Distracted drivers in Ohio might soon face additional $100 fine

Published: Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 12:00 AM


            The State Highway Patrol reported 13,994 crashes in 2016 that involved distracted driving, resulting in 27 deaths and 7,290 injuries. Metro Creative Graphics
The State Highway Patrol reported 13,994 crashes in 2016 that involved distracted driving, resulting in 27 deaths and 7,290 injuries. Metro Creative Graphics

Ohio motorists who can’t put down their electronic devices might soon find themselves facing additional fines.

Under House Bill 95, which passed unanimously out of a House committee May 17, drivers who are pulled over for speeding, running a stop sign or other moving violations would get a ticket for that violation, then potentially face an additional $100 fine if they also were driving distracted.

The distracted-driving enhancement would be a secondary offense, meaning law-enforcement officers could impose the additional fine only if they witness the distracted driving while the initial offense was committed.

The State Highway Patrol reported 13,994 crashes in 2016 that involved distracted driving, resulting in 27 deaths and 7,290 injuries. The number of reported distracted drivers rose 11 percent in 2015 and 5 percent in 2016.

“It is our hope that this legislation will encourage drivers to remain focused on the road and help save lives,” said Rep. Jim Hughes, R-Upper Arlington, who is sponsoring the bill along with Rep. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati.

Élise Spriggs of State Auto wrote to lawmakers that “we see business trends that highlight the rising frequency and severity of accidents related to distracted driving.” Since 2013, she wrote, claim frequency in the industry has risen 4.4 percent, and claim loss is up 16.8 percent.

The bill would allow offenders to complete a state distracted-driving safety course in lieu of the fine. Wearing earphones or using a vehicle’s hands-free technology would not trigger the extra distracted-driving penalty.

A similar bill passed the Senate unanimously last session, but did not see a House vote. The bill has wide-ranging support, including county prosecutors, the Ohio Conference of AAA Clubs, the Ohio Insurance Institute and the Ohio Bicycle Federation.

The AAA Foundation’s 2017 Traffic Safety Culture Index found that 81 percent of drivers view texting or emailing while driving as a serious safety threat, despite nearly one in three admitting to typing messages while driving within the past month, and 40 percent reporting receiving messages. More than two-thirds of drivers reported talking on cellphones while driving in the past month.

Ric Oxender, representing the Ohio Conference of AAA Clubs, called the bill a good first step, but said, “We do have concerns with how our law-enforcement personnel can use the law effectively to cite motorists for distracted driving.”

Questions about enforcement have lingered since Ohio lawmakers in 2012 passed a law banning texting while driving.

For adults, the texting violation is a secondary offense, but it’s a primary offense for drivers younger than 18, who are prohibited from using a handheld device while driving for any reason and can face a $150 fine and license suspension.

10th Village Green Car Show is Sept. 16

Published: Friday, September 15, 2017 @ 12:00 AM

To submit your event for free, email Wheels at wheels@coxohio.com. Deadline is 10 days prior to desired date of publication or event. For a list of weekly and monthly cruise-ins as well as additional events, visit www.daytondailynews.com/cars/ and look for the MOTOR NEWS section.

WEEKLY CRUISE-INS

THURSDAY NIGHT AT AIRLINE DAIRY CRÈME, 224 N. Dixie Drive, Vandalia, through October, 5 p.m. to dark. Door prizes, 50/50 raffle. 937-898-3100

RIP RAP ROADHOUSE CRUISE-IN, every Friday evening through October, starting at 5 p.m., 6024 Rip Rap Road, Dayton. Park in the three-acre field and enjoy good food and free music.

