Question: Can a hearse with a corpse as the only passenger use the HOV (high-occupancy vehicle) lane?

- Ricky Francisco

Answer: Just like the unborn children of mothers-to-be, and our four-legged, fur-covered friends, I'm afraid those who have passed on do not count as valid passengers when considering legal occupancy for the HOV lane.

They do not meet the legislative intent of getting people to car pool, i.e. fewer vehicles on the freeways.

When a person is deceased, they fall short of meeting the definition of a "person," which according to the vehicle code book is defined as only a natural (living) person.

Cool reader comment: Thank you for your article, "Refuse takes toll on roads." You are right, it is unsightly, expensive to clean up and it can be dangerous.

One aspect of litter appears to have been overlooked. That would be that which falls under the rubric of "disgusting" or "potential public health hazard."

I am referring to soiled, disposable diapers.


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I cannot imagine what people are thinking when they throw their little bundles of human waste by the side of the road. Disgusting!

- Alex Taylor, Colton

Q: Regarding the new law that makes smoking any kind of tobacco or "any other plant" in a car while anyone under 18 is in the car against the law - does this mean that I will get fined if there is a smoker in my car, even though I don't smoke?

Does this also mean that it is illegal for anyone under 18 to smoke in a car, moving or parked, even if he is the only one present in the car?

- Don Sessler, Alta Loma

A: It is illegal for anyone, of any age to smoke in a vehicle at any time if there is someone under age 18 present, Don.

According to the new law, only the person with the lighted product in their possession when there is a passenger under the age of 18 in the vehicle will be cited - whether they are puffing or not, whether the vehicle is in motion or parked, and regardless of whether it is the minor themselves, the driver or a passenger.

Clever vanity plate: Spotted on a black Chevy Blazer with a license-plate frame which indicated that the driver was a Dodger fan: CHVZRVN (Chavez Ravine is home to Dodger Stadium.)

Q: My husband and I moved to Southern California from San Francisco nearly a year ago. While I went to the DMV to update my information not long after we arrived, my husband has yet to do so. Since he drives all day for his job in sales, I am worried that he might get a ticket for this. Are my worries legitimate?

- Carrie Whalen, Claremont

A: Whenever you move, it is wise to make sure that the DMV is on the short list of those you choose to inform of your new whereabouts. Please let your husband know that failure to notify the DMV of an address change within 10 days of moving can garner him a $146 citation.

Memorable vanity plate: Perhaps the owner of a silver Toyota could benefit from a few more professional skiing lessons. The message on his vanity plate? RED SNOW.

Michelle Groh-Gordy is a longtime traffic-school instructor and the owner of InterActive! Traffic School Online (www.trafficinteractive.com). Send questions to DriveTime c/o The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, P.O. Box 4000, Ontario, CA 91761. Some reader questions will be answered in print.