EDITOR: I feel I must respond to Lt. C.D. King’s letter to the Mountain. Democrat regarding the publisher’s editorial labeling the CHP’s recent actions on Highway 50 a “speed trap.”
The lieutenant is obviously correct in his definition of a speed trap according to the California Vehicle Code. No matter how these actions of the CHP are labeled they certainly seem from a logical perspective to be a defacto speed trap, although not fitting the technical definition the lieutenant stated.
Placing an officer on the bridge over Highway 50 on El Dorado Road shooting his LIDAR gun at oncoming traffic eastbound and then transmitting his citing to another officer waiting in a patrol car further along the highway smacks of a speed trap in addition to hearsay evidence. This is hardly, as the lieutenants states, “increased visible patrol.”
His statement that the officers involved were driving “clearly marked patrol vehicles to make a lasting impression on drivers” is utter rubbish. The only time anyone traveling east could see those vehicles was after they were tagged by the laser.
If the purpose of the CHP is to promote traffic safety, placing these vehicle in plain sight along the highway would accomplish this goal. The instance of someone allegedly traveling at over 100 mph is an exception and no one wants that kind of driver on the road. I venture to say that most of the people ticketed were travelling with the flow of traffic and, if left alone, were not a danger to either themselves or the other drivers.
No matter the technical definition, speed enforcement done in this manner should not be condoned by the CHP which is the best law enforcement organization in California despite the use of questionable tactics like this.