Q I'm 88 and my wife, Pat, is 75. She has been sick and was in the hospital and doesn't have her driver's license. It needs to be renewed, and she needs help in answering those questions on the written test. She is a good driver, but she needs her license, as I will be 88 soon. She might have to drive me to the hospital or something. Or if I can't drive, she would have to get groceries and stuff. She won't drive as long as I am alive and as long as I am OK I will be driving. But she needs it in case of an emergency.

I heard there are classes to help people pass those tests. She can drive all right, just that passing the test is giving her a little problem. If you can get back to us, we sure would appreciate it.

Scott Henderson

Salinas

A Your plea for help touched me and I am glad to help. I put you in touch with Charley-the-DMV-Ombudsman-Man, who started a program to help older motorists. Up to 6,000 people a year contact officials with this program, everyone from older drivers wanting to keep their keys to older folks concerned that they can no longer safely drive to relatives worried about the driving skills of aging parents.

The Senior Ombudsman program can be reached at:

  • San Francisco/Oakland: 510-563-8998.

  • Sacramento/Northern California: 916-657-6464.

  • Orange/San Bernardino/San Diego: 949-553-3573.

  • Los Angeles/Oxnard: 310-412-6103.

  • Online: For information on the program, go to www.dmv.ca.gov/about/senior/senior_ombudsman.htm.

    The current DMV driver's handbook also has a revised edition of the "Senior Guide for Safe Driving" and can be picked up at any DMV office.

    As for Pat, she will have to take the written test, and if she passes that take a driving test.

    Q Can you help us reach your readers with information about an upcoming closure of Calaveras Road, which spans the Alameda/Santa Clara County border? This two-month closure starts April 9, and will end on June 8.

    Betsy Rhodes

    San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

    A Consider it done. Calaveras Road will be closed weekdays from Geary Road in the Sunol Valley south to the Santa Clara County line. Truck traffic will be very heavy as construction to rebuild the seismically vulnerable Calaveras Dam proceeds. Those large hauling trucks cannot safely share the narrow and winding portions of Calaveras with private vehicles and bicycles.

    The road will remain open on weekends. In addition, the East Bay Regional Park District's Sunol Ohlone Regional Wilderness will remain open, with access from the north at all times, and from the south on weekends. Ed Levin County Park will also remain open at all times.

    This is part of a $4.6 billion program to improve the Hetch Hetchy water system by providing seismic and reliability upgrades to the drinking water system for 2.6 million customers in the Bay Area.

    Q I went to San Francisco on the weekend recently around 10 a.m. and both tunnels in the Caldecott Tunnel were open westbound. I could not believe it. Maybe Caltrans finally woke up.

    Ed O'Rourke

    Danville

    A Having only one bore open westbound on weekends has been a big irritation to many Highway 24 drivers. When work ends on the fourth bore late next year, pooooof goes the problem (we hope).

    Q You answered a question about the CHP conducting roadblocks for Israeli President Shimon Peres, who was in the Bay Area recently. There were at least 20 CHP units involved, along with many unmarked units. This must add up to thousands of dollars. Who pays for this?

    Tom Miller

    San Carlos

    A The state. The California Highway Patrol provides protective service details for national and international public figures traveling in California. Officers work these details as part of their normal shifts so that no unnecessary additional staffing expenses or overtime are required.

    Different degrees of protection are provided, depending on the political significance of the figure and the existence of any potential or expressed threats.

    The CHP says protective service details are routine and are shared by law enforcement agencies worldwide. In the same way the CHP provided this service recently for Peres, Israel provides the same service for U.S. officials visiting Israel on official business.

    Q There's been a lot of digging activity on Williams Road at Saratoga Avenue in West San Jose. I don't mind the detours during the day. What I do mind is driving over the terrible patch job of the holes and trench that I hope is just temporary. Please tell me that the crew is going to come back and redo the surfacing and make it smooth and even with the surrounding road.

    Norman Kawaguchi

    A Temporary it is. The San Jose Water Company project will end in mid-April, and that is when the trenches will be repaved.

    Look for Gary Richards at www.facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5335.