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Highway Patrol - The reason why......


Vegas Teacher
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Ladies and Gentlemen I asked this question for one reason only and the posted it to share with anybody who might be driving through California what 4 different Highway Patrol Officers ("CHiPS" we were only missing Eric Estrada, some of you out there are old enough to remember this series) said to me or might do to you if you drove through their state. I like to visit California but even they told me this is California. Anyway why did I ask?

1. I was at breakfast and sitting in the table next to them and it was a friendly environment. I had already engaged them in conversation and they were extremely nice to me. I had already thanked them for the job they did to serve and protect. I talked about Schutzhund training and why I was in Southern California. When I told them our training director was former K9 unit and a retired policeman they had all kinds of questions for me and about my Czech line German Shepherd. So once again the environment was friendly and I like to talk to people.

2. Since I was not pulled over on the side of the road and yesterday I was in my Tundra not my Volvo I was not violating any laws or in danger of violating any laws. So when I asked the question, they couldn't ticket me or anything else. I was safe no matter what happened.

3. To me since all was going well and they were friendly plus I couldn't get a ticket and I was not pulled over on the side of the road by an officer who was just having a bad day ( and I can tell you as a teacher bad days come and go, moods change and it might not be the words kids use but how they use them that gets one student sent to the office and another getting a detention while yet the third gets a parent call and the last one just gets a lecture in the hallway) Plus if the officer is having a bad and you pull out paper work to prove him wrong could the situation escalate? I don't know but, what I do know is I don't want to find out the hard way.

4. What I did find out is 4 officers that looked to range in age from 30 - 50 all had different opinions on what they would do, if I was pulled over for something minor or just for a spot check of some kind. Yes I know the law and have seen what is posted. That is not the point, the point is what would an officer do, and that is why I posted the information I gathered. 

5. Since the environment was friendly I did not throw federal rules and regulations back at them, why at that point go from a positive interaction to a negative interaction, who knows I might have met one of those officers on I 15 north on my way back to Vegas yesterday and been pulled over for speeding (I wasn't but you never know.) 

6. So I posted the information just to share with all on the forum what they said. I asked the question because that is the kind of person I am. I do a lot of research. College taught me to ask questions. It did not make me smart, shoot I think or hope I am somewhere near average, but it taught me to ask a lot of people questions to find answers from different points of view.

7. After talking to the officers and getting their responses to what I did it just shows me that if I get a CDL it makes my life easier. I know some of you on the forum have a CDL and I am sure you feel a little more comfortable with it than without it.

8. Last but not least the Outpost Cafe in Hysperia California next to the Pilot Truck stop is awesome. I love stopping there, eating there, working my dogs in the truck parking area and just staying there. Address is enclosed below with a link. The service is great and the food is really good. It feels like a mom and pop business. It has become my favorite place to stop on my way through Southern California.

Thanks everybody for your input, I just wanted you to know that 4 different officers had a hard time agreeing on what they would do, not because I did not know the answer to the question, but it gives you something to prepare for or educates you in how it might be dealt with if you are pulled over in California.

Long-standing truck-stop cafe offering standard American comfort fare in an old-school interior.
 
Address: 8685 US-395, Oak Hills, CA 92344
Hours: 
Open today · 5AM–10PM
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Cory, what the officers in California said pertains to California. I asked you if you were legally licensed in your home state. That is the only state you need to worry about. ALL states have reciprocity. In other words I can use my Minnesota class D (lowest you can get) to drive a class 8 truck in any state AS LONG AS it is registered as an RV no matter what state I am in. If you go to Arizona, Utah, Oregon, etc. and asked the state highway patrol in those states you will get an answer that pertains to that state.

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Howdy All,

I had a LEO from california pull me over a couple of years ago, he asked me "Why did you evade the scale?"  I very politely answered that I didn't "evade" the scale I simply didn't stop at it as I was not required to.  Where upon a conversation ensued where I had the opportunity to "educate"  this office as regards driving a REGISTERED AND TITLED RV with a regular drivers license which is all that is required in MY HOME STATE.

