The Traffic Stop

This is an interactive blog provided by the Woodland Police Department. The blog is aimed at educating the public about laws associated to driving, driver education, and pedestrian safety.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

National Night Out and seatbelt reminder

These articles usually pertain only to traffic related matter. We will get there but I want to let the community know about National Night Out on August 2nd. The purpose of National Night Out is to bring awareness to crime and drug prevention, generate support for local anti-crime programs, strengthen community-police partnerships, and to let criminals know the neighborhoods are organized. In 2010, nationwide, over 15,000 communities and 37 million people participated.

National Night Out gatherings usually occur in the form of block parties which are organized by Neighborhood Watch block captains. This is an excellent way to meet your neighbors and bring the community together. The largest block party last year had nearly 100 people.

This year the Woodland Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Yolo County Sheriffs Department, and the Woodland Fire Department will be participating in the event. Members from the various agencies will go to the individual gatherings and talk with community members. This is a great way for the members of the community to provide law enforcement officers with the concerns of the neighborhood and for officers to provide crime prevention tips.

The information flow between the community and the Woodland Police Department is an imperative aspect of operations for crime prevention. The Woodland Police Department actively uses the Problem Oriented Policing, or POP, model of policing. When the police department becomes aware of an ongoing crime related problem the police department can use different means to solve the problem. Many times POP projects include the use of code enforcement officers, building inspectors, and collaboration with property owners to resolve problems. Without involvement and information from community members the POP model is not effective.

As part of National Night Out the Woodland Professional Police Employee’s Association is sponsoring a friendly competition between neighborhood gatherings. The competition will be to show what group is the most patriotic. The winning group will receive an ice cream party hosted by members of the Woodland Police Department. If you are interested in starting a Neighborhood Watch group or want to organize a block party contact the Woodland Police Department’s community outreach liaison, Mini Garcia Higgins, at 530-661-7854.

Back to traffic related concerns. After responding to a roll over collision a few weeks ago, the importance of seatbelt use was reinforced. I’m sure the occupants of the overturned vehicle would agree. Nearly all the windows of the vehicle had shattered. When windows break and occupants are not secured by seatbelts, the window frame acts as an ejection port. The occupants will fly through the vehicle until they are ejected or the vehicle comes to rest. Depending on how many times a vehicle rolls, the ejected occupants are commonly crushed by the rolling vehicle.

Wearing a seatbelt is a decision. One of the common themes in the Start Smart driving program, which is provided at the Woodland Police Department, is decision making. One of the common statements made by those who have survived major collisions is, “If I had known this would happen I would have made a better decision.” In a recent press release from the California Highway Patrol the topic of seatbelt use was discussed. During the 4th of July weekend 34 people were killed in collisions statewide. The CHP was responsible for investigating 17 of the fatal collisions. Of the 17 fatalities investigated by CHP, 14 of those killed were not wearing seatbelts.

Law enforcement officers will continue to issue seatbelts citations because citations are proven to increase seatbelt use. Even with enforcement, it is up to the individual to ensure they are wearing their seatbelt properly. As a reminder, the proper way to wear a standard lap/shoulder belt is over the lap and shoulder. This may seem like common knowledge to some but I see numerous people every day who wear the shoulder strap under their arm. This is a very unsafe way to wear your seatbelt.

Lap/shoulder belts are designed to restrain an individual in their seat when a collision occurs. When the shoulder portion of the seatbelt is worn under the arm the upper half of the body will move forward in a collision. This can result in an occupant’s head striking the dash or receiving a severe impact from an airbag. Wearing the seatbelt under the arm can also lead to fatal internal injuries.

If you have any questions about this article or traffic related matters contact me at 530-661-7843. If you want information on National Night Out contact Mini Higgins Garcia at 530-661-7854.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


On August 3rd I participated in National Night Out and attended several block parties. National Night Out is always a successful event and opens lines of communication between the Woodland Police Department and the community. I was asked by a community member to discuss in an installment of The Traffic Stop the proper way to transport firearms in a vehicle and what to do in the event of a traffic collision.

First I will cover the question of what to do when involved in a collision. I will assume for purposes of this article we are talking about a minor collision where none of the involved parties are injured. Let me start by suggesting contacting the police. Police departments use statistical data from collisions for enforcement deployment; grant funding, and traffic engineering. Officers in Woodland are directed to complete traffic collision reports when collisions occur on city streets. Officers will assist in collecting the required information, complete a report, and facilitate the proper exchange of information between drivers.

