Here are some questions from Road Warrior readers:

Question: I am not sure if these questions have come up yet but I saw two instances on 101 that have me confused.  I saw a 4-wheel-drive truck towing a beautiful big boat in the carpool lane and then later that afternoon, during rush hour, was another truck towing a 5th-wheel RV in the carpool lane.  I thought they were to be in the far right lane towing at 55 mph.  Ilene

The answer comes from CHP Officer Jon Sloat, spokesman for the Sonoma County office, who said those two trucks should’ve been in the far right lane of Highway 101 going 55, except when passing. Then they can use the center lane but not the carpool lane. Sloat says it’s not an uncommon violation, but he warns that officers do cite drivers for the violation.

Question:  How come when you get a ticket they don’t include the cost? I recently got a speeding ticket (thanks Petaluma PD!) on my way to work and it does not say how much I have to pay.  The officer said I’d get the ticket in the mail in about 4 weeks. The last time I got a speeding ticket was about 12 years ago and I feel like it said how much I had to pay so I could take care of it right away.  Is it some kind of courtesy to allow me time to gather the funds I’ll need to pay the ticket?  My boyfriend got a ticket for rolling a stop sign and it doesn’t have the cost either!  I just want to get this taken care of and not get a fun surprise in the mail a month from now!  Katie

In checking with local police and court officials, the answer is that the actual amount of the fine isn’t known until the court system receives a copy of your ticket from the officer and processes it. Each violation has a base fine that is dramatically increased with additional fines and penalties imposed over the years by the Legislature. For example, a $20 ticket for a first-time cellphone violation becomes a $160 ticket. Plus, if you’ve gotten a ticket  within the past 36 months, there’s an  additional fine. Thus, the officer can’t tell you your final cost.


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