New Laws Ring in the Year

By 80 Comments 1,511 views

I don’t know what it’s like in other states, but here in California, we have over 750 new laws (last year saw 725) with an estimate of 40,000 new laws across the nation going into effect this year.

How many of these new laws are actually “necessary”? Will actually improve the human condition more than harm?

One of the more controversial pieces of legislation signed by Governor Brown is the California Dream Act:

Assemblyman Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) said his legislation recognizes the value of young people who graduate from high school in California regardless of where they were born.

“It’s important for California and the future of our economy to take advantage of the investment we have made in these young men and women,” Cedillo said.

The second part signed back in October, it basically increases allowances already on the books, giving eligibility to apply for financial aid and merit-based scholarships to illegal immigrants attending public colleges and universities.

Supporters of the Dream Act also want illegal immigrants to be eligible for drivers licenses as well.

The illegal immigration debate aside….this also comes at a time when California is broke:

According to a legislative analysis, the bill would cost the state up to $40 million per year. Colleges and universities don’t track the immigration status of students, but higher education officials have said that there are about 3,600 students who are undocumented or who have other residency issues in the California State University system, and as many as 642 in the University of California system and 34,000 enrolled in community colleges.

LA Times:

Brown was also criticized for signing a law requiring public schools to include the contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in history lessons and instructional material, although new textbooks for lower grades are not planned for three years.

I have no issue with people’s sexual orientation. But why make a fuss over whether a historical person is gay or straight? Why must sexual identity be significance? What I deplore is that history books will conflate a historical figure’s contributions to society and make more out of him than is warranted, simply because he fulfills the need of special interest groups to feel validated through a misguided sense of equal representation.

Then there’s the ban on open-carry- one of those laws that I think are a waste of ink:

“Law-abiding citizens will start openly carrying unloaded long guns in public because their basic and fundamental civil right to self-defense, as enumerated in the 2nd Amendment, is clearly being infringed upon,” said Yih-Chau Chang, a spokesman for the firearms advocacy group Responsible Citizens of California.

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) said he introduced the measure in response to law enforcement officials who felt that public safety was jeopardized by gun owners wearing firearms on their hips at coffee shops and other public venues as they called attention to a right to bear arms.

Meanwhile, obtaining a concealed-carry permit remains difficult in the state of California.

There’s the high-speed rail system being built and touted:

as with many of his other green funding priorities (like Solyndra) this is another money pit. The San Jose Mercury News has more:

Though California’s high-speed train faces an intensifying backlash over its $99 billion price tag, political leaders from Washington to Sacramento justify the cost by touting another huge number: 1 million jobs the rail line is supposed to create.

But like so many of the promises made to voters who approved the bullet train, those job estimates appear too good to be true.

A review by this newspaper found the railroad would create only 20,000 to 60,000 jobs during an average year and employ only a few thousand people permanently if it’s built.

“They have a really hard sales pitch with the real numbers, so they’ve fudged the numbers,” said state Sen. Doug LaMalfa, a Chico-area Republican who is introducing legislation to send the rail line back to voters. “C’mon, a million people working on a 520-mile railroad? I practically laughed out loud when (I heard that).”

One million people — more than the combined workforce of San Jose and San Francisco — would have to cram shoulder-to-shoulder just to fit along the rail line between San Francisco and Anaheim.

The idea of a bullet train sounds great. But if this were anything but a boondoggle you’d have private firms lining up to build one. There’s just no way this is worth $100 billion dollars.

Will it eventually pay for itself? I dunno…maybe, if the car-loving California public actually uses it. But I am not optimistic that this is a wise gamble or smart investment of money California doesn’t have (Did I already mention California is broke?).

Food stamps:

eliminates the requirement that food stamp recipients be fingerprinted to prevent fraud. Another law calls for state agencies to promote more enrollment in the federal food stamp program.

Sexual orientation:

encourages state university systems to collect data on students’ sexual orientation and encourages the legislative analyst to use it to recommend improvements in the quality of life for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students.