FRIDAY NIGHT, 5 p.m. until dark, former Hidy Ford parking lots, Seajay Drive, Lofinos Beaver Valley Shopping Center, Beavercreek, through Sept. 25. Sponsored by Greene County Antique and Classic Car Club and National Corvette Restorers Society, Miami Valley chapter. greenecarclub.com

MONTHLY CRUISE-INS

THIRD FRIDAY through September, AMVETS Post 1789, 715 Market St., Brookville. Door prizes, music, food, beverages, 50/50 drawing. Post open to all for the event. No coolers. Ask about joining this all-encompassing veterans’ organization. Norm, 937-231-4641

AARP SMART DRIVER SAFETY COURSE

This four-hour course helps keep drivers updated, safe, confident and mobile. It includes strategies that can reduce the likelihood of a crash and to understand the links between driver, vehicle and road environments. It also includes strategies for adapting to changes in individuals, roads and the vehicles. Cost is $15 for AARP members and $20 for non-members. Classes are being conducted throughout the Miami Valley during the year. Find a nearby class at www.AARPdriversafety.org. Pre-registration is required. An online course is also available. Each participant receives a certificate of completion which may result in discounted vehicle insurance rates.

SEPT. 16

10TH VILLAGE GREEN CAR SHOW, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., 301 Wessel Drive, Fairfield. Car/motorcycle/truck show, vehicle registration $15, must enter vehicle by 5:30 p.m. to be judged. The Belairs, ’50s-’60s music; rock show band, 7 to 10 p.m. 55 trophies/awards, raffle tickets, grand raffle prize is new set of tires. Food vendors and crafts. Adult beverages at Fairfield Arts Center and nearby restaurants. Rain or shine. Proceeds benefit Lisa Brown Scholarship Fund. Barry, 513-518-8608

SEPT. 17

KETTERING AMERICAN LEGION POST 598 CRUISE-IN IN THE PARK, noon to 4 p.m., 5700 Kentshire Drive, Kettering. Free admission. Open to cars, trucks, motorcycles, old tractors and racing boats. If it’s powered, bring it. 937-433-9327.

SEPT. 20

CROSSROADS REHAB AND NURSING BENEFIT CRUISE-IN FOR BREAST CANCER AWARENESS WALK, 5 to 7:30 p.m., 208 N. Cassel Road, Vandalia. Prizes for cruisers, food, bouncy house for kids, bake sale, live music by Three Road Junction. Kelli, 937-751-4113

SEPT. 23

15TH ANNUAL ERWIN CHRYSLER CAR SHOW, registration 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., show 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., awards 3 p.m., 2775 S. County Road 25A, Troy. Vehicle registration $10; all proceeds benefit Troy United Way. All makes welcome. Twenty trophies, dash plaques, participant judging, driver’s jackpot, 50/50 drawing, door prizes, deejay, refreshments available. Rain or shine. www.erwinchrysler.com.

SEPT. 23

FERRARI CRUISE-IN RETURNING TO JAMES FREE JEWELERS, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., James Free Jewelers, 3100 Far Hills Ave., Kettering. High-performance sports car and fine watch enthusiasts will have an opportunity to examine rare and valuable collectibles up close. The event, which is free and open to the public, is being coordinated with the Ferrari Club of America (FCA) Ohio Chapter. Members of the club will display 15 to 20 Ferraris, some of which are worth more than $1 million. In keeping with the Italian theme of the event, James Free Jewelers will give away two pieces of jewelry designed by Marco Bicego and Roberto Coin. No purchase is necessary to enter, but participants must be present on the day of the Ferrari cruise-in. Hors d’oeuvres will be catered by Elite Catering. A one-hour ride in a Ferrari will also be raffled off, with all proceeds benefiting a Dayton-area charity. The ride must take place at a date, time and location that is mutually agreeable between the winner and the Ferrari owner. Information about the FCA Ohio chapter is available at www.fca-ohio.org. For information about James Free Jewelers, visit www.JamesFree.com or call 937-298-0171.

