I live in Southern California, and know Los Angeles pretty well, having grown up there (but since moved away). I recently visited L.A. on a Saturday night to see a show. When I came out, I found that my car had been towed. I had parked at a metered spot, but the meter had run out. As I looked at the note and wondered how I would get home, when I could come back for my car and wondered how much this was going to cost me, I saw Traffic Enforcement vehicles, accompanied by tow trucks, busy up and down Sunset Boulevard. Apparently, L.A. needs money so badly that they are hassling people for a minor parking infraction! And their friends who own the towing business make out like bandits, too; it cost over $300 to get my car Monday afternoon (charge by the day, but an extra hour = 1 more day's charge!)
I thought I knew L.A., but it has changed. I'm warning tourists, visitors, etc., to steer clear unless you love to be hassled and have your money stolen. Try Orange or Ventura Counties; or the beach cities, from Malibu south. As tempting as Hollywood is, it is DEFINITELY NOT worth being shaken down, hassled, and robbed by thieves in suits. Enjoy your holiday; GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!!!
My husband and six other pedestrians crossed a red light in the L.A. fashion district on April 27, 2007. They were "rounded up" by 3 police men on bycicles and had to idenfy themselves.
They were all given tickets! We went to L.A. traffic court (just a few blocks away) to pay the ticket. The fine was $123.00 !!!
All you Europeans and Canadians be aware! Obay the law. For this amount of money you will have a much better time in a fabulous restaurant!
As many of you may have seen, there are many car/police chases on the streets and freeways of LA. Just a word of caution, they never get away. As soon as the bird is on you, its over, theres no place to hide, it sees all...
In L.A. is very common to meet in the streets policemen on duty. Even if I never commited a crime I felt quite scared when seeing them as they give me this sense of "omnipresence and mighty power", so even if you are a normal and innocent person they can intimidate you...and watch out, never try to argue with them!!
Okay, so I'm white, male, and have never been convicted of any crime. I have no reason to fear the police, right? Not in Los Angeles. The LAPD is infamous for a reason, and if you are so unfortunate as to tussle with an officer, I recommend, you "yessir, yessir, yessir" until HaleBopp swings back around this part of the Milky Way. The Federal Govt. is running the dept. under consent decree b/c of the level of corruption. To be fair, the police department is grossly underfunded, understaffed, out-gunned by gangs, and utterly demoralized. I wouldn't want their job. But, I still don't think they should ticket my friend for "wearing headphones while riding a bicycle". I'm serious.
L.A. cops!!!!! though these guys were rather nice.... and even posed for a piccy.... I just haaaaaate cops! (wonder if they'd been the same friendly way if they knew of my collection of speeding tickets I've gotten in California!) sheesh!!!! Just watch out and behave, or you could confront one of these.... in not too friendly basis, and that wouldn't be a good thing ;o)
New Los Angeles (California) Drivers Exam
For those of you who are not 'fortunate' enough to live in California, here is a copy of the California Driver's Exam, and for those of you who do, study real hard. This is a new exam. Since driving conditions (and culture) are unique in Los Angeles, you may not have realized that the California Department of Motor Vehicles has now issued a special application and driver's test solely for the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area.
GREATER LOS ANGELES AREA DRIVER'S LICENSE APPLICATION:
Stage name: ____________________
Sex: male ___female ___formerly male ___
formerly female ____both_____
*If female, indicate breast implant size: _____
Will the size of your implants hinder your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle in any way?
Yes___ No ___
Please list brand of cell phone: ________.
*If you don't own a cell phone, please explain:
Please check hair color:
Females: [ ] Blonde [ ] Platinum Blonde
Men: [ ] Black [ ] Blue [ ] Gray
Teenagers: [ ] Red [ ] Orange [ ] Green [ ] Purple [ ] Blue [ ] Skinhead
Please check activities you perform while driving: (Check all that apply)
[ ] Eating
[ ] Drinking Starbucks coffee
[ ] Applying make-up
[ ] Shaving (male or female)
[ ] Talking on the phone
[ ] Slapping kids in the back-seat
[ ] Applying cellulite treatment to thighs
[ ] Tanning
[ ] Snorting cocaine
[ ] Watching TV
[ ] Reading Variety
[ ] Surfing the net via laptop
[ ] Discharging firearms / Reloading
Please indicate how many times:
a) you expect to shoot at other drivers _____
b) how many times you expect to be shot at while driving _____
If you are the victim of a carjacking, you should immediately:
__a) Call the police to report the crime.
__b) Call Channel 9 News to report the crime,
then watch your car on the news in a high-speed chase.
__c) Call your attorney and discuss lawsuit against cellular phone company for 911 call not going through.
__d) Call your therapist.
In the event of an earthquake, you should :
__a) stop your car
__b) keep driving and hope for the best.
__c) immediately use your cell phone to call all loved ones.
__d) pull out your video camera and obtain footage for Channel 9.
In the instance of rain, you should:
__a) never drive over 5 MPH.
__b) drive twice as fast as usual.
__c) you're not sure what 'rain' is.
Please indicate number of therapy sessions per week: ______.
Are you presently taking any of the following medications?
[ ] a. Prozac
[ ] b. Zovirax
[ ] c. Lithium
[ ] d. Zanax
[ ] e. Valium
[ ] f. Zoloft
[ ] g. All of the above
[ ] h. None of the above
*If none, please explain: __________________.
Length of daily commute:
__a) Less than 1 hour
__b) 1 hour
__c) 2 hours
__d) 3 hours
__e) 4 hours or more
* If less than 1 hour, please explain:_____________________________.
When stopped by police, you should:
__a) pull over and have your driver's license and insurance form ready.
__b) try to outrun them by driving the wrong way on the 405 Freeway.
__c) have your video camera ready and provoke them to attack, thus ensuring yourself of a hefty lawsuit.
When turning, you should always signal your intentions by:
__a) using your directional signals.
__b) what is a 'directional signal'?
Which part of your car will wear out most often?
__a) the wiper blades
__b) the belts
__c) the horn
The 'bright' setting on your headlights is for:
__a) dark, poorly lit roads
__b) flashing to get the car ahead to move out of the way
Your rear view mirror is for:
__a) watching for approaching cars.
__b) watching for approaching police cars.
__c) checking your hair.
No.... I'm not in trouble. In fact I saw no trouble while I visited. I felt at ease and free to roam without molestation. Thanks to these chaps and the fairly high profile they keep.
1) If you must drunk drive, do not take the freeways. After midnight people drive pretty nuts.
2) STAY AWAY FROM THE LAPD. They define uptight.
3) Dont buy drugs off the street. You will at best be ripped off. A few friends have been beat up.
4) The Buses are questionable after dark, be careful.
If you are driving around with someone who lives there, they are probably aware of the strict traffic cops. Be aware that there are things you can't get away with in LA that you can in other places. Don't jaywalk, parking on the wrong side of the street on a street sweeping day and many other traffic rules.
LA is mostly safe but like all big cities has some dodgy areas. Hotel staff, tour guides, security staff will all be able to advise you LISTEN TO THEM, also local sherrifs dept are very helpful friendly and professional, be polite to them they have big guns.