Contact Street Smarts
Reader seeks school zone patrols by law enforcement
Dear Street Smarts, Q: I would like to know the protocol in having CHP presence at my children's elementary school during the commute hours in the morning? Almost every week this school year there, is a CHP motorcycle unit in front of Soquel Elementary School. In addition, there has also been a CHP patrol car on Old San Jose Road at Soquel High School. I can only assume they are there looking for cars speeding over 25 miles an hour in a school zone. However I've rarely seen anyone pulled over during the morning commute. Drive up Old San Jose Road and there is Mountain Elementary School and it has never had a CHP presence of any kind during the morning commute. It's a school zone with a posted speed limit of 25 miles an hour; however, the general speed is 40-45 miles an hour. Parents are honked at when they slow down taking their children to school. Why is our school not given the same police presence as the two schools, which are about 5 miles away? Thank you kindly for your time and expertise in answering my concern. Thanks again, Elisa Webb, Soquel A: Just ask and you will receive, said Officer Bradley Sadek, spokesman for Santa Cruz area CHP office. “We have received multiple complaints regarding Soquel Elementary, from parents and crossing guards all the way up to the Principal,” he said. By parking outside schools, the CHP's goal is to use visibility to change driver behavior, he said. But officers often issue citations outside Soquel Elementary “for speeding, failing to yield to children in a crosswalk, failing to obey school crossing guards, distracted driving and many other violations.,” he noted. In contrast, at Mountain Elementary, the CHP has received only one traffic complaint within the last 12 months, said Sadek. However, officers “regularly patrol Soquel-San Jose Road and the area near Mountain Elementary during school commute hours,” he added. “We will continue to focus on the traffic complaints we have received near Soquel Elementary and Mountain Elementary.” He encouraged people with traffic safety concerns to call the CHP at 662-0511. Q: I spoke with a CHP motorcyclist about six months ago this and he said that they do NOT have decibel meters and therefore cannot enforce the loudness limits. As a bicyclist, loud motorcycles are physically painful, especially when there is a group of them passing you. Jeff Brody via email A: “It is true, we don’t have decibel meters,” said Sadek. “ However, any exhaust noise that is excessive is enough cause for us to make an enforcement stop and examine the exhaust system for compliance with vehicle code. If we can hear it from a distance of 50 feet, at freeway speeds, with our windows rolled up, and it is still uncomfortably loud, that is enough for us to stop that motorcycle for excessive exhaust noise. Motorcycle noise laws vary from state to state. See how California's standards compare to other states at http://drivinglaws.aaa.com/laws/motorcycle-noise-limits/.
This entry was posted in children, CHP, driver education, law enforcement, motorcycle, noise, speed, Traffic Enforcement, traffic laws, traffic safety, Uncategorized and tagged Aptos, CHP, crosswalk, motorcycle, noise, pedestrians, school, school zone, Soquel, transportation. Bookmark the permalink.