SEPT. 23

21ST ANNUAL BOB POOL “ORPHAN” VEHICLE SHOW, registration 10 a.m. to noon, show 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Young’s Jersey Dairy, Yellow Springs. $5 vehicle entry donation. Featuring cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles and specialty vehicles from independent manufacturers that are no longer in business and “Big Three Orphans” such as Edsel, DeSoto, Corvair, Oldsmobile, Plymouth. Every American and foreign make from Auburn to Yugo welcome to be displayed. Co-hosted by Tri-State Chapter Studebaker Drivers Club and Wright Brothers Region Packard Auto Classics. There will be a “Feature Car” class and have selected Corvairs. Gary Grebner, 937-361-2287, ggrebner@sbcglobal.net; Gerry Hasen, 937-426-5969, g.hasen@sbcglobal.net

SEPT. 23

AIRLINE DAIRY CRÈME END-OF-YEAR CAR SHOW, $10 vehicle registration 9:30 a.m. to noon, 224 N. Dixie Drive, Vandalia. Awards 4 p.m. Rain or shine. Sponsored by Ohio Cruisers. Door prizes, raffles, driver’s pot, 50/50, dash plaques for first 70, trophies top 30; top four future classics 2000 and newer; top GM, Ford, Mopar, Motorcycle, Rat Rod, Best of Show, Club Award. Tracy, 937-235-2509 or 307-2281

SEPT. 24

KTH PARTS INDUSTRIES INC. CRUISE-IN, registration 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., 1111 N. Route 235, St. Paris. Awards at 2 p.m. Donations accepted for Champaign County non-profit TBA. Top 20 awards, 100 dash plates. Rain or shine. Trisha Church, 937-663-5541 ext. 9312

OCT. 1

AUTO CROSS SOLO EVENT, Kil-Kare Speedway, 1166 Dayton-Xenia Road, Beavercreek. New racers encouraged to participate. Registration 9 to 10:30 a.m., drivers’ meeting 10:35 a.m. (walk track prior), FCO 11 a.m. (10 timed runs). Valid driver’s license, Snell 2005 and newer helmet required. Open to all makes and models. Sanctioned by Corvette Troy. Cost $30 to NCCC members, $35 nonmembers. Janelle Flaharty, flaharty@twc.com, 937-248-5792

OCT. 7

LO-DOWN HOEDOWN CAR AND MOTORCYCLE SHOW, noon until night, Rip Rap Roadhouse, 6024 Rip Rap Road, Dayton. Free show, live music, vendors, food. Hosted by Road Devils and Dayton MC. lodownhodown.com, roaddevils.com

OCT. 14

14TH ANNUAL ONE-ROOM SCHOOL CAR SHOW, registration 10 a.m. to noon, meadow across from Young’s Jersey Dairy, 6880 Springfield-Xenia Road, outside Yellow Springs. Entry fee $10. Dash plaques to first 200 registries. Fifty awards, including Best of Show and Top 35. All profits benefit Advance One Room School in New Carlisle and its “A School Day in 1878” program that recreates a school day in early Clark County history for nearly 1,000 students and guests each year. Car Show sponsor is Clark County Retired Teachers Association. www.ccrtaohio.com.

How to deal with flooded cars in Harvey’s wake

Published: Friday, September 15, 2017 @ 12:00 AM


            This Aug. 29 photo shows flooded cars near the Addicks Reservoir as floodwaters from Harvey rise in Houston. Auto industry experts estimate that 500,000 to 1 million cars, trucks and SUVs were damaged by floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey. Most will have so much water damage that they can t be fixed, and insurance companies will declare them total losses. Yet the damaged cars could be retitled and sold to unsuspecting buyers nationwide. Experts warn against buying the cars because damage could be hidden for years before causing problems. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
This Aug. 29 photo shows flooded cars near the Addicks Reservoir as floodwaters from Harvey rise in Houston. Auto industry experts estimate that 500,000 to 1 million cars, trucks and SUVs were damaged by floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey. Most will have so much water damage that they can t be fixed, and insurance companies will declare them total losses. Yet the damaged cars could be retitled and sold to unsuspecting buyers nationwide. Experts warn against buying the cars because damage could be hidden for years before causing problems. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

As Harvey moved away from Southeast Texas, aerial photos revealed thousands of cars covered by floodwaters on streets, parking lots and in driveways.

By the time the water recedes, auto industry experts estimate that 500,000 to 1 million vehicles will have been damaged by water, with most being total losses.

State Farm, one of the largest U.S. auto insurers, says it has already received almost 20,000 claims from the Houston area.

Cars sat in water for days, in many cases up to the windows or roof lines. It’s likely they’ll never be driven again.

