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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Autos Bill Love

MONDAY, JULY 20, 2015

Another plea to share roads

A couple of months ago, I wrote of the “touchy coexistence” between two-wheeled and four-wheeled vehicles. The motorized two-wheelers, motorcycles and scooters, sometimes suffer the effects of size-disparity among four-wheeled cars and trucks. More vulnerable, however, are the bicyclists, who have a disadvantage of size…

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MONDAY, JULY 13, 2015

More bus discussion 

An email from a city bus driver informed me that people in automobiles display some crazy behavior around busses. At the time, he did not specify those antics, but his topic encouraged me to speculate about some of those behaviors in last week’s column. Now,…

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MONDAY, JULY 6, 2015

Driving with busses

An email from a city bus driver indicated that drivers do “stupid stuff” around busses. G.F. claimed he will compile some of those episodes and eventually forward them to me. He hasn’t sent them yet, but in the meantime, I can speculate on a few.…

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MONDAY, JUNE 29, 2015

More traffic, better drivers

During my drive to California in May, contrasts to our northwest driving experiences became evident. Approaching Los Angeles, I experienced the biggest difference: multiple freeways with multiple lanes. There’s a theory that more lanes allow improved traffic flow — a concept that may have been…

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MONDAY, JUNE 15, 2015

V2V making news again

Vehicle-to-vehicle communications, widely known as V2V, is regaining attention in the auto industry. Transponder systems that allow vehicles to signal their locations to one another show much promise for collision avoidance. And as certain entrepreneurs are proposing, such systems could provide further safety and convenience…

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MONDAY, JUNE 8, 2015

U-Turn addendum

This weekly column is about dispelling knowledge, and sometimes the recipient of that education is me. My May 23rd column explored allowable U-turns in Washington and Idaho. In summary, such turns are legal given certain prerequisites, such as no vehicles coming in either direction within…

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MONDAY, JUNE 1, 2015

A touchy coexistance

I’ve often noted the strained relationship that motor vehicles and bicycles seem to experience and demonstrate on our roadways. I’ve also written that I have little hope for a harmonious coexistence between the two. My skepticism rises from several factors, but I’m essentially hopeless for…

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TUESDAY, MAY 26, 2015

Allowed when "safe"

In Washington, certain driving maneuvers are allowed when drivers deem them to be “safe.” That may seem vague, but the rules of the road governing certain procedures leave their legality up to individual driver judgment. There are two examples within the same email from reader…

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MONDAY, MAY 18, 2015

Why two license plates?

Is one enough? Is two too many? Those are the basic questions pondered when states consider the number of license plates required on vehicles. But after B.W.’s email informed me that a House Bill suggesting single plates here received no consideration in Washington’s Legislature, I…

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MONDAY, MAY 11, 2015

Connected, driverless, or not

Technological advancement is rampant among automakers. Though sometimes moving in uncertain or even misguided directions, it nevertheless dominates industry news. Experts have differing opinions of the eventual results of this trend. For example, akin to the frenetic pace of road building once autos were invented,...

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MONDAY, MAY 4, 2015

Auto safety finally popularized

I like the noticeable trending of auto safety issues. I’ve been writing for years about the rampant annual tally of our country’s vehicle related deaths. Until recently, car and truck crashes have ended the lives of over 100 victims daily for decades. Thankfully, that number…

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MONDAY, APRIL 20, 2015

Keep conversation casual

It’s always been common for drivers to have conversations with passengers, but nowadays, phone conversations are also prevalent. Beyond that, many drivers can’t resist the lure of convenient text message communication. The latter is forbidden by law in just about every jurisdiction nationwide. But sadly,…

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MONDAY, APRIL 13, 2015

Recurring controversy

Over the years of this column’s publication, some driving topics give rise to recurring controversy. Although common sense and written law should dictate driver behavior, certain situations continue to be a source of uncertainty, frustration, and even rage. Differing opinions and indifference to established rules…

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Elder driver follow-up

Two weeks ago, I presented some situations involving the elder group of drivers. That included accidents related to diminishing awareness/reflexes/vision or health problems, aging drivers’ reluctance to give up the driving privilege, and even some apt remedies for these dilemmas. As is typical, readers followed…

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MONDAY, MARCH 30, 2015

Often forgotten prodedures

When we begin driving, we usually try hard to remember and employ all the new driving rules and tips coming our way. Back then, novice drivers are studying to get a learner’s permit, trying to impress driving instructors, or doing everything “by the book” to…

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MONDAY, MARCH 23, 2015

Does age matter?

As it relates to driving, we have an established minimum age. Should there be a mandatory maximum? It’s evident that young drivers contribute greatly to traffic accident and fatality statistics. In fact, motor vehicle accidents remain the number one cause of death for individuals up…

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MONDAY, MARCH 16, 2015

A city divided

Ever since the section of Sprague Avenue near downtown was altered from four lanes to two, comments I’ve heard regarding it have been mostly negative. Per my informal survey, anecdotal evidence also suggests a similar attitude toward the proposed lane reduction north of Indiana on…

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Safety tips to live by

At times I’ve hinted that to be safer in our motor vehicles, we’d all wear DOT approved helmets. That’s because nearly nine out of ten auto deaths result from an occupant’s head striking something within the car or truck. But since that is not a…

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A final winter's tale

Spring has sprung early this year, making streets soaked with magnesium chloride a mute point for now. Still, judging by reader response to the last two columns on the topic, many citizens share concern over the melter’s use and overuse — some individuals even wishing…

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MONDAY, FEB. 23, 2015

The modern car

I’ll readily admit that I sometimes long for the simplicity of “yesteryear” when it comes to automobiles. They did make use of basic electricity, but computers and associated electronic sensors were absent. Everything was quite rudimentary when compared to today’s vehicles — do-it-yourselfers even had…

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TUESDAY, FEB. 17, 2015

At least I'm not alone

Two weeks ago, when I wrote of the flagrant dispensing of liquid ice melter onto our roadways, I wondered if others shared my concern. I admitted then that the corrosive deicer has a valid place in the arsenal for winter road maintenance, along with plows…

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MONDAY, FEB. 9, 2015

In search of answers

Readers send many questions my way. Some have been answered before and others offer new opportunities for discussion; some questions have definitive answers while others just create more questions. This week, C.K. offered some samples, writing, “I grew up in the Midwest and moved out…

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MONDAY, FEB. 2, 2015

A personal rant

Many of my column topics directly reflect reader thoughts and concerns. Those reader ideas often mirror my own, and have widespread applicability and agreement. A phenomenon that I have not heard from readers about, but riles me, hopefully has at least a few proponents. That…

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MONDAY, JAN. 26, 2015

Impetus to drive well

In a past column I wrote that we all tend to double-check our driving behavior when a police cruiser is within eyeshot. I have noted this effect to be so strong, that even drivers already travelling at the posted speed limit often slow down further…

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MONDAY, JAN. 19, 2015

Driverless cars headed forward

We’ll be able to see the results of modern motor vehicle manufacturing at the Spokane International Auto Show this year. Many advanced driver assist features will also be on exhibit there this February 13th, 14th and 15th. These assists (lane departure warning, adaptive braking, et…

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