Monday, August 25, 2014

Back to School Traffic Safety Tips

The Arcadia Police Department wants to remind our residents that students go back to school this week. Remember to allow a little extra time if your travels take you by any of the schools in Arcadia, or if you are taking your kids to school.  The Arcadia Police Department Traffic Bureau hopes this 2014-2015 school year will be exciting and successful. With that in mind, we would like to remind all students and parents of the shared responsibility they have in understanding and obeying traffic laws that help maintain safety in and around our school zones. For this purpose, we have provided a list of the most commonly violated traffic laws in our City’s school zones, allowing you to make a conscious and informed effort to create a safe environment for your fellow students, and or your children.


California Vehicle Code section 21458(a) describes rules for curb markings.

1. RED Curb indicates no stopping, standing, or parking, whether the vehicle is attended or unattended, (No Student Drop Off or Pick Up in Red Zones)


Curb indicates stopping for the loading or unloading of passengers or freight (20 Minutes For Material & 3 Minutes For Passengers)

3. WHITE Curb indicates stopping for the loading or unloading of passengers (3 Minutes for Passengers)

4. GREEN Curb indicates time limit parking specified by local ordinance (24 & 30 Minute Zones)

5. BLUE Curb indicates parking limited exclusively to the vehicles of disabled persons


Prohibits stopping, parking, or standing of any attended/unattended vehicle on the roadway side of any vehicle stopped, parked or standing at the curb or edge of a highway (Often seen as parents drop off/pick up children in the lanes of traffic)

V.C. 22500(b) Park in Cross Walk

Prohibits the stopping, parking, or standing of any attended/unattended vehicle in a crosswalk

V.C. 22500(e) Park in Front of Public Drive

Prohibits stopping, parking, or standing of any attended/unattended vehicle in front of a public driveway

V.C. 22500(i) Bus Zone

Prohibits stopping, parking, or standing of any attended/unattended vehicle alongside a curb authorized for the loading and unloading of passengers of a bus, when indicated by a sign or red paint on the curb.

V.C. 22502 Parking Over 18” from Right Hand Side of Curb / Parking on Wrong Side of Street

Every vehicle stopped or parked upon a roadway…shall be stopped or parked with the right hand wheels of such vehicle parallel with and within 18 inches of the right-hand curb, except that motorcycles shall be parked with at least one wheel or fender touching the right-hand curb.

V.C. 22514 Park Near Fire Hydrant

No person shall stop, park, or leave standing any vehicle within 15 feet of a fire hydrant. EXCEPT, If the vehicle is attended by a licensed driver who is seated in the front seat and who can immediately move such vehicle in case of necessity.

Side Note—If the curb next to the fire hydrant is painted red, the vehicle stopping or parking to facilitate student pickup or drop off could still be cited for stopping/parking in a red zone


Officers commonly enforce parking laws in school zones by means of video enforcement. Officers may use video cameras to record violations as they occur and then mail the registered owner of the violating vehicle a citation for the observed violation. It is important to remember that the registered owner is the person receiving the citation, not the driver of the vehicle. The registered owner is responsible to resolve the citation. If parking citations are not cleared, either by dismissal or payment, the registered owner may not be able to renew their vehicle’s registration until the citation has been cleared by the DMV. Vehicles that have five or more citations on file are subject to impound, per California Vehicle Code section 22651(i)(1). The enforcement of parking restrictions and traffic laws in our school zones helps maintain vehicle and pedestrian safety, reminds drivers and pedestrians of their responsibility to share the roadway, and hopefully serves as a deterrent to prevent persons from future rule breaking.


V.C. 22101(d) Disobey Traffic Control Devices (No Left Turn, No Turn on Red, Yield, or No U-turn Signs at an Intersection)

When official traffic control devices are placed as required in subdivision (b) or (c), it shall be unlawful for any driver of a vehicle to disobey the directions of such official traffic control devices

V.C. 21461(a) Failure to Obey a Posted Sign (No left turn, No U-Turn, No Student Drop Off Signs, etc)

It is unlawful for a driver of a vehicle to fail to obey a sign or signal, or to fail to obey a device erected or maintained by lawful authority of a public body or official.

