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Street sweepers must stop at red lights like the rest of us

Q. I was driving through Anaheim and noticed a street sweeper near the city limits. It was early in the morning with no traffic, so the sweeper went ahead and did a U-turn on a red light and returned to the neighboring city that it apparently works for. Can city sweepers break the law?

– Mario Luna, Anaheim

A. Well, they aren’t supposed to.

A motorcycle officer for Anaheim P.D., Shane Spielman, said what you described is a violation of the California Vehicle Code.

Q. Dear Honk: I’ve noticed short hash marks, horizontal to motorists, and on both sides of some roadways. There are some on the off-ramp from the 55 Freeway to 17th Street going east, and also on Benjamin Drive in Ladera Ranch. Do you know what they are, or what they’re used for? Very curious!

– Marty Haynes, Placentia

A. Honk should have known, Marty. He looked into a similar question in June.

But these markings are a tad different, so he went back to Caltrans for an answer.

“The ‘hash marks’ … are speed-reduction markings, similar to the ones featured in your previous column,” Van Nguyen, a spokeswoman for the agency, told Honk. “They’re used to give drivers the impression that they’re going too fast, so drivers can slow down.

“These types of markings have been used in California for about 10 years,” she said. “The ones on State Route 55 have been there since late 2015 to early 2016. There will be more of them in Orange County in the future, at locations where there’s a history of speeding collisions.”

The distance between the hash marks shrinks, sending a message to your gray matter than you might need to slow down.

Q. Dear Honk: I see people towing boats and trailers in the carpool lanes. Typically they are speeding, driving 60 to 65 mph, but are slower than the flow of traffic, creating problems as the people behind them become frustrated and cross the double lines to get around them. Could you remind drivers that when towing, the speed limit is 55 mph and they are prohibited from driving in the carpool lane?

– Terence Kilker, Yorba Linda

A. Done.

Honkin’ fact: USC professor Jonathan Kotler (and Honk’s media-law instructor long ago) filed a lawsuit this week against the California Department of Motor Vehicles, because it rejected his attempt to get personalized license plates with “COYW” on them. That stands for “Come On You Whites,” the rallying cry of his beloved British soccer team, the Fulham Football Club, which has several nicknames including The Whites. The DMV rejects references it deems possibly offensive, but Kotler’s lawyer says a government shouldn’t have so much leeway to make interpretations, and his client believes the agency is violating the First Amendment. (Source: the Daily Trojan).

To ask Honk questions, reach him at honk@ocregister.com. He only answers those that are published. To see Honk online: ocregister.com/tag/honk.

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