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Dear Mahatma: Does a driver have to stop before making a right turn when a traffic signal displays a circular red light AND a green right-turn arrow at the same time? If a vehicle can proceed without stopping, what's the point in having the red light? -- Jake

Dear Jake: This should not be confusing -- this from a guy who's confused 90% of the time. The rule is to always come to a full stop at a red light before making the right turn. Consider the red ball a reminder.

We recall that a right turn on red is the child of Dale Bumpers, a former Arkansas governor and senator who introduced a bill in Congress to allow the maneuver. This was during an era in which OPEC, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, had the world over an oil barrel. The right turn was designed to save gasoline.

This led to the joke that Bumpers, a Democrat, was right on red and left on everything else. Yeah, well, you had to be there.

Dear Mahatma: What can you tell me about the wildflowers on the side of roadways? My drive from Beebe to Little Rock on U.S. 67/167 is gorgeous. The sides of the roads and the medians are filled with yellow and white wildflowers. It's like taking a short vacation each day. Can this be a coincidence or is it on purpose? -- Musings of a Wildflower Lover

Dear Musing:The Arkansas Department of Transportation tells us that it plants wildflowers on more than 200,000 acres of roadside. And that throughout the state about 1,000 miles of highways are included in a system of wildflower routes. Maintenance practices along these routes allow the wildflowers to prosper.

The program is in three parts: a Wildflower Route Program to preserve existing wildflower populations; Operation Wildflower, which establishes new wildflower populations; and the Wildflower Sign Program to increase public awareness.

The department has a wildflower brochure that shows each highway with a wildflower route.

Dear Mahatma: Have you pulled into a Sonic parking space in a normal low height car? One has to get out of the vehicle to read the raised menu sign. Go see for yourself. -- Charles

Dear Charles: Teenagers occasionally take us to Sonic. Your point is well-taken. Fortunately, we now drive a truck, and it's high enough to make contact with the car hops.

We have read in the newspapers that light trucks -- a definition which includes SUVs -- now make up about 69 percent of new-vehicle sales. Meaning cars are a mere 31 percent of new-vehicle sales.

We looked in our garage and discovered our two vehicles are now, by definition, light trucks. The newspapers also report that major automakers such as GM and Ford are eliminating sedans such as the Chevrolet Impala and the Ford Taurus.

Like sands through an hourglass, so go the tastes of the driving public.

Fjfellone@gmail.com

Metro on 08/31/2019

Print Headline: DRIVETIME MAHATMA: If arrow is green, still stop at red

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