Here are answers to questions about what will happen to those vehicles and how to handle your car in the aftermath of the epic storm.

Q: Should I start my car if it’s been flooded?

A: No, in almost all cases. If the car was only in a few inches of water that didn’t rise past the bottom of the body, maybe. Water higher than that can get into wires, transmission parts, the exhaust or other places. Deeper water could enter the cylinders that surround the pistons. Trying to start the car could bend parts that connect the pistons to the rest of the drivetrain, said John Nielsen, managing director of automotive engineering for AAA. Oil, gasoline, antifreeze, brake fluid and other liquids could have water in them that could cause damage if not replaced. Nielsen recommends having the car towed to a mechanic for inspection. Depending on the severity of flood damage, he says the cost of refurbishing a car likely will be more than replacing it.

Q: If it’s repaired, will my car be safe?

A: Probably not. Water could have damaged sensors, electrical connectors, computer chips and wiring that are under the carpet, behind the dashboard or in the engine compartment. That could disable lights, air bags, ignition, gas and brake pedal sensors or other essential systems. Corrosion can form beneath wiring insulation. Salty water from the Gulf of Mexico would make that worse. Damage may not surface for years. “Maybe it’s OK. Maybe it’s not. I would be really worried about it,” says Nielsen.

Q: Will insurance cover a flooded car?

A: Depends on your coverage. If you’re financing or leasing, your lender likely requires comprehensive insurance, which typically covers flood damage along with fire, vandalism or falling objects. But if you own a car outright, or it’s old and would be more expensive to repair than it’s worth, you may choose not to get comprehensive coverage. As of 2013, 78 percent of U.S. insured drivers had comprehensive coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Q: How do insurers handle flooded cars?

A: Once an owner files a claim, the insurer will evaluate the damage. Many states have guidelines for a vehicle to be considered a total loss, including the extent and type of damage and the cost of repair, says Missy Dundov, a spokeswoman for State Farm. If the insurer determines the vehicle is a total loss, it will pay the owner — minus a deductible that’s typically $500 to $1,000 — and take the vehicle and the title.

Q: Where do flooded cars go?

A: Insurers will turn the cars over to auctions or salvage yards. Undamaged parts will be salvaged and many vehicles will be scrapped. Some will go to salvage auctions, says Tim West, vice president and North American auction director for Black Book, a service that calculates used car prices. Everything that’s ruled a total loss by an insurance company should get a salvage title. But consumers should be careful. A vehicle considered a total loss in one state might not require a salvage title in another state, says Ron Montoya, a senior consumer advice editor for Edmunds.com.

Q: How can i avoid buying a flood-damaged vehicle?

A: Flooded cars could be shipped to other parts of the country or even other nations. To find out where the car came from and if it has a salvage title, experts suggest keying the vehicle identification number into services (there’s a charge) that search car histories such as Autocheck or Carfax. Carfax and the National Insurance Crime Bureau offer free services to check for flood damage. Buyers can ask to take the car to a mechanic for inspection. Buyers can also look for signs of flooding, including musty or moldy odors or overpowering use of air freshener, discolored carpet or new carpet in an old car, water lines in the engine compartment or trunk, fogging inside headlights or taillights, rust or flaking metal under the car, and dirt buildup in unusual areas such as around seat tracks. If you see any signs, don’t buy the car, AAA’s Nielsen says. “You’re liable to face gremlins with that car forever,” he said.

Dayton Concours d’Elegance celebrates 11 years of car lovers’ dreams

Published: Friday, September 15, 2017 @ 12:00 AM


            This 1930 MG Midget will be shown at the 11th annual Dayton Concours d’Elegance at Carillon Park Sept. 17. Contributed photo
This 1930 MG Midget will be shown at the 11th annual Dayton Concours d’Elegance at Carillon Park Sept. 17. Contributed photo

A celebration of the 50th anniversary of the iconic Chevrolet pony car, the Camaro, and a featured class called the Evolution of the MG will be just two of the highlights of the 11th annual Dayton Concours d’Elegance at Carillon Park, on Sept. 17 from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunday’s Concours general admission is $20 at the door, or $15 in advance, $5 for children age 17-3; children younger than 3 and members of Dayton History are free.

