Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Speed Trap Registry had this "speed trap" registry listed among its links today. I do find it interesting but have to take issue with what seems to be their description of speed traps. They seem to consider any place police regularly monitor traffic for speed compliance (the safety corridor between Eureka and Arcata, for instance) a speed trap.

It seems to me a speed trap is supposed to be a place police stake out where the speed limit is lowered suddenly and unexpectedly, catching drivers off guard and the cops get an easy ticket.

They have Eureka, Arcata and Garberville listed. About the only place I saw that might be considered a speed trap is where you enter Arcata from Manilla. Other than that, it looks like just normal speed enforcement to me.

They even have the intersection of H Street and Trinity Street ( they call it Trinity Avenue) listed as a trap. That's just three blocks from my house. I don't know that I've ever seen a cop car sitting there watching traffic, although I have seen them sitting every now and then a block or two north.

Regardless of location, I don't see how they can call any location on H Street a speed trap. The speed limit is the same along the entire length of the street. There's no trapping involved. If you're going 45 mph, you're going 45. Speed traps shouldn't be an issue.

Still, there are places police routinely hang out to catch speeders and this web site does list at least some of them. I know we were told in the Redwoods Police Academy about the one on the south end of Garberville that's mentioned in the registry. It might behoove those of you that can't obey speed limits to take a look. Then again, please don't. I'd rather you get the ticket.


At 7:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A speed trap, to me, is anyplace cops hide in order to catch you speeding. Deception required to catch people? Speed trap.

Those places are where cops know people speed, and people speed in those places as a function of the road's design.

The 101 corridor is a classic example, a roadway designed for speeds much higher than 50 mph. There's a very good reason CalTrans didn't want to downgrade the speed there (based upon actual research and planning), but a newspaper cooked up the 'blood alley' moniker and it stuck in the public mind.

At 8:04 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I suppose that's one way of looking at it.

I didn't see mention of it on that site, and haven't heard about it for some years, but there was supposed to have been a real speed trap in Rio Dell, or so I heard many years ago.

I think it was where you come off the freeway on the north end of town. As I recall some were saying they dropped the speed limit as you come off the freeway and Rio Dell P.D. would sit there and ticket people before they could slow down.

Never experienced it myself so don't know how true it is, or was.

At 8:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd also add unreasonableness to the definition of speed trap if it's a location where the the cop's lame judgment is repeatedly used to ticket people.

I got a speeding ticket on 101 near Leggett while in a temporary passing lane, going uphill to pass a slow vehicle. People naturally accelerate going uphill to assure they don't slow down too much, especially when using a passing lane for its intended purpose. The car you're passing will be accelerating too, which creates a common frustration -- being stuck behind a slow car and then having it speed up when you try passing in when a temporary passing lane opens on a hillside. The damn passing lane closes before you can get around the slowpoke.

So, I did something evil. I drove 5 mph over the limit and got ticketed for it.

At 11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

V C Section 40802 Speed Traps
Speed Traps

40802. (a) A "speed trap" is either of the following:

(1) A particular section of a highway measured as to distance and with boundaries marked, designated, or otherwise determined in order that the speed of a vehicle may be calculated by securing the time it takes the vehicle to travel the known distance.

(2) A particular section of a highway with a prima facie speed limit that is provided by this code or by local ordinance under subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 22352, or established under Section 22354, 22357, 22358, or 22358.3, if that prima facie speed limit is not justified by an engineering and traffic survey conducted within five years prior to the date of the alleged violation, and enforcement of the speed limit involves the use of radar or any other electronic device that measures the speed of moving objects. This paragraph does not apply to a local street, road, or school zone.

(b) (1) For purposes of this section, a local street or road is defined by the latest functional usage and federal-aid system maps submitted to the federal Highway Administration, except that when these maps have not been submitted, or when the street or road is not shown on the maps, a "local street or road" means a street or road that primarily provides access to abutting residential property and meets the following three conditions:

(A) Roadway width of not more than 40 feet.

(B) Not more than one-half of a mile of uninterrupted length. Interruptions shall include official traffic control signals as defined in Section 445.

(C) Not more than one traffic lane in each direction.

(2) For purposes of this section "school zone" means that area approaching or passing a school building or the grounds thereof that is contiguous to a highway and on which is posted a standard "SCHOOL" warning sign, while children are going to or leaving the school either during school hours or during the noon recess period. "School zone" also includes the area approaching or passing any school grounds that are not separated from the highway by a fence, gate, or other physical barrier while the grounds are in use by children if that highway is posted with a standard "SCHOOL" warning sign.

