KPCC's special series on transportation.
Hosted by Susan Carpenter and Alonzo Bodden

Is that legal: Restricted parking, street crossing, cell phone use by law enforcement

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It’s difficult enough navigating the streets, but the California Vehicle Code? There are just so many rules — and so many questions from listeners. Each week, we reach out to California Highway Patrol officer, Siara Lund, for answers.

QUESTION: If there’s a street with two-hour parking, can I move the car three cars down two hours later?
— Mike, Pasadena

CHP: You can move the car down; however, you want to make sure that you’re moving it either a block away or to the other side of the street. I, unfortunately, only moved my car up one spot and ended up getting a ticket because it makes it hard for parking enforcement to be able to tell if you’ve actually moved your car.

QUESTION: Can you put on your makeup when you’re driving?
— Priscilla, Alhambra

CHP: Whatever you choose to do in your car while you’re driving, it’s your decision to do. However, if it starts to affect how you’re driving, no matter what speed you’re at, you can be cited for unsafe speed.

QUESTION: Is it legal to cross the street on the countdown?
— Wilfred, Pasadena

CHP: As you’re approaching the crosswalk and before you enter the crosswalk, if it changes to the red hand and starts to count down, you can not enter. That red hand symbolizes don’t walk. Obviously, if you’re already in the crosswalk, it’s basically just letting you know how much time you have to finish crossing.

QUESTION: Why are cops able to still be on cell phones but regular citizens aren’t?

CHP: The public is actually also exempt from the hands-free law if there’s an emergency. For officers, kind of similar situation. Because we’re responding to emergency calls all day long, if there’s somewhere where our radios aren’t working, also any time that we have to get confidential information from dispatch, we use our cell phones. But other than those, if it’s regular communications, officers have to follow the same laws as hands free.