The CHP is "encouraging drivers to watch their speed" on a stretch
of roadway near the 101-23 interchange.
That's a polite way of saying that the construction zone is a high-enforcement
area. The speed limit drops from 65 mph to 55 mph, and officials have
reported a reduction in traffic accidents since the change took effect.
The CHP stated that construction zones in general have a much higher accident rate.
Work at this interchange is expected to last another two years, as crews
add a retaining wall, a sound wall, an extra lane and other improvements.
Federal Traffic Ticket
In addition to "construction zone," there's another sign
that can significantly affect your traffic ticket in Kern County: "You
Are Now Entering Federal Property." Sometimes there is no warning
at all, and California motorists do not even realize they received a federal
traffic ticket until they look at the top of the citation.
Aside from the issuing agency, there are a number of differences between
a state and a federal traffic ticket in Kern County:
- Location: Instead of the local municipal courthouse, an accused motorist
will have to appear in Bakersfield. That could mean two or three additional
driving hours for many High Desert residents.
- Court Date: Many local judges tend to be flexible about resetting court
appearances, but federal judges generally don't move a date without
a very compelling reason. The Bakersfield Federal Court only has traffic
four days a year.
- Protocol: Local judges are somewhat tolerant of people who may not know
all the written and unwritten procedural rules, but the pomp and circumstance
that goes with the federal court system can create a situation where judges
are not as forgiving.
Any speeding ticket is a costly inconvenience at best, but a federal speeding
ticket can be very costly, especially if you do not have an attorney regularly
practicing in federal court at your side.