Dear Street Smarts,
Q I was driving up Hagar Court at 8 a.m. and shortly after turning on to that road I was passed by a maroon Toyota Camry with two passengers. This happened regardless of the double yellow line on the road and the oncoming downhill traffic. This also happened while I was driving near the speed limit. As often as this happens to me, I'd be surprised if my cases are isolated incidents. How should a concerned citizen respond when this happens? Send the plate number? Are there plans to increase enforcement on Hagar? Thanks in advance for your response. Tara Neier, Santa Cruz
A Yes, write down those license plate numbers and send them to the UC Santa Cruz Police Department, said Chief Mickey Aluffi.
“We are always concerned about traffic safety on campus and try to ensure that all drivers, vehicle or bicycle, comply with the regulations,” he said. “We try to be in those areas where violations of the vehicle code present dangerous situations but we can not be everywhere. That is why we depend on our citizens to let us know where problems exist.”
Aluffi encouraged anyone who feels wronged by another user of the road to alert his department.
“We can contact the registered owner, but we can not issue a citation,” he said. “Most vehicle code violations are misdemeanors or infractions and, as such, are not enforceable by police officers unless they actually witness the offense. If the vehicle is located and the driver is identified as the violator, the wronged person may effect a citizen's arrest and sign the citation, ultimately appearing in court to testify.”
When his department receives a complaint about a motorist, a letter will be sent to the registered owner of the alleged vehicle involved.
“The real value to that is when the driver is the child of the registered owner,” Aluffi said. “In that scenario, the parents would have more of an impact than the police.”
Report problem drivers on the UCSC campus by calling 459-2231.