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Traffic myth busters

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Posted: Sunday, March 30, 2008 10:00 pm

Some of the most frequent misconceptions people have are about traffic enforcement. Here are a few common myths about traffic in the city of Lodi.

Myth: People on bikes can ride on the wrong side of the street.

Bike riders must obey the same traffic laws as people driving vehicles. Bikes must be riden in the same direction the cars are travelling. There have been three serious bike vs. vehicle collisions, one fatal, in the past year. One common factor in all three collisions: were bikes being ridden on the wrong side of the road.

Myth: A driver has to be visibly drunk to be considered driving under the influence.

A driver does not have to be falling-down drunk or slurring their words to be arrested for drunk driving. Sometimes just a couple of drinks or even a certain type of medication can result in that person being arrested for a DUI.

Myth: You can double park in the street in front of a school as long as you're there to pick up your child.

We frequently respond to complaints of vehicle double parking in front of a school. Cars must be legally parked on the street, against the curb, not blocking any intersections or driveways. This may require citizens to park the vehicle and walk to the school to pick up a child. Double parking, even for a moment, is hazardous for other vehicles and pedestrians, and it is against the law.

Myth: Drivers can use the bike lane if the other lanes are full.

This happens frequently when the streets are wide, such as West Elm St., Hutchins St. and Kettleman Lane. It is a traffic violation if you drive to the right of the solid white bicycle lane line. The lanes are meant for bicyclists, even if there aren't any riding in the lane.

Myth: You can park in a sisabled parking stall if you are just going into the store for a minute.

Our volunteer patrol make sure the handicap stalls are being used by people who are authorized to park in them. Any disabled parking stall on a public street or in a private parking lot is enforceable. There is a $375.00 fine for parking in a disabled parking stall without a placard or DP license plate, even if you are only there for a moment.

Myth: The cops won't stop you unless you're going at least ten miles an hour over the speed limit.

You can be stopped as soon as your speed exceeds the speed limit by any amount.

Myth: Lodi Police Officers have ticket quotas.

No matter what you've heard, we don't have quotas. They are not consistent with our community-oriented policing philosophy, and section 41602 of the California Vehicle Code prohibits the requirement of quotas for police or parking enforcement personnel.

Any comments, questions or advice for Behind the Badge can be emailed to jbiskup@pd.lodi.gov or mailed to Jeanie Biskup, Lodi Police Department, 215 W. Elm Street, Lodi, CA 95240 or call (209)333-6864.

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