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Turning headlights on is apparently tricky for some

Q. Because of my work schedule I am on the road before the sun is up, and over the last year or so I have seen a trend: Cars have their front lights on, but the back lights are not on. This doesn’t seem correct, and I am not sure if this is a new design in cars or if the driver just doesn’t have the light switch turned on all of the way. Are you aware of what this is all about?

– Terrence Mangold, Placentia

A. Well, Mrs. Honk often gives her better half grief about bumbling while adjusting his headlight settings. So he thought it best to reach out to the Automobile Club of Southern California for some intel.

Megan McKernan, manager of the Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center that tests cars, said you are probably seeing the results of motorists who don’t have their headlights set to automatic.

Instead, they flipped on their daytime running lights, which turned on the front, but not the rear lights.

“I would recommend that all drivers leave the headlight setting in the ‘auto’ position,” she told Honk via email. “Most, if not all, newer cars have this setting.”

She also passed along that she has noticed many motorists don’t use their headlights during the rain. And the law requires that if a driver has the windshield wipers on continuously, then the headlights and rear lights must be on as well.

Q. Recently the 241 toll road’s entrances and exits near and around Rancho Santa Margarita have been reduced from two lanes to one. I find this is much riskier than the prior two-lane situation. Who thought that was a good idea?

– Pete Burke, Rancho Santa Margarita

A. Caltrans.

Beginning in mid-March, workers have been installing higher-end guardrails on some of the 241’s ramps, prompting temporary ramp-lane closures. The agency forecasts finishing the entire project in June, said Darcy Birden, a Caltrans spokeswoman for Orange County.

A dozen ramps are getting the upgrades.

“Once work is completed on a ramp, it will re-open fully and the work will continue on until all ramps have been completed,” Birden said.

Honkin’ fact: WeRide Corp. has become the seventh firm allowed to drive vehicles on public roads in California without a driver aboard, the Department of Motor Vehicles recently announced. WeRide can test with two vehicles on certain San Jose streets with speed limits of 45 mph or less during daylight hours if no fog or rain. WeRide is also among 56 companies permitted to drive autonomous vehicles about with an emergency driver aboard.

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

Source: Orange County Register

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