Dear Lane Ranger: I am a long-time motorcyclist and have had problems with the triggering devices for traffic signals. There are a number of interchanges that I have learned to avoid over the years since the motorcycle fails to trip the circuits that control the signals. In most cases I have been lucky enough to eventually have a car pull up behind me and it will trigger the light. In some cases, after several cycles of the light for traffic in other parts of the intersection, I have had to cautiously run the light. Is there some way to notify VDOT of this problem and get them to set the sensitivity so that the light will trigger for a motorcycle? I have tried the left side of the lane, right side of the lane, center of the lane to no avail. My motorcycle is not small. It is a full dress touring bike, Harley-Davidson Road Glide, roughly 900 pounds dry weight.

The intersections are at Conference Boulevard, turning left onto Lee Road at the old main entrance to the NRO in Chantilly and at the intersection of University Drive turning left onto Godwin Drive are the two most troublesome. I will be glad to assist if they do not have any motorcycles to test with. — Bill Nead of Manassas

The engineers said they will visit the Conference Boulevard intersection but in the end, they may need to meet with you to check its sensitivity or show you where to ride to activate the signal.

Most of the problems with motorcycles tripping the road sensors comes from the newer racing motorcycles that have so little metal in them that their magnetic fields do not register, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

That doesn’t sound like you, though. And you’ve tried every which way to trip these signals.

The intersection at University Drive on Godwin Drive is maintained by Manassas City, and they didn’t get back to me through the grapevine. I’ll get you put in touch directly with the VDOT and city officials who deal with this.

Signal questions

I have passed along several traffic signal questions to VDOT and am waiting for them to check them out. Allen Elkins asked about the left turn light on Opitz Boulevard to Montgomery Avenue that does not change with hardly any traffic coming the opposite way. Holly of Dale City asked why Dale View Manor residents do not have a light put up for them on Minnieville Road. A year has passed since they were told they were getting it, she said. And a caller to the newspaper asked about the left-turn light onto Interstate 95 northbound from Va. 234 coming from Montclair. It’s way too short and backing up, he said.

New laws take effect July 1

The Department of Motor Vehicles has changed rules and penalties on driver’s licenses after Sept. 11 and the Virginia General Assembly session this past winter.

No longer will your social security number be your driver’s license number. Instead, a computer-generated customer number will be displayed on the card. If anyone cares, our transportation leader Delegate John A. “Jack” Rollison III, R-52nd District, opposed this because people use their license for identification. His objection was overruled by the House Transportation Committee that he chairs. But if this is really important to you, you can request that your social security number be used. But you have to ask.

The DMV will cancel driver’s licenses, commercial driver’s licenses, and photo identification cards for people who change their address to non-Virginia addresses, except for some exceptions such as military personnel and people residing outside the state for employment.

Photo identification cards will no longer be issued for persons who hold other types of Virginia cards.

People moving into the state have 60 days instead of 30 days to obtain a driver’s license.

Not to get you nervous — since we are war — but every male under the age of 26 who applies for a learner’s permit, driver’s license, commercial license or photo ID card must certify he is registered with the Military Selective Service. For guys under 18, the Selective Service will register them after they turn 18.

The DMV tightened many more requirements for driver’s licenses after Sept. 11. Check out the rules at

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