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

Autos Bill Love

MONDAY, JULY 22, 2013

Mixed signals

Faithful column followers know that I am not a fan of drivers’ informal signals which are intended to direct traffic according to their wishes and whims. I’m not referring to arm signals designating turns and stopping — those are definitive and legal. Nor do I…

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MONDAY, JULY 15, 2013

When things go well

I’ll always campaign for drivers to strive for precision while at the wheel, and pointing out common errors is a component of that plea process. Recognizing that we are all subject to driver error is the first requisite for improvement. And hopefully, the mistakes we…

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MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013

Tailgating is for sporting events

There are two common forms of tailgating. One is a celebratory gathering occurring on game day at a sporting event — that’s usually a good thing. The other is a practice of following the vehicle ahead at a distance too close to insure accident-avoidance during…

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MONDAY, JULY 1, 2013

Getting things done

I’m uncertain who’s responsible for it, but I thank whoever is. As I made my way through the intersection at 37thand Grand Avenue on the last day of school, I was pleased with the extra margin of safety and order afforded by the relatively new…

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MONDAY, JUNE 24, 2013

Department of redundancy department

I stated last week that good discussions often bear repetition. Even though I may have covered certain driving topics over past years, there are regular readers who’ve missed them and new readers who have not seen them. Besides that, occasional reminders help all drivers, and…

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MONDAY, JUNE 17, 2013

Readers express concerns

Thanks for your email messages. Whether I call them rants, grievances, or concerns, I always enjoy seeing your points of view on driving topics. Here are a few of those recent reader comments. Bicycle commuter B.S. sent a timely note, since the presence of the…

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MONDAY, JUNE 10, 2013

Rambling road report

The 40-plus hours spent in my vehicle during a recent round trip to San Diego allowed my thoughts to meander much like the roadway. As with driving near home, topics of thought are often initiated by the behavior of other drivers. Upon return, an email…

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MONDAY, JUNE 3, 2013

Let there be light

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is evidently very receptive to regulations placing safety innovations in our automobiles. Over the years, they’ve allowed and mandated such safety-conscious items as seat/lap belts, anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control and even TPMS (tire pressure monitoring systems), among…

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TUESDAY, MAY 28, 2013

Issues of time

Many of our driving frustrations involve time and our real or perceived lack of it. I say this because when readers or I express displeasure with others’ driving behavior, it’s often because those drivers are unfairly, illegally, or unnecessarily detaining us. Whether the offending irritation…

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MONDAY, MAY 20, 2013

What's on drivers' minds?

A couple of local drivers have sent me their peeves and thoughts. G.B. groused, “I have three pet peeves at the top of my list. First off are drivers who refuse to turn on their headlights until there is a 99% loss of daylight. Second…

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MONDAY, MAY 13, 2013

Down the road again

When I wrote of U.S 195 traffic “parades” last month, resulting feedback spawned a second column — now here goes a third. I regularly try to guess what is causing the driver mistakes I see, and possible medical conditions are among those guesses. Reader J.D.…

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MONDAY, MAY 6, 2013

Highway 195 revisited

After this column addressed the lengthy strings of traffic held up by slow drivers on U.S. 195, several readers shared their comments and opinions. J.F. noted and questioned, “After reading your column…on drivers blocking traffic on highway 195, just wanted to comment on a few…

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MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2013

Why no safety inspections?

My neighbor J.B. recently asked why all states don’t perform safety inspections as a condition of vehicle registration. I don’t have a definitive answer for the “why,” but I’m happy to share my opinions and thoughts on the topic. First, every state is grappling with…

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MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013

Drivers annoying drivers

Every topic regarding driving gets coverage here, but the discussion often reverts to the things drivers do that annoy fellow drivers: pet peeves. Some of those behaviors seem to irritate everyone (except the perpetrators) and others bug just a few. As an aside, I suspect…

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MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2013

Start vehicle and get moving

Many drivers waste fuel by excessively warming their vehicles before takeoff. Such actions are more common during the winter, when the process often involves unattended vehicles. Still, in any weather and whether there is someone in the driver’s seat or not, long warm ups are…

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Cell phones mix poorly with driving

When I wrote of driver distraction nearly a decade ago, things were different. The use of cell phones was well underway, but the obsession by drivers was yet undeveloped. It’s hard to believe, but back then texting had not even become popular! Now, although hand-held…

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A mix of issues

From reader inquiries and industry news, a mix of driving topics has come to mind. TPMS strikes again Reader T.M. wonders, “Is it against the law to mount tires without an operating t.p.m.s system?” The topic of TPMS was a lively one when I wrote…

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MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013

No shortage of driving peeves

As I travelled a 30 mph arterial last week, I was reminded that there’s no shortage of driving peeves. And, as with many aggravations occurring on the roadways, the upsetter may not even realize he or she is affecting the upsettee. In this case, a…

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MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2013

It pays to attain automatic driving habits

From novice to old pro, drivers should practice certain actions that become “automatic.” By doing things repetitively, each and every time they are warranted, some driving behavior can become genuinely automatic. Acts like applying safety belts or adjusting the seat and mirrors should happen virtually…

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MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2013

The biggest peeve

I covered the topic of turn signal neglect a couple of weeks ago. The column was titled “Still annoying after all these years” — at the time I did not know exactly how annoying. After that write-up, several readers emailed notes expressing disgust toward those…

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Too quiet for comfort

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants electric vehicles to make their presence better known. According to safety experts, electric cars, and hybrids running in the electric mode, emit too-few decibels; in fact, the sound output of these vehicles is virtually nonexistent, making them a…

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MONDAY, FEB. 25, 2013

Still annoying after all these years

We may never know if it’s due to laziness, incompetence or indifference, but many drivers fail to use vehicle “blinkers” to warn others of their intentions to make turns. This has probably been the case since the invention of turn signals, but, after all these…

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TUESDAY, FEB. 19, 2013

When is it time to quit?

People of any age can be horrible drivers, but advanced age often provides compelling reasons for elderly drivers to quit. Though many 16 to 65 year olds should surrender their licenses, and some are court-ordered to do so, the 65-plus crowd gets more scrutiny. The…

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MONDAY, FEB. 11, 2013

More local drivers shun studs

During my travels this winter, I still hear the unmistakable clatter of studded tires grinding our streets away. But thankfully, I am hearing that sound less and less. That’s because drivers here are shunning studded tire use in increasing numbers. Tire shop owners have told…

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MONDAY, FEB. 4, 2013

I could not have said it better

As I write of driving topics, express opinions, report poor driving witnessed and provide tips, it’s reassuring to know that readers are on my side. One such validation came from reader B.B in response to my column, “The School of Poor Driving.” He’s a locomotive…

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