Burnt Out Tail Lights in California

I mailed this letter to Caltrans today. We’ll see what happens

Caltrans District 4
111 Grand Ave
P.O. Box 23660
Oakland, CA 94623-0660

Lee Sonko
[address redacted]
September 14, 2009

Folks at Caltrans:

I’ve noticed that many drivers in the Bay Area have tail lights that are burned out. Burnt out tail lights are an eyesore and illegal and it becomes a real safety concern when enough lights on a car are burnt out. At the same time, it’s very difficult for a driver to tell when a light is burnt out without periodically inspecting their vehicle. Whenever I come to a Stop sign next to someone with a burnt out tail light, they are always grateful for me rolling down my window and telling them, but there’s no way a good Samaritan can reach even a small fraction of the drivers out there.

I would like to suggest that Caltrans occasionally put notices on some of its electronic signs, the same signs that sometimes read “Click it or Ticket” etc. A good sign might be, “Today is a good day to check your tail lights.” or “Are your tail lights burned out?”

Lee Sonko


  1. rose says:

    you need to speak to them in terms of what they want/need. Click it or ticket saves is aimed to save lives, the benefits are obvious.

    How will it benefit Caltrans to spend $$$ to light up those signs to tell people to check their tail lights?

    Sell it, don’t tell it. :)

  2. lee says:

    I actually got a well considered response back from someone at Caltrans. He wrote, for the most part, that the signs were only for “important” things. I considered this for a while and looked at the signs that are up. I thought I remembered seeing “Click it or Ticket” and other related “nonessential” signs around the Bay Bridge but now I don’t see any such signs.

  3. Bowman says:

    Wow, a real Bay Area mindset at work here.

  4. lee says:

    Bowman, is that good or bad?

    Actually, I have no idea what that means at all.

Leave a Comment

Do not write "http://" or "https://" in your comment, it will be blocked. It may take a few days for me to manually approve your first comment.