There’s the new law that expands no texting and hands-on talking on the phone to include any distractions:

According to the Los Angeles Times, text messaging and handheld cell phone use are not the only distracted driving behaviors that will be on law enforcement officers’ radar this weekend.They will also be keeping an eye out for people who are eating, putting on makeup, or reading magazines while operating a motor vehicle.

“Multi-tasking may be a fine way to get things done when your not driving, but combine driving with another activity that requires your attention and the need for you to take one hand off the steering wheel, and you’ve created a deadly situation that can destroy lives,” said Anaheim Personal Injury Attorney Howard.

Other activities that can prove distracting when driving:
• Watching a movie or downloaded television program on a portable electronic device
• Shaving
• Brushing your teeth
• Feeding a child
• Playing with a pet
• Reading a book
• Changing one’s clothes
• Adjusting an MP3 player, CD player, or the radio
• Inputting information into a navigation system

This just seems very broad. Anything you do while in the car, from conversing with someone riding shotgun to reading a street sign/billboard, watching a pretty skirt gliding down the sidewalk, to blowing your nose could all be interpreted as a driver being distracted. What will a CHP officer base his judgment on? How will this play out in court if contested?

Another new traffic law is use of booster seats for children:

IN THE BACK SEAT OF A VEHICLE until they are at least 8 YEARS OLD or 4′ 9″ in height.

What I’m unclear on is what if a kid turns 9 but is still under 4’9″? Does he stay in the booster seat? So then, shouldn’t any person, regardless of age, if he is under 4’9″, to be consistent with safety standard? Why is age then a criteria?

Any comments regarding new laws in your state?

80 Responses to “New Laws Ring in the Year”

  1. 51



    LOL, Smorgasbord. What comes to mind is, of course, the Monty Phython “you had a house?” type routine. But it really isn’t.

    It will vary for weather. Ran into a serious dust storm once in my travels that did serious delay… like an hour or two. But it’s really quite predictable for regular travelers on that route.

  2. 53



    Don’t care, Bees. Iowa’s caucus means nothing to me. It might be something to those who didn’t fare well, for cash/continuing reasons. I expect your boy, Perry, will be headed back to Texas immediately, if not soon after.

  3. 54

    Oh, so you weren’t driving from Manhattan Beach to the “East Bay;” you were driving between Concord/Walnut Creek and LA. We were talking about the drive from North Orange County to SF. Your commute from “LA” to Walnut Creek/Concord isn’t relevant. Curt’s trip from HB to Candlestick was relevant, and he was speeding.

    This all started with you denigrating me. And now you are offended, because I’m defending myself and my arguments. I’m being a “prig.” I’m “pathetic.”

    You claimed that you drove from Manhattan Beach to the “East Bay” in 4 hours and 45 minutes in the context of debate about travel times between North Orange County and San Francisco. “East Bay,” in this context, implies Oakland. Why don’t you give us the actual addresses (within 1/2 mile, if you want to preserve some sort of privacy), which represented your 4 hour and 45 minute drive. Tell us the route you traveled.

    For my trips, I drove from near the intersection of Warner and Bolsa Chica in the 92649 zip code to Menlo Park (94025) or SF (zip code 94133). That’s 395 miles to the former, 416 miles to the latter. My record was 6 hours, and that was with a very short pit stop (in Coalinga; also my pit stop of choice) and driving about 80 MPH whenever I could, leaving at 2:30 AM with no fog. Curt drove 426 miles in 6 hours. This is an average of 70 MPH. He was clearly speeding. If your time claims are accurate, you were clearly speeding. If my claims are in error, just prove it with zip code addresses, routes, and times. If I’m wrong, I’ll apologize, but I still think you were being very misleading in equating “LA” to Concord/Walnut Creek with North Orange County to SF.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  4. 55


    @bbartlog: #39
    With twenty years of driving down the road with a view above the cars in front of me, I have seen a lot of the stuff listed, and a lot that isn’t. All the law would have to say is that if the officer watches someone take their eyes off of the road for a certain length of time, that is distracted driving. Most officers have cameras in their cars, although each department decides whether to have the camera running all the time or just when activated. I would prefer they run all of the time. I have seen videos of cops driving down the road when something happened. It won’t be on video if the camera ain’t running. It can be deleted after the shift if nothing happens.

  5. 56



    No, Larry… try to pay attention.

    At some times I was driving from MH to East Bay and San Jose. Other times I was driving from Concord/Walnut Creek (also East Bay) to El Segundo, Hollywood, Burbank or Santa Monica. What are you asking? Did I have more variations in my three years than you did in your “dozen trips” over the same time period? Hang yeah… and it was pretty darned consistent.

    Congrats on proving yourself to be the desperate, lying ass hat in the new year, guy.

  6. 57



    Oh yes.. let me add. I don’t remember my MB address from 12 years ago, nor my East Bay home address from 10 years ago. Nor do I have the address at the trade school where I was an instructor out of Emeryville/Berkeley either. I think it’s now been absorbed by a larger performing/sound/graphics arts school, or gone out of business since then.

    Nor if I had those addresses would I provide them to you as they are moot. If it’s from San Jose to MB, or East Bay cities to Burbank, the time differences were not significantly different because I did them with regularity. So your point is?

  7. 58



    Larry, have you got any idea what a “prig” is?

    If not, first check a dictionary. And then look in the mirror. it may be less insulting that you think, as well as more accurate that you are willing to admit in public.

    And I gave you a driving time “range”. Get serious. Do you think it took the same amount of time every trip? There was usually a variance of 30 minutes, depending upon events, weather, timing and traffic anamolies. But it NEVER… and I do mean NEVER… took me 7-9 hours.

  8. 59



    Mata my guess is that a GPS that calculates speeds and traffic would prove you correct. Navigator would calculate not only traffic flow but the increased speed limits on I5.

    As I said Mata, I once made the trip in 5 hours, and that was to Long Beach.

  9. 60



    That’s nice, Patricia. Three people’s experience to one. Tell it to the arrogant prig, who never reads comments and fills in the blanks. I don’t give a flying whit. I lived it. Larry? Apparently he “googles” life. Pathetic existence for an elitist snob, don’t you think?

  10. 62



    @bbartlog #39:

    Many of the other things Greg wants to be ticketable offenses would be hard to write into good laws. Changing clothes… can I take off my scarf if I’m too warm? Put on a hat to shade my eyes? Gloves? And supposing you do write a decent law, what happens when every blowhard decides to challenge the ticket in court and say ‘no, I wasn’t actually taking off my shirt, the officer must have been mistaken’?

    This was the point I was bringing up.

    Most of the comments seemed to knee-jerk respond to the issue of cellphones and texting. But California had already legislated on cellphones a few years ago (2008). What I was making mention of is the distracted driver law that went into effect this year, that just seems too broad and open to speculation and judgment call on the part of the officer; and how does that play itself out in court? I claim, officer claims?

    Yes, a great many things can distract drivers aside from cellphone usage- and have long before the advent of cellphones.

    Driving involves constant and complex coordination between your mind and body.

    They make it sound like you’re doing a gymnastics routine on the balance beam.


    Although there is no law saying someone can’t eat while driving, a distracted driver is in violation of the law.

    Under California’s vehicle code, a driver can be ticketed $145 to $1,000 for having “wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Officers will also be tracking these distractions and the number of distracted drivers, because there are not very good data on just how many distracted drivers there are.

    What if someone reaches for a beverage without taking eyes off the road- just one hand on the steering wheel- and his mind is absolutely focused on the task of driving? Can a CHP officer distinguish this from another driver who is mentally distracted by reaching for a hot cup of coffee- focused on not spilling it on himself? What if there are no visibly identifiable physical signs that one driver is mentally distracted while another one is alert? Can a driver still be cited for daydreaming? Mere physical acts alone don’t necessarily mean a driver is more distracted than one with both hands on the steering wheel.

    Conversations inside a car can be just as bad as conversations on a hands-free cellphone. Listening to talk radio…

    This just seems commonsensical advice…has it really gotten so bad that behavior needs to be legislated that is vague, broad, and emcompassing:

    California vehicle code 21701 makes it illegal to interfere with the driver of a vehicle. It is also illegal to interfere with the driving mechanism in a way that may affect the driver’s ability to control the car. In addition to being illegal, distracting the driver is also unsafe and a very bad idea.

    There are many ways that this law can be broken either intentionally or unintentionally. Teen drivers and passengers often like to horseplay or turn up the music when they are alone in the car without adult supervision. This is why many states, including California, have enacted legislation limiting the number of teen drivers allowed in a car at one time.

    Even if you are not intentionally bothering the driver, just messing around and keeping them from focusing on the road will get you into serious trouble if they have an accident. If you are moving around a lot, or dancing, or touching the steering wheel while your friend is trying to drive, you could be putting many lives in danger. When riding in the car, sit still and don’t bother the driver. It could save lives.

    If you receive a ticket for a violation of CVC 21701, you will receive hefty fines and have points added to your license. You could even receive jail time if it causes an accident where someone is killed or injured.

  11. 63



    Larry… the not so asute…: Oh, so you weren’t driving from Manhattan Beach to the “East Bay;” you were driving between Concord/Walnut Creek and LA.

    Larry, just what commitiess did you think “East Bay” includes?


    Altho the East Bay towns in northern Cal are not the only communities to which I traveled from and to.

  12. 65

    Hi Mata, Here’s what you wrote:

    I made regular driving trips from Manhattan Beach to the East Bay, and my average drive time was 4:’45″ to 5’15″.

    Your average time was 5 hours. The distance from Manhattan Beach to San Jose (the closest of the “East Bay” addresses you gave, and San Jose is NOT “East Bay”) is 351 miles. The distance from MB to Walnut Creek is 374 miles. To Concord is 380 miles.

    This means that you were averaging 70 MPH and upwards for the 5 hour trip to non-East Bay San Jose and averaging 80 MPH for a 4 hr 45 min trip from MB to WC/Concord. This is with no pit stops; yet you say that you stopped in Coalinga.

    You could not have possibly done this without flagrantly breaking the speed limit. It’s a mathematical impossibility.

    Another topic of considerable relevance is that your vast experience appears to have been more than 10 years ago; mine is contemporary.

    Most traffic destined for the Bay Area and points northward prefer to take Interstate 5, which is shorter and avoids urban traffic.

    The next several hundred miles can be peaceful or stressful depending on the day of the week and time of year. During holiday weekends, Interstate 5 can be a parking lot filled with travelers eager to reach relatives and friends in Northern or Southern California. At other times, Interstate 5 is as free-flowing as any rural freeway. However, over the past decade or so, more people have been using “the 5” to connect between Southern and Northern California. As this kind of usage increases, more traffic delays become problematic in the Central Valley, even if the nearest city is many miles away.

    Then there is this head scratcher:

    Congrats on proving yourself to be the desperate, lying ass hat in the new year, guy.

    What on earth are you talking about? We are just discussing drive times, for goodness sake.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  13. 66



    ….talk about not admitting he’s wrong…

    Try looking up what is “east bay”, oh-Mr=Google=knows=everything-Larry.. The East Bay area has many towns. And that is specifically what I said. Tho the East Bay towns were not my only destination or leaving points over those years.

    After that, try to get a grip on life outside of Google. You and your computer monitor vs me, my friends, Curt and Patricia, are not trumped by your little computer logarithms. I’ve already told you.. MULTIPLE TIMES… I did not run the valleys and road ways at “speed limits”, but at the speeds that traffic was moving. So I don’t give a rat’s ass as to what Google says because I drove it more times than I care to even remember.

    And I’m really getting tired of you accusing me of lying based on your googling “life’s experience skills”.

  14. 67



    Larry W: Another topic of considerable relevance is that your vast experience appears to have been more than 10 years ago; mine is contemporary.

    Oh for god’s sake… Curt just did the same drive you’re talking about – HB to South SF – over the weekend, in the same time I was averaging over 10 years ago.

    Desperate much?

    What is it with liberals that they think conservatives are so stupid that they can’t “scroll up” and see the previous comments, I wonder?

  15. 68

    Hi Mata, I’ve never accused you of lying. Not once. Never. Ever. I’ve never accused anyone on this blog of lying.

