school bus laws california

Stopping for School Buses

school bus laws california

School is back in session once again and for students, that means that the fun of summer is over. For many adults, we assume nothing changes for us when the new school year starts, however that isn’t exactly the case. With the start of school comes additional traffic around campuses, and school buses make a reappearance.

Luckily for most drivers, school buses only operate within certain time frames. This means that they are not around for most of the day. However, the times they are in operation tend to coincide with rush hour traffic to and from work. Having to stop for a school bus when late to work, or after an extra tiring day at the office, can be frustrating.

Some people assume that if they see a school bus stopped, but it is on the opposite side of the street, that they can simply ignore it and keep on their way. Other people will keep going regardless of the stopped bus and the line of cars behind or in front of it. In both instances, this is against the law.

In the state of California, all drivers are required to stop for a school bus that is displaying flashing red lights and a stop sign. Not only will ignoring a school buses stop signals earn a driver a costly ticket, it could harm a child. School buses are used to transport kids to and from school. When they stop along the road, it is either to pick kids up or let them off. This means that there are kids near an active roadway, and extreme caution should be used.

The only time a driver is allowed to ignore a stopped school bus is when it is on the opposite side of a divided roadway. This means that there is either a median or barrier separating the two different directions of traffic. Any other time a driver comes across a school bus with flashing red lights and a stop sign out, they need to stop, regardless of what side of the road they are on. Stopping will only take a moment, and will help keep everyone safe.

earthquake awareness

Be Prepared for October 18

earthquake awareness

California is pretty well known for having plenty of wildfires, and 2018 has been no exception. This year’s fire season has been one of the worst in state in history, but it was at least expected. The one plus side to wildfires, is that they follow a bit of a forecast. Here in California, wildfires become much more common during the warm months of summer and fall, making them a slightly predictable emergency.

Earthquakes, on the other hand, are just about as unpredictable as emergencies come. They can happen whenever and wherever in California, making them much scarier. Sometimes the ground will rumble, and it will be over in a second, before anyone can even register that an earthquake took place. Other ties however, things can be much worse.

Large scale earthquakes can strike without warning and level entire city blocks. This is a fact that is very common in our state’s history. Cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles have both dealt with the harsh reality of major earthquakes and seen the kind of damage that they are capable of.

Since earthquakes are a part of normal life here in California, it is important for all residents to be prepared for the worst. One good opportunity to practice would be to participate in the Great Shakeout which takes place on October 18th. The Great Shakeout is a unified way for people who live or work in earthquake prone areas to plan, practice, and prepare for an inevitable earthquake.

You may not be able to predict when an earthquake will strike and rattle your life, but you can prepare for one. Every Californian should have an emergency kit and a plan in place for what to do when an earthquake does occur. By being prepared, a person could save their life, or the life of others around them.

illegal searches and seizures

California’s Attitude Towards Illegally Obtained Evidence

illegal searches and seizures

Most of us assume that the laws about what is and what isn’t legally obtained evidence to be black and white, however there are actually quite a few gray areas when it comes to illegally obtained evidence in California.

One example of the murkiness surrounding how evidence is obtained is a police officer who happened to notice what looked an awful lot like a drug related transaction. Unable to ignore the situation, the officer approached the car and after a brief skirmish, the officer found that the car was full of drugs, ammo, and an alarming number of weapons. The question is, since the officer didn’t have a warrant, could the evidence be used as proof of guilt.

The Fourth Amendment was created to protect citizens from illegal search and seizures, and to make it nearly impossible for the United States to become a “police state/country.” The problem is that a lot of time has passed since the Fourth Amendment was drafted and the world has changed a great deal. In an attempt to keep up with the increasing challenges law enforcement faces and to also honor the Fourth Amendment, courts all over the country, including California, have tweaked and even created some laws about what is and isn’t illegally obtained evidence.

In the case of the evidence collected by the officer who witnessed a crime in progress, the prosecution can claim that since the officer did witness an actual crime, the evidence can be used during the trial despite the fact that the officer didn’t have a warrant allowing them to inspect the car. However, if the defense can prove that the officer was staking out the driver or didn’t actually witness a crime taking place, it’s likely that judge will rule that the evidence was in fact obtained illegally and throw out the entire case.

