Q My husband and I are thinking of buying an electric car. I know that the carpool sticker program expires at the end of 2014, but is there any chance it will be extended for a few more years? I'm sure that would spur the sale of these vehicles.
A Yes, there is a chance. Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield, D-Van Nuys, has introduced legislation to allow drivers of plug-in hybrids and electric cars to drive solo in carpool lanes or toll lanes until -- get this -- 2025.
Q I desperately need your help. After more than 30 years of a SPOTLESS driving record, I received a notice from the city of San Leandro that I had been photographed running a red light. Upon looking at the video, it appears that I may have done it, but I can't believe I did.
A Tell me more.
Q I was making a right at the corner and the traffic in front of me had the light for a left turn. This is what puzzles me. I would never have kept going if I did not have the light.
I don't want to be too long-winded, so I will get to the point. What are my chances of taking this to court and winning or having my fine reduced? Also, is the video admissible in court? Any
I truly cannot afford the fine and I am at a loss to know what to do. For obvious reasons I don't want my named used, but please help!
A Drivers must come to a complete stop before the limit line when making a right turn on red. If the video shows you rolling through the turn at even low speeds on red, Matt-the-Roadshow-Attorney says the likelihood of winning your case is low. Most drivers end up having to pay the fine for making the so-called "California stop."
He adds: "The video is admissible in court in most circumstances. There is a mandatory minimum fine for running a red light and judges do not have discretion to lower the fine, in most cases."
But you need some hopeful news. Running a red light is a one-point violation for noncommercial drivers, but since you have a spotless driving record, you are likely eligible to attend driving school, which will hide the violation from your insurance company.
Q I always pay cash when crossing a toll bridge like the Bay Bridge, Richmond-San Rafael, etc. On one or two occasions, I gave them a roll of dimes for the $5 toll and was never questioned about it.
But of late, the collectors at the Richmond-San Rafael bridge told me this is unacceptable. Huh? In fact, one of the toll takers said: "Hey! This isn't a bank, ya know!"
When I told this collector I've done it before, she said, "It isn't allowed." Is this true or was she just being particularly cranky that day?
A Must have been a cranky toll collector. Bridge officials say dimes and even pennies are accepted. However, I understand the cranky attitude if the toll person faces a long line of cash-paying customers who might not be happy with a slowdown at the plaza.
Q We usually only cross the Golden Gate Bridge when we have our travel trailer behind us and must go through the manual toll booths, as we are charged by number of axles.
How will the new system on the Golden Gate Bridge detect our trailer? How will it know how many axles we have (our trailer has two). Will the system read our front truck plate and the rear trailer plate? Depending on the angle, the trailer plate might be obscured by the spare tire.
A There's special equipment in the lanes that communicates the number of axles to the toll collection system. Each toll lane has cameras that read both plates of a vehicle and trailer.