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Looking at speed along Seacliff Drive
Dear Street Smarts, Q: I visited friends living on Seacliff Drive between Mar Vista and State Park Drives and noticed that despite a posted speed limit of 25 mph, vehicles were doing more like 45-50 mph. My friends said they never see a traffic officer writing tickets there and I am writing to ask why. Thank you Brian Rudyk via email A: The California Highway Patrol is keeping an eye on Seacliff Drive, said officer Sarah Jackson, spokesperson. “We do have this roadway logged as an official traffic complaint for exactly what your reader states, although we also look forward to working with County Roads to examine a possible traffic survey for Seacliff Drive,” she said. Having a traffic survey on file means tickets officers write will hold up in traffic court. While Seacliff Drive is posted at 25 mph, the prima facie speed for residential streets in accordance with the California Vehicle Code, drivers may be able to prove conditions were safe to drive faster. A similar discussion has occurred in Street Smarts related to Mission Street. While posted at 25 mph, drivers go faster. The police argues that it cannot enforce speed along the entire stretch – outside of school zones – using radar because of the lack of a recent traffic survey, which could determine the safe speed is higher than the posted speed limit. The prima facie speed law aims to prevent speed traps. Meanwhile, county public works “will coordinate with the CHP in terms of considering this road segment for a radar speed survey in our next speed limit update,” said Jack Sohriakoff, senior civil engineer. “Generally, major roads with high speeds and high volumes are considered for radar speed limit studies due to limited resources. When determining the appropriate posted speed limit for radar enforcement, strict rules must be followed. Due to these strict rules, some previously posted 25 mph streets were required to have the speed limits raised to 30 mph or more to enforce the speed limit with radar.” View current radar speed surveys for county roads – years 2006, 2008, and 2009 – on the county's website or at the law library in the basement of the County building. “Most speed surveys are applicable for seven years, and can sometimes be extended for a period of ten years,” Sohriakoff explained. Learn more from the 2012 California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices Branch. See Part 2, Section 2B.13 under speed limit sign (R2-1) use, he said.