Traffic School Not Punitive Enough For Neighborhood Crusader
He stands next to the street in the middle of a residential Southern California neighborhood pushing the palms of his hands slowly and emphatically toward the ground and shouting at the cars speeding by him to- “SLOW DOWN!”
Greg Ravenelle is a self-appointed guardian of the 25 mph residential speed limit. He conducts his own personal traffic school from the street in front of his house nearly every afternoon.
On any given day Ravenelle can be found bellowing his admonishments to anyone foolish enough to drive by him with a heavy foot.
“At first I did it for my kids when they were young, then my kids got older and I realized that there were children still out there. If a child were to be run down by one of these speeders, I couldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t continue doing something about it,” Ravenelle said.
Ravenelle tried all the usual routes of public activism to force municipal action. While he would love to see all the residential speeders get cited and have to go to traffic school, he found his please for assistance falling on deaf ears.
“I went to the city, the city planners, the police and nothing got done. They did put out one of those electronic speed monitor signs. And do you know what happened? A lot of people then sped up- just to see how fast they could go so they could read it on the sign.”
Many people Ravenelle admonished did not appreciate his self- designed traffic school efforts.
“One woman gave me an obscene hand gesture with her two daughters in the car and then continued to swerve from one side of the road to the other all the way down the street.”
No speed limit signs in your neighborhood? That’s no excuse. This particular law is called “prima facie”. The dictionary defines “prima facie” as “self-evident or obvious”. In a nutshell, you are supposed to know that the speed limit is 25 mph in a residential neighborhood, whether there are posted speed limit signs or not.
And if you have forgotten about the 25 mph residential speed limit law, when you drive in the neighborhood of Greg Ravenelle, you can count on being reminded.
Ravenelle Traffic School from the Pavement meets nearly every afternoon, right around the time the kids get out of school.