND ALONE! HE IS DOING THE RIGHT THING!
Drivers who cut off others should be followed and honked at excessively. They need to be taught a lesson so they won't cut off others in the future. The husband's actions are OK. Your advice sucks.
A I have heard that before. You are not a cop. All you can do is remain calm yourself and not escalate the incident. Blasting away at the horn and tailgating makes you part of the problem.
Q I have a solution for Kim -- 76, the gas station company, is giving away Honk Suppressors for free. Go to StopHonkaholism.com and request a free Honk Suppressor. I ordered some for my friends. It really works. Try it out.
A This is a horn that goes on the dashboard. Nobody can hear it outside the car.
Q The detail you left out of your advice to Kim about her blowhard husband is that he can be ticketed for excessive horn use. He may put his own emotional satisfaction above his wife's peace of mind and the safety of fellow drivers, but surely a significant weight loss in his wallet would be a good lesson in compassion.
A And for today's final blast ...
Q Suggest Kim take her husband to Rome. That will cure him.
A When in Rome, don't do as the Romans do!
You can find Gary Richards' columns at www.mercurynews.com/mr-roadshow or www.mercurynews.com/traffic. Follow Gary at Twitter.com/mrroadshow, look for him at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 408-920-5335.