Dear Saint Asphalt: I have a great idea for our General Assembly while it's in session. Change the law to make the right lane the passing lane, thereby clearing the left lane of all who feel they must be in the passing lane at all times. -- Your Friend
Dear Friend: Ha! Arkansas Code Annotated 27-51-301 tells us that vehicles shall not be driven in the left lane except to pass. Unless, duh, the right lane is, as is said in golf about the ground, under repair.
Note also the numerous signs put up along interstates that say "Slower traffic keep right, dadgum it."
Dear Mahatma: As I was traveling over the zig-zagged bridge over the Arkansas River heading into Little Rock we approached the area where the lanes are choked down. I was almost sideswiped by a giant pickup with some ridiculous tires that stuck out way too far. Going back, back, back in time I recall getting a citation while driving my 1969 GTO because the tires stuck out beyond the fenders. I seem to recall if the tire was outside the fender more than an inch you could be cited. Is that law still in effect? -- Ronnie & the Daytonas
Dear Ronnie: We asked Jeff Holmes about this. He's chief of the Highway Police, a division of the Arkansas Department of Transportation.
The only restriction on vehicle width, he said, is that it can't be wider than 102 inches.
We looked up the width of the most registered vehicle in Arkansas, the Chevrolet Silverado, which is right at 81 inches. Those would have to be some seriously big tires to add 21 inches.
Next time, stop the dude and measure. Ha! We jest.
Regarding the 1969 GTO, too bad it's long gone. We found one near St. Louis, fully restored, orange, beautiful. Right at a quarter-million dollars. Ha! We kid you not.
Regarding Ronnie & the Daytonas, they had a hit with "Little GTO" about 1.2 million years ago, in the 1960s.
Dear Mahatma: Speaking of construction on Interstate 30 in Benton, there is a sign that says, "Warning! High voltage wires overhead," or something like that. What, pray, are drivers supposed to do? Put their left hands in their pockets? -- Larry
Dear Larry: Ha-ha, as Dave Barry used to write.
(Barry, for those late to class, was a newspaper humorist. Google his column on colonoscopies, in which he coins the phrase "behindular zone.")
Gosh, Larry, your question tickled some zone in David Nilles, a frequent source for this column at the Arkansas Department of Transportation. He gives a logical answer, unlike ours, which had something to do with crop dusters.
Those signs, Nilles reported, are for the construction workers who operate heavy equipment in the construction zone. Some of that equipment may be capable of reaching above those wires -- cranes, concrete pourers, bucket trucks and such. The signs remind the workers of the danger above.
Vanity plate on a Range Rover: MAXDOUT.