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Speeding In Yosemite

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Speeding In Yosemite

Postby InsaneBoost » Tue Oct 06, 2015 11:47 am

Has anyone been pulled over for speeding in Yosemite?

I got pulled over in Yosemite last night while leaving the park. The bridge that takes you back to the 41 (where the road splits to the 41 or 120/140) is where the Ranger was. I was coming from the 120, and he was basically doing the Valley Loop. Needless to say he had a stop sign, where I had the right away.

According to him, I was "flying" through the woods in that area to the point where "he couldn't keep up." He claims I had to of been doing 50+ at one point.

For starters I think it would be pretty much impossible to do 50 in that area with how sharp those curves are, plus I'm in a CR-V which means I probably would have flipped it or at least crashed doing so. Regardless, I know I wasn't doing 50.

With that said going up the hill leading to Tunnel View is where he "finally was able to catch up to me," and then pulled me over at Tunnel View. He said going up the hill I was doing 48, which again I would argue being I'm in a 4-cylinder CR-V with ecoboost on. Needless to say the motor would have been reeving high to get it going up the hill that quickly.

All that aside, the Ranger was real nice and let me off with a warning. But my question is what are the laws in Yosemite regarding warnings? I believe in California (I could be wrong) like most states you get a paper saying you've been warned. He didn't do that. Are the laws different as far as paper warnings go in National Parks? Can they just do verbal warnings?

Was a bit confused about this being in Virginia they give you paper warnings.

I honestly felt he either was checking me out because there was a vehicle doing something wrong that matched my description (and I'm okay with that), or he felt I was speeding, without actually running radar. Wouldn't he have given me a ticket for doing nearly 15 over if he had me locked on? I guess that's where I'm a bit suspicious.

I could believe I was doing closer to 40, but I know I wasn't doing anything close to 50. For starters I know the car well, and I don't try to ever go over 5 unless I'm going up a hill or not trying to ride my brakes going down hill.

Anyone know how any of that works in the park?

Thanks



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Re: Speeding In Yosemite

Postby markskor » Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:29 pm

Having been thru Yosemite a few times and have gotten to know a few of the Road Rangers in Tuolumne...thoughts:

Speed limits in that Valley area vary, depending...sometimes 15, 25, 35, and even 45, the highest allowed in the park, (but not where you were caught...35 max). Rangers take speeding very seriously...limits are posted, and, as you found out, are strictly enforced. Most drivers can easily miss a posted speed limit sign as there is indeed lots to see...good roads, and easy to go over the speed limit. Thankfully, Yosemite is pretty enlightened with most of its policies - usually give you a stern admonition if you show a good attitude.

Not being there, I might surmise you were indeed speeding (a little), 45 in a 35?...(could have gotten you a $212 ticket) and the Ranger/CHP nabbed you fair and square, but let you go with a warning...pretty civil.
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Re: Speeding In Yosemite

Postby InsaneBoost » Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:36 pm

I get all of that, and regardless of whether I feel I was speeding or not (I still don't believe I was, and if I were it wasn't to the degree he says), are they not required to give a paper warning? Verbal is acceptable?

As you said they take speeding very seriously, I know this, which is why if he knows I was going as fast as he claims, I find it hard to believe I would have been given a warning. Something just doesn't seem right to me. But again, maybe he was just in a good mood. I did call in a bear that was hit earlier on the road. Maybe that gave me a pass? Who knows.
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Re: Speeding In Yosemite

Postby giantbrookie » Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:42 pm

I have been ticketed once in Yosemite (1990 or 1991) for a very clear moving violation of going across a double yellow line to pass somebody (double yellow in that spot not because of road vision but because of congestion during normal daylight hours--violation took place in the wee hours of the morning). I don't know if this is Yosemite or National Park policy, but the Yosemite patrol person issued a ticket which was more like a parking ticket (with a really modest fine, too), which is to say I wasn't ticketed as one would be for such a moving violation in California. I don't know if this is still the ticketing policy, but the bottom line is that Yosemite's enforcement of traffic law appears to be much milder than in the rest of CA.

