Q: My wife just got a new Apple Watch, which she uses to send and receive texts using voice recognition. She would like to know if it’s illegal to use the watch to text when she’s at a red light since it’s technically “hands-free.”

Stephen Morgan, San Jose

A: Her watch is legal to use as an electronic communications device as long as she is using the voice function for her texts and can operate the device with a single tap or swipe of the screen, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Q: When I moved to the area six years ago and lived six blocks from the freeway, I could not hear the highway. Since then, the pavement on the five lanes of traffic each way on Interstate 880/Highway 17 has deteriorated greatly, and the noise has increased.

Even driving on this road, you can tell the huge sound difference between good and bad pavement. When will 17/880 from Interstate 280 to Hamilton be repaved?

Stefanka von Brzeski, San Jose

A: Next year.

Q:  OMG, I will buy you a drink if that’s the case! I’ll be so happy.

Stefanka von Brzeski

A: That made me laugh! No booze, just send happy thoughts.

Q: Long story short, my husband and I paid the registration fee on our vehicle twice. If we choose not to submit the paperwork for reimbursement from the DMV, will we receive a credit (in the amount of our overpayment) the next time registration is due on that vehicle?

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Nicole Knapp

A: No. You need to apply for a refund and include proof of double payment in the form of canceled checks (or copies of the front and back of the canceled checks) or receipts from the DMV.

Q: Is it time to bring back frontage roads? I think they could be a solution to some street problems. Let’s take Hamilton Avenue west of Highway 17. If frontage roads were added to both sides of Hamilton, drivers who want to reach stores or side streets would get on a frontage road instead of clogging through lanes.

Mary Ann Lahann, Saratoga

A: Sorry, but it’s not going to happen. It would back up traffic on city streets and upset residents in those areas.

Q: Why have all the magnificent oleanders that beautified the center median of Highway 17 near Lark (as well as providing a visual barrier to oncoming headlights) for so many decades been mercilessly cut down and replaced by barren ugliness?

Joan Schwimmer, Los Gatos



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