Q. Honk: During the pandemic I would have thought our California government offices would be following our governor’s guidance better. On Aug. 6, at the Costa Mesa Department of Motor Vehicles branch, there was no one at the door doing temperature checks on the customers who were entering. That certainly is not setting a good example during these pandemic-feared times!
– Ted Ross, Huntington Beach
A. Back in the day, when Honk carried a reporter’s notebook for a living instead of mostly playing an editor like he does now, he shadowed an undercover sergeant looking for fugitives who told him to keep his head low, because the bad guys had guns, and he wandered into a gang-infested neighborhood seeking interviews after dark and instead got long looks and yelled at. Thrilling, but not too scary.
But looking down from tall places, including the apex of a children’s Ferris wheel, and wandering through life with a highly contagious disease unleashed that he can’t see?
Those things make Honk as jittery as Don Knotts.
While the DMV has wobbled a bit in recent months setting up an environment to protect the public and its employees from the coronavirus, the agency does keep refining how it does business.
Beginning Thursday, Aug. 20, the DMV made changes that you and Honk will favor, Ted.
Everyone who enters a DMV office – customer or employee – now gets asked health-screening questions and has their temperature taken with an infrared thermometer.
Those with temperatures 100.4 or higher will be refused entry.
Customers and employees were already required to wear face coverings and keep apart from one another. Customers can wait outside instead of inside and get called in via text messages. Entry into DMV buildings is to be metered.
Back in June, the DMV started allowing behind-the-wheel testing again. Not only must examiners wear face coverings and gloves, they are to place plastic sheets on the passenger seat and floorboard.
At least two windows of the customer’s vehicle must be open, too, and examiners are to stay outside the vehicle when giving instructions.
Q. It’s pretty obvious that LOUD aftermarket exhaust systems have become a thing. It has gotten really noisy out there on the road. I know they’re illegal, but I suspect that’s a law that’s really hard to enforce. Is law enforcement aware of the problem, and does it have any plans?
– Joe Devlin, Anaheim
A. Yes, and yes.
There are several state laws in officers’ toolboxes they can choose from when ticketing someone with an obnoxiously loud vehicle.
For one violation, an officer would need a decibel-meter reader, which few officers carry.
But once an officer hears an offending vehicle, he or she can pull it over and use their eyes to see the problem – and to cite.
Basically, the officer can look at the the muffler system to see if it is legal, properly maintained and hasn’t been illegally modified.
“If the noise is super loud and ridiculous, we will cite,” Shane Spielman, a motorcycle officer for Anaheim’s finest, told Honk. “It’s at the discretion of the officer. …
“Even factory muscle cars and trucks aren’t that loud,” he said. “If we see a four-cylinder vehicle with a large exhaust tip and it’s super loud, we will pull it over and cite for the modified exhaust section. … It’s illegal to change the exhaust system to make it louder than factory.”
Honkin’ fact: In Hermosa Beach, in case you were wondering, the Municipal Code points out that it is “unlawful for any person to ride or drive any automobile, horse or other vehicle or animal on the pier unless authorized.”
To ask Honk questions, reach him at email@example.com. He only answers those that are published. To see Honk online: ocregister.com/tag/honk. Twitter: @OCRegisterHonk
Source: Orange County Register