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Speeding and stop sign citations were discussed at the Community Services District Security Committee meeting this week. Security Chief Greg Remson also reminded residents that spring weather has brought out all kinds of snakes, including rattlers.

Speeding and stop sign enforcement

Remson was asked about comments posted on RanchoMurieta.com concerning stop sign and speeding citations. Committee member Betty Ferraro said people have indicated in their posts that they want to be stopped at the time of the violation, instead of getting a notice of violation in the mail.
Committee member Steve Mobley said, “Believe me, you know when you’re doing 33 miles an hour and you pass two people that are standing there with a radar gun or whatever. To claim ignorance of that is just absurd because it’s not like they’re hiding behind the bushes. They don’t work that way. They just park right out there in the middle of the parkway.”

“In a perfect world, we’d be able to stop them, notify them, and move on,” said Remson. “But we’re not doing that ... One way to look at it is it’s like a red-light camera (ticket). You’re going to get it in the mail.” The Rancho Murieta Association sends a letter to the member about the offense “either that day or the next day,” Remson said.

Remson’s monthly security report contains a list of RMA rule violation admonishments and/or complaints, and there is a separate list of citations that were issued during the month.
For March, loose dogs topped the list of  101 admonishments and/or complaints with a total of 39, and speeding came in second with 12.

Of the 58 RMA rule violation citations issued in March, 22 were for speeding and 18 were for stop sign violations. Citations were also issued for driveway parking, overnight street parking, guest parking, and an unlicensed driver.

Remson explained that the admonishments and complaints category covers everything Security observes or that’s called in, while the citation categories of speeding and stop sign violations include “both the ones that we would do ...  and the ones that we assist RMA (Compliance) with,” Remson said.

When a resident calls Security about a car speeding on their street, it gets logged as a complaint and the patrol officer is notified, Remson said. It becomes an admonishment if contact is made with the person. “You can’t do pull-overs,” General Manager Ed Crouse noted.  “We’ll still try to make contact in a consensual way,” Remson explained. “We can either follow them home, (or) if we’re able to pull up next to them at a stop sign and (say) 'Hey, how’re you doing? You were speeding' or 'You ran a stop sign' or something like that, we’ll try to do that because again we don’t make the classic lights, siren vehicle stop.”

Remson attended the RMA Compliance Committee meeting the day before and said a resident whose guest received a fine was at the meeting and “said ‘I would have liked to have been notified right then.’” The resident objected to being cited for the guest’s action since “the fine goes to the resident not the actual violator. So that came up again,” Remson said.

“The guest thing is a tough one, but, again, you live in a gated, private community,” Remson said. “The traffic rules are governed by HOA rules, so the question is how else would you do it? So if you don’t make the resident responsible for their guests, then who’s responsible?”

“I know,” Mobley said. “It just leaves a bad taste in your mouth when you get punished for something somebody else did. That’s just nasty. And I’m sure you hear about it every single time.”

The committee asked if enough effort is made to alert visitors. “I think it’s one of the first signs. It says 25 miles an hour,” Remson said. “Then there’s one that says about the radar and then there’s one that says video may be used for rule enforcement. Granted, there’s a lot of signs to read when you first pull in the community, but they’re there.”  

The information also appears on the visitor passes, and the 25 mph speed limit is California law for business and residential districts.

The committee briefly talked about the RMA’s position on speeding and stop sign citations, noting that RMA President Jim Moore read a statement at the March board meeting.

Remson summed up the goal of the RMA Compliance Committee by saying,  “It’s not money, it’s compliance” with the rules.

A proposed revision to the fine policy for moving violations was sent out to RMA members last month for a comment period. The revision would reduce some fines. The RMA board will consider the proposed changes at its meeting this month.

Watch out for snakes

“The snakes are out -- just a little friendly reminder for everyone,” Remson said at the start of the Security Committee meeting. His memo to the committee states,  “Various snakes have been observed recently in the back area, businesses and homes. Be aware of your surroundings and do not reach in areas where you cannot see.”

Rattlesnakes, garter snakes, and gopher snakes have all been reported. “Pretty much all the snakes are popping out now,” Mobley remarked.

Here is information about rattlesnakes we've published before.

Rattlesnakes are recognizable by their wide, triangular heads and the rattles on their tails. Don’t expect to hear a rattle since snakes that are taken by surprise will bite with no warning rattle.

The western rattlesnake, the species of rattler that lives here, has large, dark brown spots edged with white or yellow bands. The top of its head is brown. The gopher snake, which is not poisonous, bears a resemblance to the rattlesnake, but its head is not triangular and it has no rattles.

Rattlesnake advice

  • Be on the lookout for snakes and watch where you step or put your hands. At night, use a flashlight.
  • If a rattlesnake shows up in your yard or otherwise poses a threat, call Security at 354-CARE.
  • In the event of a rattlesnake bite, call 911, preferably from a land phone, not a cell phone, for the quickest emergency response.
  • Antivenin can only be administered at a medical facility and transport to a medical facility is considered the best way to treat a venomous snakebite. Do not apply ice or a tourniquet.

Thefts in Murieta Village

Remson reported on recent thefts that have occurred in Murieta Village, the age-restricted mobile home community near the airport. “It’s all been tools and basically things that haven’t been locked up or nailed down,” Remson said. He described the stolen goods as “garage sale and flea market items” and said when these types of thefts “come in a group, it’s either somebody that’s familiar with the area or is living there either permanently or temporarily, so we’re upping our patrols in that area and the Sheriff’s Department is aware also.”

Golf cart accident

Incidents of note in Remson’s monthly Security report included a golf cart accident on March 10 in which a girl was injured in a fall from a golf cart on Reynosa Drive. The driver of the cart was an unlicensed juvenile, according to the report.  Remson said the girl was taken to the hospital and is now back at school.

Golf carts are considered motor vehicles and are subject to the same rules as cars. Drivers must be licensed and obey stop sign and speeding rules.

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