As a little aside, the cop stopped two of us who passed (a very skillful maneuver on her part, I must say). She stopped the other guy first and I figure he must have given her lip because she had him wait as she walked over to write me up. I was cordial to her and I felt I had utterly no excuse, so she quickly wrote me up and I was underway without much delay. As I pulled away I would occasionally glance in my rear view and there is a very long line-of-sight in this area so I could see the other car still pulled over minutes later until I got too far away to see.
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Re: Speeding In Yosemite

Postby k9mark » Tue Oct 06, 2015 2:57 pm

In my twenty three years I think ive heard your story over a thousand times my friend. Written warnings are not a requirement in CA. Some jurisdictions may have them and write them for their own record keeping. My patrol unit is one of the new Ford Explorers and I catch myself all the time going faster than what I think im doing. My point being is todays modern vehicles are so smooth its very easy to lose track of your speed. I cant remember the last time I wrote a ticket because attitude has everything to do with unless you have done something completly outrageous, then you'll get one.
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Re: Speeding In Yosemite

Postby balzaccom » Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:31 pm

I'm a little confused by our post. Did you WANT a written warning? As it is, you got off easy.
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Re: Speeding In Yosemite

Postby Shawn » Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:35 pm

Hey IB -

No doubt K9mark answered your question. I think however that most readers (whether they choose to comment or not) will take away from your comments that you didn't know what speed you were going. If you think about it, would you rather be on a highway with people paying attention to their driving even if they're going a little over the speed limit -OR- people not paying attention to their driving even if they are doing the speed limit? Perhaps the officer noticed a little of both.

Either way, it's history now and no damage done.
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Re: Speeding In Yosemite

Postby InsaneBoost » Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:40 pm

balzaccom wrote:I'm a little confused by our post. Did you WANT a written warning? As it is, you got off easy.


Just curious about the way warnings are given basically. Wasn't sure if they are verbal here, or if they are different in National Parks. Back home they are required to give you a paper warning, they can't verbally do it. Add that on to me knowing I wasn't going as fast as he claimed, and him not giving me a ticket for doing 13 over (if they are as anal as many have said, shouldn't I have got one?). It just seemed weird to me.

I think he believed I was going faster than I was, but never had a radar on me, so by getting me in the system if someone were to lock me in on radar speeding, there'd be no talking out of it. Just my opinion.
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Re: Speeding In Yosemite

Postby balzaccom » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:12 am

I think in California a warning means just that---he didn't enter you into any system, he just let you know that you need to slow down. The ticket is what puts you into the system.

Had a similar experience in Texas. They pulled me over, checked out my ID, and then said--"We checked with California. You're not wanted for murder there. Take it easy, and welcome to Texas." No ticket.
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Re: Speeding In Yosemite

Postby InsaneBoost » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:45 am

I'm in their National Park System, or whatever the park itself uses. But that's it, didn't sound like I would go in a California wide database or anything like that.
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Re: Speeding In Yosemite

Postby SSSdave » Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:37 pm

I do recall being given a warning in Yosemite for speeding maybe 3 decades ago. Never heard of a written warning. As an impatient twentysomething I admittedly had some bad habits including speeding and also recall getting a verbal warning down near Bishop.

Beyond your issue, on the yosemiteinfo board there have been some discussions about all the speeding cars that result in numbers of dead deer and bear each year. Personally have been an advocate for park police to take off their kids gloves and start handing out more tickets as pain is the only thing some understand in this era. Although SR120 is posted mostly at 45 mph, there are significant numbers of drivers doing 55 to 65 mph with annoying tail gating behaviors for any driver that are at limits. Down on the valley loop same thing with many vehicles going over 45 mph and tailgating any vehicles at the 35 mph limit. However because it is 2 lanes in the forward direction speeders tend to go around drivers like this person.
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Re: Speeding In Yosemite

Postby balzaccom » Wed Oct 07, 2015 9:53 pm

Yes...but there are also RVs on 120 over Tioga Pass driving 22 mph and taking over part the on-coming lane, too. sigh.
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