    I am accusing you of claiming to do something which is a mathematical impossibility. As in driving from Manhattan Beach to East Bay in 4 hours and 45 minutes, with a pit stop in Coalinga, without flagrantly breaking speed laws along the way. This is of relevance to the issue of the viability of the Bullet Train. My statement was that drive times from North Orange County to San Francisco are in the range of 7 hours. You scoffed, and said that you made a similar trip in an average of 2 hours less. I acknowledged that this was possible, but not without flagrantly breaking speed laws, which is something that average drivers don’t do. I stand by this statement. It’s mathematically impossible to drive from Manhattan Beach to “East Bay” in 5 hours, with a Coalinga pit stop, without flagrantly breaking speed laws.

    No Google required. How about a Triple AAA road map? What source would you accept? Tell me the source, I’ll look up the mileage and calculate your required velocity.

    Then you say:

    >>Oh for god’s sake… Curt just did the same drive you’re talking about – HB to South SF – over the weekend, in the same time I was averaging over 10 years ago.<<

    No, Curt did the trip in 6.5 hours, including the sort of pit stop that most people take. He said it was a 30 minute pit stop. That means that he drove 420 miles in 6 hours, averaging 70 MPH. Given that posted speed limits along his route are often considerably less than 70 and never more than 70, this means that he was speeding. C'mon people. Be stalwart conservatives. Stand up tall. Admit, just for once, that you might not have gotten it right. Can't anyone respect simple math? I'm supposed to accept a 3 to 1 "vote" over simple Newtonian physics? Velocity = distance divided by time.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  16. 69



    So what you are (again) saying is that I am lying about 2-3 years of commutes, compared to your own “a dozen” trips over three years? And, for the fourth time when I tell you that I am running with traffic and speeding, you still state I did so without speeding?

    Yet the onus is on me to somehow prove your drug induced reading comprehensive isn’t flawed?


    Larry, your inept reading/comprehension skills are downright scary. I can only repeat myself about the speeds I was traveling so many times before I think I’m addressing a deaf/dumb/blind human. I sincerely hope you are distracted, and suffering a temporary lapse in brain cell connections.

    If what I did was mathematically impossible – whether 13 years ago (me) or 3 days ago (Curt) – neither Curt nor Patricia could have chimed in that they have done the same.

    What you have proven is exactly what you accuse me of over and over… you are wrong, and you will not admit it. So here’s my final input to you. Blow it out your microscope.

  17. 70



    Mata: Oh for god’s sake… Curt just did the same drive you’re talking about – HB to South SF – over the weekend, in the same time I was averaging over 10 years ago.

    Larry: No, Curt did the trip in 6.5 hours, including the sort of pit stop that most people take. He said it was a 30 minute pit stop.

    Larry, please, please… for your clients sake, learn how to slow down and READ! You are really embarrassing yourself in all possible ways.

    Curt’s timing was longer than mine because he, like you, went from HB to Candlestick, and had about a 30 min stop making it six hours (without the stop) drive tme. I don’t stop and eat, and gassing up is a 5-10 minute endeavor at best.

    As I pointed out, in MB, I was 35-40 minutes closer to ALL my potential East Bay or bay side destinations. So if I did those destinations 4’45 to 5’15 hours…then added the 35-40 minutes from HB… it’s just shy of the six hours Curt did just a couple of days ago.

    Yet that, according to you and your “Google life”, is mathematically impossible. Hey.. tell that to Curt.


    I repeat, you’re a lying, arrogant ass hat.

  18. 71

    Hi Mata, O.K. Now things are very clear. It is indeed possible to drive between Manhattan Beach and “East Bay” in less than 7 hours by flagrantly speeding. And this is of what relevance to the argument that a Bullet Train would offer considerable advantages over both driving and flying?

    This all started when I made a perfectly true and reasonable statement. It takes an average person a good 7 hours to drive from North OC to SF, if said person is fortunate to avoid LA rush hour, SF rush hour, Central Valley fog, and general traffic (which is increasing markedly).

