Archive for July, 2010

CHP uses Sun Tsz tactic to get more tickets – By Mr. MC

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

This morning, July 31, 2010 at 7:20 AM, I was driving on Hwy 880 northbound (San Jose, CA) from Hwy 280. I saw one CHP on the opposite side of Hwy 880 (southbound) driving at the blind spot of a red Honda Civic. The red Civic driver was smart since I saw its brake light from my rear mirror as soon as that CHP approached. Then, I saw another CHP car with no light bulbs on the roof which was about half mile apart from the first CHP car. Immediately, I realize they were using the Sun Tsu military tactic called “Uproar East, Attack West”. Sun Tsu advices to “make noise in one place and to deliver the stroke at another.”
The first CHP car is making noise in the front (Uproar East), and everyone assume that it would be safe to sped up after the first CHP car stopped someone, or left the scene. Then, the second CHP (Attack West) sneak behind all these speeders, and get them. Agree ?

So, if you see one CHP car, always check for second or third one behind.

Mr. MC
The Founder of MotherCopper.com

For some purposes, I switch to Neutral ‘N’ gear whenever I stop. By Mr. MC

Friday, July 30th, 2010

For the following purposes, I switch to Neutral ‘N’ gear whenever I stop at the red light, or STOP sign:

  • save gas
  • no need to step too hard on the brake, and the car will not move forward if you forgot to step hard on the brake
  • to make a complete stop at the STOP sign
  • when the light turns green, you don’t release the brake immediately, and step on the gas. While you are switching to the Drive ‘D’ gear, you will have two seconds to check for drivers who may run the red, or check if there are still pedestrian crossing. You will move slower than other cars, but safer.

This is exactly how manual driver drive their car. They are mostly at Neutral gear whenever they are stopped. And, they switch to the 1st gear to move forward.

Mr. MC
The Founder of MotherCopper.com

To yield before left turn or not ? By Mr. MC

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

You are waiting at the circular green light which does not have a dedicated left arrow, and you turned on your left turn signal, and yielding for cars going straight. However, there are cars without turning on their left turn signals are making a left turn. So, it appears that you have to yield for cars going both directions, and you lose your chance for a left turn.

I would suggest that if cars across the street are not turning their left signal light, you should move forward to the center of the intersection with your left turn signal on, so if those un-signaled cars are trying to turn left, you are right at the center blocking them, and you are forcing them to stop, and turn on their left signal eventually. By doing that, you are only blocking those without signal lights on, and here are the cases for the cars across the street trying to:

  • go straight – you will never block them.
  • turn left with signal light on already – you will know it ahead of time, and you can just make your left turn.
  • turn left with NO signal light on – you will block them, and they have to stop, and turn on their left turn signal light immediately.

Mr. MC
The Founder of MotherCopper.com

I almost hit a bicycle while making a left turn – By Mr. MC

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

I almost hit a bicycle while making a left turn from De Anza Blvd (southbound) onto Bollinger Rd. (eastbound) of Cupertino, CA. I was trying to get to Trader Joe’s supermarket. So, after waiting for the dedicated left green arrow light, I step on the gas, and proceed to the left. I realize something at that moment which is the car next to my lane (both lanes are for left turn) has not moved forward. I thought it was some old grandma driver, so I did not turn my head to my left to check further. When I almost reached the pedestrian crosswalk, I saw a gal riding on a bicycle at the opposite direction, and she was also talking on the cell phone, I braked immediately, and my car was just a few inches away from her bike. Man, this is what I was blogging about from the previous post. The cyclist should not ride on the opposite direction, and moreover, she should not be on the cell. Let’s write her a ticket for CVC 21650 and CVC 23123.

By the way, I really like their free coffee at Trader Joe’s. Not that because it is free, it is smooth and it has a great taste. There is also free coffee at Sprout’s Market, but those coffee taste like Chinese medicine, very bitter, and over burned.

Mr. MC
The Founder of MotherCopper.com

200 feet before right turn, please signal – By Mr. MC

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

It’s annoying to see drivers not turning their signal on before making a turn into a parking lot. For those drivers who are waiting inside the parking lot, and trying to exit from it, they have to yield for all traffics. Then, they have to yield for those who are merely making a turn into their parking lot. They have lose their chances to exit.

I have a trick to deal with these drivers. When you exit a parking lot, try to occupy both lanes, and stay at the center. So, any cars that wish to enter the parking lot has to stop at the street, and let you exit first. Oh, they may even have to turn on their signal light to indicate their intention. Heh heh, cool huh ? In this way, you don’t have to wait for those drivers, instead, for those who don’t turn on their signals, they have to wait for you.
Is not that evil ?

Mr. MC
The Founder of MotherCopper.com

Cyclists taveling in opposite direction are annoying! By Mr. MC

Monday, July 26th, 2010

When I was a kid, I always ride a bicycle at the opposite direction on the bike lane, and some times on the pedestrian roadway. I did not know how annoying that was until I become a driver myself. Having to make a right turn from a shopping mall, you checked your left traffic only, and when you are about to make a right turn, a bicycle shows up in front of you from your right traveling at the opposite direction against traffic. It is even worse during night time when the cyclist is not equipped with headlights or tail lights. It’s dangerous for cyclist, and unfair to the drivers if any accident occurs.

