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Does car color matter to be seen, day or night?
Dear Street Smarts, Q: Please tell, not ask, but tell all the not so smart drivers out there that we can't see them. Tell them to put their lights on when it's dark, foggy and raining. We can't see them in our side mirrors, nor our rear views. And if their car is a dark color, as most are – even red, they just blend into the roadway. They must be reminded that it is the law and that they might save some lives, and maybe themselves an expensive ticket. Maybe they can see without their lights but we can't see them. Thanks, Arn Ghigliazza, Santa Cruz A: Street Smarts did last week. Thank you for the reminder. While we're on the subject of car color and being seen, I was wondering if you think there is a correlation between vehicle color and likelihood of getting into a collision. The California Highway Patrol doesn't track vehicle color in its collision stats. What are your experiences in regard to this topic? Does color matter? As for me, I've noticed that vehicles in lanes next to me tend to try to merge into my lane while I am traveling next to them in traffic. My car is small, black and features daytime running lights. Sure, some of those scary moments occurred because the other driver relied solely on their mirrors and did not look over their shoulder to check their blind spot. But in the other cases, could it be that they just don't see me? My previous car was small, green and had daytime running lights. The merge issue was there, plus drivers would pull out right in front of me from driveways or side streets, causing some heart pounding moments. Sure you see them and say they must see me. But sometimes they appear to be surprised I'm there or flip me off thinking I cut them off somehow. What's your take? Share and your comments may appear in an upcoming column or blog. Red Light Cameras Last week, you may have heard that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released a study that showed that red light cameras saves lives. The findings were based on a study of 62 of the nation's large cities. Well, red light cameras can be found locally in the quaint Capitola by the Sea, where the police department reports that city's two cams are saving lives, as well. The camera at the entrance to the Capitola Mall was installed in October 2005, while the one at 41st Avenue and Clares Street was installed in November 2007. “Two years prior to installation showed 22 collisions combined at the intersections now monitored by the cameras,” said Sgt. Matt Eller. “Two years post installation showed two intersection collisions.” While some community voices have requested red light cameras in other parts of the county, the devices have not been installed due to cost, maintenance and staffing concerns.