V.C. 22103 No U-turn in Residential District

No person in a residential district shall make a U-turn when any other vehicle is approaching from either direction within 200 feet, except at an intersection when the approaching vehicle is controlled by an official traffic control device.

V.C. 21950(a) Drivers Yield to Pedestrians in Crosswalk

The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.

V.C. 21950(b) Pedestrian to Exercise Due Care

This section does not relieve a pedestrian from the duty of using due care for his or her safety. No pedestrian may suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. No pedestrian may unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.

V.C. 21950(c) Drivers to Exercise Due Care

The driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of the vehicle or take any other action relating to the operation of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of pedestrians

V.C. 21954(a) Pedestrians Outside of Crosswalks

Every pedestrian upon a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway so near as to constitute an immediate hazard.

V.C. 21955 Jaywalking

Pedestrians shall not cross the roadway at any place except in a crosswalk between adjacent intersections controlled by traffic control signal devices or by police officers. (Example: Duarte Road between Santa Anita & El Monte = Jaywalking)

V.C. 21100.3 Disobey a Crossing Guard

It is unlawful for any person to disobey the traffic directions of a person appointed or authorized by local authority to regulate traffic pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 21000 when such appointee is wearing an official insignia issued by the local authority and is acting in the course of his appointed duties.

V.C. 22350 Unsafe Speed (School Zone)

When signs are posted for a “School Zone—When Children Present”, the speed limit is reduced to 25 MPH. This applies whenever children are present (Before, During & After School).

V.C. 23123(a) Talking on Cell Phone While Driving (18 + = Adult) & V.C. 23124 Cell Phone Under 18 Yrs.

Adult shall not drive a vehicle while using a wireless telephone, unless hands free. Minors may not use cell or hands free device.

V.C. 23123.5 Texting While Driving

A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using an electronic wireless communication device to write, send or read texts.

H&S 118948(a) Smoking in Vehicle

It is unlawful for a person to smoke a pipe, cigar, or cigarette in a motor vehicle, whether in motion or at rest, in which there is a minor (someone under 18 years old). For the purpose of this section, “To smoke” means to have in one’s immediate possession a lighted pipe, cigar, or cigarette containing tobacco or any other plant.


The driver and all occupants of a moving vehicle must properly wear safety belts, as they were designed to be worn. The shoulder strap must be worn over shoulders, not under.

V.C. 21212(a) Helmet Laws

Persons under 18 years of age must wear a properly fitted and fastened helmet for bicycles, skateboards, roller

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday Tip: Traffic Collisions

So you have just been involved in a traffic accident. You make sure that no one is injured and then you ask yourself, “Now what do I do?” The first time someone is involved in a traffic accident can be a traumatic and overwhelming experience. The good news is that if you are involved in an accident there are only a few things you need to do.

1.       Check for injuries. If there are injuries immediately contact the police department.
2.       If there are no injuries and you can do so, safely move the vehicle(s) out of the roadway and to a spot where you and your vehicle are out of traffic.
3.       Exchange information
a.       In the state of California, and per California Vehicle Code section 16025(a), every driver who has been involved in an accident, and who is physically capable of doing so, must exchange the following information with the other driver or property owner while at the scene of the accident:

·         Driver's name and current residence address
·         Driver's license number
·         Vehicle identification number (License Plate)
·         Current residence address of registered owner
·         Evidence of vehicle insurance
·         Insurance policy number
·         The name and address of the insurance company

Once you have exchanged information you have complied with the law and can leave the scene. If someone refuses to provide any of this information, contact the police department and have an officer respond.

Again, this experience can be overwhelming, so if you are not sure of what to do call the police department and we can walk you through the process.

Please be careful and drive safely.

Officer Ken Lee
Arcadia Police Department
Traffic Bureau 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Weekly Activity Highlights: July 27-August 2, 2014

Tuesday Tip: Secure firearms at home

California law requires secure storage of firearms when children under 18 are likely to be present and you are in control of the premises. Definitions and exemptions can be found in Penal Code section 12035, Criminal Storage of a Firearm.