At a minimum a driver involved in a collision is required to, upon request, exchange the information located on their driver license and vehicle registration card as well as insurance information. If the registered owner of the vehicle was not the driver but was present at the collision, upon request, the registered owner is required to provide the information included on their driver license. Some agencies do not respond to minor collisions where no injuries have occurred. Most insurance companies provide policy holders with a form that will cover all relevant information needed for insurance companies to complete the claim process.

If a driver is involved in a collision with property or a parked vehicle the driver is required to immediately contact the owner or leave a written note conspicuously placed on the damaged vehicle or property. The note shall include the name and address of the driver and registered owner of the vehicle and an explanation of the circumstances of the collision. The driver is also required to immediately notify the local law enforcement agency of the collision.

The text of the laws explaining the requirements of a driver involved in a collision can be found in Vehicle Code Sections 20001 through 20010.

When discussing the manner in which firearms are transported, a few things must be known about the firearm. A concealable firearm is any firearm that has an overall length of less than 26 inches OR a barrel length of less than 18 inches OR both. When transporting a concealable firearm in a vehicle, generally a handgun, the firearm must be contained in a locked container and unloaded. The trunk of a vehicle can be used as a locked container but the glove box cannot.

A locked container is defined as any secure container which is fully enclosed and locked by a padlock, key lock, combination lock, or similar locking device. Many versions of secure containers are available at sporting goods stores or online. Many handguns come in plastic cases that allow for a padlock to be used to secure the case. The law affecting the transportation of a concealable firearm also requires that the concealable firearm also be contained in a locked container while transporting the firearm to or from a vehicle. Non-concealable firearms are not required be in a locked container during transport but must be unloaded.

When discussing the storage of firearms safety is paramount. The Children’s Firearm Accident Prevention Act of 1991 makes storage of a firearm where a child obtains the firearm and uses it in an improper manner a crime punishable by fine or imprisonment. Safety measures to prevent firearm accidents while stored include unloading the firearm, storing the firearm in a locked container, using a trigger or gun locks, and storing ammunition separate from the firearm. The Woodland Police Department has a supply of gun locks that are free to the public. The gun locks are available at the front counter of the police department. Do not bring a firearm to the police department to have a gun lock installed as our front office staff is not trained for the task.

In addition to safe and secure storage it is helpful for an individual to keep a log of all serial numbers of firearms they own. If a firearm is stolen law enforcement agencies have access to a nationwide database where the information can be entered and tracked if recovered.

To view additional information about firearm safety and safe driving tips visit The Traffic Stop by going to

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Back To School Refresher

Woodland Police Department Traffic Division, August 10, 2010

As students head back to school, the Woodland Police Department reminds motorists to slow down and watch out for school-age pedestrians.
Children get caught up in the excitement of 'back-to-school' season and forget to look out for cars, and many children have difficulty judging a car's speed or distance. This puts them at greater danger as pedestrians.

The Woodland Police Department’s T.E.A.C.H. (Traffic Enforcement Assuring Children’s Health) campaign encourages motorists to stay alert in areas where children are present, paying special attention during the morning and afternoon hours while children are going to and from school. Children's peripheral vision is one-third narrower than an adult's. This makes it more difficult for them to see a vehicle approaching from the side. School-age children can be especially vulnerable in areas with heavy traffic volume, parked vehicles on the street, higher posted speed limits, and fewer traffic-control devices. Drivers should look out for children who may dart into the street near school zones, playgrounds, bus stops, and in neighborhoods.

Tips for Drivers:

• Slow down in or near school and residential areas.
• Drive with headlights on- even during the day- so children and other drivers can see you.
• Watch out for pedestrians, crossing guards, bicycles and playgrounds.
• Scan between parked cars and other objects for signs that children could dart into the road.
• Practice extra caution in adverse weather conditions.
• Pay particular attention near schools during the morning and afternoon hours.
• Always stop for school buses that are loading and unloading students.

Tips for Parents:

• Show children how to use the crosswalks.
• Teach children to stop, listen and look for approaching and turning vehicles.
• Introduce the concept of looking left-right-left before crossing any streets.
• Teach children the meaning of traffic signals and signs along the route.
• Find the safest route to school and walk the route with your child.

