Q Say a cop pulls me over for texting while driving. I say I wasn't texting (I never do that) and offer to let him look at my cellphone. Can he search it since I gave him permission? Or does he need a warrant?
A No warrant is needed if the officer has been given permission to look at the phone, assuming it had been handed over for the officer to verify the person had not been using it to speak, listen or use it for texting.
Q I remember seeing the wood-cutout fake CHP cars in the '60s on Route 50 coming back from Lake Tahoe. There were bullet holes from people using them for target practice, and legend has it they were dropped because some real CHP cars at the roadside got shot at.
A That's more of an urban legend, the CHP says. The fake cars were set up in the early '60s in Monterey, Placer, El Dorado and Santa Cruz counties. Spike-the-retired-CHP commander said the CHP did not put up the cutouts. They were the work of Harvey West, a lumberman from Placerville and Santa Cruz who has died. He ran an ad in the old CHP magazine every month, the wooden cars fell into disarray as time went on. They were shot at periodically, but there is no recollection that it resulted in shooting at real CHP cars.
Q Traveling west on Hedding Street and then turning right, or north, onto Coleman Avenue in San Jose, there is a dedicated right-hand-turn lane divided by a cement island. Traffic traveling north on Coleman intending to get onto northbound Interstate 880 has a very limited distance to move into the far right lane to north 880. Do cars traveling on Hedding turning right onto Coleman have to stop or yield, or is it up to the cars traveling on Coleman to 880 to yield?
This is a very odd free right turn. You really have to drive it to understand it.
A I did, and it is a hairy merge because of the short distances involved. Cars going north on Coleman have the right of way as they move right to get onto the 880 onramp. Those on Hedding need to yield to them.
Q Every morning I drive by the intersection of Pearl Avenue and Capitol Expressway in San Jose. At the corner is a Toyota dealership, with a driveway for the service department.
Many mornings, the line of cars waiting to get into the service department extends onto Pearl, almost up to the expressway intersection. It's a hazard for cars turning onto Pearl from the expressway, and I watch them be surprised by the stopped line of cars and swerve into the No. 1 lane.
OK, that's mildly annoying. I know to expect this, but am more worried about the people who don't know about this hazard. What responsibility does a business have to prevent this regular backup?
Carin De Groff
A City traffic folks have been in contact with Capitol Toyota to discuss its queuing system for customers. The existing setup does allow for about 30 vehicles to wait on-site, but there are times (especially on weekends) where cars can back onto Pearl.
They are working on a plan to have more on-site parking. I hope to have an update soon.