One hundred ninety-eight automobiles and 36 motorcycles will fill the grounds of the park at 1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton, said Mike Edgerton, automobile selection director. “This year’s Dayton Concours has attracted entrants from nine states, including New York and Missouri.”

But one of the draws in the “Vehicles of Special Interest” class will be the locally owned, famous, slammed, smoothie Camaro that has been featured in national publications.

“Visitors to the 11th annual Dayton Concours will be greeted by a field of 30 classic MG sports cars,” Edgerton said, “including one of the first production MGs.”

Two Preservation classes, pre-1952 and 1953 through 1967, will show vehicles with their original drivetrains, paint and upholstery. A 1948 Packard custom convertible used by Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower will be displayed.

Buzz surrounds ‘The Cars of Orville Wright’

The brainchild of Edgerton and Alex Heckman, director of education and museum operations of Dayton History, is the class that will honor the many cars Orville Wright owned or had an interest in over the years.

“We were fortunate to be able to locate and secure a few of the cars like Orville Wright owned, including his first car, a 1904 St. Louis,” Edgerton said.

There will also be a Dayton-built 1910 Speedwell, like the one Wright occasionally borrowed while the Wright Airplane Co. rented space in the Speedwell factory. Other vehicles also confirmed include a 1932 Pierce Arrow and a 1934 Essex Terraplane, both similar to models Wright drove. Wright’s license plate, by the way, was OW-1.

The must-see, must-hear

Some of the must-see cars include a 1910 Hupmobile, 1916 Overland, 1920 Cleveland, 1923 Willys-Knight, 1930 Packard Boattail Speedster, 1947 Citroen Traction Avant, 1952 Allard J2X and a 1999 Panoz Esperante.

Must-see motorcycles will be a 1914 Indian, 1951 Simplex three-wheeled truck and Edgerton’s personal favorite from the year he graduated high school, a 1957 Ariel Square 4.

Motorcycle makes include but are not limited to: Ariel, BMW, Harley, Husqvarna, Indian, Matchless, Norton, Penton and Triumph. There will be two classes for American bikes, original and restored, and the same for imports. A scooter class will add interest. A standout will be a 1948 Whizzer motorbike.

At about 12:30 p.m., Indianapolis Motor Speedway historian Donald Davidson will be holding court and answering questions from the public in the Miami Valley racecar display area. Joining Davidson will be Troy’s Jack Hewitt, who won 46 USAC sprint car races, 23 USAC Silver Crown events, multiple USAC championships and was the oldest rookie to race in the Indy 500 at age 46.

Nine-time Indy 500 driver Tom Bigelow, who lives in Winchester, Indiana, will also be on hand to answer questions about racing.

“Carillon Historical Park is honored to host Dayton Concours d’Elegance for the 11th straight year,” said Dayton History President and CEO Brady Kress. “As the Midwest’s premier antique and classic automobile and motorcycle show, not only is the Concours one of our greatest fundraisers, but given Dayton’s huge engineering contributions to the auto industry, it fits perfectly into Dayton History’s mission to bring the region’s past to life to understand the present and inspire the future.”

The awards

The concours, presented by AAA Miami Valley, will be judged for awards in 28 classes, said Concours Chairman Skip Peterson. In addition, a number of specialty awards are presented, including the R.H. Grant Best of Show, Col. Edward Deeds Judge’s Choice, Charles F. Kettering People’s Choice, Jeffrey Siler Spirit Award, The Taj Ma Garaj Award and The Hagerty Youth Judging Award. A new award will honor the memory and many Concours contributions of Chic Kleptz, a noted Marmon collector from Union. His family will display Kleptz’s 1926 Marmon Victoria.

The parade of class-winning cars, motorcycles and major award winners will be presented at 3 p.m.

Other attractions

An increasingly popular part of the event is the Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild reunion during which hand-built model cars will be shown in the Dicke Transportation Center. Twenty Guildsmen from nine states will display concept car models they built as teenagers in the ’50s and ’60s as entries in a General Motors-sponsored contest of that era, said Randy Derr, model car Concours director.

