Re: Speeding... No excuse?

Hey, more info

Here's something I got off the web about California speeding tickets.
I haven't doubled checked any of this, I'm not a lawyer and this is 
not legal advice, blah blah blah.



Okay, if it really is a speedtrap and you are in California you are set.
Some kind man {thank you} sent me the following:

The following information comes from my copy of the January 1993 California
Vehicle Code (CVC), which I purchased at my local DMV for $3.00.

These sections of the CVC relate directly to the use of "speedtraps" within

40801 Speed Trap Prohibition
40802 Definition of a Speed Trap
40803 Speed Trap Evidence
40804 Testimony Based on Speed Trap
40805 Admission of Speed Trap Evidence
40808 Speed Trap Evidense

Here are the most important paragraphs:

No peace officer or other person shall use a speed trap in arresting, or
participating or assisting in the arrest of, any person for any alleged
violation of this code nor shall any speed trap be used in securing evidence
as to the speed of any vehicle for the purpose of an arrest or prosecution
under this code.

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

This means that "airplane surveillance" tickets are illegal in California,
unless the arresting officer paces your vehicle to determine your speed. I
received two such tickets (in 1990 and 1992) and contested them. In both
cases it was not necessary for me to say anything -- the judge asked the
arresting officer if this case was related to airplane surveillance, and the
charges were dismissed "in the interest of justice."

Why does the California Highway Patrol continue with airplane surveillance?
Because most people don't know the law and just send in their fine, and
because many drivers *are* paced, not realizing that a CHP cruiser has
pulled in behind them.

CHP officers do know the law. One officer laughed when he told me "The
airplane gotcha." His demeanor changed when I asked if he had read section
40801, and if he had used something other than a speed trap to determine my
speed. He said "I'm just the gofer. I have to give you the ticket anyway."

Section 40802(b):
defines where "radar or other electronic devices" can be used to determine
speed -- in essence, either on "local streets and roads" or on highways
where a traffic survey has been conducted within the last five years. I find
that California police are very familiar with this law, and with the local
traffic surveys. I contested a radar ticket several years ago, and found
that I was on a stretch that had recently been surveyed. If I had been two
miles further I would have beaten the ticket.
Another kind person sent me this additional info:

I have some additional information on the use of radar in California. To use
radar, the enforced facility (road, highway, etc) must have a valid Speed
Zone Survey, as your other correspondent noted. What he did not say, though,
was the posted speed limit must be in accordance with the speed limit
indicated by the survey. In other words, if the survey recommends a speed
limit of 40 MPH, and the local jurisdiction posts "30 MPH" signs, any ticket
written should be thrown out of court, irrespective of the transgressor's
speed, since the police would be enforcing a speed limit not legally set.

Additionally, the appropriate standard for determining the proper speed
limit is based on the 85th percentile of the surveyed speeds. the survey
must set forth ANY justification for reduction of the recommended speed from
the 85th percentile of the survey data. To put it another way, the law
assumes arbitrarily that 85% of drivers are driving at or below the maximum
safe speed, and 15% exceed it. Therefore, after the survey data are
collected, a basic statistical analysis determines the 85th percentile,
and--voila!--the recommended speed limit. (This figure is rounded to the
nearest 5 MPH increment.)

Mitigating factors, which must be cited on the survey, include a high
accident rate due to speed, hidden hazards (defined as those not readily
apparent to the driver--if you can SEE it, it's not a hidden hazard, no
matter how unusual), and others. Local agencies have gotten fairly creative
in these justifications, but there must be something to justify a posted
speed limit at less than the 85th percentile, or no valid ticket.

I-5 South in Westminister between Beach Blvd. and Euclid.Seems the CHP is
helping out the city quite a bit.

On I-80 past California state line, and Sierra Nevada mountains (about 5
miles into Nevada) all the way to Reno. Never failed to see someone get
stopped by Nevada Highway Patrol. I was ambushed their once by a cop who had
all his lights off, and waiting on the shoulder.

They specialize in GUILTY until proven innocent photo radar.

Mission Blvd between I680 and LasPalmas Ave. (mainly in front of Mission San
Jose H.S. also Washington Blvd between Mission and Driscoll.

