Illegal entry to Roaring Camp needs to be enforced, reader says

Dear Street Smarts,

Q: Why is the prohibition on left turns on Graham Hill Road at Roaring Camp never enforced, even though, ironically, two CHP cars seem to always find time to sit near the Safeway collecting speeding ticket money along a relatively safer section of the road? This is one of the most dangerous road segments in the whole county. When a tourist decides at the last minute to turn left into Roaring Camp, they leave open the opportunity for many others behind them on this blind turn to get severely rear-ended and push cars into oncoming traffic traveling to Santa Cruz.

Among other things, public works could trim back the trees growing in front of the signs, but the signs are not very visible to begin with. Maybe some more and/or bigger signs placed further in advance of the turn would help with this, in lieu of, or even better, in addition to the enforcement presence.

Chris, Felton

A: Last request first.

"Public Works plans to install a left hand turn pocket into Roaring Camp as part of a road improvement project proposed for summer 2010 through summer 2011," said Steve Wiesner, of county public works. "In the interim, county road crews will investigate the possibility of trimming the trees causing the visual obstruction."

As for the law enforcement part of your question, "officers are aware of the ‘No Left Turn’ into Roaring Camp from westbound Graham Hill Road and will routinely issue citations for this violation," said officer Hugh Holden, CHP spokesman.

Noting that officers can’t catch every traffic scofflaw, he suggested that witnesses report violators to non-emergency CHP dispatchers at 796-2160. Provide the vehicle’s license plate number and any other descriptive traits. For emergencies, such as possible DUI drivers, call 911.

Friday furloughs

The state’s budget woes means that the Department of Motor Vehicles, will close the first, second and third Friday of every month. Here’s a closure schedule for the rest of the year. 

  • July 17, 24
  • Aug. 7, 14, 21
  • Sept. 4, 11, 18
  • Oct. 2, 9, 16
  • Nov. 6, 13, 20
  • Dec. 4, 11, 18
That said, log on to to schedule appointments, pay for vehicle registration and study for your driving test.

Rule of the Week

I’ve been asked to revive the "Rule of the Week." The thinking was that some of us have been driving for decades and may be a little fuzzy on some road rules. This week’s rule is for nighttime motorcycle riders from the California Motorcycle Handbook. To make it easier for you to see and be seen:
  • Ride slower than you do during the day to better avoid hazards.
  • Be flexible with your lane positioning. Increase the distance between you and other road users by an extra three seconds, minimum. Allow more room for passing and being passed.
  • Use the headlights on the car ahead to better see the road. Bouncy taillights may mean rough pavement is ahead.
  • Use your high beam when you’re not following or approaching another vehicle.
  • Wear reflective material.
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One Response to Illegal entry to Roaring Camp needs to be enforced, reader says

  1. Tim Epperson says:

    Joel Bahu of Ben Lomond took offense and launched a personal attack for my July 19Th letter. Joel missed the point, and misstated the facts.
    First Joel, there are only a few individuals involved in ticketing motorists at those low priority locations. It doesn’t take sophisticated surveillance to note the same officer at an intersection several days a month. By the way Joel how much mortal danger are these officers exposed to at the four-way stop signs?
    Obviously the majority of CHP Officers are doing their job, but the few patrolling at low priority sites need to be in areas of greater concern.
    Second Joel, Santa Cruz P.D. do not charge residents for writing off fix-it tickets. The Sheriffs Department can charge, but routinely doesn’t.
    Third the Agencies do get a percentage of the fines.
    Lastly Joel I have been on a ride-along and we didn’t patrol stop signs…have you? Check your facts next time before you speak.

    Tim Epperson

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