Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I have kept silent on this subject too long. I am a female and I am extremely offended when I see another woman applying makeup on the way to work in the morning.

I get up an extra 20 minutes early to be sure I have enough time to apply makeup and comb my hair. I do this to protect myself from hurting myself or others.

I saw at least five women this morning applying makeup while driving in the Tysons Corner area and it worried me so much I changed lanes to get well out of their way. Thanks for your time.

Erin Bozeman


That you saw five drivers doing this during your commute is a sad commentary on our times. It's distracting to the driver in makeup and to other drivers who are startled at what they're seeing.

Dr. Gridlock has asked for your observations on other dizzy things people do while driving. You folks have reported seeing a man playing a trumpet, another one playing the guitar, women changing diapers and others with magazines spread across the steering wheel.

These people are a danger to themselves and to others. You're smart, Ms. Bozeman, to give 'em a wide berth.

Combining Farecards

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I've got a lot of Metro Farecards with small amounts on them. It's an inconvenience to keep using them one at a time in the Addfare machines to get rid of them.

Why can't Metro have at least one machine where you can trade in several cards at once?

Scott Schneider

Silver Spring

There are several options for redeeming these nickel-and-dime Farecards that stack up in our wallets:

1. Mail them to Metro, 3301 Eisenhower Ave., Alexandria, Va. 22314-4549. In about two weeks, you should receive one Farecard with the value of your remaining fares.

2. Ask the station attendant for a Fare Adjustment Envelope. Fill out the form, insert the cards and give it to the attendant. That saves you the postage.

3. Buy a SmarTrip card. This costs $5 and can hold up to $200, meaning you can go quite a while without getting down to a small amount. You can add paper Farecard amounts to the SmarTrip card at a SmarTrip Farecard machine.

Registration Regulations

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

While putting new stickers on my car the other day, I realized that either my teenagers are or I am driving the car without the registration card in our possession.

We don't keep it in the glove compartment because I don't want the address to fall into the wrong hands.

Is it okay to make copies of the registration so the four of us can each have one with our licenses?

Ruth Haubert


Virginia officials say you can do that, though they prefer you get official duplicate registrations (they're free) from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Maryland and the District do not recognize photocopied registrations. You may get duplicates from your motor vehicle services department in those two jurisdictions for $5 apiece.

Widening the Beltway

The Virginia Department of Transportation is holding public workshops this week to consider widening the Capital Beltway to 10 or 12 lanes. The sessions are from 5 to 9 p.m., with a presentation at 7 p.m. followed by a question-and-answer period.

VDOT is looking to improve the 13 miles of Beltway between the Woodrow Wilson and American Legion bridges and is seeking solutions that would improve the Beltway while minimizing impacts on surrounding communities and the environment, according to VDOT spokeswoman Joan Morris.

The meetings are tomorrow at Poe Middle School, 7000 Cindy Lane, Annandale; Wednesday at Shrevewood Elementary School, 7525 Shreve Rd., Falls Church; and Thursday at Best Western Tysons Westpark Hotel, 8401 Westpark Dr., McLean.

Hearing on District DMV

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I thought you might be interested in running something in your column alerting the public to an upcoming D.C. Council oversight hearing on the District's Department of Motor Vehicles and its parking ticket processing.

As chair of the committee on Public Works and the Environment, I'm eager to hear from witnesses about problems they may have had with DMV or its ticket adjudication process.

DMV officials will be staffing a table throughout the hearing and will be available to help witnesses with their problems after they testify.

Those who wish to testify should contact Jim Slattery at 202-724-8105 by Tuesday. The hearing will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday in the Council Chambers, main floor, One Judiciary Square, 441 Fourth St. NW.

Council member Carol Schwartz

(R-At Large)


An Answer and a New Riddle

The last license plate riddle was "BAABAA," spotted by several correspondents. We asked what kind and color of vehicle had those plates.

To delve further, consider this Mother Goose nursery rhyme:

Baa, baa black sheep, have you any wool?

"Yes, sir, yes, sir, three bags full.

One for the master and one for the dame

And one for the little boy who lives down the lane."

The vehicle, playing off this rhyme, was a black Jeep. Those who guessed "black Ram," referring to a Dodge pickup, get second place and full credit for completing the exercise.

Here's another, sent in by Anne Woltner, of Woodbridge: What kind of vehicle had the following license plate: WSPY CLD?

Dr. Gridlock's assistant, Jessica Medinger, contributed to this column.

Dr. Gridlock appears Monday in the Metro section and on Wednesday and Thursday in the Weekly and Extra sections. You can write to Dr. Gridlock, P.O. Box 3467, Fairfax, Va. 22038-3467, or e-mail him at The doctor's fax number is 703-352-3908. Please include your full name, address and day and evening phone numbers.