    So you then went and said, nonsense, you (Larry) are impeding traffic with your slow driving; I (Mata) make the same trip in 4 hours 45 minutes to 5 hours and 15 minutes, even with a stop in Coalinga. I do some quick math and calculate that your weren’t simply speeding, you were flagrantly speeding. Which destroys your argument that the 7 hour drive time I quoted wasn’t broadly representative of an average trip (which is, indeed, confirmed by Google maps — if you have a source for average drive times which contradicts the Google maps estimates, kindly provide it).

    I stand by my original statement. It’s typically a 7 hour drive from the North OC to SF and taking a bullet train from Anaheim to SF would be a vastly more pleasant and productive experience. Your aggressive, law breaking speeding isn’t relevant to these arguments.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA

  19. 72



    Now you change your argument about the merits of taxing the nation for a California bullet train, benefiting only that state, to being about “speeding”? Something I never said I did not do from the onset, and explicitly said I ran with the traffic patterns???

    You are really pathetic. Let me repeat my original paragraph about this in comment #29:

    I made regular driving trips from Manhattan Beach to the East Bay, and my average drive time was 4:’45″ to 5’15″. Maybe you were the one or two slow pokes that ran the Joaquin Valley at 55 or 60? Nothing there for hours and miles. One of the most speed limit forgotten places on the planet until you hit Coalinga. Or you don’t know the side roads when the LA freeways don’t move, which is pretty much all the time except between 2-4AM?

    I’m telling you, Larry, people know how to “scroll” up thru comments on the threads here. Did I suggest I did the trips via speed limits?

    No.. but that’s what you desperately cling to as a pathetic attempt at redemption.

    Did I say I was the only person speeding? Hang no. For your “dozen” trips compared to my multiple weekend commutes, I have not one speeding ticket on my record. (but you do… LOL) Why? Because I was running with the traffic pattern. And for half of that period I was even driving a red vehicle. And apparently that isn’t an unusual time since Patricia, Curt, and my friend also did the same trips in the same time as me.

    Apparently only you are the slug on the roadway, sporadically speeding at intervals to almost a 100mph to get tickets.

    You fool no one with your sidle tactics. It is not mathematically impossible. And the nation doesn’t owe you… Mr. high and mighty who hates fat, smelly people… a comfortable quiet ride for your dozen or so trips over three years to Northern California.

  20. 73

    Hi Mata. It’s 420 miles from HB to Candlestick. If Curt did the drive in 6 hours, he was speeding. It’s 380 miles from Manhattan Beach to Walnut Creek/Concord. If you did that in 4 hours and 45 minutes, that’s averaging 80 MPH. That’s flagrant speeding. If you did it in 5 hours (and you “averaged between 4 hours and 45 minutes and 5 hours and 15 minutes”), that’s averaging 76 MPH. That’s still not only speeding, but flagrant speeding. Toss in a 10 minute pit stop (and it’s not possible to turn off in Coalinga, pump 20 gallons of gas and get back on the freeway in “5 to 10 minutes” — maybe 10 minutes, but not 5. So that makes your flagrant speeding even more flagrant.

    I repeat, you’re a lying, arrogant ass hat.

    Doubling down duly noted. You, in contrast, are not a liar. I have never thought that you are a liar nor have I ever accused you of that.

    I would be foolish indeed to “lie” and then sign my own name. Which is why I’ve never done it.


  21. 74



    I see we’re still on the distraction/”I’m right” tangent that this is about speeding, and not real world travel, eh? Gee. what happened to your “mathematically impossible” BS?

    Just for once, I wish you’d not only admit you were wrong, but one anal SOB.

  22. 75

    Hi Mata, Let’s go with the “benefitting one state” argument.

    California annually subsidizes the nation to the tune of $50 billion per year. That’s the difference between the money we send to Washington and the money which we get back. We got bullet train money that Wisconsin and Indiana turned down. That was their choice.

    If California gets a little Federal money to help with the bullet train, it will be richly deserved, considering California’s many contributions to the nation, including its annual cash infusion to the treasury.

    P.S. It’s mathematically impossible to drive from Manhattan Beach to East Bay in 5 hours (or less!) without flagrantly breaking the law. This is directly relevant to the issue of the potential economic viability of the bullet train.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  23. 76


    administrator It’s an average speed of 70, most of the I5 on that trip has a limit of 65, and some segments even have a 70 mph speed limit. Definitely not flagrantly speeding. Except for the trucks I drive with the rest of traffic.

