Did you know that not paying a traffic ticket received while cycling can impact your ability to get a driver’s license? And stopping in a carpool lane to merge into slow traffic beside it is illegal? Also, if you see a distracted driver who is behaving more like a drunk or drugged driver, by all means call 911 and report him or her to the police.
Each week Street Smarts receives the Ask George column, the DMV’s transportation column that features frequently asked questions the agency receives from patrons.
In this week’s edition:
Bicycle citations can delay driver’s license receipt
When cyclists get a traffic ticket, the traffic court reports the violation to the DMV so it can ensure the fine is paid. Since owning a driver license is not required to ride a bike, no points will be added to the traffic offender’s driving record. However, if the person who is cited does not have a driver license, a driving record will be created. If the traffic ticket goes unpaid, the DMV could bar the traffic offender from getting a driver license until they pay the fine. The violation will be removed from the driving record when payment is received by the court. Learn more cycling tips at www.DMV.ca.gov/dl/vioptct.htm.
Carpool lanes and stopped traffic next to it
If you are driving in a carpool lane, your exit is fast approaching and traffic in the next travel lane is stopped, it is illegal for you to stop and attempt to merge. Instead, plan ahead and perhaps exit earlier than you’d like to avoid being a hazard to other drivers on the road. Learn more driving tips at http://www.DMV.ca.gov/pubs/pubs.htm.
Report distracted drivers who are behaving badly
Drivers who chat on their cell phones tend to change speeds, swerve and do other things that mimic drunk drivers. If you feel the safety of yourself and/or others on the road could be in danger by this erratic driver, call 911. Make sure to give the dispatcher the location and direction of travel, as well as and description of the vehicle and its driver, including any passengers. Try to relay as much detail as possible such as the vehicle’s license plate number, make, model and color. This helps officers find the offending motorist and respond appropriately.
Learn more about distracted driving at Distracted Driving, Don’t be a Statistic.