Traffic Jammin’ with Janis Mara – Every Monday at 2pm on Claycord.com.
TRAFFIC JAMMER: Greetings, all! This Claycord.com column is for everyone who negotiates the highways and public transit of the Bay Area. It runs every Monday at 2pm and answers your commuting and transportation questions.
Email your questions to email@example.com.
COMMUTER: Last week there was a line of 10 cars stopped on Concord Boulevard and Sixth. When the light turned green, only three or four could get through before it turned red again because a car showed up on Sixth.
TRAFFIC JAMMER: The Jammer responded to RunnerDope’s concern two weeks ago by notifying Concord Traffic Czar Ray Kuzbari, who said he fixed the problem by making a signal timing adjustment. However, numerous Claycordians advised that the problem wasn’t fixed:
COMMUTER: The problem at Concord Boulevard and Sixth Street has NOTHING to do with trip sensors. The light, if tripped from the Sixth Street sides after 7 p.m., switches WAY TOO FAST, as noted, often only three or four cars get through, and it turns red again. I would assume Concord Boulevard would be the main artery, and have more time “green,” than that of a side street
TRAFFIC JAMMER: Here’s the latest from Kuzbari: “We have adjusted the green time for Concord Boulevard and will continue to monitor this intersection accordingly.” Claycordians, please let the Jammer know if the problem has been corrected now. Thanks for your patience!
COMMUTER: Last week, a sheet of material flew off of a work truck in rush hour traffic and struck my vehicle. It would have caused an accident to have swerved out of its way. It looked like a strip of Masonite, and I have encountered debris much worse on our freeways.
It turned out to be a one-inch-thick sheet of plywood that cracked the front valence, grille and dented the front bumper. I was unable to catch the offending truck. My question is: How are these types of incidents enforced on the road, and is the loose load driver required to pull over and provide their insurance information?
TRAFFIC JAMMER: Damaged, the Jammer is so sorry to hear about this! Few things are more annoying, and the cost of body work is enough to make a grown person cry. Here’s the word from California Highway Patrol Officer Daniel Hill:
The CHP aggressively enforces violations of California’s litter and safe loading laws. All vehicles are required to secure their cargo.
If a member of the community observes a vehicle that is loaded unsafely, or sees a vehicle depositing debris or litter on the roads, they can call 911. The roadway hazards caused by these situations often cause collisions, which can potentially result in injury or death. The CHP needs the make, model and color of the vehicle, its location and direction of travel, and the license plate number if possible.
A vehicle which loses its load is required by law to stop and report it. If the debris causes property damage or injury, the driver is responsible and must provide his or her information just as if it had been a collision. Unfortunately, motorists don’t always realize they have lost their load. In these cases, the affected motorists should record the make, model and color of the vehicle, its location and direction of travel, and the license plate number if possible.
COMMUTER: Someone apparently whacked my car with a shopping cart in the parking lot when I was inside shopping. I came back to find a nasty dent. If I file a claim, will my insurance go up?
–Parking Lot Victim
TRAFFIC JAMMER: My sympathies to you, PLV! Whether your premium goes up depends on a number of factors, including which company you have your insurance with. Typically, often your premium will go up by a specific percentage every time you file a chargeable claim above a certain dollar amount. The percentages and ceilings vary from company to company.
A “chargeable claim” means one that the insurance company believes is primarily your fault. Since someone opened their door into you, it doesn’t seem as though this would affect you – though you never can tell with insurance companies.
These increases generally stay on your premium for three years following the claim.
“We always recommend a higher deductible so you don’t file a lot of small claims,” said Jeanne Salvatore, senior vice president and consumer spokesperson for the Insurance Information Institute, a national organization. “Most people only file a claim every eight to 10 years, so you will save a lot of money over time.”
TRAFFIC JAMMER: That’s it for this week – see you next Monday. Be sure to cruise by Claycord.com at 2pm for more traffic intelligence. Remember, whether you drive, walk, bike or hop Amtrak, BART or AC Transit, Traffic Jammer Janis Mara is here to answer your questions.
Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org