Category Archives: Transportation

Governor: Not concerned about early ballot polls

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Governor Rick Snyder says he’s not paying attention to early polls that show the road funding proposal on the May ballot is in trouble. The proposal would raise the state sales tax to 7 percent as part of a complicated plan to fund road repairs without taking money from schools or local governments. Continue reading

Experts urge safe driving with extreme cold temperatures

Snow street scenes
It isn’t only snow and ice that can pose risks to Michigan drivers during the winter, but also brutally cold temperatures. When temperatures dip below zero as they have in recent days, Nick Jarmusz, director of public affairs with AAA, said drivers should never hit the road with a tank that’s close to empty.

“Keep at least a half-tank of gas in your car at all times during cold weather to avoid engine freeze-up,” Jarmusz said. “That way, if you do get stranded, you have enough gas to periodically run the engine to keep the car warmed up.”

In addition, Jarmusz said it’s best to check your vehicle’s battery before a cold spell. Faulty batteries cause more car-starting problems than any other factor. He said, at zero degrees, even a good battery has about 35 percent less starting power.

If a car is to break down, state courtesy vans and police are often on the lookout for stranded drivers. If your car freezes up or breaks down, or if you get in a wreck, Jarmusz strongly recommends staying with your vehicle.

“If you start venturing away from your car, the elements are going to be a bigger danger to you than if you were to stay and wait,” he said. “If you’re on a road you can either flag down help or wait for an emergency vehicle. If you have your cell phone, you can call for help.”

Perhaps most importantly, Jarmusz said, is to take precautions before even beginning a drive. When roads are slippery, he said, front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive can help a great deal to get a vehicle going – but once it’s at cruising speed, they do nothing to help you slow down or stop. Also, he said “no” to cruise control on snowy or slippery roads.

“It maintains a specific speed, and if you begin to slide, the vehicle is going to want to keep the wheels spinning at the same rate, in order to maintain the same speed,” says Jarmusz. “What it’s going to do is contribute to loss of control, and if you run into a less-traction situation, the wheels are going to keep spinning.”

If your vehicle has anti-lock brakes, he said applying constant, firm pressure is best to bring the vehicle to a controlled stop under slippery conditions.

Snyder to sign part of road funding proposal Monday as opposition organizes

Snyder1Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to start signing bills Monday as part of a package to boost state road funding. The legislation is contingent on a May ballot question that would raise Michigan’s sales tax from six percent to seven percent. Continue reading

Michigan leads the nation in gas price savings, AAA officials say

After the holiday spending season, people may find some financial relief with cheaper gas prices.

Officials with AAA said Michigan has been building up a history of continuous gas price declines in recent weeks.

They said supply, demand and distribution are major reasons for gas price fluctuations. Continue reading