One time when my friend and I received a traffic ticket for biking through the STOP sign without stopping, we were surprised, and we were mad. However, I eventually understand the importance for any cyclist to obey the same set of traffic rules as the drivers.

Mr. MC
The Founder of MotherCopper.com

Make sure to turn on headlights inside covered parking lots – By Mr. MC

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

I realize many drivers are driving pretty fast while inside a parking lots, or covered parking lots. Here, I want to talk about those covered parking lots. These parking lots are usually a few levels high, and of course, there are many concrete walls which create many blind spots at any intersections. When you just enter the covered parking lot from the sunny outside, you are totally blind where you cannot see clearly within the first 10 to 15 seconds. Then, you are about to drive by an intersection surrounded by concrete walls, and “BOOM”, suddenly, you collide into another car from the other side of the concrete wall. Both of you guys do not have your headlights turned on, and you guys cannot see each other due to the blind spots formed by the concrete walls.

Please remember to slow down inside any covered parking lots, and remember to turn on the headlights. If you are uncertain about the traffic condition behind the concrete walls, you should:

  • turn on the headlights (all the time)
  • or, open the window to check for any engine or tire sound and turn off your music!
  • or, slightly press the horn to warn others
  • or, turn on and off high beam for a few seconds
  • or, pull out only one feet, and stop, listen, and pull forward slowly to check
  • or, do all of the above

Mr. MC
The Founder of MotherCopper.com

Running red light can be exciting! By Mr. MC

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Shoot, I ran the red today. It was on northbound of De Anza Blvd (cross E. Remington Dr.). Luckily, I did not notice any red light camera or cops.

First of all, I want to make this clear that I don’t like running the red. I was just under estimated the duration of the yellow light. I was already driving at 50 – 55 mph on De Anza Blvd which has a posted speed limit of 40mph. And, the yellow light has just started, and I was like 100 feet away, so I stepped on the gas to accelerate – with 250 horsepower and V8 engine. Then, while I was about 15 feet away, it turned red. Shoot! I did not accelerate more, I just continue my speed. Well, I did not notice any flashing light from any cameras or cop cars (the worse case).

Secondly, I discourage every drivers to run the red or yellow.
Unless, you were tailgated by a car behind. If you stop immediately, you might get rear-ended. Oh yeah, don’t put your computer notebook at the trunk. You will need a new one if you get rear-ended, and I am not sure if your auto insurance would cover that.

Finally, an evil thought…running the red is exciting!!!
But, you will feel guilty immediately afterward.
Well, after a few days, you will forget that.
And, if you are unluckily, the courthouse may remind you later about that incident with a red light camera ticket, and your face in the photo. If you do get a red light camera ticket, let me (Mr. MC) know. We have a 90%+ success rate in beating those as long as no Officers were at the scene (the “witness”). So, only the camera operator is a competent witness. You can read more about red light camera ticket here, or at HighwayRobbery.net.

Mr. MC
The Founder of MotherCopper.com

While merging into freeway, always check your front! By Mr. MC

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

So, you are merging into the heavy traffic freeway, and you maintain your speed at 20 – 30 MPH. You turned on your signal, and you turned your head to check your blind spot. The car in front of you suddenly stopped, and you may have no time to react to that, and you rear ended the car in front. That’s the kind of scenario while merging into a heavy traffic freeway. My recommendation is that you should always check the car at your front, and allow enough space in between. And, yes I know that some cars may cut in front of you if you allow too much space in between. You have to adjust that, and at the same time, check your blind spot.

Unfortunately, the convex rear view mirror that I blogged about in my previous post does not apply to freeway entrance lane merging which is usually to the left. That convex mirror is only good for changing lanes to the right for the left-hand drive (LHD) cars (i.e. US, China, and etc.).

Mr. MC
The Founder of MotherCopper.com

I almost run over a pedestrian today – driving towards the sun can be dangerous! By Mr. MC

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

I almost run over a pedestrian today – driving towards the sun can be dangerous!

Shoot! I almost run over a pedestrian while making a left turn from Lazaneo Drive (Cupertino, CA) onto southbound De Anza Blvd. I was driving towards the sun, and I did not realize there was a pedestrian crossing towards me. He was like a middle age (i.e. 40 – 50 years old) man, and he was crossing across from the southbound onto the northbound of De Anza Blvd. He was under the shade, and my eyes were blocked by the sun. As soon as I realized that, he already stopped for me. I then gave him a gesture (i.e. NOT the middle finger, dua!!! I would if I were a teenager…) representing my apology, and then, I stepped on the gas pedal, and ran away from the crosswalk immediately since I was blocking his path anyway. There was no point to yield since it was too late. I then quickly check my rear mirror, and hoping that there were no cops behind. Luckily, there were no cops. Otherwise, I would have been cited for CVC 21950 – Failure to yield for pedestrian. This ticket would be very hard to beat.

Mr. MC
The Founder of MotherCopper.com