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Working from home has unexpected downside for recent CAV buyers: Roadshow

Q: I bought a new plug-in Prius in late 2019, primarily to take advantage of the carpool sticker benefits on my looong Pittsburg to South San Francisco commute. It had grown to be 2-2.5 hours each way and was destroying my life. COVID hit shortly after and I’ve been working from home since.

Any chance the governor is considering extending carpool sticker validity to help those of us who bought a new plug-in vehicle before the rug was pulled out by the COVID shutdown?

Jeff Hearns, Pittsburgh

A: It’s too early to tell if this program will be extended. Carpool stickers, officially known as Clean Air Vehicle (CAV) decals, are typically valid for a four-year period and are not renewable.

Any extension of the CAV program past the current expiration date of Sept. 30, 2025 will require legislative approval.

Q: I was driving on the flyover from Interstate 280 north to 880 in San Jose. At the top of the flyover, a large SUV was parked in the pullout area, and a well-dressed man was standing outside the car, trying to flag me and other drivers down. I thought that would be a dangerous move on my part, so continued on my way, and called 911 after I parked.

The 911 operator told me that this is likely a scam, and she said she would try to send an officer to investigate. She didn’t specify the nature of the scam, but I am glad now that I didn’t stop.

Ben White, San Jose

A:  My CHP contacts had no idea what this scam might be, if it is one. However, you did the right thing by getting off the freeway and calling 911 from there.

Q: Amen to the advice of the reader who wrote to say she thought pedestrians should be more attentive to keeping themselves safe, along with drivers having the responsibility to do so. When pedestrians are hurt in traffic accidents, too many people simply assume the driver was speeding or driving recklessly. In reality, pedestrians could avoid many of these collisions.

Driving requires 100 percent attention. But pedestrians should realize that the second before they step off the sidewalk and into the roadway, they need to give traffic 100 percent attention, too. That means ignoring the phone and looking around in all  directions.

Mike Smith

A: Here are a few more tips for pedestrian safety. Carry a flashlight or use the light from your cellphone to improve the visibility of your path, when needed. Wear bright clothing so you’re easy for drivers to see. Don’t trust that all drivers see you, or will stop at crosswalks. Put your phone down while you’re walking, particularly when crossing the street.

Look for Gary Richards at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at [email protected]

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