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December 18, 2011 | By Scott J. Wilson, Los Angeles Times
How well do you know traffic laws? Can you wear headphones while driving? Can you drive barefoot? Must you turn your headlights on when your windshield wipers are on? Here's a look at five laws you might not know: • Earplugs: It's illegal in California to drive or bicycle while wearing "a headset covering, or earplugs in, both ears. " Exceptions are made for drivers of emergency vehicles and trash trucks, or anyone using "earplugs or molds that are specifically designed to attenuate injurious noise levels.
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OPINION
April 27, 2014 | Times Editorial Board
Given the danger posed by drunk or reckless drivers, police should follow up on information - even information from an anonymous source - that a vehicle might be careening down a street or threatening other motorists and pedestrians. If they confirm that is the case, they should stop the vehicle. But that isn't what happened in a California case decided by the Supreme Court last week. The court's ruling makes it too easy for police to stop motorists on the basis of an anonymous tip. In 2008, a 911 dispatch team in Mendocino County received a report that a pickup truck had forced another vehicle off the road, giving rise to a concern that the driver might be drunk.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 24, 1991 | CAROL WATSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
It was a sky blue Mustang last month. And it will be a bright white model later this summer. But, for now, beware of a tan Chevrolet Caprice zooming along the highway. It is the latest car in a rainbow of colors used by the California Highway Patrol to catch speeders in Ventura County. "I know they don't see me because of the color of my car," CHP Officer Mark Stone said recently as he cruised the Ventura Freeway, periodically roaring up behind unsuspecting drivers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 21, 2014 | By Christine Mai-Duc, This post had been corrected. See note below for details.
Rescuers had to airlift a rock climber out of Yosemite National Park after he suffered major injuries in a 30-foot fall Sunday, authorities said. A 26-year-old man from Palo Alto, Calif. was climbing with a partner Sunday morning and was about halfway up the Higher Cathedral Spire, one of a series of near-vertical granite pinnacles, according to Officer Andrea Brown of the California Highway Patrol's Air Operations Division. He reportedly fell about 30 feet and was unable to move without excruciating pain, Brown said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 24, 2010 | By Amina Khan
Heads turned Tuesday morning on the 405 Freeway in Orange County as motorists saw a man skateboarding along the shoulder during rush hour after his black Nissan coupe ran out of gas. Motorists began calling the California Highway Patrol about 8:15 a.m. with reports that a man was skateboarding on the southbound shoulder near Red Hill Avenue in Costa Mesa, said CHP Officer Denise Quesada. The officer who responded found the driver standing with his thumb out and holding an empty gas can. The officer called the Freeway Service Patrol.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 22, 2013 | By Dalina Castellanos, Los Angeles Times
Students at 99th Street Elementary School near Watts caught a glimpse of what for most is a rare sight: fathers reading to them. Sitting in chairs built for bodies much smaller than their own, about 150 men participated in the school's fifth annual Donuts With Dads event Thursday. But they do more than tell stories, school officials said. "Having the men come in is motivating to the students," said Erica Jones, a third-grade teacher. "To have a dad feel it's important to be here and read translates the same message to the child.
AUTOS
March 14, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
Beware of the $16,000 cocktail. Just in time for St. Patrick's Day partying, the Automobile Club of Southern California has calculated that a first-offense misdemeanor DUI conviction can now cost up to $15,649 in California. That's up 29% from 2011. The penalties are even higher for teenagers. The expense of an under- age-21 first-offense misdemeanor DUI is up to $22,492.  “It only takes one or two drinks to slow physical and mental skills that affect vision, steering, braking judgment and reaction time,” said the Auto Club's Senior Researcher Steven A. Bloch.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 2013 | By Robin Abcarian
Direction-impaired drivers, prepare to meet your doom. A California appellate court has ruled that it's illegal to hold your phone while driving to use it for anything -- like checking Google maps, or even looking at an email or text. The case was brought by Steven R. Spriggs, a 58-year-old professional development officer at Fresno State University. On Jan. 5, 2012, Spriggs found himself in stop-and-go traffic caused by road construction on California 41 near the California 180 interchange.
NEWS
August 11, 2001 | DAN WEIKEL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Ortega Highway meanders along an old Indian trail through rural southern Orange County, passing dark green oaks and golden grasslands where mountain lions roam and red-tailed hawks circle. Then it climbs into the Santa Ana Mountains, with sheer rock walls on one side and steep canyon drop-offs on the other. But this narrow, 44-mile-long serpent of asphalt is no leisurely drive in the country.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 17, 2013 | By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
A pregnant woman who was pulled over for talking on her cellphone - and then hurled to the ground and hogtied by CHP officers on the shoulder of the busy Harbor Freeway - has been paid $250,000 in damages. The 30-year-old woman was charged with resisting arrest and driving with a suspended license, but the charges were dropped after a judge was shown a video of the incident, captured on a camera mounted on the dashboard of a California Highway Patrol cruiser. "The conduct here is outrageous.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2014 | Joseph Serna and Chris Megerian
An 18-year-old student who died in last week's fiery bus crash in Orland, Calif., spent his last moments helping other passengers to safety, officials at his Inglewood charter high school said Monday. Ismael Jimenez, a student at Animo Inglewood Charter High School, "busted open a window at the front of the bus as it was filling with smoke and people were getting burned," charter school Chief Executive Marco Petruzzi said in a statement. "He started lifting kids out in an effort to save them," he said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 14, 2014 | By Joseph Serna and Chris Megerian
Most of the teen and adult passengers of a charter bus that was hit by a FedEx freight truck emerged bruised, bloodied and unaware they had been injured because of shock, said a witness who lives near the crash site. “They were just like, 'What happened?'” said Ryan Householder, 31, whose mobile home faces the southbound lanes of Interstate 5 in Orland. “Their adrenaline was pumping so bad none of 'em knew they were injured, even those with blood all over their clothes.” Householder described to the Los Angeles Times the immediate aftermath of Thursday night's crash, in which 10 people were killed - including five Southern California high school students en route to Humboldt State University for a spring tour.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 15, 2014 | By Jason Song, This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details.
Authorities are searching for four children who were abducted Friday from their grandmother's home in Boyle Heights. An Amber Alert was issued by the California Highway Patrol at 4:50 a.m. Saturday after the four children were taken from a home in the 1400 block of North Indiana Street. The children, two boys ages 7 and 5, and twin 1-year-old girls, were being cared for by their maternal grandmother when their parents abducted them around 12:30 p.m. Friday, according to Los Angeles Police Department officials.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 13, 2014 | By Kate Mather
The longtime Los Angeles police officer killed last week in a Beverly Hills crash  will be laid to rest Thursday following a public funeral service at a downtown cathedral.  The funeral for Officer Nicholas Lee, a nearly 16-year department veteran, will begin at 9 a.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, the LAPD said. The service is open to the public, however officials warned seating inside would be very limited. California Gov. Jerry Brown is scheduled to attend the service, his office announced Wednesday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 11, 2014 | By Bob Pool
Two men were arrested Tuesday in San Bernardino County on suspicion of illegally trafficking in firearms after they allegedly sold guns to agents from the California Department of Justice. Hours after the arrest of Alvin Seal, 67, of Oildale, and Erik Stoffel, 39, of Apple Valley, investigators using search warrants discovered more than 300 handguns, rifles, two World War II grenades and one mortar round at homes on Beardsley Avenue in Oildale and on Cronese Road in Apple Valley.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 8, 2014 | By Kate Mather, Ruben Vives and Matt Stevens
Authorities are trying to determine why a dump truck slammed into a Los Angeles Police Department patrol car in Beverly Hills on Friday, killing one officer and injuring a second. California Highway Patrol investigators spent most of the day Friday at the scene, photographing the scattered wreckage and spilled oil, and looking for surveillance cameras that might have caught the crash on tape. Authorities said they were also trying to determine whether the patrol car's sirens and lights were on and how fast both vehicles were traveling.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 30, 1993 | GORDON DILLOW, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Looking for a clean, late-model, one-owner used car? Don't mind a little mileage on it? OK, how about a lot of mileage on it--say, up to 120,000 miles or so on a car that's only a couple of years old? If you're still game, then California Highway Patrol Used Car Sales in Torrance may be just the place to look. There, $8,000 or less--a lot less in some cases--will buy you a 1- to 3-year-old Ford Mustang or Crown Victoria that until recently was chasing down speeders on the freeways.
NEWS
January 12, 1996 | TOM GORMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A decorated California Highway Patrol officer has apparently committed suicide, a month after his arrest in the alleged rape of a woman while on his graveyard shift, authorities announced Thursday. The officer, James W. Pitsor, was found dead late Wednesday afternoon of a single shot from a rifle, said Sgt. Tom Neely of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 7, 2014 | By Kate Mather, Ari Bloomekatz and Joseph Serna
The Los Angeles police officer who died after his patrol car collided with a truck in Beverly Hills on Friday morning was a training officer, department officials said. The officer from the Los Angeles Police Department's Hollywood Division was training a female probationary officer who was critically injured in the crash, said LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith. The names of the officers have not been released, pending notification of family. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck was en route to the hospital where the female officer was taken, Smith said.
NEWS
February 28, 2014 | By Kerry Cavanaugh
You can't talk or text while driving in California. But if you want to use a map or some other app on your smartphone, that's OK. At least for now. The 5th District Court of Appeal ruled Thursday that the California Highway Patrol was wrong to ticket a Fresno man for driving and holding his smartphone to look at a map. The court was totally right. The Vehicle Code says a driver can't hold a wireless telephone while talking or listening on it. The law makes no mention of holding the phone to look at a map or do any other sort of functional thing that smartphones are now capable of. (There is a separate law that specifically bans texting unless using hands-free technology, so typing a text from behind the wheel will still get you a ticket.)
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