Last updateWed, 18 Oct 2017 10am

On The Road

The facts about double-fine zones

Q: Why are some areas in my city regarded as double-fine zones?

A: Due to increased accidents, injuries and fatalities, certain roads are designated as “Safety Enhanced-Double Fine Zones.” Fines are doubled in these areas and also in highway construction or maintenance zones when workers are present.

Pay extra attention where roadwork is under way. Signs and message boards warn you of workers, slow-moving equipment and closed lanes ahead. Cones and/or drums will direct you to open lanes. Merge as soon as possible without crossing the cones or drums. Reduce your speed and be prepared to merge early, slow down or stop for highway equipment.

Keep your eyes on the road and vehicles ahead. Remember to “Slow for the Cone Zone.”

Q: I am a first-time car buyer, planning to purchase a used car in the next month. In my search, I’ve noticed some amazing cars have “salvaged” titles. What does this mean?

A: A “salvaged” vehicle is defined as having been wrecked or damaged in some way, and the owner, insurance company, financial institution or leasing company considers it too expensive to repair. Commonly these cars are also referred to as “totaled.”

DMV issues a salvage certificate when it receives a report of the damage. A salvaged title is issued after the vehicle is repaired and reregistered. This is probably what you are seeing in the car ads.

Regardless of the type of car you buy, protect yourself by researching the vehicle’s history online by using the VIN (vehicle identification number). Make sure the car has complete existing DMV paperwork or ask the seller to provide receipts of any repairs. If you still have doubts, get the car inspected before you buy it.

For more information, visit www.dmv.ca.gov/vr/buyinfo.htm.

Q: I really want to become an organ donor the next time I renew my driver’s license, but I heard that it might be costly to my family. Is this true?

A: Absolutely not. The organ and tissue donor program will cover costs related to organ and/or tissue donations, so you will not be responsible for any aspect of the donation process. However, medical care up to the point of donation and funeral costs remain the responsibility of a relative or persons in charge of the estate.

For more information or to register, visit www.dmv.ca.gov/about/donateLife/donateLife.htm.

George Valverde has been DMV director since 2006.

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