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  1. Default Route Starting& FInishing in San Francisco

    Hi everybody!

    I come from Spain to San Francisco on March 27th. I will leave on April 9th from San Francisco.

    I would like to see San Francisco, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Las Vegas, Carmel, Monterrey, San Luis Obispo, and Los Angeles.

    Am I Crazy?

    Which route would you do?

    Regards and Thanks

    Antonio

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Popular Topic

    Welcome to the RTA Forum! If you are crazy for wanting to try this trip, then there are millions of other who are crazy too! Its certainly the most popular and most discussed trip on the forum. Using the search function will help you find the hundreds of topics and threads already devoted to the region. This thread, provides links to several of these trip suggestions and you can always look at the bottom of the page for more ideas!

    As far as a route goes, I think your best and easiest bet will be to follow the Coast from SF to LA, take I-40 to the Grand Canyon, working your way back to Las Vegas, and then hit Yosemite (via Bakersfield, as Tioga Pass will still be closed) on your return to San Francisco.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-09-2007 at 10:46 AM. Reason: Added navigation link

  3. Default Thanks

    Thanks a lot!

    I will work on your link, and take your advice about the route.

    I am very lucky to have this forum.

    Best regards

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Help for International Visitors here, too

    Check out this link. It has some great info for international visitors. And please come back with any specific questions you have.

  5. Default Thanks again...

    I find that is a very interesting information.

    I would ask two questions:

    Is it true that you can not run above 110 km/h in the US, and if you go over the limits a cop will stop you for sure?

    Place suggestions to accomodate in Yosemite park?

    We are my wife and me travellin'

    Antonio

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Need for Speed

    The Speed Limit on most rural freeways in the west is 70 or 75 mph. That works out to about 110-120 km/h. Speed Limits for urban freeways and those in the Eastern US are usually just over 100 km/h, and non-freeway 2 lane highways are typically 55 mph or 90 km/h.

    While technically you can be stopped for driving even one mile per hour over the limit, usually you can go 5 over without being hassled. When you start doing 10 mph or more over the limit, your odds of getting a ticket start to increase substantially.

  7. #7

    Default

    How much do I need to pay if I get a speeding ticket? Do I need to pay it at once as a foreigner? Are the cops accepting my VISA-card?

    Bernt Bergkvist
    Stockholm, Sweden

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Its just easier to avoid one...

    The exact cost of a ticket will depend upon exactly where you get pulled over, how fast you were going, and what the speed limit was.

    I've seen a range as low as $60 for a small violation in town to $300 or more for going 20-30 mph over the limit on a freeway.

    As a foreigner, and often even as a resident of another state, you are required to pay on the spot. And I suspect you can either pay with Visa or be taken to an ATM to post your payment, but I've thankfully never been in that situation myself.

  9. Default Speeding and other tickets

    You might take a quick look to familarize yourself with a couple of traffic laws in the US. Typically on the US Freeways the speed limits will go from 55 miles per hour (90 kph) up to 75 mph (125 kph). The higher limits are only found outside major metropolitan areas. As a rule, enforcement is fairly loose -- 1 mph over the limit typically won't get you a ticket. The assumption is that the devices used to measure your speed (radar or laser handheld devices) are only accurate to 10% or so. Similarly, your speedometer is typically only accurate to a few percent as well. But if you're going 90 mph in a 60 zone -- yeah, your odds of getting a ticket go up quite a bit.

    Speeding tickets can range (as noted elsewhere) from $50 or so, up to around $300 or more. In some areas it used to be $10 for every mile per hour over the speed limit as determined by the measuring device. So going 90 mph in a 60 zone could get you a $300 or more fine. I have heard of fines substantially over that -- but that's typically from the speeding fool also throwing in unsafe driving maneuvers as well.

    You are also prohibited (in general) from
    - Driving without a seat belt on
    - Driving with an open container of an alcholic beverage in the car (it's assumed that the driver is drinking if its in the car, open)
    - Driving without current liability insurance
    - Driving unsafely
    - No obeying traffic signs or markings

    If you have a rental car -- you will have liability insurance (either purchased through the rental company or provided as "proof of insurance" to the rental company to allow you to rent the car). This is to provide in the unlikely event you cause an accident, that your victim has some resource for any injuries.

    The "driving unsafe" is sometimes applied for people who are driving too fast in dense fog, whereas the posted speed limit is higher than would be safe. Similarly for people weaving in and out of traffic like on a Formula V raceway, etc. Basically its a way to give people a ticket for something stupidly unsafe.

