Q My sister read your article about giving out bumper stickers telling drivers to please use their blinkers and told me about it. I believe you wrote that article for me.
I was such a bad signal user. I believed that I didn't need to use them and that drivers should just stay away from me. But for some strange reason when I use my work vehicle, I signal faithfully. So I have taken your advice and now use my signals all the time.
A Yes, a convert! You have one wise sister.
Q When I was a kid, the local TV station's traffic reporter had a campaign going on turn-indicator violators. He requested that people use one of their hands to (no, not that!) flash a "blinker signal" to someone as a reminder to use their turn indicators. So we would open and close our five fingers at the same speed as a turn indicator with our arm outstretched -- pointed at a driver who should have used their blinkers. Perhaps if we started doing this here people would be reminded and all of us would be safer.
A Be careful. Some folks might respond to this hand gesture with a single-digit response.
Q I just bought a 2013 Chevy Volt and among the options is a feature called LDW (lane departure warning) while traveling at or above 35 mph. If you cross a lane marker without using your turn signal, the car alerts you with a flashing light on the display screen and a beeping sound. The car also has an anti-tailgating feature that alerts you at or above 25 mph when too close to the car in front of you.
I took delivery of this car as you were talking about turn-signal bumper stickers and my first thought was how nice it would be if all cars "scolded" a driver when they did not use the turn signal. Sadly this feature does not work below 35 mph, so in town it's not going to do anything for the jerk sitting at a red light, then turning left without signaling.
A Mrs. Roadshow and I mailed out the final Mercury News bumper stickers last weekend, so slap them on.
Q I once heard Click and Clack refer to using blinkers in Boston as something that was considered to be "giving aid and comfort to the enemy."
A We should all be allies when on the road.
Q You will be pleased to know that a friend was recently cited for not using his signal in the small town of Knightsen. The fine: $165!
A I bet your pal has learned a lesson.
Q After reading your columns about changing lanes and putting on your blinkers, I have thought a lot about my own behavior, trying to figure out why I put my blinker on sometimes and sometimes not. I rarely put on my blinker when I am changing lanes merely to pass, but I ALWAYS put on my blinker when changing lanes for a purpose -- in other words, getting off, or moving into another lane to stay there.
I know that probably sounds rather silly to make those unconscious decisions, but it was an interesting exercise in trying to figure out my behavior on this particular issue.
A Keep this simple. Use blinkers all the time.
Q I'm not so sure about your bumper sticker campaign. During my commute, I occasionally get behind someone who has a bumper sticker which says: "Visualize using your turn signals." He eventually makes a left turn during the portion of the route we share. And, guess what? He never signals!
Join Gary Richards on KLIV (1590-AM) Tuesday at 7 p.m. for an hourlong talk about traffic in the Bay Area with Carl Guardino 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.