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A Press Democrat Blog

Road Warrior

Trying to make sense out of getting around

Feds want ‘black boxes’ in most new cars, trucks

You may not know it, but your car probably has a “black box” that records at least 15 types of data. Now the federal government wants them in most new cars and trucks. Some say it’s an invasion of privacy; others say it’ll  improve safety. Here’s an interesting story from the Associated Press that explains it all: By JOAN LOWY Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) —  Many motorists don’t know it, but it’s likely that every time they get behind the… Read More »

Tax Day deadlier for drivers, passengers, pedestrians

Tax Day is coming — April 17 this year — and here’s an interesting story from the Associated Press to keep in mind: By LINDSEY TANNER AP Medical Writer CHICAGO (AP) — The two certainties in life — death and taxes — may be more intertwined than Ben Franklin ever imagined: A study found that deadly auto accidents increase on Tax Day. Drivers recklessly racing to the post office to meet the deadline might be one reason. Or it could… Read More »

57 tickets in Petaluma bicycle-pedestrian crackdown

A crackdown Friday on bicycle and pedestrian violations in Petaluma resulted in the city’s traffic officers handing out 57 tickets and 18 warnings. A similar enforcement in January in Petaluma prompted 32 tickets and 83 warnings. Police Sgt. Ken Savano said in a statement that bicycle violations included riding without a helmet, riding on the wrong side of the road and running stop signs.  Pedestrian violations included vehicles not yielding to pedestrians in a crosswalk, pedestrians in the roadway impeding… Read More »

Feds want carmakers to disable distracting gadgets

The federal government says carmakers are loading up cars with too many gadgets distracting to drivers. So if you have a car with GPS devices and such, here’s a story you should read:   By JOAN LOWY Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Auto dashboards are becoming an arcade of text messages, GPS images, phone calls and web surfing, the government says, and it’s asking carmakers to curb those distractions when vehicles are moving. Manufacturers have been loading up higher-end vehicles… Read More »

Crackdown under way on seat belt violators

A two-week crackdown starts today on those who don’t use their seat belts. More than 100 police agencies statewide, including the CHP and Petaluma police, are participating in the special campaign, funded by the state Office of Traffic Safety via the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The crackdown, which occurs twice a year, goes through Nov. 28. Petaluma Sgt. Ken Savano said his officers will be paying extra attention on whether drivers and passengers are using seat belts. It’s something… Read More »