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Is a ticket issued when a driver runs out of gas? One morning recently a car was stalled on the Interstate 30 bridge, backing up traffic for miles. When I finally passed, a sheriff's deputy was pouring gas in the car. Many people were late for work because of one person's irresponsible actions. -- Frowning

Dear Frown: Our first thought was -- ticket for what? So we went to the legal code, first to Chapter 51, which covers operation of vehicles and rules of the road. Please remember our law degree was earned online from the back of a box of peanut butter Cap'n Crunch. So anything written here is, um, subject to further review. Like pass interference penalties in the NFL. Only this review won't take nearly as long.

Careless and prohibited driving includes many prohibited acts, one of which is to "operate any vehicle in such a manner which would cause a failure to maintain control." Maybe a police officer would issue a ticket, and a judge would agree that failure to put gas in a car equates to a failure to maintain control of that car. Or not.

Onward to Subtitle Three, which is all about motor vehicles and their equipment. If there's something in there about running out of gas, it's carefully hidden.

On now to the Arkansas Driver License Study Guide, a publication of the Arkansas State Police. There's a section titled "Before you drive." This section is mostly about seat belts, tires, mirrors, headlights and a whole lot more. But there is this: "Take a moment before you drive to check the safety of your vehicle. A vehicle in poor operating condition is unsafe and could cause you to become disabled along the roadside or even cause an accident."

Good advice, but we don't see anything specific about running out of gas.

Ergo, as any good attorney would say, we don't know. Perhaps someone in our vast readership would have a more definitive answer.

In the meantime, remember that but for the grace of the Traffic Gods, that could be any of us.

Dear Mahatma: A couple of years ago both rest areas on Interstate 40 at the White River were remodeled. It seems that ever since they are closed more than they are open. Why? -- Gotta Go

Dear Gotta: Everything is complicated. To us, anyway. Because we are simple minded.

ArDot, the Arkansas Department of Transportation, operates these rest stops. It credits (blames?) the closures on the sewer system.

The sewer lines were installed in the 1990s. The sewage has to be ground and pumped across the White River and several miles to the nearest municipal sewer system.

Turns out recent closures are connected to the need to replace the portion of the sewer line that crosses the river. This project is both expensive and time-consuming. ArDot says it's trying to determine the most cost-efficient way to accomplish the task before proceeding.

Fjfellone@gmail.com

Metro on 01/18/2020

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