Child pedestrian injuries occur more often in residential areas and on local neighborhood streets, so drivers should always be aware of their surroundings, especially in these areas.
You can find particular enforceable traffic violation sections below, which the Woodland Police Department Traffic Unit utilizes a zero tolerance stance to enforce. This type of proactive law enforcement helps to keep the community’s children safe and educates drivers so that they are well informed and ultimately better prepared to travel within school specific traffic corridors.

No parking areas are marked with signs or red curbs. A vehicle is parked once it stops, whether occupied or not. Stopping along a red curb or where no parking signs are posted to drop a student off is a violation of the law. Double parking is also illegal.


Passenger loading zones are marked with white curbs or signs indicating such. The driver of the vehicle must remain with the vehicle. Walking a child into school and leaving a vehicle in a loading zone is a violation of the loading zone law.


Stopping in crosswalks, marked or unmarked to drop students is unlawful. Unmarked crosswalks are generally located in residential areas at intersections. Every intersection technically has a crosswalk, even if it is not marked. It is unlawful and dangerous to pass a vehicle which is stopped at a crosswalk to allow pedestrians to cross.


All individuals under the age of 18 are required to wear bicycle helmets while riding a bicycle, skateboard, scooter, or rollerblades. Bicyclists are required to follow the same rules of the road as motor vehicles. Bicycle lanes are intended for bicycle traffic. Motor vehicles are allowed to drive in a bicycle lane when parking, pulling away from the curb, or the last 200 feet of the approach to a right turn. Also be aware it is unlawful to park within 7.5 feet of a fire hydrant if the vehicle is not occupied by a licensed driver in the front seat who can immediately move the vehicle in case of an emergency.


The 25 MPH school zones need to be obeyed.


Motorists should stop when red lights are flashing on a stopped school bus. Flashing red lights mean that children will be exiting the bus and for their safety the law requires all motorists to stop until the red lights stop flashing. The purpose of flashing red lights and stop signs on school buses is to load and unload school children. When the

signals and lights are displayed, vehicles should come to an immediate stop before passing the school bus and should not pass the school bus until the flashing red light signal and stop signal arm cease operation. Unless there is a concrete island separating opposing traffic, motorists should also stop when traveling in the opposite direction.


Last year was a tough year for these part time employees due to rude/ unsafe drivers and I wanted to add a few word in this flyer about them and the thankless job they have. No matter where they do it, a crossing guard’s job is the same: bring traffic to a halt to safely see kids across the street in school zones. It shouldn't be tough to understand, it shouldn't be tough to respect and it surely shouldn't be dangerous.

Apparently, it is increasingly becoming all of those things. Drivers are honking, swearing, revving their engines, throwing things and even hitting them. No wonder districts everywhere are having difficulty signing up help. Children dawdle. They don't do it to make you angry, they do it because their legs are shorter, their backpacks are heavier, and, well, if they're teens, maybe they are doing it to make you angry. They'll grow up.

Children don't look where they're going. They look for bugs. They look for shapes in the clouds. They look at each other. They have placed all their faith in that wonderful person who is standing in the rain to make sure they get safely to school. Reward that faith. Children dart. If they drop something, they run back to get it. Crossing guards know this; that's why they keep their sign up until the kids are all the way to the other side. Don't race to beat the stop, don't inch up, and don't distract the guards from keeping their attention on the children. Children trust. They trust that if they stay within those lines on the road, they will be safe.

Whenever you see a paddle stop sign and an orange safety vest with the proper school insignia we need to respect what they stand for. Additionally the California Vehicle Code states, “2815 CVVC: Stop for Crossing Guard stop sign: Requires vehicles to stop and remain stopped for the Crossing Guard stop sign while the Crossing Guard is crossing students and until the Crossing Guard returns to a place of safety (the sidewalk. Remember to treat the Crossing Guard stop sign like a construction stop sign). It also requires motorists and pedestrians to obey the directions of the Crossing Guard. (Wait on the sidewalk until pedestrians are told it is safe to cross. Cars to wait when directed by the Crossing Guard until told it is okay to go)”. Remember being a kid; remember the freedom of warm weather; remember how many times you avoided some terrible event because somebody else was looking out for you.

Remember to thank the men and women who look out for our kids.

Thank you,
Sgt Steve Guthrie
Woodland Police Department
Traffic Unit

Friday, May 21, 2010


In light of the recent economic downturn, several people have inquired about the role of traffic officers in the community. In this column I will address a few misconceptions about my role in the police department and the role of traffic enforcement officers.

