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Dear Mahatma: Hope you are doing well. You missed the opportunity to tell your Interstate 630 construction zone guy that it's not real safe to use cruise control in a construction zone. -- Just Saying

Dear Saying: You refer to last week's column in which a driver fussed about speeding in that construction zone. He said he put his cruise control on 50 mph every morning and felt like the Lone Ranger as posses of bad guys blew past him.

This got us to thinking. Always dangerous, yes. We went to the Mahatmamobile and pulled out the owner's manual for our 138-horsepower grocery cart. The truck we want but will never get has 308 horsepower. A guy can dream ...

Back to cruise control. The owner's manual says cruise control can be dangerous when the vehicle can't be driven at a steady speed. Neither should cruise be used on winding roads or in heavy traffic. The I-630 construction zone isn't winding, but it does have heavy traffic. Driving at a steady speed seems improbable as well.

Dear Mahatma: One of your readers mentioned using a cruise control in a construction zone. Never a good idea when in a confined space like that. The driver needs to be alert and in control always. -- Warren

Dear Warren: When you're right, you're right. Especially about being alert and always in control.

Back to the owner's manual, which tells us that cruise control can also be dangerous on slippery roads. On such roads, "fast changes in tire traction can cause excessive wheel slip, and you could lose control. Do not use cruise control on slippery roads."

Slippery roads, in our feeble mind, means rain, sleet, snow, freezing rain and whatever else comes pouring down from the sky.

This is a good time for the perpetual reminder from many of our readers that when windshield wipers are engaged, lights must be on. This doesn't mean daylight running lamps, which are always on. This doesn't mean wait for the sensors to turn on the lights. This means turn on the lights, dadgum it, so that drivers behind can see your vehicle.

Dear Mahatma: U.S. 70 between Benton and Hot Springs is now a beautiful highway, but the facilities are bad, meaning the rest stop. Surely we can fix what we have there and clean things up. And I'm not sure the facilities are adequate for the number of picnic spots and the truck traffic.-- Gotta Go

Dear Go: David Nilles, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Transportation, reminds us that this rest stop had a problem with its water supply, and that portable toilets had to be put there earlier this year.

The water issue has been resolved, he said, and the building is back in operation. Nilles also said the local crew at that location would check the building for any problems with broken toilets or urinals.

Regarding the adequacy, he said there are no plans right now to expand the rest stop.

Metro on 12/08/2018

Print Headline: DRIVETIME MAHATMA: The word on cruisin': Take care


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