Whenever there’s a case involving a car and evidence, things always get complicated. Technically, an officer can’t go through your car looking for proof of illegal activities, however, if they pull you over for speeding and there’s a bag full of drugs on your backseat, they can arrest you and use the baggie of drugs as evidence.

If you’re involved in a case and don’t think the evidence was obtained with a legal search warrant, it’s in your best interest to hire a good defense lawyer who has a strong understanding of the Fourth Amendment.

san bernardino bail bonds

The Truth About Criminal Threats

online criminal threats

Threats are a part of life, a knee jerk reaction to anger, hurt feelings, and fear. Most people make threats without any intention of ever carrying them out. However, in this current world where school shootings and other heinous acts seem to be a weekly occurrence, people and members of the law enforcement community are taking threats more seriously than ever before.

Threats made on school grounds or that include a school system tend to be the first ones that law enforcement crack down on. In these instances, law enforcement act first and ask questions later. A perfect example of this is a recent situation where a few students had a conversation about their desire to shoot up at their school in Los Angeles was overheard. The students had barely finished their conversation when police arrived on the scene and arrested both students. The charge was making criminal threats.

This type of thing is happening all over the country.

There aren’t any statistics outlining how many of the students who are charged with making criminal threats are actually doing nothing more than blowing off steam, but if the police and media are to be believed, for the most part, this is a situation of where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Police report that in many instances, after arresting a student for making criminal threats, they discover that the student was in possession of an alarming amount of firepower. An example of this is the arrest of a 17-year-old L.A. student who was arrested. When the police investigated the student’s home they not only found 90-high-capacity magazines, but also 2 assault weapons as well as some handguns.

In California, the law is clear when it comes to making criminal threats. California Penal Code Section 422 clearly states that making any type of verbal or written threat of death or bodily injury to another person is against the law. Comments posted on social media sites count as a written threat.

One interesting loophole In Penal Code Section 422 is that there’s no mention of gestures. At this point, this means that gestures that are symbolic to a gang or pointing a finger gun at someone doesn’t break the law. Whether or not gestures should constitute as a criminal threat was discussed in front of the California Supreme Court during the 2017 case, People v. Gonzalez. The court agreed with the defendant that gestures weren’t admissible in court. So far, the Penal Code hasn’t been amended to include the use of hand gestures as a criminal threat.

san bernardino bail bonds

LASD Active Shooter Preparedness

preparing for active shooter

Sadly, it is no secret that active shooter situations are occurring more frequently across the country. There have already been several instances this year and many people have been injured or killed. While these events are still very rare, there recent frequency is causing many people to consider what they would need to do if an event occurred near them.

In an effort to help people stay alert and safe, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) has created a new site and page to help teach people what they should and shouldn’t do in an active shooter situation. The goal is of course to help educate people and prepare them for a worst case situation.

The site features a 9 and a half minute video depicting different situations and what should be done during them. The video covers the three options that a person has in these kinds of situations:

  • Get out
  • Secure
  • Defend

The video does contain graphic content, so viewer discretion is advised. However, it does offer several important tips that everyone should know, just in case. Hopefully you will never need to use any of the information in the video, but it is best to have this handy and never need it.

keeping kids safe in water

Keeping Kids Safe in Water

keeping kids safe in water

Summer is here, and that means families are looking for the best ways to keep cool during the hottest of days. One of the favorite pastimes is going swimming, whether it is in a pool, river, or lake. Swimming is a great way to beat the heat, however not everyone is always up to the task. Young kids in particular can be at serious risk of drowning in large amounts of water.

When taking kids to bodies of water, it is important for parents to keep a close eye on their kids. Failing to do so risks their safety, which is something that nobody wants. All children should be actively supervised when near bodies of water. Infants and toddlers should always be within an arm’s reach from an adult. It only takes a few minutes for something bad to happen. It is also important to not rely on pool toys such as noodles and water wings to keep a child safe as they are not true safety devices.

Teaching kids to swim is a big and important step. If a kid knows how to tread water, they are that much safer. However, figuring out when to teach a child how to swim is dependent on the child and parent. Only start teaching a child to swim when they are ready, and don’t stop at just swimming. Teach your child how to float and to stay close to the shore in open water. Also teach them that swimming in open water is very different than swimming in a pool.

If you have a pool in your own backyard, be sure that you take the proper precautions. Backyard pools should have a four foot fence around them and a self-closing, self-latching gate. This should help keep kids from accessing the pool while unsupervised. Also consider putting some sort of alarm on the gate that could alert you to someone accessing the pool.

Swimming is a great way to beat the heat during the peak of summer. However it can be dangerous for little kids if they are not properly supervised. If you plan on taking your family swimming this summer, be sure to keep a watchful eye on your younger kids. Doing so will help ensure that your summer stays happy and fun.

snake dangers

Snakes Aren’t toys, They Are Dangerous

snake dangers

With every positive, there always seems to be a downside. California has beaches, sunshine, and great views. However, California also has snakes, earthquakes, and the occasional summer temperature rising above 100. If these cons to living in California stress you out, take a hike out on one the hundreds of trails California has to offer residents. Just be careful, summer is snake season.

Snakes can be out all throughout the year, but usually are more active in the warmer months. Snakes are cold blooded, which means they need to the sunshine to raise their body temperature enough to move. This is why in the colder months we typically see fewer snakes. California, like other states, does have several snakes. The ones that you need to extremely cautious of, are rattlesnakes.

Every snake should be treated with extreme caution because they all can bite. Some snakes are extremely venomous to us, others, not so much. Either way, snakes are not toys. California is home to a lot of rattlesnakes, such as:

  • Western Diamond Back
  • Mojave Green
  • Speckled
  • Sidewinder
  • Red Diamond.

All of these are types of rattlesnakes and have a wide, diamond-shaped head.

The good news is that the rattlesnake is California’s only native venomous snake. Most snakes aren’t bad. If you’re looking at a snake and it doesn’t have a rattle on its tail, or a diamond shape head, you can breathe a little easier because more than likely, that snake is helping you catch rodents.

If you ever find yourself with a rattlesnake staring you down, or infringing on your backyard, you can call in an expert snake remover. Simply back away from the snake and call a professional to come deal with it. A rattlesnake will not chase after you, it just wants to be left alone. If you keep your distance from the snake, it will keep its distance from you.

While you stay in California, it is important that you adapt to protect yourself from the harm of dangerous snakes such as rattlesnakes. By making little adjustments to your lifestyle, you will be decreasing your chances of getting into trouble with a rattlesnake. Here are a few tips from the Californian Department of Fish and Wildlife on how to be snake aware:

  • Be alert of your surroundings where you place your feet.
  • Wear protective foot wear.
  • Children shouldn’t wear flip flops in snake country.
  • When hiking, avoid grassy areas where snakes could be hiding.
  • Don’t step or place your hands in areas that aren’t visible to you.
  • Don’t grab sticks or branches in rivers, snakes can swim.
  • Never hike alone.
  • Carefully handle freshly killed snakes because their fangs still have venom in them.
  • Teach children to leave snakes alone.
  • Walk your dogs on a leash to avoid your dog getting bit by a snake.

There are a lot of perks to living in California, but there are some small downsides. One of those downsides are snakes. However, with the proper knowledge you’ll realize that snakes out in California aren’t a big deal. As long as you’re aware and remember that snakes aren’t toys.

Dealing with Bullying Starts with Ourselves

Dealing with Bullying Starts with Ourselves

Dealing with Bullying Starts with Ourselves

Nobody likes bullies. If you were to ask any adult out there what they think about bullying, they would say something along the lines of needing to stop the bullying. However, while just about every adult preaches this, many of them struggle to actually walk the walk without even realizing it. Our kids see this, and that is why bullying is still so prominent in schools.

