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Honk Friday, April 18, 2008

Double yellow applies at all times JIM RADCLIFFE Register Columnist


Honk Comments/Recommend

Q. Last week while driving the diamond lane, we were detoured off of the lane and we crossed over a double yellow line. Can we cross back over the double line at the end of the detour? The detour was to allow road repair.

Neil Barbanell, San Clemente


Honk knows that having to detour for, say, a Caltrans sweeper truck and then getting stuck in the muck of congestion would be as pleasing as those obnoxious telephone solicitors (I mean, how many sales do they actually make after the recipient has said "no'' three times?).

With a traditional car-pool lane, you would have to wait until there is another entrance point, says Officer Rolf Trondsen, an Irvine-based California Highway Patrol spokesman.

Of course, if a cop, firefighter or authorized road worker directs you over the double yellow line, you can slide back in without worry of a penalty.

(The Garden Grove (22) Freeway is different, of course: A motorist with a passenger can cross back into the continuous-access car-pool lane at any point.)

Q. Please clarify your answer to the "text-messaging" question two weeks ago: If the offense by a teenager is against the law that takes effect on July 1, why would an officer NOT be able to pull the driver over JUST for breaking the law? And how does the fine get levied if one does not get stopped?

Jean Dickson, Corona

A. The Ol' Boy should have explained this law a bit better. Honk mentioned that two cell-phone laws go into effect on July 1. One will require adult motorists, except in rare situations like emergencies, to only use a cell with a hands-free device.

The other new law will prohibit those under 18 from driving while using a cell, a laptop, a pager or a text-message device. Honk mentioned, correctly, that a cop cannot pull someone over for this teen-targeted violation alone. But if the driver were pulled over for another violation, then the officer could explore adding this new law to the citation.

Honk talked to some folks familiar with this teen law. It was designed to NOT put a cop in an age-guessing game. It is the same logic used for car-pool lanes: The law doesn't want Officer Friendly looking over and seeing a pimply-faced teen and wondering, Is that kid too young to have a driver's license, and therefore shouldn't be considered a qualified passenger for a car-pool lane, designed to take motorists off of the road?

But, ANY motorist using a cell without a hands-free device will be vulnerable to getting stopped solely for that offense.

Fact of the week

:On April 7, Santa Ana's Chris Guenzler, 50, nabbed his millionth mile aboard Amtrak at the La Plata, Mo., station. In all, he has ridden the rails more than 1,069,000 miles.

More importantly: Today is Guenzler's 4,839 day of sobriety. Jumping aboard trains, he says, helped him overcome alcohol.

Source:Chris Guenzler Train Travel Page

Contact the writer: Got a question? Contact Radcliffe at or 714-550-4636, ext. HONK (4665). See Honk online: