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View Full Version : What is up with the CHP swerving traffic slow downs?


redrex
06-30-2011, 6:02 PM
This is behavior I have only seen in CA and only by CHP.

An officer will pull in front of a body of traffic, put his lights on and then start slowly swerving back and forth to slow down traffic. Then after a while they just take off.

Once I saw them do it to pick something up out of the road but other then that one time I can't figure out what's going on. I thought maybe there was an accident up ahead or some other reason that I could see to regulate traffic but then nothing.

So someone from CHP please tell me what the purpose of these "maneuvers" is.

CSACANNONEER
06-30-2011, 6:03 PM
A lot of times they do this to slow traffic for another officer, tow truck, etc. to remove something from the roadway ahead. Sometimes, I think they just do it for fun though.

Ed_Hazard
06-30-2011, 6:04 PM
It's called a traffic break, used to remove debris and disabled vehicles from the lanes of traffic by creating a gap in the traffic flow for caltrans or tow trucks to do their thing.

redrex
06-30-2011, 6:07 PM
Well whoever is "up ahead" is a damn ninja, because I never seem them or any reason for it.

I swear, it feels like they do it just to create congestion.

Ed_Hazard
06-30-2011, 6:09 PM
Well whoever is "up ahead" is a damn ninja, because I never seem them or any reason for it.

I swear, it feels like they do it just to create congestion.

Thats how crafty those Caltrans ninjas can be, next time you see a chippy doing one make and endrun on him and you'll definitely see him let traffic flow resume.:thumbsup:

nobody33
06-30-2011, 6:20 PM
I do them every once in a while in my city on the freeway to help out my partners or CHP. Usually the road has been cleared by the time traffic is let loose again. Obviously the farther ahead they are started, the less people half to slow down... and thus the chance of rear end collisions is reduced.

Sometimes they are pretty challenging. Half the people want to pass you and are too stupid to figure out there is a hazard ahead.

AvyDriver
06-30-2011, 6:20 PM
Sometimes they are doing it to maintain proficient whether need be or not. Sometimes it's for a legitimate stop and other times it's just for their annual certification to prove they are proficient. Just like anything, gotta practice.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

IrishJoe3
06-30-2011, 7:09 PM
So someone from CHP please tell me what the purpose of these "maneuvers" is.

Stolen from the web:
http://americanindian.net/traffica.html


"TRAFFIC BREAK "

Everyday on California freeways there are objects which wind up in the lanes of traffic. These obstacles can include such things as christmas trees, mattresses, construction equipment, lawn trimmings, clothes, garbage, furniture and vehicles which have become disabled, wound up facing the wrong way on the shoulders, or involved in collisions. Removing this blockage from the roads is part of the normal routine of the California Highway Patrol.

There are several ways this can be accomplished. First, an Officer can wait for a natural break in the flow of traffic. They can them retrieve the object, or push it out of the lanes. The large vertical bumpers you see on the front of CHP cars are used to push vehicles without damaging either vehicle. On most freeways in major metropolitan areas, a sufficiently long "natural break" is very rare. In these cases, Officers will create their own "traffic break." With one Officer standing by at the scene of the obstacle, another Officer will get on the freeway at a point before the scene of the problem. The Officer in the car, or the motorcycle, will turn on their emergency lights. Sometimes, they will even activate the vehicle s siren. They will then start moving in the direction of the obstruction. The Officer will start to zig-zag back and forth across all lanes of traffic until they have the attention of all of the vehicles behind them. This zig-zagging motion is intended to keep all vehicles behind the CHP vehicle. When the Officer is convinced that all of the vehicles have seen the patrol car, they will slow down. This slowing down will create a gap between the vehicles traveling behind the CHP vehicle, and those traveling at normal speeds in front of the patrol car. Normally, the Officer creating the break will then use the radio to give the Officer at the scene of the problem a description of the last car traveling at regular speeds. When the last car goes by, the Officer at the scene will then either run out into the lanes to remove the item, they will push the disabled vehicle out of the way, or they will instruct the driver of a vehicle facing the wrong way that it is safe to make a u-turn, and get on their way.

So, the next time you see a CHP vehicle driving back and forth across all of the lanes with its lights flashing, you do not have to worry about the Officer having had too much to drink. You will know that they are running a "traffic break."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


"ROUND ROBIN"

Quite often, at the scene of a major accident or when something happens which blocks most of the lanes of the freeway, traffic will rapidly back up. Traffic coming to a rapid halt can create dangerous situations due to inattentive drivers. There have been many secondary crashes in the backup caused by the original problem. Unfortunately, these secondary crashes are sometimes worse than the original event.

When a California Highway Patrol Officer arrives at the scene, they will notice the situation that is causing the problem. Then, based on their assessment of how long it will take for the roadway to be cleared, and how much traffic has backed up, they may request a Sig Alert to be issued or help from other CHP Officers. One of the ways an Officer can reduce the odds of a crash occurring in the traffic backup, is to slow the approaching traffic. This can be accomplished by a traffic break. Sometimes, however, a single traffic break may not last long enough for a complicated situation. In this case, the Officer at the scene may request other Officers perform what are called "round robins." Round robins" are a continuing series of traffic breaks designed to slow down traffic. Other Officers may go as far away as several miles to start a traffic break. They will slow the traffic down; and, keep it slow until they pass the scene of the problem. The Officer will then go back, and do it again.

So, the next time you hear a traffic report on your radio talking about the CHP doing round robins, you will know it is not a sports tournament; but, it is an effort to keep the freeway as safe as possible.




Lot of youtubes...cant figure out how to embed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-lTP_6mt0Q

IrishJoe3
06-30-2011, 7:14 PM
Well whoever is "up ahead" is a damn ninja, because I never seem them or any reason for it.






When I'm the unit retrieving the debris outta the road, it only takes a couple seconds to run out, grab the item, chuck it on the shoulder, then hit the gas and am gone long before the main body of traffic is anywhere near me.

Ron-Solo
06-30-2011, 8:57 PM
Sometimes they are doing it to maintain proficient whether need be or not. Sometimes it's for a legitimate stop and other times it's just for their annual certification to prove they are proficient. Just like anything, gotta practice.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Yeah, I don't think so. I was in LE for 32 years and never heard this one.

It is done to slow traffic because of a hazard. Sometimes is is very brief to clear debris from the roadway. The idea is to clear the hazard as quickly as possible and get traffic moving again.

Uhhlexxxis
06-30-2011, 9:02 PM
You should just pass them up and flip them the bird. That always goes over well.

what IrishJoe said was 100% spot on.. It's nice when you patrol an area that only has two lanes each way. straddle those suckers!

Sniper3142
06-30-2011, 9:38 PM
Sometimes they are pretty challenging. Half the people want to pass you and are too stupid to figure out there is a hazard ahead.

HEY!!!

Who are you calling STUPID?!?!

I didn't realize what the officer was doing at first. And since I have a habit of passing any and all cops on the road... ;)

Well, once we got up to almost 80 mph amd he still wouldn't let me pass...

I kind of figured it out by then. :(

To be honest, at first I just figured he wanted to Race. :D

Tripper
06-30-2011, 9:52 PM
only one of the radio traffic announcers ever mentions sig alerts, i havent heard round robin in even longer i think, cant think of the last time really.
i dont think most know where the term 'sig alert' derived
but if you hear it, it means a problem in the area

socalphoto
06-30-2011, 9:57 PM
The fun part is if your in the first few lines of cars when the unit pulls off the freeway after the break. It's like the start of the Indie 500.

Samuelx
06-30-2011, 10:04 PM
The fun part is if your in the first few lines of cars when the unit pulls off the freeway after the break. It's like the start of the Indie 500.

ain't that the truth! :p

IrishJoe3
06-30-2011, 10:10 PM
only one of the radio traffic announcers ever mentions sig alerts, i havent heard round robin in even longer i think, cant think of the last time really.
i dont think most know where the term 'sig alert' derived
but if you hear it, it means a problem in the area

Its more of an LA thing, in fact, I believe it started there.

**edit** Ha! Here you go....


"SIG ALERT"
If you have ever driven a car or listened to the radio in Southern California, you have heard the phrase "Sig Alert." Newcomers to the area have probably figured out it is something to do with traffic. Old hands at the daily dance that is driving in Southern California know that it is any unplanned event which blocks a part of the roadway for, at least, thirty minutes.

"Sig" is not an acronym, it is the nickname of the man who invented the Sig Alert. During the mid 1950s, Loyd Sigmon, at the time a part owner of Los Angeles radio station KMPC, discovered that most radio and television stations did not monitor police radios. He thought it might help everyone, if the media could get direct messages from law enforcement whenever a major problem arose on the roadways. The media could then pass this information along to it audiences. Sigmon contacted L.A.P.D. Chief Parker with his idea. The Chief agreed to the proposal if, at least, six stations would participate. "Sig" contacted several stations and won their support for the idea. Electronic equipment was designed which allowed law enforcement to directly broadcast to the media that something big was up, without having to telephone them all individually. And thus, the Sig Alert was born. The first Sig Alert was issued on Labor Day 1955. The rest, as they say, is history.

Cokebottle
06-30-2011, 10:14 PM
only one of the radio traffic announcers ever mentions sig alerts, i havent heard round robin in even longer i think, cant think of the last time really.
i dont think most know where the term 'sig alert' derived
but if you hear it, it means a problem in the area
They all use the "Sigalert" term here in SoCal.
It is used to refer to an unplanned lane closure that will last more than an hour.

RedFord150
07-01-2011, 8:04 AM
If you ever break down or wreck your car near the center divider, the tow truck has a very high risk job getting you off the freeway or on the right shoulder. You will thank God the CHP can do this maneuver.
I would bet a few Tow Truck drivers are still alive because of this.

MP301
07-01-2011, 8:12 AM
Here is another example of the use of traffic slow downs. When you have too much traffic (holiday) and people are going too fast, CHP will slow traffic down in that manner just prior to two major highways come together.

I have seen this done where 205 and I5 come together. There are several lanes on I5 where 205 intersects it and fast movers will try to cut across all lanes when they come off 205 to get to the number 1 lane.

They were using 3 cars and repeated the process several times, rinse and repeat. It kept everything at a even pace.

Notorious
07-01-2011, 7:08 PM
Just keep driving by the guy and if he looks at you like what are you doing, then all you gotta do is flash your CCW badge or CCW license and it's all good because he will know instantly that you are a good guy. If you live in SoCal and can't get a CCW, then just flash your gun at the chippie. He'll understand that you are a law-abiding citizen because if you were a bad guy you would have started shooting already. That will be the start of a fun relationship between you and the officer.

me109g4
07-03-2011, 1:38 PM
Thanks for the info,, this tactic does not seem to have made it to the East coast yet.Learn something new everyday.

TRICKSTER
07-03-2011, 4:05 PM
This is the next to last test to becoming a veteran officer. You must block traffic while swerving across all lanes without spilling your coffee. The final test is completing a code 3 run or pursuit without spilling it. When you can do this, you know that your training is complete.

wheels
07-03-2011, 4:15 PM
This is the next to last test to becoming a veteran officer. You must block traffic while swerving across all lanes without spilling your coffee. The final test is completing a code 3 run or pursuit without spilling it. When you can do this, you know that your training is complete.

Extra credit for doughnuts? :D

TRICKSTER
07-03-2011, 4:17 PM
Extra credit for doughnuts? :D

Only the doughnuts filled with jelly or custard. :D

Clutch-n-Throttle
07-03-2011, 4:20 PM
They all use the "Sigalert" term here in SoCal.
It is used to refer to an unplanned lane closure that will last more than an hour.

It's actually 30 mins or more.

This is the next to last test to becoming a veteran officer. You must block traffic while swerving across all lanes without spilling your coffee. The final test is completing a code 3 run or pursuit without spilling it. When you can do this, you know that your training is complete.

the true test is to do this on a motor;)

Cokebottle
07-03-2011, 4:25 PM
This is the next to last test to becoming a veteran officer. You must block traffic while swerving across all lanes without spilling your coffee. The final test is completing a code 3 run or pursuit without spilling it. When you can do this, you know that your training is complete.
You forgot.....

All while completing a doughnut that is "ringered" around your coffee stirring stick without getting any powdered sugar in your cop-stach :D

TRICKSTER
07-03-2011, 4:35 PM
You forgot.....

All while completing a doughnut that is "ringered" around your coffee stirring stick without getting any powdered sugar in your cop-stach :D

Stirring stick? We don't need no stinking stirring stick. Real cops take their coffee black. :p

Cokebottle
07-03-2011, 4:51 PM
Stirring stick? We don't need no stinking stirring stick. Real cops take their coffee black. :p
Then how do you hold the doughnut? :D

TRICKSTER
07-03-2011, 5:02 PM
Then how do you hold the doughnut? :D

Coffee in one hand, doughnut in the other, drive with your knees. :D

Cokebottle
07-03-2011, 5:21 PM
Coffee in one hand, doughnut in the other, drive with your knees. :D
Gotcha :D

Samuelx
07-03-2011, 6:35 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shx2jcbOaFo

THIS is ONE reason (of MANY) why we do traffic breaks/freeway closures...

Notorious
07-03-2011, 6:53 PM
Coffee and donuts? I don't do the typical cop thing. I eat delicious and nutritious churros with gallons of soft drinks.

AAShooter
07-03-2011, 7:15 PM
I have been involved in several. One time the officer was slowing and weaving. I was in the fast lane and there were three other lanes. Every time the officer would steer towards the fast lane, the guy in the slow lane would speed up to pass him. After about four rounds like this, I thought the officer was going to run the guy into the ditch.

Finally, the guy got it and just paced with the rest of us.

Spanky8601
07-03-2011, 8:26 PM
Hey OP, next time just follow him to the station and ask that the supervisor check him for DUI. :rolleyes:





True event from REAL STORIES OF THE HIGHWAY PATROL

SVT-40
07-03-2011, 9:01 PM
Yeah, I don't think so. I was in LE for 32 years and never heard this one.

It is done to slow traffic because of a hazard. Sometimes is is very brief to clear debris from the roadway. The idea is to clear the hazard as quickly as possible and get traffic moving again.

Oh come on now. Don't you remember all those times you ran a traffic brake just because you wanted to make everyone's commute just a bit longer:eek::eek::D

George Loony
07-03-2011, 9:53 PM
Just keep driving by the guy and if he looks at you like what are you doing, then all you gotta do is flash your CCW badge or CCW license and it's all good because he will know instantly that you are a good guy. If you live in SoCal and can't get a CCW, then just flash your gun at the chippie. He'll understand that you are a law-abiding citizen because if you were a bad guy you would have started shooting already. That will be the start of a fun relationship between you and the officer.

Will my Hartford Jr. Fire Marshal badge work? I KNOW "Where's the fire!"
http://byemylife.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/firemarshalpinback.jpg

Notorious
07-04-2011, 2:51 AM
Your junior badge won't work as well as a CCW badge or sash.

Steveo8
07-04-2011, 7:32 AM
Oh come on now. Don't you remember all those times you ran a traffic brake just because you wanted to make everyone's commute just a bit longer:eek::eek::D

AHA the truth finally comes out!!!!!!!!!!!:D:D

atv
07-04-2011, 7:46 AM
They do this so two other cops ahead can do a drag race... Or get a haircut.

tangent
07-04-2011, 7:58 AM
This is the next to last test to becoming a veteran officer. You must block traffic while swerving across all lanes without spilling your coffee. The final test is completing a code 3 run or pursuit without spilling it. When you can do this, you know that your training is complete.

I knew it!

negolien
07-04-2011, 8:54 AM
Well whoever is "up ahead" is a damn ninja, because I never seem them or any reason for it.

