Beefed-up traffic patrols: Law enforcement statewide will be on the lookout for impaired drivers, speeders, aggressive behavior and unrestrained motorists and passengers throughout the Labor Day weekend. The stepped-up traffic enforcement will extend into late Monday night. Enjoy the last hurrah of the summer, but play it safe and buckle up, folks.
All lanes open: Speaking of the long holiday weekend, the state Department of Transportation has announced that in order to smooth the way for more motorists on the road, there will be no road or lane closures or detours on the interstate system in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties during the Labor Day holiday period. This will extend through to Monday evening.
Free 'Tow to Go': One more bit of long holiday weekend information: Don't forget that AAA Club South and Budweiser will once again provide their free Tow to Go program throughout the Labor Day weekend to any drivers who have been imbibing and should not be on the road. AAA says the program has removed more than 14,000 drunken drivers from roads since it began in 1998. Anyone, AAA member or not, can call for a Tow to Go ride this weekend through Monday night. The service provides a confidential ride and tow home from any bar or restaurant free to motorists who may have had too much to drink. The number to call is 1-800-AAA-HELP (222-4357).
Who has right of way? Bicycle or car?
Reader Sally A. Horrell wrote to the Doc about an incident she recently observed involving a bicycle and a car. She posed a question about right of way:
"Assume a bike and a car are traveling in the same direction in the same lane. As they approach an intersection, the traffic light is green. They reach the corner at the same time, with the bike on the outside of the car. The bike rider wants to continue on through the intersection, but the person driving the car wants to turn right. Who has the right of way? I saw this scenario this week. I don't know if the car signaled, but the alert bike rider gave way for the car and then proceeded through the intersection. It scared me to think what could have happened. I have seen bikes approach a red light and not even stop. This is especially stupid if a car turns right on red. What is the correct thing to do?"
The first problem with this scenario is the third sentence ("They reach the corner at the same time, with the bike on the outside of the car"). Cyclists are by law expected to behave in traffic as they would were they driving a car or motorcycle — they are not to be riding abreast of any vehicle in a single lane (bike or car or motorcycle, etc.). So because the cyclist should not have been next to the car in the same lane it was appropriate that he/she gave way but the point of "Share the Road" is to truly share the road and make the same sound decisions when traveling on two wheels one would make while operating on four. And if it's not cool to run a red light in your car, the same holds true when you're on a bike.
Fares for St. Pete Trolley will increase in October
Fare increases for the St. Petersburg Trolley, administered by the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership, have been announced and will go into effect Oct. 2.
Regular adult fares will double to 50 cents each time a rider boards. Reduced fares for riders 65 and over, the disabled and Medicare cardholders are going up from 10 cents to 25 cents per ride.
The good news is that kids age 5 and younger still ride for free and newer air-conditioned trolleys will be ferrying passengers along the Central Avenue route. Trolley service will be expanded to serve Central Avenue from the Pier to Grand Central Station and Pass-a-Grille on St. Pete Beach. For more information, contact the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority at (727) 540-1900 or visit StPeteTrolley.com or PSTA.net.
Until next week, happy and safe motoring.
Please e-mail Dr. Delay at DocDelay@gmail.com to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions.