Once or twice a week after my son gets out of school (2:20pm) the two of us ride from Newport Coast down San Joaquin Hills Drive to the Back Bay. I ride down San Joaquin Hills Drive regularly, but usually very early in the morning or much later in the afternoon. As I pass westbound through the intersection of Spyglass Hill, I am on the lookout for motorists entering from the right (Spyglass Hill) who fail to stop for the red light and often turn in front of me as if I am not there.
When I am with my son we actually stop there, even on a green light, and wait for an entire signal sequence in order to cross Spyglass Hill at the start of the green. All the same, even when we are walking bikes through the crosswalk, motorists coming down Spyglass Hill roll right through the red light and into the crosswalk. On several occasions we have been trapped from leaving the crosswalk by a motorist who has done such a “California Roll” into it and is scanning behind us for a chance to turn right on to San Joaquin Hills Drive. Here is an example of this activity, taken at about 2:30pm on a Monday:
The relevant California Law:
Circular Red or Red Arrow
21453. (a) A driver facing a steady circular red signal alone shall stop at a marked limit line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain stopped until an indication to proceed is shown, except as provided in subdivision (b).
(b) Except when a sign is in place prohibiting a turn, a driver, after stopping as required by subdivision (a), facing a steady circular red signal, may turn right, or turn left from a one-way street onto a one-way street. A driver making that turn shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to any vehicle that has approached or is approaching so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard to the driver, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to that vehicle until the driver can proceed with reasonable safety.
(c) A driver facing a steady red arrow signal shall not enter the intersection to make the movement indicated by the arrow and, unless entering the intersection to make a movement permitted by another signal, shall stop at a clearly marked limit line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain stopped until an indication permitting movement is shown.
(d) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian control signal as provided in Section 21456, a pedestrian facing a steady circular red or red arrow signal shall not enter the roadway.