(c) (1) When all of the following criteria are met, paragraph (2) of this subdivision shall be applicable and subdivision (a) shall not be applicable:

(A) When radar is used, the arresting officer has successfully completed a radar operator course of not less than 24 hours on the use of police traffic radar, and the course was approved and certified by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.

(B) When laser or any other electronic device is used to measure the speed of moving objects, the arresting officer has successfully completed the training required in subparagraph (A) and an additional training course of not less than two hours approved and certified by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.

(C) (i) The prosecution proved that the arresting officer complied with subparagraphs (A) and (B) and that an engineering and traffic survey has been conducted in accordance with subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2). The prosecution proved that, prior to the officer issuing the notice to appear, the arresting officer established that the radar, laser, or other electronic device conformed to the requirements of subparagraph (D).

(ii) The prosecution proved the speed of the accused was unsafe for the conditions present at the time of alleged violation unless the citation was for a violation of Section 22349, 22356, or 22406.

At 12:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"if that prima facie speed limit is not justified by an engineering and traffic survey conducted within five years prior to the date of the alleged violation"

Wow. It sounds like every person ticketed in the safety corridor has grounds to dispute their speeding tickets.

At 1:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The corridor is not "prima facie". It is posted, and the limit is statute-based, i.e. "maximum speed law".

At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The safety corridor legislation expired several years ago. The signs simply haven't been taken down. Someone could easily challenge a ticket in court if they pull of the relevant code.

At 5:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of safety, did you know the collision rate near Manila has increased since the inception of the corridor? At a 55 mph posted limit, ripping through that quiet little hamlet is now the choice for many a speeder.


At 7:01 PM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

Fred, I haven't commented here for some time as I haven't time for your Marxist trolls, but the speed trap issue is a subject on which I can claim some knowledge.
I have written many a "speed trap" ticket during my law enforcement career. My bad.
Speed limits are a strictly revenue issue for local governments. There is a constant pressure on local law enforcement to augment revenue by traffic enforcement. Unimpaired motorists are rational human beings. That is, they will drive in such a manner as to avoid harm to themselves and others.

We escaped Kalifornia in late 2004 and for 4 years noted that traffic enforcement in this county consisted of police response solely to traffic accidents. Since the onset of the continuing economic "downturn" the radar cops are ubiquitous as is the enforcement of "chicken shit" violations of "unsafe" lane changes and other bullshit "violations". I have been stopped several times for these revenue violations only to be given a "warning" due to my retired law enforcement status.
When will this bullshit cease?

At 7:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You forgot the all important fines for not stopping a full 2 seconds at a stop sign even though, yeah, you really did make a full and complete stop because you saw the cop and didn't want to do anything remotely wrong.

What was it about you or your car that makes a cop pick on you? It seems like it's like surfing. It's just your turn to get bitten by the shark.

At 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A couple observations compared to say 10 years ago (disclaimer: I drive a whole lot, have been for a living since 92, and I used to drive fast all the time until my license was suspended for speeding tickets and it cost a fortune to get it back):

WAY more CHP on the roads. I can't be the only one who remembers around '01 and again around '05 when the CHP was doing huge recruiting campaigns that included billboards "Earn $75k per year, be a hero" and all that. My friends in the military confirm that the CHP began heavy recruiting of former soldiers around '01.

CHP using radar while traveling the opposite direction...meaning the cop driving north on 101 is clocking people heading south. I've never noticed them doing it all the time like they do now. Maybe advances in radar gun technology made it easy?

Tandem CHP speeders. One CHP guy will drive by real fast, as typical, hoping to catch up to any speeders. So they pass and people naturally loosen their ankles a bit and drive faster, thinking the cop is past. But there's a second CHP guy a mile or so behind doing sweep. I've also noticed a few times, in a crowd of cars, the lead CHP will exit an offramp, let everybody pass, and their tandem guy will catch up to them, then they get back on the freeway and repeat the leapfrog sweep.

Yeah...way more CHP on the road and the fines have increased astronomically as well. Personally, I find it more distracting than helpful.

At 12:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello! Is anyone still checking in on this thread? I got a ticket in the safety corridor because I was going 55 after I had passed the Bayside cutoff exit, before the limit increases to 65. Im willing to accept my wrongdoing and pay the ridicuous ticket but I'm very curious as to what the "relevant code" is for disputing the maximum speed in the safety corridor. Does anyone know if the safety corridor legislation is still expired? I'm a student and can't afford some $300+ ticket. HELP! Thanks.
-Natalie C.


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