A perfect example of adults exhibiting signs of bullying comes from the recent NBA All-Star game, or more precisely, the national anthem that was sung before the game. Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie decided to sing, rather unsuccessfully, the Star-Spangled Banner with a more sultry, jazzy influence. Needless to say, this rendition of the anthem was not received well by the general population.

Now, how does this apply to bullying? Well, after hearing this version of the anthem, the internet did what it seems to do best. People began leaving horrible comments about Fergie and her choice. Millions of adults began to harass someone for making a choice, and while it might have been a mistake, does she really need millions of people telling her about it?

We adults talk about ending bullying amongst kids, and yet we still continue to do so ourselves. Think about every time you drive and another driver does something or makes a mistake that upsets you. You probably end up cursing them in some way, and if you have a child in the car, they will pick up on that. They see more than we realize. They see all of the different ways that we say something cruel to someone who made a mistake or was different, and then they take it to school.

If we adults truly want to end bullying, we need to start with ourselves. We need to set a good example for the next generation by watching what we say and do to others. By setting our best foot forward, our children will learn to do the same. It may not be an easy path, since there will always be things that upset us, but it is a step in the right direction.

First thing that you should do when preparing for an interview, is be aware of what you’re wearing. It may seem shallow, but employers will judge you on your appearance.

Do You Know What Your Child Does Online? You Should.

Do You Know What Your Child Does Online? You Should.

Do You Know What Your Child Does Online? You Should.

The internet opened up a world of possibilities for everyone. Anyone in the world can get access to just about any information that they want. It is the biggest library of information on the planet. Unfortunately, not everything on the internet is wholesome and safe for children to see, which is why parents need to be aware of what their children are seeing online.

As a parent, it is important to establish ground rules for the child when they are online, and checkup from time to time in order to make sure the rules are being followed. Some good examples of rules would be:

  • Never give out personal information such as name, address, and telephone number without a parent’s approval.
  • Set a limit to how much time the child can spend online.
  • Discuss how the child should behave when interacting with other people online.
  • Establish rules for what they can and cannot do while online.
  • Make sure they know to never meet new, online friend in person without a trusted adult’s supervision.
  • Teach them how to fact check and make sure they know that not everything online is true.

It is important that your child know that he or she can come to you with anything they find online. This means you need to be involved with their internet experience from the get go. Show them how to explore the internet safely, what sites they can trust and what sites they can’t. Also be sure to let your child show you what they like to do online from time to time. This way, you will be able to see what it is they are doing while on the internet.

By being involved with your child’s internet experience, you are not only helping them stay safe, but are helping make the internet a little bit better of a place. By teaching your child proper internet manners, you are making it so they will behave online now and in the future as well. This helps make the internet a better place for everyone.

Dont Get Yourself into trouble This Saint Patricks Day

Don’t Get Yourself into Trouble This Saint Patrick’s Day

Dont Get Yourself into trouble This Saint Patricks Day

Saint Patrick’s Day is a fun holiday where people get to cut loose for a while and go out and party. While there are plenty of people who know how to do this responsibly, there are also plenty of people who don’t know when to call it quits. They let things get too out of control and somebody ends up in serious trouble.

Sometimes, this serious trouble involves someone getting hurt or arrested, and that is something that no one wants to happen on a holiday. In order to avoid this kind of horrible outcome, a person needs to be responsible. One such way to do this is by drinking responsibly.

Saint Patrick’s Day has become a very popular drinking holiday with many people going from bar to bar in search of a good time. Whenever a person is out drinking, they need to make wise decisions. This means planning out a ride beforehand. Someone in the group either needs to be a designated driver (DD) or other forms of transportation, such as a taxi, Uber, or Lyft, need to be acquired.

When a person drives with alcohol in their system, they are 11 times more likely to get into an accident than a sober driver. When someone drives drunk, they not only endanger their own lives, but the lives of every single person they pass on the street. No one wants to be in an accident, especially someone who had nothing to do with the intoxicated party.

If you want to keep yourself out of trouble this Saint Patrick’s Day, then be sure to drink responsibly and get a safe ride home. Holidays are meant to be fun. You do not want to end up in an accident that hurts yourself or someone else.