Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Autos Bill Love

MONDAY, JAN. 12, 2015

Semantics, semantics, semantics

When evaluating real estate, it’s regularly recommended, redundantly, to consider location, location, location. Concerning the dissection of the legalese within traffic laws, a similar, applicable mantra might be, semantics, semantics, semantics. In an earlier column, I wrote that “passing, by any other name, is still…

Continue reading this post »

MONDAY, JAN. 5, 2015

Resolutions: 2015 edition

Many of us use the beginning of a new calendar year as a prompt to make resolutions that might improve our lives. Diet and exercise are perennial faves, but try to think of some that might improve your driving this year. I have a few…

Continue reading this post »

MONDAY, DEC. 29, 2014

Reexamining lane use

The emailed comments and questions regarding lane use are seemingly endless, so let’s reexamine the topic. Reader R.H. commented, “I would like to broaden the conversation with regard to your recent article on the use of the inside lane when driving on freeways. The law…

Continue reading this post »

MONDAY, DEC. 22, 2014

Passing, by any other name...

A line from William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” is often referenced to imply that labels don’t change what things really are. Similarly, passing, by any other name, is still passing. A reader once told me…

Continue reading this post »

MONDAY, DEC. 15, 2014

Lust for the left lane

Regular readers know that I exercise a crusade against wrongful left lane use for roadways with at least two lanes provided for each direction of travel. I will continue to do so, as I regularly find evidence of drivers with an innate lust for the…

Continue reading this post »

MONDAY, DEC. 8, 2014

The passing lane

When referencing the lane to the left of and adjacent to the right hand freeway lane, “passing lane” would be preferable to “left lane.” That designation better defines its primary purpose: to accommodate vehicles overtaking slower vehicles. An email from reader D.P. exemplifies potential confusion…

Continue reading this post »

MONDAY, DEC. 1, 2014

Pay-by-mile insurance

Metromile is trying to change the way low-annual-mile drivers pay for auto insurance. The 2014 San Francisco startup offers customers a free device that, when plugged into a vehicle’s OBD-II port, sends mileage data to the company via a smartphone app. Vehicle data, relayed to…

Continue reading this post »

MONDAY, NOV. 24, 2014

Driver etiquette lacking

I could easily relate to a reader’s recent note. Within it, P.Z. pointed out a couple of pet peeves that bother him, me, and many other drivers. The first gripe described a typical, annoying and unsafe driver habit: the inability to make an expeditious pass.…

Continue reading this post »

MONDAY, NOV. 17, 2014

Adjust to winter driving

Soon, we are likely to experience additional driving challenges. With the advent of winter’s rain, fog, ice, snow and additional hours of darkness, we must adjust our driving behavior accordingly to be safe. First, never drive “over your head.” If weather and road conditions deteriorate…

Continue reading this post »

MONDAY, NOV. 10, 2014

Scrutinize those driving tips

I received a reader email with a couple of driving tips that especially apply as winter approaches. Sometimes, simple reminders like these may thwart an accident or save a life — just be certain that it’s good advice before you heed it. Reader R.L. actually…

Continue reading this post »

MONDAY, NOV. 3, 2014

Applying the B.R.A.K.E.S.

Tragically, an inordinate number of teenage drivers — some 5000 annually — lose their lives in automobile accidents. We all hear about those disasters in the news, but when one father, NHRA drag racer Doug Herbert, lost his own two sons in a 2008 highway…

Continue reading this post »

MONDAY, OCT. 27, 2014

Many are driving well

What if every driver had a sign affixed to the rear of their vehicle asking, “How am I driving?” Based on the driver mistakes discussed here and the countless peeves reported by readers, the toll-free number typically following that question would be very busy with…

Continue reading this post »

MONDAY, OCT. 20, 2014

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

At the risk of appearing ancient, I’ll admit that the 1971 hit song “Signs” came to mind the other day as I drove east on 29th Avenue. When I approached a green light at the intersection with Perry Street, a vehicle going north on Perry…

Continue reading this post »

MONDAY, OCT. 13, 2014

Open to interpretation

Each state has formed a lengthy list of road rules, attempting to govern every driving scenario with a required course of action. Within those laws, one can find a prescribed behavior to match nearly every traffic situation. At times, however, those specifics of required driver…

Continue reading this post »

MONDAY, OCT. 6, 2014

Exceptions to the rules

I previously recounted a reader’s episode experienced while passing a left-turning vehicle within the city limits of a small town north of Spokane. In that instance, the driver of the turning vehicle attempted to thwart the reader’s pass with a blocking move. My reaction was…

Continue reading this post »

MONDAY, SEPT. 29, 2014

Self-driving features go mainstream

We all know that machines can be assembled and electronically programmed to exceed certain human capabilities. A couple of those capabilities are surveillance and reaction time — two skills used over and over while driving. That reality creates the main impetus for research and development…

Continue reading this post »

MONDAY, SEPT. 22, 2014

Controlling others invites havoc

Trying to control the actions of other drivers is generally ill-advised. It’s especially wrong when the perceived correction or “enforcement” is based on faulty knowledge. Last year, I witnessed a driver who made the effort to move into the about-to-be-closed right-hand lane of a construction…

Continue reading this post »

TUESDAY, SEPT. 16, 2014

The science of window tint

A recent column about vehicle equipment standards prompted a message form reader R.C., who commented, “I am sure I could find the state code site (for Idaho, since I’m in Idaho) but an article covering the subject might be appropriate since it’s quite involved. I…

Continue reading this post »

MONDAY, SEPT. 8, 2014

V2V network needs funder

A long-proposed V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) communications network needs someone to “take the reigns” for funding, building and running the proposed technology. A consortium of automakers, corporations and government agencies have envisioned and pondered the “Internet of cars” over the last several years. As currently conceived, new…

Continue reading this post »

TUESDAY, SEPT. 2, 2014

Vehicle equipment matters

On any given outing, your vehicle may run, its tires have air and be keeping up with the flow of traffic. But that doesn’t qualify your ride of being in accordance with a slew of state requirements. Non-compliance with equipment standards can render your ride…

Continue reading this post »

MONDAY, AUG. 25, 2014

Check engine light woes

Ignoring or sticking black electrical tape over your car’s lit check engine light is not an advisable course of action. Since computers began running and monitoring vehicle systems in the early 1980s, that yellow-orange check engine light has been a “catch-all” for warning drivers of…

Continue reading this post »

MONDAY, AUG. 11, 2014

Avoiding vehicle crashes

This summer, I’ve touted my perceptions of the positive aspects of road trips. While currently in the midst of another 5000-miler, there is ample time to ponder some more. Covering wide-open stretches by auto allows one more time for thought than typical day-to-day drives. While…

Continue reading this post »

MONDAY, AUG. 4, 2014

How to act when stopped

Most drivers get a bit nervous when a police vehicle is following them. That nervousness is not warranted if you are driving properly, but if the cruiser’s rooftop-mounted light bar is activated, nervousness may be an understatement. A traffic stop by an officer of the…

Continue reading this post »

TUESDAY, JULY 29, 2014

Your commute to work

The route to and from one’s workplace, commonly known as a “commute,” varies widely among drivers. The time it takes people to get to work depends not only upon the distance involved, but also on traffic, road conditions and weather. How long is your commute?…

Continue reading this post »

MONDAY, JULY 21, 2014

Be tolerant of road work

I don’t think anyone is happy to see “Road Work Ahead” signs while driving. Those warnings typically foreshadow miles of detours, single lanes, and lowered speed limits. But even though we dislike the slowdowns that come with them, those signs also represent good things to…

Continue reading this post »