Orinda Police Cracking Down on Student Drivers

Cassidy Waters, Staff Writer

Driving through the winding roads and steep hills of Lamorinda, it is easy to ignore the needle gradually rising on your speedometer. Police can use this to their advantage and hide in places where speeding cars are abundant. These “speeding traps” are responsible for a large portion of the tickets received by Miramonte students. Being aware of these areas can greatly reduce your risk of paying a speeding fine.

One of the most common speeding traps is located at the curve before the Del Rey stoplight on Moraga Way. Many students and parents headed to school in the morning are the targets of hidden police. The slight decline of the road allows cars to pick up speed while the placement of a school zone adds to the already high fine.

From 7-8 a.m. and 2-4 p.m., a school zone is active on this portion of Moraga Way. The speed limit, usually 35 miles per hour, decreases to 25 miles per hour. If unaware of this, one can easily get pulled over.

“I was on my way to school going around 40 miles per hour when I saw flashing lights in my rearview mirror,” said junior Katie Catton. “The police officer said I was going 15 miles per hour over the speed limit. I was confused at first, but then I realized there was a school zone, which made my ticket a lot more expensive. Now I’m always sure to be aware of where school zones are.”

Rheem Boulevard also contains many areas for people to unknowingly speed. Its hilly roads and dense foliage give cops the incentive to wait in the shadows and bust speeding cars.

“One night I was driving home from a friend’s house on Rheem Boulevard,” said junior Beryl Slezak. “It was really dark. and I wasn’t paying much attention to my speed as I went down a large hill. Luckily I slowed down right as I passed a hidden police car who proceeded to pull over the person in front of me.”

Another major contributor to traffic tickets in the Lamorinda area is when people neglect to fully stop at stop signs. Stop signs along Glorietta Boulevard and Charles Hill Road are often ignored because there are so many. It is also good to be aware of hidden stop signs when taking back roads and shortcuts. Although it may seem like a hassle, taking the time to come to a complete stop will pay off in the long run.

What to Do If You’re Pulled Over:

In the unfortunate event that you happen to be pulled over, it is necessary to know what to say and what to have in order to be fully prepared. In your glove compartment, you should keep the car’s proof of insurance and liability. It is also important to have your driver’s license on you at all times. When being questioned, keep a positive and humble attitude. Some police officers may take pity on you and send you off with a warning.