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Drivetime Mahatma by Frank Fellone
RSS for Drivetime Mahatma by Frank Fellone

A weekly column about Arkansas drivers and the roads they traverse.
Send your questions to Mahatma@arkansasonline.com

DRIVETIME: Little Rock project on Cantrell Road is first of two

posted: 11/18/2017 4:30 a.m. Discuss

Dear Mahatma: I am thrilled to see the near completion of work on the westbound Arkansas 10 ramp onto northbound Interstate 430. But it appears this only solves half the problem, with still a need for stopping of traffic for northbound traffic onto westbound Cantrell. Why all this work for half a fix? -- Missing Something

DRIVETIME MAHATMA: Reader asks what to do about 'maniac' speeding, weaving on I-430

posted: 11/11/2017 4:30 a.m. Comment 1

Dear Mahatma: I was driving north over the Interstate 430 bridge about 3:30 p.m. Traffic was heavy and slow, partly because of that big on-ramp project. All of a sudden, a driver in a white Jeep started weaving in and out of the three lanes. He even drove over the right shoulder to pass a truck! The guy was a maniac. What should a responsible citizen do in such a circumstance? -- Incensed

Drivetime Mahatma: NLR span job lengthy, nears finish

updated: 11/04/2017 2:58 a.m. Comment 1

Dear Knower of All Things: I'm thinking of a central Arkansas project that seems to be taking way too long to complete. It's the railroad overpass on the east end of McCain Boulevard in North Little Rock. Every time I go to the general mail facility it seems that no progress is being made. -- Tired of the Detour

Drivetime Mahatma: Engine off lets police relax a bit

posted: 10/28/2017 3:40 a.m. Discuss

Dear Mahatma: An addition to the "things to do if you get pulled over" list -- turn off your engine. If your windows are down, interior lights are on (after dark), hands are on the wheel AND your car is not running, you have put the police at ease as much as is in your power. Turning the vehicle off lets the officer know you're not about to hit the gas and turn into a rabbit. -- Your Fan Kevin

Drivetime Mahatma: In day rain, lesser lights don't cut it

posted: 10/21/2017 3:26 a.m. Discuss

Dear Mahatma: Are daytime running lights sufficient when it rains, or should we turn on the headlights? The driver's manual states headlights, but it was written before the advent of running lights. My personal view is that running lights are sufficient except in a heavy downpour. -- Frank, Too

DRIVETIME: Highway agency responds to reader complaint about 'laziness' in work on U.S. 67/167

updated: 10/16/2017 4:30 a.m. Comments 3

Dear Mahatma: Someone should investigate the highway job in Jacksonville on U.S. 67/167. This job has taken many, many years -- way too long. Meanwhile, Interstate 530, Interstate 440 and the Broadway bridge have all been completely rebuilt. There is no excuse for this level of laziness, especially on such an important corridor. -- Richard

Drivetime Mahatma: Real ID's complexity limits sites

posted: 10/07/2017 3:43 a.m. Comments 4

Dear Mahatma: Why is it necessary for me to drive over 30 miles to get an enhanced driver's license when there is a Revenue Office within a few blocks of my home? -- Newport

Drivetime Mahatma: Deep dive into Web finds truth

posted: 09/30/2017 3:54 a.m. Discuss

Dear Mahatma: The website of the Department of Finance & Administration doesn't list the Indian Hills office as one that issues enhanced driver's licenses. But that office actually does. -- Sharp-eyed

Drivetime Mahatma: New fancy ID license 2020 thing

posted: 09/23/2017 2:56 a.m. Comment 1

Dear Mahatma: I need to renew my driver's license next month. After reading an article in the newspaper, I'm not sure what I need to have to get the new, fancy-pants license that will be required in the future. I was simply confused, and hope you can clarify. -- Linda

DRIVETIME MAHATMA: For night stops, light up interior

posted: 09/16/2017 4:30 a.m. Discuss

Dear Mahatma: Of Trooper Chapman I would inquire about a nighttime stop. To her meaningful comments, I would add turning on interior lights if you are stopped after dark. When my wife and I approached a Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 10 in south Texas, I turned on the interiors before reaching the stopping point. The officer thanked me. -- Light on the Subject

Drivetime Mahatma: Stopped? It's hands on wheel

posted: 09/09/2017 3:37 a.m. Comments 2

Dear Mahatma: Our coffee group had a deep discussion about what a driver should do when pulled over on a traffic stop. Some in the group say remain in the driver's seat, hands on top of the steering wheel, eyes forward, until the officer tells you what to do. Others speculated that it is safer for the officer if you exit the vehicle and stand facing the officer, which would show him you are unarmed. Please clarify. -- Coffee Drinkers

Drivetime Mahatma: 30 days in, temporary tags kaput

posted: 09/02/2017 3:18 a.m. Discuss

Dear Mahatma: At a stoplight I noticed the car ahead of me with a paper temporary tag from APRIL. The next week in a parking lot I saw one from MAY. Aren't these just good for 30 days? -- Jane Ann

Drivetime Mahatma: Corps rules kept load off bridges

posted: 08/26/2017 2:28 a.m. Discuss

Dear Wise One: I bought a piece of large equipment in eastern Arkansas and needed to move it to western Arkansas. It needed a three-axle lowboy and a $250 oversize permit. I figured I would cross the Arkansas River at Pine Bluff on U.S. 79B. Not so fast, says the permit fella on the phone -- you can't cross that bridge; it's an Army Corps of Engineers bridge. What about the new bridge on the Pine Bluff bypass? Nope, that's a Corps bridge, too. What to do? Go to Little Rock, get on the interstate, cross the river on Interstate 30 downtown in all that traffic. Who dreams up such a rule? -- Small-town Driver

Drivetime Mahatma: Cloud lifts on fog line lay of land

posted: 08/19/2017 3:21 a.m. Discuss

Dear Mahatma: I don't remember "fog line" from driver's ed, but I sure read about it in the cases. So I did a Westlaw search and found 2,705 cases using the term. -- Defender of the First

Drivetime Mahatma: For some, fog line not at all clear

posted: 08/12/2017 2:23 a.m. Discuss

Dear DriveTime: I've had two separate conversations this week with drivers 69 and 58, both of whom did not recognize the term fog line in the context of traffic laws. I would think someone after 40-plus years of driving would have encountered this common term. It is, in fact, included in the Arkansas Driver License Study Guide. Is fog line a foreign term? -- Old Tom

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