There may be a day when a driver license is not needed

 In blog, Crime News: Los Angeles Daily News

There may be a day when a driver license is not needed

by Jim Radcliffe

Q. What changes might be in store when obtaining a driver license with the advent of driverless cars? Would the rules change in regard to the knowledge, the physical ability and the vision requirements now in place? The answers are going to be important to people getting on in age: Should they get a new car with all of the safety applications now, or wait until they can purchase a self-driving car that would make up for any limited physical capabilities they might expect to pop up. Hopefully, the Department of Motor Vehicles is looking ahead and planning for such changes.

– Frank Prestia, Mission Viejo

A. Although state lawmakers could change it in the future, this is the DMV’s current mindset:

If a driver is required to operate the vehicle, or be available to take over the controls for safety’s sake, the requirements “are not likely to change,” said Marty Greenstein, a DMV spokesman up in Sacramento.

And if we get to where vehicles can be in total control and never need a human to step in, well, the current thinking is that a license would not be required.

Will Honk someday be able to send a 14-year-old granddaughter back home in a driverless car by herself (Years and years and years from now, people!)?

Perhaps. Such decisions have not been tackled yet by lawmakers.

Q. Kudos to whoever decided to paint large freeway numbers in the different lanes going north on the I-5. There’s markings to tell you which lane to get into for the 22 or the 57. Even though I’ve driven this route for years, if I’m distracted a bit I find myself in the “22 only” lane instead of for the 57.  Because these route signs are in the middle of each lane, I never miss going in the right direction.

– Rae Harper, Brea

A. Honk has seen them elsewhere – and is thrilled Orange County now has them.

Placed into the lanes that drivers should slide into as they prepare to switch freeways, well before the overhead signs, the logos are called “route shields” by Caltrans because they look like a shield with the freeway number on it.

They aren’t actually painted onto the freeway; the material contains thermoplastic and the logos are pieced together like a puzzle and melted onto the freeway. The logos are reflective and Caltrans estimates they will last a few years before needing to be replaced.

The route shields are added to areas where the transitions to other freeways are a bit more complex, or to stretches where motorists tend to do a lot of lane maneuvering.

There are about a half-dozen sets of the route shields in Orange County. There are no plans at the moment for more, said David Matza, a Caltrans spokesman.

Honkin’ whoops! Last week Honk wrongly called Guam a country. It is a U.S. territory.

Honkin’ fact: When an armored car’s side door recently popped open, $175,000 went fluttering onto a Dunwoody, Georgia interstate and into the adjacent woods – prompting drivers to stop in traffic to scoop up the bills. Perhaps 50 motorists pulled over in that stretch near Atlanta and started plucking various denominations from the asphalt. Doesn’t make it their cash, at least under the law. But five days later, only five grand had been turned in. (Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.)

To ask Honk questions, reach him at He only answers those that are published. To see Honk online:

All credit goes to Jim Radcliffe
Originally published on

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