Let's talk about colors today. Colors are very important on the street and unless you are color blind, you have no excuse for ignoring them.
First, traffic lights. They are Red, Yellow and Green. We all know what they mean, right? Even color blind people know which order they appear in and what to do when they see which light is illuminated. Red means stop, no, don't go there! Yellow means ease up and prepare to stop (or floor it to get through the light, if that's your mindset. It's dangerous though and not recommended). And of course green means go, it's okay, what the hell are you waiting for buddy? That light ain't gettin' any greener!
Now, when you see these colors painted on a curb what do they mean? Let's take them in reverse order this time. Green means you have ten minutes to park there. Just ten. Not fifteen, not twenty-five, not all day. Unless you have a handicap placard (and it better be yours, not your grandmother's), then you actually can park there all day.
Yellow is a commercial loading zone that gives commercial vehicles twenty minutes to load or unload their goods. We give a little leeway with the delivery trucks as those men and women (yes, I've seen plenty of them you sexist) have a tough job that you'd probably complain about if you had to do it. Non-commercial vehicles however should NOT be parking in the yellow zones. We generally give those people a little time to pick up Granny at the doctor's office or the like, but it is not for you Mr. or Ms. Average Driver. The truck drivers gripe all the time about people who have absolutely no regard for the yellow zones, thus making their jobs all the more difficult. Come on people, get it together. By the way, handicap placards DO NOT apply to yellow zones.
Now we come to my biggest pet peeve - RED! Red curbs mean, as written in the CA Vehicle Code, No Stopping, No Standing, No Parking. Period. The ONLY exception is if you have an emergency and no, getting a call from your agent does NOT qualify as an emergency (in my case it would be a miracle). Since the cell phone law passed recently in CA, many people think the red curbs were painted specifically for them to pull over and talk on the phone. NOPE! This also includes other excuses like, my baby is crying, I have to look at a map, or I've just burned myself in a sensitive area with steaming hot coffee. Well, maybe that last one is okay. But you get where I'm going with this. Red means NO. NO. NO. .....(Pause) NO! I said this was my biggest pet peeve. The reason for the red zones is safety and visibility. Plain and simple. Especially on corners and especially around schools. Kids need extra visibility and their safety is our number one concern there. Oh, and if you park near a red zone, it's okay as long as you are not IN the red zone. What constitutes IN? Well, we aren't going to cite you if one inch of your bumper is in the red (um, I'm speaking for myself here. Some of my colleagues may have other opinions and believe me, some of them take the job way way WAY too seriously). But for the most part, we go by your tire. If your tire is in, you're in and you will be cited for it. Mostly, in this town, we simply shoo people out of the red zones and this drives me nuts. Folks, please don't stop in the red. If you try to argue with me about it, you may see me turn red with rage. I told you this was my biggest pet peeve - twice already!
This is Officer X signing off. I think Officer X needs a Dos Equis.