I swear, it feels like they do it just to create congestion.

Yup the MAN figured out your commute time and did it just to screw with you...:TFH:

Bobby Ricigliano
07-04-2011, 9:07 AM
I have had to conduct these traffic breaks as well when the Chippies are busy and gnarly TC's happen on the freeway in our area. If there is a TC across lanes around a blind turn you need to do a traffic break a mile or two back in order to keep motorists from flying into your parked units and fire personnel at 80 MPH. If that causes you a delay and you miss the RedBox DVD return deadline or the Del Taco drive thru before closing then just deal with it. Any kind of law enforcement action on the freeway is scary as hell and is only done because it is necessary.

Notorious
07-04-2011, 11:01 AM
They do this so two other cops ahead can do a drag race... Or get a haircut.

They also do it so the commuters don't get to the donut shop before we get there.

ke6guj
07-04-2011, 11:48 AM
They do this so two other cops ahead can do a drag race....

I allegedly know of one done so that some motorcyclists could do a speed run through the 241 :D

Cokebottle
07-04-2011, 2:03 PM
Most of them don't bother shutting the freeway down.

They just lane split at 90mph on one wheel.

Notorious
07-04-2011, 3:24 PM
Most of them don't bother shutting the freeway down.

They just lane split at 90mph on one wheel.

I think it was at least 2 years ago or so when those idiots out of the IE called "Da Ruff Rydahz" or whatever pulled the stunt where hundreds of them rode out and shut down the freeways and then they started doing stunts like burnouts and wheelies on the freeways while making all the innocent commuters sit there with no way to get past.

The CHP couldn't make their way through either with all the parked cars and the helos had a helluva chase, I heard.

They shut down the 15 and 91 and other freeways. Forgot the details but not many were caught and prosecuted.

I have no patience for these wannabe thug biker idiots who first of all, can't even spell and have to be retarded with the overuse of the "z" to sound urban and then act like they are tough but cry when confronted with any real situations.

ke6guj
07-04-2011, 3:38 PM
I was talking about a CHP motor doing a traffic break for friends so that they could do a WFO run for a couple miles until they caught back up to traffic.



I think it was at least 2 years ago or so when those idiots out of the IE called "Da Ruff Rydahz" or whatever pulled the stunt where hundreds of them rode out and shut down the freeways and then they started doing stunts like burnouts and wheelies on the freeways while making all the innocent commuters sit there with no way to get past.

The CHP couldn't make their way through either with all the parked cars and the helos had a helluva chase, I heard.

They shut down the 15 and 91 and other freeways. Forgot the details but not many were caught and prosecuted.

Too bad an 18 wheeler didn't come barreling through any of those areas. (without hitting innocent commuters, that is)

I have no patience for these wannabe thug biker idiots who first of all, can't even spell and have to be retarded with the overuse of the "z" to sound urban and then act like they are tough but cry when confronted with any real situations.
yup, just ran into a bunch of those aholes a couple weeks ago. we were on the 57 and from the 10 to the 210 they had everyone backed up doing around 35mph.

Notorious
07-04-2011, 3:39 PM
For real? I haven't heard of that one yet... is the chippie still employed?

ke6guj
07-04-2011, 3:44 PM
For real? I haven't heard of that one yet... is the chippie still employed?

this was about 10 years ago that it was done, never heard about any fallout for it.

Notorious
07-04-2011, 3:46 PM
Hmmm... I would have been working then too... but don't recall ever hearing about it. Oh well, knowing politics and all, the guy is probably a lieutenant now.

danno02
07-06-2011, 12:09 PM
The CHP calls this a "Round Robin". They do this to slow or stop traffic due to upcoming roadway hazard. On our way up to Arnold, Ca for the 4th of July weekend, the same patrol car did this twice on CA E-580. Once for a mattress in the freeway then for a truck that needed to get across the freeway with a blown tire. Luckily we were in the front of the hold up, so we didnt get held up in the domino effect of stopped traffic, TWICE!