Needless to say this particular cop was not happy as he thought he had at least one ticket to write and when I told him I didn't have a CDL I swear his eyes glowed in anticipation of writing two tickets as well as calling for a tow truck.  In the end it ended well just a waste of my and the officers time.  Bottom line, HAVE YOUR PAPER WORK in order and easy to get to. 

The only reason I go to or through califorina is to camp at places like Death Valley or to visit with friends who live there.  I an NOT passing any judgment on the people who live in califorina but the system of government they have there, many of the laws they have there make it impossible for I would wager most of the population of the USA to live there even if they wanted too.  The 55mph speed limit is one of those laws.

Dave

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Cory, the other thing you need to remember is that not all CHP are trained in, or allowed to enforce, the FEDERAL commercial regs. Were the guys you were talking to CVE officers or just plain old CHP? Chad, correct me if I am wrong there.

I work in a department of almost 5000 employees. There are 10 of us that are certified to enforce the Fed Regs. You can ask any deputy and you will get an answer, but that doesn't mean it is a correct answer. From what I can find out California's commercial enforcement guys drive pickup trucks, not cars or Explorers. They have a single office for CVE, not in the normal regions but located in Sacremento. That is another sign that all of their officers are not cross trained in commercial enforcement. So who were you really talking to? 

Cory, please talk to several of your friends here before you go get a CDL....in my opinion, if you are not required to have one then you really don't want one. Educating yourself on what you need and being prepared to for the time when you will need to present your knowledge to an officer roadside will serve you better than a CDL.

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7 minutes ago, Big5er said:

Cory, the other thing you need to remember is that not all CHP are trained in, or allowed to enforce, the FEDERAL commercial regs. Were the guys you were talking to CVE officers or just plain old CHP? Chad, correct me if I am wrong there.

I don't know the exact number of commercial enforcement officers, but it is a very, very small percentage of CHP officers that actually have the training.  If the officer has not been to commercial enforcement school, they will know very little about commercial rules and will usually avoid interacting with commercial vehicles because of this.  Some local jurisdictions also have small commercial enforcement teams with proper training, but they are also few and far between.  I have been trying to get one started at my agency for over a year, but it is an up hill battle.

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Chad and Big5er make the point for Cory and myself. The average officer is not trained for this special area. But does that prevent him from making a traffic stop and causing a fair amount of damage when he was wrong in the first place?  He has been advised as to the costs and any disadvantages. He is willing to accept them. If they become too onerous he can always drop the endorsement.  

Edited by beyerjf
typo
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Does it "prevent" a non CVE trained unit from making a stop? No. But how many miles do you drive Jeff? How many times have you been stopped? How many by a CVE unit and how many by a non CVE unit? 

If that untrained guy "thinks" you are a CMV, he will probably leave you alone because he  "thinks" you are a fish he isn't licensed to catch. He would be wrong but why tell him? :)

Edited by Big5er
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6 hours ago, Mntom said:

Cory, what the officers in California said pertains to California. I asked you if you were legally licensed in your home state. That is the only state you need to worry about. ALL states have reciprocity. In other words I can use my Minnesota class D (lowest you can get) to drive a class 8 truck in any state AS LONG AS it is registered as an RV no matter what state I am in. If you go to Arizona, Utah, Oregon, etc. and asked the state highway patrol in those states you will get an answer that pertains to that state.

Hi Tom,

P/M sent.      Al

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2 hours ago, Big5er said:

Cory, the other thing you need to remember is that not all CHP are trained in, or allowed to enforce, the FEDERAL commercial regs. Were the guys you were talking to CVE officers or just plain old CHP? Chad, correct me if I am wrong there.

I work in a department of almost 5000 employees. There are 10 of us that are certified to enforce the Fed Regs. You can ask any deputy and you will get an answer, but that doesn't mean it is a correct answer. From what I can find out California's commercial enforcement guys drive pickup trucks, not cars or Explorers. They have a single office for CVE, not in the normal regions but located in Sacremento. That is another sign that all of their officers are not cross trained in commercial enforcement. So who were you really talking to? 

Cory, please talk to several of your friends here before you go get a CDL....in my opinion, if you are not required to have one then you really don't want one. Educating yourself on what you need and being prepared to for the time when you will need to present your knowledge to an officer roadside will serve you better than a CDL.

