Q I heard a term I had never heard before. -- silver alert for senior citizens with dementia. Had you heard of that?

Paul Burnett

Alameda

A Yep, I have. The silver alert program is meant to find elderly people who have disappeared. Such an alert must meet the following criteria:

  • The missing person is 65 years of age or older.

  • The investigating agency has exhausted all available local resources.

  • The law enforcement agency determines that the person has gone missing under unexplained or suspicious circumstances.

  • Police believe that the person is in danger because of age, health, mental or physical disability, environment or weather conditions, that the person is in the company of a potentially dangerous person, or that there are other factors indicating the person may be in peril.

    Q What is a blue alert?

    Fran Ramos

    A This goes out following a violent attack upon a police officer.

    Q I am tired of reading about all the road issues in your column and wish you would occasionally go back to rules of the road and DMV updates. When my kids were beginning drivers, you used to provide updates to DMV rules and information about a lot of the obscure laws such as wipers on, lights on. I showed those columns to the kids all the time.

    Would you please reintroduce some of these very informational columns? I think we all need a refresher course, especially in light of winter conditions.

    Carol Ovelman

    Los Altos

    A OK, here goes. Kids, if it's raining hard enough to use your wipers, then your headlights also have to be on. Daytime running lights are not good enough.

    Q What's the purpose of the early limit lines in the right lanes at Homestead and Kiely roads in Santa Clara? They do not extend into the left or bike lanes.

    Tim Priddy

    A These lines have been here for nearly a decade. They were installed because it was felt that safety and visibility of pedestrians in the crosswalk and bicyclists would be improved by having motorists stop earlier.

    Q I commute by motorcycle, and when I get onto Highway 101 north at the interchange from I-680, the metering light never turns green for me. There seems to be not enough metal in my motorcycle to cause it to sense my presence. The only time it will turn green is if there is another car right behind me. I have tried sitting there for several cycles and my light just stays red. So I have started a policy of waiting one cycle and then going. Otherwise I'd sit there until another car comes up from behind and trips the light.

    Sometimes there is an officer in the acceleration ramp after the lights -- and I always worry that I might get ticketed. What am I supposed to do?

    Jim McWhirter

    San Jose

    A D.J.-the-CHP-Man once told me to treat the metering light like a stop sign if there aren't any cars to trip the light. "As long as you come to a complete stop, I really don't think you will get cited," he said. "Although I say that, keep in mind this is subjective and every officer uses their own discretion in each situation, but I would not cite someone as long as they stopped."

    Look for Gary Richards at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow, contact him at mrroadshow@mercurynews.com or follow him at Twitter.com/mrroadshow.