Reader still appreciates Prius advice from 12 years ago … and her Prius: Roadshow

Another reader shares the best excuse he has ever given to a police officer for speeding

Q: You recently shared stories about drivers’ excuses. Here’s my contribution.

I was living in Palo Alto and working in Burlingame 45 years ago. After finishing up late one Sunday night, I had about 25 minutes to get to my favorite Menlo Park burger joint (the Oasis, which has since closed). Driving at least 10-15 mph over the speed limit on Middlefield Road, I was red-lighted by an Atherton PD cruiser.

He began by asking, “Why could you possibly need to be speeding this late on a Sunday night?” “Honest answer…,” I said. I’m trying to get to the Oasis before they close the grill.” “And what time would that be?” he asked. “Midnight,” I said. He then looked at his watch and said, “Well, you’ve got about five minutes,” before walking away.

When I arrived at the Oasis and told them my story, they even compensated me for my meal!

Mr. John Ebert

A: Wonderful story; thank you for sharing it.

Q: I commented on your Prius lovefest back in 2011. My beloved Passat had been totaled by a massive SUV. While driving new cars (including the Audi A4, BMW, and Infiniti), I was surprised to find that I preferred the Prius. I purchased it. You contacted me a year later and inquired as to how I was feeling at the time. Of course, I adored it… and continue to do so.

I’m glad I paid attention to you.

Mrs. Sally Chappel

A: I’m glad the advice and Prius helped you out.

Q: I recall having to signal for at least 100 feet before performing the advertised move. Is that correct?


A: According to the California Driver’s Handbook, you should signal:

  • At least 100 feet before you turn
  • Before every lane change
  • At least five seconds before you change lanes on a freeway
  • Before pulling next to or away from a curb
  • Even when you do not see other vehicles around you
  • When you are almost through an intersection if you will turn shortly after the intersection

Q: I enjoy your newspaper articles about traffic problems in the Bay Area.

I’ve commuted in the Bay Area my entire career and have noticed much more traffic on freeways since the pandemic.

This is my pet peeve. It’s at the northbound Coleman and Brokaw left turn. Because there is always a long line there, I’ve noticed that nearly half of the drivers make a right turn at Brokaw, then a U-turn to try to avoid the long line at Coleman. They’re a bunch of liars, while the rest of us patiently wait in the long line at Coleman.

Please report this to the SJPD so that they can be apprehended.

Now I’m feeling much better!

Mr. Andres Valdez

A: I’m glad you enjoy the column. I’ll pass along your concern.

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