Two weeks ago, Los Altos Police Chief Bob Lacey distributed a memo instructing officers not to use radar guns for clocking drivers because the city has failed to update state-required speed surveys.
"Until new speed surveys are completed, you are directed to discontinue the use of radar enforcement to affect traffic stops," the June 7 memo says.
By then, however, officers had long since stopped using the electronic devices, knowing that several tickets based on the clocked speeds were dismissed in court for being invalid.
"This is very troubling for us," said Police Agent Scott Bunch, who works the traffic beat. "School's out and we need to make it (catching speeders) a priority."
Bunch said traffic enforcement officers stopped using their radar equipment in April or May because tickets based on the devices wouldn't hold up in court.
zones, where the speed limit is universally 25 mph, are the only places in
ticket speeders on side streets or busy thoroughfares such as El Camino
Real, Foothill Expressway and
Chief Lacey said he'd prefer that word doesn't get out about the
difficulty of catching speeding drivers in
Assistant Public Works Director Jim Gustafson acknowledged his department
is ultimately responsible for updating the speed surveys. He said
Altos Traffic Engineer Tom Ho, meanwhile, is in the process of hiring a
consultant to do new speed surveys. Ho said the first phase of the surveys
- speed analyses on El Camino Real,
"We're under the gun to get the speed surveys done so we can go back to enforcing the speed limits," Ho said.
E-mail Melanie Carroll at firstname.lastname@example.org.