Drivetime Mahatma

Shoeless? Driving not forbidden in Arkansas

Hey: Now that the weather has warmed, the question has arisen. Is it legal to drive without shoes? -- Nancy

Dear Nancy: Not only has the weather warmed, it's weird. Must be spring. Clouds of oak pollen can't be far behind.

We have been told by law enforcement that the state's legal code includes naught that specifically mandates drivers wear shoes. Similar to the conundrum of whether or not it's legal to drive with a dog in the lap.

In either case, a policeman using his discretion could ticket a driver for careless and prohibited driving, which would cover a multitude of sins. As we all know, watching other drivers, they commit a multitude of sins every day.

Fortunately, we all drive without sin, because we are special.

Dear All-Knowing One: I'm seeing outlines of bicycles with chevrons above them painted on streets in North Little Rock, but no explanation of their meaning. Help me out, dude. -- Jimbo

Dear Jimbo: North Little Rock spokesman Nathan Hamilton said the markings are called sharrows, some of which have been recently added to North Hills Boulevard after it was repaved.

The markings tell both drivers and bicyclists that the roadway is a designated bicycle route, to be shared by both in accordance with state law.

(Whoa. This reminds us of the three-foot rule. State law requires drivers to give bicyclists at least three feet of space while passing.)

Will there be more of these sharrows? Yes, Hamilton said. As roads that are designated bicycle routes are resurfaced and striped, sharrows will be added.

Where? All over town, according to our examination of the city's bicycle plan map. The map can be found in the master street plan of North Little Rock. Google it.

For further education, a bicycle route is different than either a bicycle path or a bicycle lane.

A path is physically separated from traffic by an open space or barrier. See Military Road in North Little Rock.

A bicycle lane lies within the right of way, designated by striping, signing, and pavement markings for the preferential or exclusive use of people on a bicycle. Excellent examples: part of Main Street and Louisiana Street in downtown Little Rock.

Dear Mahatma: I renewed my license tag for three years at a cost of $83.67. Before the renewal went into effect, I sold the car, and no longer had a need for that plate. I requested a refund from the Department of Finance & Administration, but was denied. This seems unfair. -- Slam Dunked

Dear Dunked: Jake Bleed speaks for the finance department, and eloquently, although you won't like the answer.

He can't speak about a specific case, Bleed said, because of the federal Drivers Privacy Protection Act. Hypothetically speaking, if a driver sells his vehicle or is otherwise unable to use it while it's registered, DF&A can't refund any fees because it has no statutory authority to do so.

Vanity plate seen on a yellow Corvette: MLOYELO

Metro on 03/25/2017