    In my experience, the traffic signs or markings law is what seems to catch folks the most. For example, in big cities there are high occupancy vehicle lanes (eg "Carpool" lanes) which are set aside for cars with 2 or more people in them -- but may be limited access. The access is done by putting a double set of solid lines between this lane (usually on the inside of the freeway, next to the middle), with dashed breaks in the markings indicating where cars are allowed to enter or exit the lane. If you cross over the double set of solid lines, it's treated as if you drove over a physical median --and you can get a big fine. This also applies if you don't have 2 persons or more in the car and are using the carpool lane. I believe the fine is like $300.

    If you get a ticket, for a resident or local you either pay the ticket with the pre-addressed envelope and a bank draft, or using a VISA or Mastercard or the like. If you're not a local resident, the issue is ensuring that the fine is paid. A lot of people will just drive off and throw the ticket out the window if they're not planning on driving back through that area again. So the policemen will ask for some type of bond or promissory note from you. An example of this, is a charge against your credit card. If you want to, you can still challenge the traffic ticket by showing up on the specified date in the specified location and explaining why the ticket should be dropped to a local judge (who usually will dismiss the ticket if you have a good case) -- but it's unlikely that someone from out of state, or out of the country, will take the time and expense to return for a ticket that's maybe a couple of hundred dollars. I did have a friend from out of state (Washington) fly down to California to fight a traffic ticket (improperly crossing out of a carpool lane) and after spending 3 hours in a local courthouse the judge dismissed the ticket, after listening to him for 5 minutes. But then he had returned on business, and didn't fly down specifically to fight a $286 ticket.

    And having said all that -- as a rule, local policemen are polite and helpful. It's not unheard of local police or state police to call tow trucks to help people out who get stranded away from a phone, to provide directions to folks who are obviously lost and staring at a map on the side of the road, and in one case related to me by a cousin from the UK, to actually convoy them 20 miles or so on the highway to make sure they found their destination. So if you're not doing something really stupid or dangerous, and sticking pretty close to the posted speed and traffic regulations -- you'll probably never meet one.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Not for the Nevada 3

    Quote Originally Posted by Larrison View Post
    If you get a ticket, for a resident or local you either pay the ticket with the pre-addressed envelope and a bank draft, or using a VISA or Mastercard or the like. If you're not a local resident, the issue is ensuring that the fine is paid. A lot of people will just drive off and throw the ticket out the window if they're not planning on driving back through that area again. So the policemen will ask for some type of bond or promissory note from you. An example of this, is a charge against your credit card. If you want to, you can still challenge the traffic ticket by showing up on the specified date in the specified location and explaining why the ticket should be dropped to a local judge (who usually will dismiss the ticket if you have a good case) -- but it's unlikely that someone from out of state, or out of the country, will take the time and expense to return for a ticket that's maybe a couple of hundred dollars.

    In June or 2000, three of us were driving in Nevada on Veteran's Memorial Highway. There was virtually no traffic, the road was good, visibility was high. We couldn't restrain ourselves. While the speed limit was, if I recall correctly, 70mph, we were going in short bursts of up to 125mph. But, for the most part, we were hovering around 90mph. We believe the plane spotted us first as a cop was standing on the side of the road around a bend just standing there with his flashlight to pull us over.

    We were all given tickets for 21, 22, and 23mph over the limit. The tickets ranged from about $150-250. And we were warned that if we had been clocked at a speed much higher, that we could have had our cars impounded and been headed for jail for the night.

    But none of us had to put our payment on a credit card, or sign a bond or promissory note. I'm thinking our computerized systems have done away with that. How do I know? Well, sometimes I have to learn the hard way.

    I decided that I was only going to pay them $10/month since I had the biggest ticket of $250. I sent them a check for $10. They sent me a letter telling me this wasn't acceptable and gave me a date to pay the balance of $240. I ignored it and sent $10 again. A couple of weeks later I got a letter from the Dept. of Licensing in my own state telling me that my license would be suspended on such-and-such date unless I provided evidence that I had paid my debt to the City of Beatty, Nevada, in full.

    So then I had to send off the full payment to Beatty pronto. Then I had to ask them to send me a receipt by the deadline to losing my driver's license. I think I had to pay an extra $12 for them to send this to me express mail because they wouldn't guarantee sending out receipt in the mail in the time-frame I needed. Then I had to make a trip into my local DMV to show them the receipt and have them record it. What a hassle! I guess it served me right.

    Anyway, I have no idea what the procedure would be for international visitors. Maybe, in that case, they would require a bond or something. But I believe in the US, they different states communicate with each other and do what I experienced. I suppose it's possible that only some states have agreements with some other states. Who knows? I don't intend to do something this stupid again in order to find out.

    Well, that's my embarressing story. Take from it what you will.

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