Curt S. Mowers
Q uestion: I am a paramedic and we see an extreme amount of vehicles failing to move over for us when we are coming up behind them. One big reason for them not seeing us (other than being inattentive) is because they are pulling a trailer and they don’t have the required mirrors to see around their trailer or load. This is very dangerous for everyone and frustrating for us, so can you talk about vehicles having adequate and legal mirrors please?
Question: How about an article on hitting a deer and what to do? Have you had one of those lately with deer season coming up? Answer: Great timing! Yes, we normally talk about this every year about this time. Drivers need to be aware that we are currently seeing a lot more deer on the run right now, and more are starting to get hit. Slow down when you get to an area with trees on either or both sides of the road, and watch for deer! We are seeing some bear getting hit now, too.
Question: I know people who have been involved in a couple of minor crashes who had child car seats in the vehicle with children in them at the time of the crashes. Do they automatically have to replace those seats? Or can they bring them to a police station or fire hall to have them checked out for safety reasons? Thanks for whatever information you can provide.
Question: What ever happened to school safety patrol officers? I used to see them in our area and they used to be seen all over the state. Has this program ended?
Question: I got a DWI recently and my driver’s license is revoked and I no longer own a motor vehicle. I do have an ATV and was wondering if I need a driver’s license to operate it. Answer: In general, a valid driver’s license is required to operate an ATV on a road right-of-way. A driver’s license is not required to operate an ATV on a designated trail that includes a ROW.
Question: I notice that sometimes drivers forget to dim their headlights. Is it legal to “flick” from low beams to high beams as a reminder? I know it is probably not a good idea, but I just want to see what you have to say about it.
Question: Is there any information about texting by drivers of commercial motor vehicles? I was wondering if it’s even more dangerous (or costly) for them than for drivers of regular vehicles. Answer: According to information from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website, research shows that it is six times more likely for a commercial vehicle driver to be involved in a safety-critical event when dialing a mobile phone (including texting) than those who do not.
Question: What is up with the use of dealer plates? Seems like I see a lot of them and I thought there were laws regarding their use. Aren’t there any restrictions in their use at all or what? Also, what about the IT plates I see on dealer vehicles? Are they different? How can I report these violations?
Question: I was recently arrested for fourth degree DWI and was later informed by DVS that my license would be revoked for one year as a result of the arrest. I am confused because I had been advised by the officer at the time of the arrest that the revocation period would be for only 90 days. I have had two prior DWI offenses on my record, both 11 years prior (outside of 10 years) so I was of the understanding that my prior offenses weren’t relevant to my recent arrest. What’s the deal?
Question: Roundabouts are popping up all over around Minnesota. How many are there in other places? Are they just as popular in other countries or not? Answer: According to figures put out recently by the Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, there are about 2,000 roundabouts in the United States. If you think that’s a lot, you can compare that to France, who has about 20,000 roundabouts, or to Australia who has about 15,000 roundabouts. The U.K. is also reported to have about 10,000 roundabouts.