Wednesday, April 23, 2014

It’s still a speed trap

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.



Letters to the Editor


Discussion | 8 comments

  • DarrinApril 06, 2012 - 6:55 am

    I have got to agree with you. I do not carry the CA Vehicle Code around with me to verify whether I am using the correct terminology when discussing road issues, nor do I feel I need it. I think it is common usage, while technically not correct, to label 6 CHP cars on a stretch of road a speed trap. I tell friends traveling west bound on 50 to slow down in Camino to Placerville too. Often there is an officer at the weigh station pull out. I have even see a friend pulled over between the two Camino exits and he LIVES here! What to I tell people when I describe this? I tell them it is a speed trap. And I usually recognize those clearly marked cars whey they are on my butt with their lights flashing...

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  • RebelApril 06, 2012 - 7:13 am

    How about ;just slow down and obey the posted speed limit, who cares if it's a speed trap or not. If you are not speeding you won't be stopped, simple as that.

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  • robertdnollApril 06, 2012 - 7:13 am

    "on my butt with their lights flashing" says a lot about you

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  • DarrinApril 06, 2012 - 7:17 am

    Hey, I haven't had a ticket in WEEKS!

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  • Underserved taxpayerApril 06, 2012 - 5:37 pm

    To the CHP employee that said the speed traps are not about revenue generation, please spare me. You know, the readers know and I know the situation is quite the opposite. Why else would the "Safety invoices" written by the CHP continue to increase yearly. It is an obvious place for our state that spends more than it brings in to collect more revenue. The CHP has chosen a location to Cherry pick the speeders. Bay area returnees from Tahoe, tired, in a hurry, maybe tipsy... all a great place to grab the revenue. All respect to the CHP but he knows it and we all know it. Its a speed trap to generate ALOT of money.

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  • Truth be toldApril 06, 2012 - 8:52 pm

    I disagree with you opinion completely. If the observing officer on the bridge observes a violator speeding and they merely communicate to the citing officer to stop the vehicle, without ever losing sight of the suspect vehicle until it's stopped on the shoulder, that is not here say. Especially when the observing officer confirms with the citing officer that they have stopped the correct vehicle, prior to any citation being issued. Furthermore the observing officers name appears on the citation as the arresting officer, and they have the burden of proof to testify to the violation should the matter go to trial, so clearly not a here say issue. Second, the clearly marked vehicles do make a lasting impression, especially when 4 or 5 of them have been directed from the on ramp, out into the traffic lanes to stop vehicles that were observed exceeding the speed limit. When you see 5 patrol cars staggered on the shoulder all at once, issuing citations, between el dorado road and Missouri flat, that says to others passing by " wow that's alot of people getting stopped right here, we better slow down in the future it acts a deterrent through perception, with the ultimate goal of slowing people down and saving lives! Chp enforcement done in this manner should be condoned because people remember seeing 5 police vehicles stopping violators in a certain area, and as a result are likely to slow down and keep people safe. Once again all the revenue goes to the county, take a trip to the court house and investigate for yourself they have the fine break down. Chp does not see a cent from the citations they issue.

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  • J. OthersideApril 06, 2012 - 9:10 pm

    Underserved, did you actually think about what you wrote: "Bay area returnees from Tahoe, tired, in a hurry, maybe tipsy.." Just the kind of people I want to share the road with on my twice daily commute on Hwy 50- not! Perhaps the driving privileges of these should be revoked instead of just issuing them a ticket. Problem solved for everyone.

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  • Common senseApril 06, 2012 - 11:15 pm

    'J Otherside', I think 'Underserved taxpayer' is simply ignorant to the carnage that occurs on California highways each day as a result of drunk drivers and speeding drivers. I'm willing to bet 'Underserved taxpayer' is one of the many self-centered bay area residents who think they area above the rules of the road.

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