State Route 99:
Both south and north: for several miles after the I-5 Rt. 99 junction, there
are these big bushes that divide the highway. I have seen CHP cars literally
smashed under them, using radar to nail people going both ways.

I-10 (the Santa Monica Freeway in Los Angeles ):
In both directions: being the most traveled freeway in the country, it's
also one of the most patrolled by the CHP. The worst part is supposed to be
around Downtown L.A., although it's supposed to be bad the whole way through
L.A. I-40, both east and west: It's a real temptation to open it up on the
way out to Vegas from L.A., but I have seen at least two or three people
pulled over every single time I've driven it. Be careful of white Mustangs,
they have really small CHP signs on the doors, and are really hard to
notice, as my friend found out while doing 140...

San Diego Vicinity:
a. 805 north\south bound between Mesa College and Phyllis Place onramps.
These are primarily manned during commuter hours i.e. 6-9am and 3-6:30pm
with motorcycle mounted fellows.
b. I-8 at Spring Street onramp.

California, Pacific Coast Highway (AKA Highway 1):
North of Del Mar through Solana Beach, Encinitas and Leucada. Local Sheriff
uses K band, some instand-on, weekends esp.

Keep a keen eye out for CHIPies on state 78 between Ramona, Santa Ysibel and
Julian. This is sport bike country, twisties, etc. But on weekends count on
several Highway Patrol cars looking for scooters.

Santa Barbara:
Alameda Padre Serra, occurring about once every six weeks or so, near the
campus of Brooks Institute. Also, on Las Positas, between the 101 and State
street, on either side. Be careful by that school!

Santa Barbara:
On the bottom end of Cliff Dr going to 7-11 area. There's alway's a cop on
his bike with a rader gun to catch students coming out of school between
10:00am and 2:00pm, Mon-Fri, and you can take that to the bank. He gave me a
fat !@# ticket.

I-10,INDIO, CA. 90M East of L.A. and 60M West of California State line:
I drive all over California, and this is the worst spot I know of. The CHP
has 2 airborne units, and way too many cars, 2 of which are the Camaro
Interceptors. Keep your eye open when you pass Palm Springs, and relax after
you pass Desert Center.

Hwy 101 through King City:
Don't speed here, whatever you do. This is a major speed trap zone. The CHP
knows that this route is heavily used by tired, unaware drivers travelling
between SF and LA who just want to get where they're going. Also, if you
pull into town, be cautious. They are ruthless about traffic rules on the
city streets as well as the highway.

Hwy 80 through Loomis:
Loomis lies on the stretch between Sacramento and North Lake Tahoe. This
route is travelled heavily during ski season, as it's the only direct route
to North Tahoe. The CHP sets up aircraft traps in Loomis to catch unwary
people in a hurry to get to the slopes, and seem to specialize in cars with
ski racks that can be seen from the plane. Don't look for cops on the side
of the road or onramps - by the time you see them, the plane's already
busted you.

210 Freeway near La Canada-Flintridge:
CHP loves to hang out on the overpasses that can be up to 100 feet over the
freeway and swoop down on unsuspecting drivers. For the LA area the 210
freeway offers some of the fastest-paced driving usually over 70mph during
most times of the day. And the CHP knows it.

It is possible to also point out the the motorcycle cops are basically only
good for one thing: revenue generation for the local city. They are MUCH
more of a threat than the cars...

Huntington Beach:
On PCH (Hwy 1) between Warner and Goldenwest along Bolsa Chica State Beach.
There are always two Motorcycle Cops hangin out in a cubbyhole with radar

Claims to have lowered accident rate 25% by vigorous enforcement of speed
limits. No mention of revenue increase. Lots of radar traps. {see, some of
them are good --Andy}

Riverside County:
California, 60 freeway just west of the 60-10 junction. This is a hilly,
curvy piece of highway with a couple of intersecting streets. CHP runs radar
here often sitting around a bend on the downhill side (westbound). I was
given a ticket at 2:30 in the morning coming back from Mesa. 88 MPH
translated into a $330 ticket. The HPman was a no-show, fortunately. Perhaps
his conscience got the best of him. If so, I'm impressed.

