Q Coming down Skyline Boulevard toward Highway 92, I suddenly found three deer slowly crossing the road. Scared the you-know-what out of me. I hit the brakes gently but the deer didn't budge for a few anxious moments until dashing into the trees. Should I have hit the horn?

Debbie Burnett

A Officials offer mixed advice. Most say a tap or two on the horn can get deer off the road, while others say a loud blast of the horn may send them scattering in different directions and pose safety risks. Deer mating season is underway and drivers need to be on extra alert. There are as many as 1,800 wildlife-vehicle collisions a year in the state.

Tips to consider:

  • Be extra aware when driving at dawn, dusk or the first few hours after nightfall, especially between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., when deer are most active.
  • Heed deer crossing signs. Slow down when traveling through wooded areas or fields. Keep your eyes moving. Glance frequently to both sides of the road.
  • When you see a deer, watch for more. Deer usually move in groups.
  • If a collision is imminent, brake firmly and attempt to stop. Do not swerve. It could cause you to lose control of your vehicle or place you in the path of an oncoming vehicle.
  • Use high-beam lights as much as possible to illuminate areas from which deer could enter roads.
  • If you hit a deer, call 911. Don't touch or help the animal, as it could injure you or itself.

    Q I write regarding the "RIP TOMMY" graffiti that was finally removed from the Interstate 280 railroad overpass in San Jose near Bird Avenue. Had Tommy not been drinking, perhaps his reaction time and reflexes would have been better and he would have avoided the tragedy of falling off a cliff near the ocean.

    If his friends REALLY want to do something right for Tommy, go to his high school and offer to fund a program that teaches the dangers of alcohol consumption at any age, especially for teens. They could even speak to students and tell the story of Tommy. Now that's a way to honor a friend, instead of tagging.

    Joanne Nastasi

    San Jose

    A Well stated. Take a look at the overpass and you'll see it now has barbed razor wire at the top. For years, officials resisted using this to keep taggers away, saying they did not want the Bay Area to look like Los Angeles. But Union Pacific finally got fed up, so razor wire it is.

    Q Do you know when the Southeast Sacramento County beltway will be completed? There are signs of construction of this new freeway.

    Hank Shrum

    A This is a monster project that may take a decade to finish. What you see now is prepping work for related projects. The $456 million connector will run 33 miles from I-5 south of Elk Grove to Highway 50 east of El Dorado Hills.

    Look for Gary Richards at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5335. You can also follow him at Twitter.com/mrroadshow.