Q. During rush-hour traffic, are vehicles allowed to drive on a freeway’s shoulder, to the right of the solid white line? Is it illegal for a car to drive straddling that white line to prevent cars from behind passing on the shoulder? I’ve seen this done many times while stuck in congestion.
– Don Sison, Irvine
A. The law says we must stay to the left of that white line, Don, even the law-abiders such as Honk who has had the itch once or twice while in the slow lane to slide over and block the cheaters.
One reason the shoulder should remain clear is so emergency vehicles can use that stretch to bypass bumper-to-bumper traffic.
And on freeways, they often don’t go Code 3 – lights and siren blaring – so it might be tough to see them coming up from behind on the shoulder.
When going Code 3, the officers, firefighters or paramedics are telling everyone else to pull over to the right – which would be right into their pathway, if scooting along on the shoulder.
Instead, they often put on their rear-facing flashing lights, telling motorists they pass that they are indeed responding to a problem. Some officers call them their “Excuse Me” lights.
Tino Olivera, an officer and spokesman for the California Highway Patrol, said he has made “many stops” of violators skirting along the shoulder. He sometimes just sits in the slow lane in congested traffic, waiting for the next violator to appear in his rear-view.
Q. I would like to know who runs the changeable announcement signs on the freeways. I have a couple of suggestions. When it’s raining, remind drivers to turn on headlights if the wipers are being used. And remind drivers to turn on their headlights when the sun goes down. So many evenings, I see cars driving in the early darkness without the lights on. Who can I contact with my ideas? Are you the best contact?
– Cindy Wittner, Irvine
A. If would be great if Honk was indeed your best contact – because then he would be at the wheel…