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Be careful while leaving parking lots
Will State Route 206 be widened further?

Date published: 11/30/2009

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By Kelly Hannon

THE ONLY TIME I yearn to drive a monster F-150 something-or-other is when I emerge from a store and find the two minicars that flanked my Corolla when I left it have been replaced by two oversized vehicles with tinted windows. I then have to back out an inch at a time, praying no one flies into the tailgate.

There are ways I could avoid this situation, at least according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Park far, far away from the store entrance.

This is common sense. You'll have a lower collision risk and less traffic to watch. Plus you get some exercise.

Just be sure your faraway spot is well-lit.

AAA admits the trade-off for parking farther away is potentially less security nearby. Be sure you've parked under a light, pay attention as you approach your car and have your keys in hand. Check your car's interior before entering it.

Beware of tall vehicles.

Tell me about it. If you get stuck in the same situation as I do, have a passenger or another shopper help you back out.

Turn on your headlights.

This helps your vehicle be visible in surface lots and parking garages.

Buckle up.

Fasten your seat belt as soon as you get into the car, before you start to back out. You can be seriously injured even at low speeds.

Lock your car, keep valuables out of sight and erase any markers that tip off thieves that you've hidden your valuables.

This includes finding a way to erase the suction-cup mark on your windshield from your GPS device.

Dear Kelly: Recently, there is a problem in the early mornings (6 a.m.) leaving Presidential Lakes in King George and heading west on State Route 3. The light will not change for that car if there is no other traffic.

One has to either go through the light or wait until someone else enters the intersection from another direction and triggers a light change. Could VDOT look into this matter, please?

--Shirley Braden, King George

This traffic signal is still under the control of the contractor that installed it, Clark Electric, said Tina Bundy, Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman. VDOT has advised Clark Electric of the problems you're experiencing early in the morning.

Dear Kelly:

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