This truck bypass is optional for big rigs but some are not

Q. Are semitrucks required to take the bypass at the El Toro Y interchange in south Orange County? And if so, can the California Highway Patrol cite them if they don’t take it? I live nearby and sometimes I see semis going straight rather than taking the bypass that is mentioned right there on freeway signs.

– Patrick Kanczuzewski, Mission Viejo

A. To get the answer, Patrick, Honk rang up Rafael Reynoso, a CHP officer and spokesman out of the San Juan Capistrano station house that isn’t real far away from the bypass.

For that particular bypass, he said:

“The truck bypass is meant for trucks. However, any motorist may take the truck bypass. Also, trucks are not required to use the truck bypass.”

Truck bypasses are designed to help truckers, offering routes that are often more flat than if they just stay on the main line. Also, the bypasses are meant to get the behemoth trucks out of the way of the rest of traffic at crucial spots on the freeway system.

Farther north, California does have truck-only lanes, a pair on the 5 Freeway at State Route 14, in Los Angeles County, and the other on the southbound 5 near the Grapevine, in Kern County.

Big rigs must take those routes, as signs tell them. Cars and small trucks are encouraged, via signs, to stay on the main line, but they legally can join in those truck-only lanes if they choose.

The key to the signs in those spots is in the color: green ones suggest what to do, while black-and-white ones are the law.

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Readers sound off on their transportation concerns

Q. There is a (vehicle) parked that has been there for several months. I drive by it every day. There are multiple parking tickets under the windshield. After several weeks, one would think someone would have called the police and reported a possible abandoned car.

– John Weiser, Anaheim

A. First, the law:

In California, unless a local government’s law says otherwise, vehicles on public roads can stay put only for 72 straight hours. To keep from getting cited, “any movement” qualifies, said Lt. Shane Carringer of the Anaheim Police Department.

In Anaheim, code-enforcement officers typically issue parking tickets, such as the ones you might have seen, John. They are not police officers, but they can certainly alert the cops.

An officer can then go out and start the clock ticking – he or she must personally ensure that the vehicle hasn’t moved for 72 hours. They use a variety of ways to do this – chalking a tire or perhaps putting a penny on it. If there has been no movement when they come back after 72 hours, the registered owner can be cited and the vehicle perhaps towed.

It’s the officer’s call – and he or she might cut some slack, to give the owner time to move the vehicle, or perhaps a homeless person is living inside the car or truck and the officer decides moving the vehicle will just make the situation worse.

To ensure that a police officer is aware of a long-parked vehicle, Lt. Carringer said there is an app, John, that someone in the public can use to report it and other problems, such as graffiti that needs to be wiped away. It is called My Anaheim. That app acts as a backstop to ensure the police know about any worrisome situation.

To ask Honk questions, reach him at He only answers those that are published. To see Honk online: Twitter: @OCRegisterHonk

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