{Someone sent me the following, I don't agree, but I figured he deserves to
be heard. The premise might be valid, but I still can't swallow it}:
Sobriety checkpoints are unlawful, consequently they should be listed and
avoided. They violate amendments 4 and 14 of the U.S. Constitution in that
there is no probable cause to make unsecure the "person" of the individual
being stopped. Any rulings that "societial" interests must be balanced with
individual rights are an unholy aberation, violate the intent of the
founders, and are cause for concern.

State Route 280, between Rt 92 and 84:
When the Sf Chronicle did a survey of the most heavily ticketed roadway in
the SF Bay area.

Central Expy between Lawrence Expy and Hwy 85. This section is notorious for
radar speedtraps. Tickets are written at very low speeds (+5 over limit).

State Route 99, Stanislaus County north- and southbound:
In the vicinity of Turlock, the entire stretch of highway that is 3 lanes
(each direction) is regularly patrolled from the air. CHP also uses their
"unmarked cars" here. These cars lack the roof-mounted lights and
bumper-mounted push bars, and are not painted the traditional
black-and-white. I have seen all-white, blue-and-white, yellow-and-white,
and tan-and-white. I understand they come in other colors, too. They all
have white doors with the emblem on it, so they meet the definition of a
traffic enforcement vehicle, so beware. VERY hard to spot in your rear-view.

State Route 88, Amador County, east- and westbound:
CHP uses radar very aggressively, whether hiding over hill crests, in
shadows, or using their moving radar as they cruise. I highly recommend a
good radar (k-band) detector. They increase their activity during ski
season, but are active year-round.

Chevy Chase Drive, City of Glendale, Los Angeles County:
This is a fairly narrow, winding road, perfect for sports cars, fast
motorcycles, and radar cops. Posted speed limit is 25 MPH (possibly NOT
justified by a valid Speed Zone Survey). On 5/4/95, I witnessed no fewer
than 3 motorcycle cops and one cruiser stopping cars as fast as they could.
All 4 cops were kept quite busy.

City of Stockton, San Joaquin County:
Stockton uses radar all over, and tends to enforce improperly set speed
limits. Their cops, though, LIE ON THE STAND!

Marsh Creek Road, Contra Costa County:
Another area of dubious speed limits. Especially in the vicinity of the City
of Clayton, radar enforcement is used extensively.

Lamorinda Area off of Highway 24 between Walnut Creek and Berkeley/Oakland:
24 itself is a hotbed of CHP activity. Watch out especially for those pesky
little Rustangs. Even worse than 24, though are the communities of Moraga,
Orinda and Lafayette. All the cops have radar, and I think the whole damn
area is surveyed. My advice is drive like a grandman, drive a Lexus, and for
God's sake, TURN ON THE RADAR DETECTOR!!!!! {don't ask me about the driving
like a grandman and Lexus things. It must be a California thing. because it
makes no sense to me --andy}

Central Expressway from Mary Ave.to Corvin in Santa Clara. Sunnyvale PD love
to hide under the over passes on the bikes. Sometimes they park there
cruzers behide the hedges under Fair Oaks ave .exit

I-80 a few miles East of Sacramento, CA:
It is involved West bound in Roseville, CA, between Douglas Blvd. and
Madison Avenue.

U.S. 101 at San Francisco-Brisbane city line:
CHP's trap southbound traffic at the bottom of a downgrade and around a
curve, right before the Candlestick Park exit. This is one of the biggest
revenue-earning spots for the CHP.

I-5 Between Williams and WIllows:
There are several sections where you can (yes, they do this) be clocked from
a frontage road running parallel to the freeway. Since a driver 'going with
the flow' is likely to be doing 15 to 20 over the 65 speed limit, fines can
be steep. Another spot where they do this is I-80 between Davis and

North of REDDING on I-5:
The northbound trap starts at the 299 East jct and the love to sit on the
onramps all the way to Shasta Lake. The South bound is just the opposite.
These traps are especially heavy during the summer months around the Oasis
Rd ramps.

Highway 50 East & West between El Dorado Hills & Placerville:
(The road to So. Lake Tahoe). The CHP uses a plane to patrol between El
Dorado Hills & Placerville extensively on the weekends. Sometimes they will
use 3 to 5 patrol cars in conjunction with the airplane to "harvest"
speeders en masse. It's worst when "out-of-towners" are around on holiday
weekends or big ski weekends.

atman@ecst.csuchico.edu || Finger for PGP key
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