Gun safety starts at home. If weapons are present in a home, children need to be taught proper weapon handling and safety. Weapons need to be properly secured. In the event that a child finds a gun, the National Rifle Association Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program teaches children the following:


•Don't touch!

•Leave the area!

•Tell an adult!

The NRA also offers additional information for parents on gun safety, training and additional information HERE.

There is no excuse for having an unsecured weapon in your home. Gun safes are reasonably priced and are readily available. Use of a gun safe is preferred, but many police departments offer simple gun locks for free. The Arcadia Police Department officers residents gun locks free of charge at our front counter. Check with your local agency for availability.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Weekly Tip: Dangers of children in vehicles in the heat

Last week’s tip warned of the dangers of leaving pets in vehicles.  Almost 24 hours after our post was published, local news stations were reporting a story about a child who suffered heatstroke from being left inside of an unattended vehicle.  A few days later, another child died after he climbed into a car parked in the sun.  So far in 2014, it’s estimated that 19 children have died due to vehicular heatstroke.

The Arcadia Police Department wants to remind our community that children and unattended vehicles don’t mix.  This isn’t just about leaving children inside of vehicles.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in more than 29% of vehicular heatstroke related deaths, the child climbed into an unsecured vehicle on their own. 

The California Office of Traffic Safety states that in Just 10 minutes in hot sun can raise the internal temperature of a car by nearly 20 degrees, over 30 degrees in a half hour, and nearly 45 degrees in an hour. Children’s body heat regulatory systems are less efficient than an adult’s, allowing them to overheat 3 to 5 times faster. Injuries due to heatstroke in hot cars can cause ailments including permanent brain injury, blindness and the loss of hearing, among others.

In 2001, the governor of California signed “Kaitlyn’s Law” also known as the “Unattended Child in Motor Vehicle Safety Act” into law. This law was named for Kaitlyn Russell, a 6-month-old who died after being left by a baby-sitter in a parked car for more than two hours as temperatures reached triple digits.  The law makes it illegal for a child to be left unattended in a motor vehicle.

California Vehicle Code 15620(a) partially states: A parent, legal guardian, or other person responsible for a child who is 6 years of age or younger may not leave that child inside a motor vehicle without being subject to the supervision of a person who is 12 years of age or older, under any of the following circumstances:

- Where there are conditions that present a significant risk to the child's health or safety.

- When the vehicle's engine is running or the vehicle's keys are in the ignition, or both.

A violation of subdivision (a) is an infraction punishable by a fine of one hundred dollars ($100).  Nothing in this section shall preclude prosecution under both this section and Section 192 of the Penal Code (Manslaughter), or Section 273a (Child endangerment), or any other provision of law.

The Arcadia Police Department offers the following tips related to children and unattended vehicles:

- Never leaver a child in a vehicle with the motor running or the key in the ignition.

- Check to make sure all children leave the vehicle when you reach your destination. Don't overlook sleeping  children or infants.

- Place a reminder of your child's presence where you'll be sure to see it before leaving the vehicle (diaper     bag next to your briefcase, baby blanket under your lunch or any other type of reminder of your child's presence).

- When shopping at the grocery store, ask the clerks to load your bags into your vehicle and return the cart instead of leaving a child alone, even for and instant.

- Always lock your car, even in the garage or driveway. If a child is missing, immediately check the car including the trunk.

- Never leave car keys within the reach of children.

- Teach children never to play in, on or around cars.

- Make it a habit to check the inside of your vehicle prior to exiting.

- Never let children ride or play in the cargo area, trunk or bed of any vehicle.

- If a child is locked inside a vehicle, get him/her out as quickly as possible. Call 9-1-1 for assistance if necessary. If the child appears hot or sick, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Dangers to children left unattended in vehicles include:
- Heat Stroke (hyperthermia)
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Runaway vehicles
- Carjacking
- Child abduction
- Body parts crushed by power windows and sunroofs.
- Trunk entrapment
- Self-release from car seat
- Emotional trauma

Unfortunately, too many children are still being left unsupervised in or around vehicles each year and the results are often tragic.

For additional information you can go to  or