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Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Thursday, May 4, 2000


Safety sticker should
be visible, at rear

Question: By law, where are the safety inspection stickers supposed to be displayed?

Answer: The safety sticker is supposed to be affixed "to the rear of the vehicle."

But the state statute doesn't specify an exact location.

"The intent (of the law) is for law enforcement officers to readily see the safety inspection decal," said David Mau, assistant licensing administrator for the city Motor Vehicle and Licensing Division. But officials also want to make sure its placement doesn't interfere with the driver's line of vision.

The rule of thumb is to get the sticker as close as possible to the license plate, but not be on the plate itself, Mau said.

The statute covering license plates prohibits anything being affixed to the plates, except for the vehicle registration sticker, which is to be placed in the upper right hand corner.

The general practice has been to place safety stickers on the right rear bumper, but there have been some exceptions, Mau said. For example, on some classic cars, there are no definitive bumpers. So stickers were allowed to be placed on the rear window.

Another option is to affix the stickers to a "sheet-metal mounting plate," placed under the rear bumper, Mau said.

If inspectors at safety check stations have any questions, they will call the city's motor vehicle control office for advice, Mau said.

Q: I remember reading that electric cars would be allowed to use the Zipper Lane, regardless of the number of passengers in them. Is that still the case? How about the new hybrid cars, with both electric and gas propulsion systems, like the Honda Insight and the upcoming Toyota Prius? Will they be allowed in the Zipper Lane with fewer than three occupants? I live in Mililani, need to use my car throughout the day and I go to various places all day long. When I have to commute to downtown during rush hour, it's an unpredictable one-to-two-hour nightmare. As our elected officials must know by now, 95 percent of commuters have had 30 to 45 minutes added to their commute as a result of the Zipper Lane, if they don't qualify to use it.

A: The requirements for using the Zipper Lane have not changed -- vehicles must be carrying three or more people, said Marilyn Kali, spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation.

She disputed your statement that the Zipper Lane has increased commute time in the leeward area.

"Our traffic counts all indicate that we reduced traffic in the other lanes on the freeway by about 10 percent when we opened the Zipper, so traffic actually is flowing a lot smoother with the Zipper than without it," Kali said.

Mahalo

To a truck driver who was teaching his son to drive the evening of April 6 when I had a flat tire. He very kindly put my "doughnut" tire on and gave me some good advice. He is a terrific Samaritan and a good example to his son. Mahalo also to my neighbor who pointed out the doughnut was flat the next morning. I got a new tire and everything is fine. -- Anonymous

Auwe

To the jerk who would not slow down or back up when I pulled onto King Street, Diamond Head of University Avenue, leaving me stranded and stopping all traffic going diamondhead on King until the light turned green. I had the green light and there was not a car behind you. Real smart aloha. -- Christopher Jones





Need help with problems? Call Kokua Line at 525-8686,
fax 525-6711, or write to P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
Email to kokualine@starbulletin.com




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