So whom do you trust? There are a million sources of information out there, but which one can you rely on? There’s no simple answer for that one. I’ve found that no matter whom I’ve talked to, nothing beats looking it up and verifying it for yourself. A “friend” once taught me how to greet people in German. People would smile as I said, “Ich spreche wie ein, die schlechter sind Erdrosselntruthahn und geruch viel!” I bet most of you probably could see that punch line a mile away…
I want to address a letter posted last Friday, “Don’t Worry About the IVFP, the Law Will Back You Up” (Daily Nexus, April 22). The writer definitely did some homework and looked into the California Dept. of Transportation (DOT) regulations involving the posting of stop signs. I think that type of effort should be applauded. If you receive a ticket, I encourage you to look at the laws and if the ticket was given in error, take it to court. I am a big believer in the process, but I do feel a need to point out some misunderstandings. The writer mentions that under California law, “bicycles are vehicles with all the rights and responsibilities…” While bikes are required to obey traffic laws just like cars, they are not considered vehicles. I encourage people to learn about and use the California Vehicle Code.
Now that being said, Code 670 states that vehicles are not human powered, i.e.: bikes.
The writer makes mention of one of the guidelines involving major and minor roads that the DOT uses to recommend where to put a stop sign. The writer chose to count bikes and cars during a 20-minute time frame that was advantageous to bikes (right before classes). If I chose to do my count at 4:30 a.m., I bet there would be more cars than bikes. So the writer’s survey is not taking into consideration the entire period of use.
Another point I need to mention is that under section 21354 of the California Vehicle Code, a local jurisdiction, like UCSB, may declare a highway, or street, as a “through highway” and post stop signs at the entrances to that highway. Since the bikeway enters and crosses the road, it can be, and is, posted with stop signs.
So in a nutshell, I would have to disagree with the writer that the tickets issued by the UCSB Police Dept. are invalid. Of course I would hope that if you are not sure, or disagree, that you would go ask and look into it for yourself. Most of the information is online now.
Why don’t you warn people instead of giving tickets?
Oh, I wish it would work that way. It’s so much easier to be the nice guy and just tell people not to do it again! But do you really think that would work? The message “go ahead and break the law until you get caught and then start obeying” is not the message we want to pass on to people. I don’t think the young lady who was hit by a car after going through a stop sign stood up and said, “I never got my warning!” No. It just doesn’t work. Warnings have not reduced the number of accidents or people getting hurt. It just continues the idea that breaking the law is okay until you get caught the second time.
I hope I have been helpful in providing some information to all of you. If you have any questions or problems, please feel free to call or e-mail me. I will gladly do what I can to help you out.
Ticked off by a ticket? Party popped by the Patrol? If you got questions, don’t let it eat away at you. Ask them! Call or e-mail me anytime. Mark.Signa@police.ucsb.edu or the Crime Prevention Office at 893-4063.