In addition, they will show 43 vintage models, along with other Guild contest memorabilia, such as concept drawings, entry forms, trophies and awards from contests held more than 50 years ago.

“Be sure to stop by the Dicke Transportation Building to experience this unique exhibit of automotive history,” Derr encouraged.

Live entertainment, an automotive art pavilion and a variety of local food and beverages will be featured. All exhibits at the park will be open.

Saturday morning fun

The concours weekend will kick off Sept. 16, with a special edition of Dayton Cars and Coffee. This morning gathering, which is free and open to any car, will take place in the parking lot of the Carillon Brewing Co. from 8 to 11 a.m.

Saturday evening

Saturday evening brings the dressy casual “The Wright Place to Be” Preview Party, open to the public, on the grounds of the Carillon Historical Park.

The party will preview some Concours automobiles and feature an automotive art pavilion, music, silent auction, food and adult beverages. Brock Masterson’s will provide catering and there will be craft beers, premium wine, artisan spirits and a bourbon sampling bar. The Preview Party is held from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $85 per person, or $75 for Dayton History members. Reservations are required.

Proceeds

All proceeds from the weekend go to Dayton History to maintain various programs and facilities. General admission is $20 at the door, or $15 in advance, $5 for children 17-3; children younger than 3 and members of Dayton History are free.

Go online to www.daytonconcours.com or call 937-293-2841 for more information or to purchase tickets or make reservations for the Preview Party.

Stop-start feature is new and aggravating – but worthwhile

Published: Friday, September 15, 2017 @ 12:00 AM

Dear Car Talk:

We have just purchased a new 2017 Jeep Cherokee. We love it. But it has one irritating “feature” that is quite annoying: The engine cuts off at every stop – presumably to save fuel – and then restarts when I take my foot off the brake. How can this be good for the longevity of the starting components: battery, starter, solenoid, flywheel, etc.? When the engine stops, the air conditioner and radio keep running, further draining the battery. There is a button on the dash to cancel out this feature, but it must be re-engaged after every start. Is there a way to program this to default to the always-off position rather than the always-on? Thanks. – Bill

RAY: Not that I know of, Bill. Automatic stop-start is on lots of new cars now. It increases your mileage by a few percent because your engine isn’t idling when you’re sitting at a traffic light. It also eliminates pollution from cars sitting idle at traffic lights, which is great for cities.

But it’s still a relatively new feature, and some manufacturers seem to do it better than others. We test-drive cars all the time, and on some, the stop and the restart are barely perceptible – if you were paying attention, you’d notice it, but it wouldn’t bother you. Then there are other cars that restart with a mild earthquake of a shudder, and that quickly gets annoying enough that we’ll turn off the feature.

I’m not sure what factors make some cars entirely acceptable and others not. But I suspect they include the quality of the engine mounts, the amount of insulation between the passenger compartment and the engine bay, and the mass of the engine itself, with smaller engines being easier to make subtle.

That leads us to the next thing that’s different from car to car. I’d say most cars require you to turn off the automatic stop-start each time you drive the car. A few will remember your preference the next time you drive, but that’s a minority.

I’m guessing that the car’s mileage rating would be dinged if an owner could easily, and permanently, turn off the start-stop. So the manufacturer wants to discourage that. And besides, the benefits are meaningful. Not just for you, but for everyone breathing nearby.

It’s a little too early to say with certainty what, if any, downsides there are – other than the shudder, if that bothers you. Carmakers have mostly beefed up their starting systems to accommodate more-frequent and faster starts. And some are working on better bearing technology to reduce the wear and tear the crankshaft bearings receive during startup. We’ll know, over time, whether there are unforeseen consequences.

But if you do a fair amount of city driving, we know it’s saving you money on gas and improving the air we breathe. So if you can stand it, I’d say use it.

And if you can’t stand it, then you’ll just have to add a new item to your morning routine, Bill: Get in the car, turn the key, put it in gear, turn off the stop-start and then back over the rosebushes.