Santa Cruz, California Speed Traps
definite speed trap on Emeline Avenue between freeway off ramp of Hwy 1 south and Grant Street. Often between Avalon and Grant Streets where the road takes a slight bend.
Mar Monte Avenue between Larkin Valley Road and Alta Drive in La Selva Beach. The roadway is rural, contains highway on/off ramps, and low density housing. The County Code says the current speed limit is 30 MPH, but the posted signage is 25 MPH. No traffic survey has been done showing a 25 MPH speed limit is safe and reasonable. Last known traffic survey showed average 85th percentile speed of drivers is 42.2 MPH. CHP is using radar to enforce the 25 MPH posted speed limit and County Code says speed limits are changed when “posted.” Hence, they can post whatever limit they want without any basis and without regard to local law and collect money from drivers which exceed that limit.
Coming into Santa Cruz from Hwy17 onto Ocean St. the speed limit drops from 55mph to 30mph in about 100 feet just before the overpass. Most of the time normal traffic will slow you before you get into town. But sometimes just before commute times, 6a.m. or 3p.m. two motorcycle cops sit in the intersection and point radar/laser guns up the freeway. Officers on foot at the corner of Pryce and Ocean St. with handheld red lights will step into traffic to wave you over. Sometimes it’s hard, going downhill, coming off the freeway and seeing that green light intersection to slow quickly enough to avoid the ticket. They will ticket for 35mph. I have seen 2 officers writing tickets as fast as possible with 4 cars waiting to be written up.
A CHP motorcycle cop hides behind bush on driveway of what would be 23rd Ave, on south (ocean) side. Most often there on weekend mornings and early afternoon. Has radar gun, but likes belt and phone infractions as well.
Heading south on Hwy 1 towards Watsonville, the highway becomes 3 lanes where the San Andreas Rd onramp enters the freeway and shortly thereafter heads straight up a hill. About halfway up this hill is the Mar Monte Avenue exit and freeway overpass where the CHP love to set up a couple of motorcycle units with handheld radar guns that allow them to monitor both the south and north bound sides. They also have additional patrol cars stationed at the southbound Mar Monte onramp and further up the freeway at the vista point onramp to pull over speeders on the southbound side. The motorcycle units on the overpass are usually used to nab speeders on the northbound side. On a sunny day if you look ahead to the overpass when you’re about a quarter mile from it you can sometimes see the sun glinting off their helmets, but even if you don’t see them you should not be going faster than 65mph in that stretch of Hwy 1 EVER because they lurk there very frequently.