The position of traffic officer in the Woodland Police Department is a specialty assignment, just like detectives or our K-9 officers. Some people believe the motorcycle officer positions are filled by the meanest, strictest, or newest officers. None of those are true. To become a traffic enforcement officer, candidates must go through a competitive interview process. An officer’s ability to investigate traffic collisions, knowledge of vehicle code violations, past performance, and work ethic, and ability to interact positively with the public are all evaluated.

I am frequently asked if a quota system is used by the Woodland Police Department. There is no such system. While all officers are expected to be busy with various law enforcement activities throughout their work shifts, there is no specific number of citations an officer is required to issue. Different officers have expertise in different areas such as, narcotics, gangs, traffic enforcement, collision investigation, etc. Motorcycle officers’ primary area of expertise is in the enforcement of traffic laws so that is what they spend most of their time doing.

When I moved from the patrol division into the traffic division I asked if there was an expectation about how many citations I should write. I was told to actively work to help decrease activity that can lead to traffic collisions. This entails both education of the public, traffic law enforcement, and collision investigation. Being a small department many of the officers have additional duties. In addition to being a traffic enforcement officer I am a firearms instructor and field training officer. That doesn’t include the time I spend in court, preparing for driver education classes, or the other miscellaneous daily office work I am required to complete. With the numerous things officers are responsible for there are times when I am unable to conduct any traffic enforcement for a few days at a time. Another aspect of a traffic enforcement officer’s job is conducting investigations of major traffic collisions. Some investigations may take only a few hours to complete and others may take a few hundred hours, depending on the circumstances.

Another misconception is that the City of Woodland is trying to increase revenue by writing more traffic citations. Again this is false. The police department takes a strong stance that we will not participate in enforcement for the purpose of creating revenue for the city. Enforcement with an emphasis on revenue would not help an agency build trust in the community, instantly creates a conflict of interest, and limits an officer’s discretion.

The City of Woodland actually only receives a fraction of the fines paid for traffic violations. The total fine for a basic speeding violation is currently $217. The city receives approximately $31 or 14.4% of that fine. The remaining funds are retained by the State of California. Additional penalties can be added for recent prior vehicle code violations or failing to appear for or pay for a citation. The City of Woodland does not receive any of the funds from these additional penalties.

Some people believe the only way an officer is evaluated is by the number of arrests made or number of citations issued. While these things are viewed at evaluation time there are many other things that are taken into account. Just as plumbers are hired with the expectation that they will fix a plumbing problem, law enforcement officers are hired with the expectation that they will enforce the law. An emphasis is placed on providing the highest quality law enforcement services to our community. Each officer is evaluated annually in fifteen categories: initiative, work product, work quality, planning skills, oral communication skills, written communication skills, problem identification, judgment and decision-making, accepting responsibility, progress toward department vision and goals, dealing with the public, working as a member of a team, appearance, fitness, and officer safety.

One of the ways the police department measures the job we are doing is by looking at our year-end crime statistics. For example a lower number of DUI related arrests can be viewed as the police department not doing its job or that enforcement and education campaigns have been successful. If the police department conducts a DUI checkpoint and does not arrest anyone for DUI, I see that as successful. That means we are making a difference. If we are able to decrease the frequency of serious or fatal accidents, we are successful.

The Woodland Police Department is dedicated to keeping open lines of communication with the community. If you have questions or comments you can visit the Traffic Stop blog by going to the police department website at

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I recently received this video about seatbelt safety. This is a great PSA. We should all work to ensure everyone is wearing their seatbelts. Please click the link to see the video.

Seatbelt Video

Railroad Crossings

On May 12th the Woodland Police Department will be participating in a joint education and enforcement effort with the California Northern Railroad. California has 10,117 rail grade crossings and one of the highest grade crossing collision fatality rates in the US.

I have yet to see a collision between a vehicle and a train but I regularly see people violate the laws related to rail grade crossings. Some of the rail grade crossings in Woodland allow a vehicle to proceed safely beyond the tracks and stop at a marked limit line. The violation occurs when a second vehicle stops behind the lead vehicle. The second vehicle will usually be stopped on the railroad tracks or close enough to the railroad tracks to constitute a hazard if a train were to approach. If a train was to approach and the lead vehicle was prevented from moving the vehicle on the railroad tracks would also be unable to move.

The vehicle California Vehicle Code contains many laws that pertain to rail grade crossings but the main section used by law enforcement is California Vehicle Code Section 22451, which states in summary that (a) The driver of any vehicle or pedestrian approaching a railroad or rail transit grade crossing shall stop not less than 15 feet from the nearest rail and shall not proceed until he or she can do so safely, whenever the following conditions exist:
(1) A clearly visible electric or mechanical signal device or a flagman gives warning of the approach or passage of a train or car.
(2) An approaching train or car is plainly visible or is emitting an audible signal and, by reason of its speed or nearness, is an immediate hazard.
(b) No driver or pedestrian shall proceed through, around, or under any railroad or rail transit crossing gate while the gate is closed.

Woodland Municipal Code section 14-10-1 also states that no person shall drive any vehicle through, around or under any crossing gate or barrier at a railroad grade crossing while such gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed.
I recently was asked by a citizen for clarification on a “fix-it ticket”. A fix-it ticket is also known as a correctable violation. The violations are generally equipment violations such as an inoperative headlight or tail light. Correctable violations can also be issued for equipment that is placed on a vehicle or the vehicle is altered and no longer meets the requirements of the California Vehicle Code.
Window tint is the most common correctable violation I encounter. Vehicle Code Section 26708(a) makes it unlawful or a vehicle to be equipped with any applied material on the windows directly to the left or right of the driver or the windshield. The simple explanation is that a vehicle cannot have any tint applied to the front driver side window, front passenger side window, or windshield.
A violation also occurs when a vehicle has been lowered beyond a certain point. The California Vehicle Code requires that the center of a vehicle’s headlight must be a minimum of 22 inches from the ground.
The following Vehicle Code section applies to vehicles once they have been issued a notice of correction. Vehicle Code section 24004 states in summary that no person shall operate any vehicle after notice by a peace officer that the vehicle is in an unsafe condition or is not equipped as required by this code, except as may be necessary to return the vehicle to the residence or place of business of the owner or driver or to a garage, until the vehicle and its equipment have been made to conform with the requirements of the Vehicle Code.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Distracted Driving Update

In a previous column I covered the importance of driver awareness but a refresher is always good and after observing some drivers over the holiday season I think it is needed. Over the recent Holiday I traveled to see family. On the trip I was amazed to see all the things people were doing while driving. I saw drivers reading books, looking at maps that were spread over the entire dashboard, and one driver was acting like the conductor of an orchestra while leading the family on a sing along. Clearly these people were not paying attention to the road. I understand I may be a more aware of traffic safety because it is my job but everyone on the road needs to questions their actions while driving to determine if they are safe or not. In one hour I also counted 19 people talking on the phone.

While it is legal to be the conductor of a family sing along at 70 MPH it is very unsafe. When I am driving I ask myself “Is this safe”. I question any activity that requires a driver to take my eyes from the road or divert their attention. It may be eating, looking at a map, or trying to find my hands free device. Usually the answer is no. A driver of a vehicle has the responsibility to ensure the safety of not only themselves but others on the road. I don’t think an argument can be made that it is just as safe to read a map while driving at freeway speeds as it would be to pull over and read the map.

These types of safety decisions can only be made by the driver of a vehicle. The consequences for failing to drive safely are often fatal. Sometimes the person who causes an accident by failing to drive in a safe manner survives and others don’t. The possible consequences of driving while distracted are simply not worth it.

In my position as a traffic safety enforcement officer is I have the opportunity to talk to teens in driver educations classes. The point of talking to new drivers is to show them the importance of safety and the dangers they will be facing. Statistically the most dangerous time to drive is in the first two years of having a driver’s license. Parents play an important role in how their children will drive. New drivers typically have sixteen years of experience in watching how their parents drive.

The Woodland Police Department and the Woodland office of the California Highway Patrol are working together to put on “Start Smart” driving education program. This program is aimed at new drivers and those who are about to obtain their driver’s license. The class will cover topics including Collision avoidance, causes of collisions, the responsibilities of drivers, collisions trends, and stories from parents who have lost children in fatal collisions.

The first class will be held on January 13th from 6:30-8:30 PM at the Woodland Police Department, 1000 Lincoln Avenue. Seats are available on a first come first serve basis and space is limited. Each young driver is required to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. To reserve a space contact the Woodland California Highway Patrol office at 530-662-4685.

My position allows me to answer questions from the public about traffic safety related issues; parents can contact me at 530-661-7843 if they have concerns about their new drivers. This column can also be viewed and questions submitted through the Woodland Police Department website at Please remember that distracted driving contributes to 4000-8000 collisions every day in the United States.

Crime Prevention

Usually my article covers traffic related issues but with the interest of the holiday season I’ve decided to cover a few crime prevention tips. The number of property crimes around the holiday season generally creeps up and with the current economy the trend is expected to increase even more.

To start I will talk about ways to preventing your vehicle from being broken into. The most obvious it to make sure your vehicle is locked at all times. In a majority of thefts from a vehicle case a contributing factor is that the vehicle was left unlocked. This is an example of a crime of opportunity. Simply ensuring a vehicle is locked is a good start in preventing theft. Another deterrent is keeping purses, wallets, change, and electronics out of view. An item like a GPS unit is valuable and can easily be sold by a thief. It is common for officers to respond to vehicle burglaries were expensive digital cameras, cell phones, purses, or laptops have been stolen after being left in plain sight.

Another common theft this time of year is the theft of Christmas presents from the trunks of vehicles. I have taken reports from families where all their Christmas gifts were stored in the trunk of a vehicle only to be stolen. In my experience they thefts all began with entering the passenger area of a vehicle to steal some item of value that was left in plain sight.

Shopping centers are also an area where theft from vehicles can be common place. When finding a place to park at a shopping center park your vehicle in a well lit portion of the parking lots and ensure all items are stored out of view.

Residential burglaries are also an area where some preventative measures can be taken. Some houses have large windows that display Christmas trees and under those trees are gifts in plain view. Having the blinds or curtains open while a house is unattended can be an invite to the criminal element. Ensuring all doors and windows are locked and closing the blinds are simple steps to take to diminish the chance of having your house burglarized. Some other home security tips, not specific to the holiday season, would be to keep shrubs and trees timed away from windows and doors and have the exterior of your residence will lit in times of darkness.

These are just a few helpful crime prevention tips. For additional information about crime prevention contact Mini Higgins, the Woodland Police Departments liaison for community outreach and resources, at 530-661-7854.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Slow down in the fog

With the approaching fog season it would be appropriate to cover some basics about driving in fog. In a previous column we covered what is known as perception and reaction time. When a person drives in the fog perception and reaction time is crucial to personal safety and the safety of others.

To review perception and reaction time I will cover some basic concepts. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states the perception and reaction time for average driver is 1.5 second, .75 seconds to perceive a threat in the roadway and .75 seconds to react to the threat in the roadway. This perception and reaction time directly relates to driving in the fog because visibility is greatly affected. The example I use is to imagine driving down the road, if a vehicle was disabled in the middle of the road or a person was crossing the road would I be able to safely stop before a collision occurred. Fog is the best example of people violating the basic speed law.

Vehicle Code Section 22350 states, “No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.” This law is also known as the basic speed law.

After viewing several studies on the affects of driving in the fog, a majority of drivers do not show a tendency to drive faster in the fog but the studies do show that drivers tend to overestimate how far the drivers can clearly see. This is an example of how fog affects speed on the freeway. The posted maximum speed limit on Highway 113 is 65 MPH. When visibility is decreased to 300 feet the safe speed would be approximately 57 MPH. As visibility decreased so does the safe speed. To help drivers determine how fast they should drive when traveling in low visibility conditions, here list of speeds appropriate for conditions. 300 feet visibility is 57 MPH, 200 feet is 44 MPH, 100 feet is 27 MPH, and 50 feet is 16 MPH. The speeds are suggestions to safe speeds based on stopping distance calculations. It is up to the drivers to determine what a safe speed for the conditions would be. In a previous column we discussed the different law that is used to enforce maximum speed limits but the basic speed law applies in all circumstances.
This week I received an e-mail question about placement of stop limit lines at intersections. For the answer I spoke with City of Woodland Traffic Engineer Shawn Fisher. The limit lines in Woodland are generally placed where a crosswalk is or would be placed. Where a marked crosswalk is present, the first crosswalk line is where vehicles should stop. One situation that affects the placement of crosswalks is the location of wheelchair access ramps. Per the code book used by traffic engineers (MUTCD), a crosswalk or limit line is not allowed prior to a wheelchair access ramp.

The intersection that receives the most inquiries is the intersection of Hays Ln. and West St. At the intersection the limit line on Hays Ln. is placed back from the intersection approximately 20 feet. This placement is caused by a conflict with the wheelchair access ramp and a storm drain in the street.

Thank you for reading the article and you are welcome to submit questions through the