  24. 77

    Hi Curt. What this is all about is whether 7 hours from North Orange Co to SF represents a reasonable representation of average drive time. It’s 420 miles from HB to Candlestick Park. Simple math indicates that you averaged 70 MPH. I know that you can drive 80 for pretty long stretches, but there are lots of stretches (e.g. across LA, across the SF Valley, through the Gravevine, through Oakland and across the Bay Bridge and definitely South SF up to SF) where you will go considerably slower. If you hit rush hour on either end, it’s very slow, indeed. If you have rain or fog, it’s slow. And there have definitely been times when I’ve been on the I5 in the middle of the central valley when traffic has come to a complete stop and stayed stop and go for an hour. And it’s definitely getting worse.

    So let’s just go with your experience. I think that you’d have to concede that averaging 70 MPH for 420 miles on that route is not at all something you could count on doing — even on average. As I wrote before, I did the trip a dozen times 2007-2010 and there was only a single time when I made it to the San Mateo area (just south of South SF) in 6 hours, and this was when I left at 2:30 AM, had no fog (very common at night in the Central Valley), and drove considerably about 80 every chance I got (led by the omnipresent “front doors” which frequent that road at times when the traffic is light).

    So you averaged 70 MPH for the whole way and you also had a 30 minute pit stop, which is, I’m sure, typical for most people. It took you 6 1/2 hours. I’m curious, how long did it take you to return? Anyway, you had an extremely fortunate trip up and you were in the ballpark of the 7 hour drive time to SF I quoted.

    Mata quoted drive times which would have required her to average between 75 and 80 MPH. That’s average speed for the whole route, not just for the straight sections with light traffic.

    What would be of help would be for someone to stipulate that my 7 hour drive time estimate wasn’t unrealistically slow. That’s really what this was all about. It was a simple armchair analysis of travel times by plane and by car, for purposes of comparisons with the proposed train.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  25. 79

    Hi Nan. I do speed. Particularly on open stretches of western roads. My favorite drive is the I-8 from San Diego to Tucson. I-15 to Las Vegas can be pretty open and empty or it can be a parking lot. The I-5 is the same way. I already wrote that I’m not proud of my driving record, which is dotted with speeding tickets over the years.

    I once remember reading an article entitled “Is speeding a sin?” As I recall, the clergyman who answered the question gave a complex, nuanced answer. Some people like to drive fast. Do you watch the car commercials during football games? I’ve never caused an accident that involved anyone else, other than one time when I was exiting an AutoZone parking lot, in back of a Land Rover, when the guy started pulling out onto Warner Ave and then hit his brakes. I was following him too closely as he’d been waiting to make a left turn and all I wanted to do was to make a right turn, so I scratched his bumper a bit, in about a 1 MPH “crash.” So, despite my proclivity to speed, I consider myelf to be a reasonably safe driver. I do make it a point not to talk on my mobile phone — not even hands free. I just let it ring and return the call when I’m not driving. I think that this probably makes me above average, on the safe driver side, despite the speeding (which I’m much more careful about, ever since I got dinged for doing 99 MPH in Kern County).

    I don’t cheat on my income tax. I don’t cheat on my professional billing. I’ve never stolen anything from anyone. When others make billing errors in my favor, I correct them. I try to follow the Golden Rule, but I suppose I’ve fallen short at times. I’ll be judged by God, as well as by our justice system, just like anyone else.

    – Larry W/HB

  26. 80


    @ Curt, great vid. I knew you would have a take on some of this.

    @ ilovebeeswarzone, mata, thanks for your comments.

    @ the road warriors, fun. I loved speed. I bought (traded) crap cars with buddies pre and post WESTPAC & deployments and the last one did not have a working speedometer and the headliner was falling down (the faster you drove the more the waves of the ceiling materials). I picked up my dad (a supremely uptight executive type) he was scandalized by the condition of the vehicle… and his hair after the headliner messed it up.

    Best ride ever.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *