Did You Know This about Carpool Lanes?

Did You Know This about Carpool Lanes?

If you have ever driven on a California freeway, you’ve probably seen a carpool lane before. More recently, they have been renamed to HOV lanes, which stands for High Occupancy Vehicle Lane. These are lanes that are only accessible by vehicles that have more than one occupant in the vehicle. The idea is that by offering a clear lane for only certain vehicles, more people will be encouraged to rideshare and therefore reduce the amount of traffic on the road.

While carpool lanes may parallel and resemble other lanes on the road, they are viewed as different. They have different sets of rules to ensure that they are used properly and effectively. Breaking these rules can get a person pulled over and issued a traffic violation ticket.

One rule that some people do not realize, is that not all carpool lanes are active 24/7. Some lanes are only considered carpool lanes at set times for certain days of the week. These times usually coincide with peak traffic conditions and are often posted on the signs near the lane itself. This means that anyone can drive through the lane when it isn’t during the posted time, but during those times, only vehicles with more than one occupant can use the lane.

When a driver violates the rules of carpool line, they can face a minimum fine of $490 dollars. Repeat offenders will likely face higher fines. Depending on the location, there can also be additional fees if the local city has elected add additional fees in an effort to reduce carpool lane abuse.

Nobody likes dealing with traffic and California seems to have more than its fair share. This isn’t surprising considering that California is the most populated state in the country. However, this is not an excuse to misuse the carpool lane. If a driver wants to be able to use the carpool lane on their way to and from work, then they should find someone to rideshare with. Otherwise they could faces some hefty fines.

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Can Climate Change Increase Suicide Rates?

Can Climate Change Increase Suicide Rates?

If you are like most people, than you probably don’t like it when the temperatures rise too high. Here in Southern California it is not unheard of for the temperatures to rise into the triple digits, which is never fun. This kind of heat can be deadly in its own right, but a recent study by researchers at Stanford has found that higher than average temperatures can increase chances of another problem.

The study looked at how climate change can affect the mental health of a person and found that suicide rates increased when temperatures rose above their monthly average. For every 1 degree Celsius rise in temperature, the monthly suicide rate increases by .68% in the United States. This was a noticeable trend that the researchers found after examining statistics from 1968 to 2004.

Here in the United States, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that suicide claimed around 45,000 lives in the United States during 2016. This is compared to the roughly 800,000 people who die to suicide every year around the globe.

The belief is that when temperatures rise, they increase the likelihood of a person becoming more depressed, which can lead to a higher risk of suicide. Anyone who has ever had to deal with extreme temperatures knows that they don’t always put a person in a great mood.

For anyone who is depressed and struggling with suicide, it is important to know that you are not alone. There are people out there who are willing to help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached 24/7 by calling 1-800-273-8255. They also have a website that offers additional resources, and can be reached here.

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Beat the Heat, Save Some Cash

Beat the Heat, Save Some Cash

If you’ve been living in California for any amount of time then it should come as no surprise that it was ranked as the third most expensive place to live in the United States, this according to a 2017 article published by CNBC. While California may be known as the Golden State, that doesn’t mean you have to strike it rich to live here.

With your paycheck being split between housing, food, and gas, we want to help stretch your family’s budget for the things you want to do – things that don’t include sending money to the government. In an effort to help you cut costs and make room in your summer budget, we bring you the top five ways to cut your summer utility bills.

We’ve taken tips from all over the web, including Forbes and US News to bring you top tips. Read below to save some serious summer cash.

Place heavy or thick drapes over the windows – By hanging heavy drapery over windows and doors you will help keep your home or apartment cool by not letting the sun’s rays through the glass. We know that blackout curtains aren’t cheap. Click here to shop Amazon’s selection of blackout curtains. If there still isn’t room in your budget to cover every window with curtains, buy coverings for only the large windows or doors that face direct sunlight.
Don’t turn off your A.C. – This might sound strange, however, when you turn off your A.C. completely the temperature in your home rises. In turn, when you return home and turn the unit back on the system will have to work twice as hard to cool down your home. Ultimately, using more electricity and causing your energy bill to rise.
Utilize ceiling fans – The great thing about ceiling fans is that they do not use as much electricity as your air conditioning unit, but they help circulate air throughout your home to help keep it cool.
Turn your lights off – This simple and effective step can save big on your electric bill by cutting energy usage during the day and keeping your home cool.
Limit appliance usage – This suggestion is multi-faceted, meaning that it’s not specific to a particular room in your household. By limiting the use of your dryer, dishwasher, and oven you will see your electric bill take a nosedive. Utilize the summer warmth to dry laundry outside, have your kids help wash dirty dishes, and make simple dishes that don’t require the use of your oven or stove.

These are just a few tips and tricks to help you beat the heat and save some cash this summer, but we know that there are thousands of other ideas out there. Drop us a comment below and tell us some of your own tips and tricks to help lower your family’s utility consumption during the summer months.

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Could Prop 9 Be Stopped Before Anyone Gets to Vote?

Could Prop 9 Be Stopped Before Anyone Gets to Vote?

If you have been paying attention to politics this year in the state of California, you know that we voters have some pretty big decisions to make come November. One of the biggest measures on the ballot this year is whether we want to begin looking at dividing California into three separate states.

This is a very big deal for every Californian, and as such, it is receiving a lot of attention. In fact, a group of people is now trying to block the measure from being added to the November ballot. An environmentalist group, The Planning and Conservation League, sponsored the filing at the California Supreme Court.

The argument against Prop 9 is that it is too big of a decision to give to the people of California. Prop 9 claims that it will only amend the state Constitution, however its critics say that the measure will completely revise the state Constitution. This is something that the California Supreme Court has regularly sided against.

Splitting up the state of California is a very big deal, and this isn’t the first time someone has tried to do this. In fact, this isn’t even the first time that Prop 9’s sponsor tried to split up the state. Tim Draper tried to split California into 6 states back in 2014, but the measure ultimately failed.

California is a pretty big state, and the thought of splitting it up is terrifying for many people. However, splitting up the state is not as simple as voting to do so. Even if Californians approve the measure, it would still need to be approved by the state senate and House of Representatives. From there, it would then go to Congress in Washington DC for final approval, which would be unlikely. A state hasn’t been split since West Virginia separated from Virginia in 1863.

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