Phil,

You are correct about CHP on all of your points, except one.  The CVE folks do also drive Explorers, some even unmarked.  I was at a crash two weeks ago, on I-15 and the CVE guys ran interference for us while we processed the crash site.

Antectdotely, I can tell you that the CVE guys that I have dealt with are well versed in the CDL requirements vs rv's, interstate reciprocity and even non commercial rv's stopping at scales.  

As you wrote, there are very few CVE officers in any given department and for the most part, most patrol or street officers never get training on vehicles like we drive.  That is why it is imperative that we carry the educational material, with proper refences which an officer can easily sort through and verify, if the need arises.

Edited by VegasFlyer
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The discouraging thing is any LEO can write a ticket for anything he or she sees as an infraction.  Then you must go to court to plead your case to a judge who very well may dismiss all charges the LEO wrote.  The problem is you may just be "passing through" the municipality where you get the citation which means returning on your court date or hanging around.  One usually ends up paying the ticket by mail rather than return.  Observing all traffic laws - speed, lights, stop signs, etc. and making sure all of your lights are working is your best insurance.  An LEO is not supposed to pull you over just for the heck of it unless it is at an authorized traffic checkpoint.  Universally they need to visually see something that is an infraction.  As my Granddad used to say, "Keep your nose clean!"  This advice is from my LEO son.

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23 minutes ago, RandyA said:

The discouraging thing is any LEO can write a ticket for anything he or she sees as an infraction.  Then you must go to court to plead your case to a judge who very well may dismiss all charges the LEO wrote.  The problem is you may just be "passing through" the municipality where you get the citation which means returning on your court date or hanging around.  One usually ends up paying the ticket by mail rather than return.  Observing all traffic laws - speed, lights, stop signs, etc. and making sure all of your lights are working is your best insurance.  An LEO is not supposed to pull you over just for the heck of it unless it is at an authorized traffic checkpoint.  Universally they need to visually see something that is an infraction.  As my Granddad used to say, "Keep your nose clean!"  This advice is from my LEO son.

Randy,

While it is true that someone could possibly be cited for something which would not be appropriate, you left off one of the options available to them, in the majority of the courts.  That is to plead your case via mail.  In fact, for most people, that may be thier best option if they were dealing with something like a citation for not possessing the proper license.  The reason why it would be best, it limits you to presenting clear simple facts.  You can attach copies of applicable regulations, etc.  That is far better than just mailing in the bail amount.

The reality is that, as you wrote in your last paragraph, most people will never have to worry about it because the odds are in thier favor for not even being pulled over.  Those that do, will hopefully have followed the advice given on this forum and already be armed with the legal propaganda to educate, if needed.

Edited by VegasFlyer
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I agree with John,

 

I have actually successfully contested a citation by mail.     Many locations pay officers to appear in court, most don't pay to respond to trials by mail.

 

One thing about big trucks we are ignoring, the idea that we are outlaw trucks.    Phil has a pretty good nose for these kind of operations.   When a cop sees a big truck with no markings and wonders what gives?      If you have a camper that is registered to you along with the truck, that explains it, a trailer with a paper plate or no plate?     A truck and trailer registered to an LLC?        There are a few gotcha's that can find you talking to Johnny Law along side of the road.    In any case having the correct license is all that is needed, no CDL.    I had a California class A exempt for a long time, I had to get a CDL for my business, all things considered I would prefer an exempt license.  

 

In California two things a lot of out of staters ignore are the split speed limit and lane restriction.      

 

Steve

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Alright....

Last Monday, Jan 8, we were cruising down hwy 49 in Mississippi bobtail..... No RV trailer behind us. 

 Right between Hattiesburg and Gulfport, heading south, cruising along at 65mph... the posted speed limit.  We passed a break in the median where I spotted one of Mississippi's finest leo's.... sitting there with evidently nothing better to do but watch me drive by in the flamed out Volvo.  Out he comes, lights go on.. to the side of the road we go.

By the time he walks up to the passenger side door,  I had my license and truck registration out and handed them to him as he asked for them. 

He asked where my DOT numbers were....  I politely, (remember this is Mississippi lower delta PO-lice)...., commented that I was a private not for hire motorhome from South Dakota, and didn't have numbers because we were not in anyway commercial and not required to have any.

He took my documents back to the Explorer,  and returned in a few minutes to the driver's side and asked to see the weight sticker on the door jam.  I opened the door and pointed to the weights and politely added the numbers for him (once again we ARE in Mississippi).  

He said thank you, handed me my license and registration back and walked away. 

Moral of my Monday afternoon was to be like a Boy Scout and be prepared.  

Big 5'r gives excellent advice,  and one piece he gave me was to always expect to be stopped when you leave the driveway.

 

So we have now been stopped TWICE....

Once in North Dakota for tinted side windows.... evidently a NO-NO there, and now this.  Both times our document book was the perfect item to give the officer.   (Picture on the front may have helped in Mississippi)

Edited by Alie&Jim's Carrilite
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43 minutes ago, Alie&Jim's Carrilite said:

Alright....

Last Monday, Jan 8, we were cruising down hwy 49 in Mississippi bobtail..... No RV trailer behind us. 

 Right between Hattiesburg and Gulfport, heading south, cruising along at 65mph... the posted speed limit.  We passed a break in the median where I spotted one of Mississippi's finest leo's.... sitting there with evidently nothing better to do but watch me drive by in the flamed out Volvo.  Out he comes, lights go on.. to the side of the road we go.

By the time he walks up to the passenger side door,  I had my license and truck registration out and handed them to him as he asked for them. 

He asked where my DOT numbers were....  I politely, (remember this is Mississippi lower delta PO-lice)...., commented that I was a private not for hire motorhome from South Dakota, and didn't have numbers because we were not in anyway commercial and not required to have any.

He took my documents back to the Explorer,  and returned in a few minutes to the driver's side and asked to see the weight sticker on the door jam.  I opened the door and pointed to the weights and politely added the numbers for him (once again we ARE in Mississippi).  

He said thank you, handed me my license and registration back and walked away. 

Moral of my Monday afternoon was to be like a Boy Scout and be prepared.  

Big 5'r gives excellent advice,  and one piece he gave me was to always expect to be stopped when you leave the driveway.

 

So we have now been stopped TWICE....

Once in North Dakota for tinted side windows.... evidently a NO-NO there, and now this.  Both times our document book was the perfect item to give the officer.   (Picture on the front may have helped in Mississippi)

Had one pull me over 2 years ago Christmas. We were heading back home with the camper. He pulled me over and asked if I would care if he asked me a few questions about my Kodiak. Was nice and was looking to retire the next year. And start camping. I told him about the forum.

 

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I really like reading these responses. As with everything it helps to educate all of us on the forum as to what is or is not acceptable and to see what those in other states have come across or to hear the experiences of what those who have been pulled over have had happen or were able to explain to the LEO and where it went from there. This is why I started this thread, and for the people who are new to this so they can read this and understand what to do and how to do it. So if somebody started reading the forum today they would see all that has been posted and have a pretty good idea of what they needed to do. I will be the first to  admit I love and hate California that state is a different breed on everything. In Nv I have a CCW and I have reciprocity in many states but not in California or Colorado so to find out how to get through Colorado last summer I called the Highway Patrol and told them I would be going through the state and on to Kansas my home state and they gave me instruction on where to place my "little buddy" while traveling on I-70 through Colorado. That is really all I was doing at Breakfast the other morning, with the "CHiPS" at the Outpost Cafe (once more to the Outpost Cafe - everybody should stop there at least once and have a Belgium Waffle or their Chopped Sirloin - yes it is just a hamburger without a bun but it is good!) 

Anyway I would like to say thanks to all who sent me P.M.'s and everything else. I think something we all need to remember is when we write something all we get is black and white unless we use the imogies (sp?):wub::):ph34r::wacko: but we do not see facial expressions, body language or hear the voice tones. I know there is a lot of misinterpretation due to this alone of what the message is or how somebody responds. Sometimes a friendly response is misinterpreted by another forum member for one reason or another. I try not to make an assumption ever. I deal with parents sending emails all of the time about one of my 300 Freshmen I teach Biology to. I never respond by e-mail, I always call instead that way I know what the parent truly wanted to talk about and most of the time it is a positive interaction.

In closing........

Thanks to everybody out there and safe travels to all of you!

Later,

Vegas Teacher - Cory Ossana  

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On 1/16/2018 at 9:56 PM, VegasFlyer said:

Randy,

While it is true that someone could possibly be cited for something which would not be appropriate, you left off one of the options available to them, in the majority of the courts.  That is to plead your case via mail.  In fact, for most people, that may be thier best option if they were dealing with something like a citation for not possessing the proper license.  The reason why it would be best, it limits you to presenting clear simple facts.  You can attach copies of applicable regulations, etc.  That is far better than just mailing in the bail amount.

 

1

I have not been able to find a single locality in any state that allows an absent driver to defend a motor vehicle ticket in court by mail (letters).  The closest I can find is hiring a lawyer to argue the citation for you with you absent provided you give the lawyer such authority and the court accepts.  Expensive. Expensive. Expensive.  BTW - you don't mail in the "Bail" amount you simply pay the court's standard amount plus court costs for the moving violation you were ticketed for.  Bail or a Bail Bond is an on-the-spot requirement in some localities for serious infractions to guarantee your appearance in court rather than waiting in a jail cell. Grandpa is right, "Keep your nose clean."

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9 hours ago, RandyA said:

I have not been able to find a single locality in any state that allows an absent driver to defend a motor vehicle ticket in court by mail (letters).  The closest I can find is hiring a lawyer to argue the citation for you with you absent provided you give the lawyer such authority and the court accepts.  Expensive. Expensive. Expensive.  BTW - you don't mail in the "Bail" amount you simply pay the court's standard amount plus court costs for the moving violation you were ticketed for.  Bail or a Bail Bond is an on-the-spot requirement in some localities for serious infractions to guarantee your appearance in court rather than waiting in a jail cell. Grandpa is right, "Keep your nose clean."

Randy, 

If you want an example of what I referred to, check with an agency in Oregon or Washington.

The "Bail Amount" that I referred to is the same as the costs that you referred to.

I am basing my information on having worked as a Deputy Sheriff in those two states for more than fifteen years.

Another minor point, several states have classified minor traffic offenses as infractions and the case is handled in court with the officer and the defendant appearing before a judge, no attorneys.

In some states, such as Nevada, traffic offenses are still classified as misdemeanor charges.  That does not make a large difference for most people. 

Edited by VegasFlyer
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As a Calif Attorney and a Judge Pro Tem in Traffic Court I know that you can mail in a request to be heard telephonically or hire an attorney to appear on your behalf. You can also mail in your documentation and request that the infraction be dismissed. Additionally you can mail in your bail, which is the same amount as the fine and when you do not make your personal appearance your bail is forfeited and a judgement of guilty is entered which then pays your fine as if you had appeared. 

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Everything in California appears different.  One reason I choose not to visit there.  Talked to two attorneys that are friends and one Deputy Sheriff who also checked with a Court Clerk.  If you get a ticket for a moving violation in, for example, Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, or Florida the ticket has a court date.  If you do not want to appear in court you can mail your fine and court cost.  This is a guilty plea.  No bond is posted or required.  If you don't appear or pay the fine you will have your DL suspended.  Other states comply and submit info to the state of the violation so the suspension is broad as are "points" for each traffic offense.  Pleading not guilty by submitting a letter to the court arguing the citation is not an option.  For traffic court, telephone or video appearances are only applicable if you are a witness to a violation and are medically unable to appear in person.   If you want to plead not guilty you must appear or you hire an attorney to present your defense in absentia but expect to pay at least $500 to the attorney - often more.  Keep in mind this is not criminal court.  It is traffic or general court.  If you are charged with a criminal offense you may be required to post bail or wait in jail.  Driving a stolen vehicle, driving when your license is suspended, or evading a police vehicle in pursuit are examples of criminal offenses rather than traffic.  There are, of course, other offenses considered criminal.

This discussion was in response to what Vegas Teacher posted about California.  I just wanted others to know that at least over on the east coast it doesn't work that way.  If you live in Florida and are in route to Virginia and get a ticket along the way in North Carolina you must plead guilty and pay the ticket by mail before the court date, hire the attorney or come back to plead your case.  If the attorney loses the fine must be paid within 5 days or kiss your DL goodbye.

 

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