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A NOT-SO-SUBTLE PLEA TO GET OUT OF THE WAY

A Florida lawmaker didn't succeed in making it illegal to dilly-dally in the left lane, but a group called Left Lane Drivers of America has an idea to get those who snooze in the passing lane to move to the right - a large decal reading "Move Over" with an arrow pointing to the slow lane. The decal is placed in your car with the lettering backwards so the slowpoke can see it in his or her rearview mirror. However, it runs $29 and we have a hunch most folks will rely on flashing lights or honking horns instead. Check it out at www.leftlanedrivers.org.

Guess what? We don't want an SUV

Consumers who own one aren't as likely to buy another big sport-ute or pickup when gas prices go up as they do when prices go down. No degree in rocket science needed to figure that out, but the folks from J.D. Power and Associates Power Information Network thought we all needed proof anyway. The Power Network surveyed consumers on owner loyalty and found that, as gas prices rise, those who own a large SUV have taken a liking to crossovers that hold just as many people and things, but get far better mileage - and offer all-wheel-drive. Those who own large pickups don't have such an alternative so they simply hold onto the old truck longer.

Why have cycle deaths doubled?

Motorcycle deaths have more than doubled since 1997, setting off alarms among safety regulators in Washington and the motorcycle industry. But pinpointing the causes and prescribing cures could take years. One obvious reason for the spike is that U.S. motorcycle sales more than tripled in the last 10 years, topping 1.1-million last year. That has brought thousands of new riders into the sport and thousands more baby boomers back into the saddle, most with little or no training. No one disputes that this rapid growth has helped fuel the increase in deaths, which the government estimates rose to nearly 4,800 last year from a low of 2,116 in 1997. But nobody can say whether it is because of a lack of training, eroding physical skills of aging riders, alcohol impairment, speeding, the inattention of other drivers or that more riders are racking up more miles.

MY FIRST CAR - Tom Burney, 39, New Port Richey

'67 Chevy C-10 pickup: "Nothing was original. Its engine was a 400 small block. Attached was a Muncie "rockcrusher" four-speed. Pro-Trac N-50-15 tires, which back in the day were huge for street tires. It was so much fun."

Have a story?

Tell us about your first car. E-mail your name, city, age, a short description, including make/model, and a photo to drive @tampabay.com.

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