Q I want to share this description of driving from a dude who wanted to carpool with me.
A A carpool partner from heaven -- or hell?
Q He wanted to drive. We're on busy freeways. He chooses a middle lane and sets the cruise control (a button I have not even found on my car, I think it's so stupid), and immediately we become a road boulder going about 60 mph, if that, with multiple lanes on both sides streaming past doing at least 75) -- and, yes, he's babbling on about I don't know what because I couldn't pay attention while I was afraid for my life.
He's talking with his hands -- both off the wheel to gesture repeatedly while the car wobbles back and forth, hitting the Botts' dots on both sides. So I venture so boldly to interrupt to say, "Could we stay in the lane at least?" and his response -- get this -- was, "Hey, the lines are moving on me," saying that they weren't straight.
Um, um, um, yeah, dude, the road ain't straight. You're supposed to follow it. Damn, men have excuses for everything.
A Careful now.
Q And, oh, the description he gave in defense of his crappy driving. When I asked if he could keep his hands on the wheel, he said: "Hey, I've been driving since I was 8. We'd drive the trucks to haul hay out all day long. It was a family affair. We'd sit and talk and visit and relax while driving."
He treats the world outside his car almost as an insignificant background to the great visit he's having in there. Unbelievable. He was blissfully unaware of how his crappy driving philosophy increased the risk to everyone near him.
Please withhold my name for obvious reasons.
A You have spawned an idea. I want to hear from drivers who have had terrific carpool partners -- and not-so-terrific ones. No holds barred. The good, the bad and the ugly. How do you screen potential carpool partners?
Q KCBS tells me it's going to be raining ... and raining ... and raining. You need to tell drivers how to motor along in the wet stuff, especially when they hit standing water.
A Slowly, and if you start to hydroplane, don't brake suddenly, or turn the wheel. Release the gas pedal slowly and steer straight until you regain traction. If you must brake, tap the brake pedal.
When the road is wet, especially after a few weeks of dry weather, the film caused by dirt, grease and oil mixes with the rain and causes asphalt to become slick. This will eventually wash away, but the first few days can be dangerous.
Also, wipers on, headlights on. That's headlights, not running lights.
Q Gary, I believe the "Don't Stop Stupid" sign was at 156/152 in Hollister before the flyover was built a few years ago. I will never forget traffic backing up toward Gilroy as people stopped going east to let the other traffic through. What a nightmare that was!
Chris Nielsen, Lesley Waltner and many more
A Correct! John Christie placed this sign at that location, pleading for drivers eastbound on 152 not to stop to let in westbound traffic turning left onto 156 -- which had a stop sign. This would frequently cause massive traffic jams. The CHP would remove the "Don't Stop Stupid" sign from a hillside and a few days later Christie would return and put in another sign. John now lives in Custer, S.D.
Q Is it legal for a UPS truck to use a spot marked for handicapped parking? I was parking in front of a store when a UPS truck backed into a handicapped parking spot next to me. I mentioned to the driver that it was a handicapped spot but he might as well have given me a one-finger salute. There was a regular spot adjacent to the one he took but he would have had to walk a couple of feet more to make his delivery. This doesn't seem right.
A It's not. The UPS driver needs to park somewhere else.
Join Gary Richards on KLIV (1590-AM) Tuesday at 7 p.m. for an hourlong talk about traffic in the Bay Area with Steve Wright of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, at 408-475-1590. Look for Gary at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at email@example.com or 408-920-5335.