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Honda v. Police Car
updated: Feb 02, 2013, 3:14 PM

By the Urban Hikers

An arrestee on his way to the SB Co. Jail was injured when the police car he was being transported in was struck by another vehicle on a City street.

Disclaimer: The following written and photographic content may contain materials offensive to professional journalists, sensitive English teachers and others who are highly sensitive. Continue reading at your own risk.

In the early hours of Saturday morning, the driver of a Honda sedan ran a red light at the intersection of Victoria and Santa Barbara Streets, colliding with a Santa Barbara Police Department car.

The Honda was traveling eastbound on Victoria Street when the driver failed to stop for the red light. Additional Santa Barbara Police Department officers, as well as paramedics and SB City firefighters immediately arrived on scene. The driver of the Honda was questioned and given a field sobriety test. It does not appear that alcohol or drugs were involved in this accident.

Police and paramedics immediately tended to the injured victim, who had been handcuffed and seat belted into the backseat of the patrol car. Fortunately his injuries appeared to be slight in nature and limited to one of his legs. He was transported by ambulance to Cottage Hospital and later booked into custody at County Jail.

According to officers at the scene, the driver of the car mistook the reflection of the opposing green light for his own, and proceeded into the intersection. The cause of the accident is presently being documented as due to an inattentive driver.

This the the exact location of a tragic bicycle v. SUV accident which occurred a couple of months ago, when a young woman, riding her bicycle ran the same light. According to witnesses at the scene of that accident, the bicyclist, also heading eastbound on Victoria, appeared not to have even noticed that she had the red light. She was seriously injured as a result of being hit by an SUV, which was heading up Santa Barbara Street.

The last photo in this story shows the traffic signals controlling this intersection. It appears that along with the red light, the green light meant for the Santa Barbara Street traffic is quite visible to those traveling eastbound on Victoria Street. It's therefore possible that when approaching this intersection eastbound after dark, if one is anticipating a green light, one could certainly mistake the SB Street green light as his or her own.

Fortunately neither driver suffered injuries as a result of this accident.

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Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 370293P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-02 03:39 PM

Nope, the account reads fine. It really was a Honda and it really did collide with the moving police car (as opposed to crashing into a car that was stationary). Good job!


 COMMENT 370295 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-02 03:48 PM

Anyone who can't tell which of those lights is for them should not be driving. They are much easier to see and discern at night.


 COMMENT 370296P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-02 03:52 PM

Thanks for your diligence once again and for your sense of humor UH!


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-02 04:08 PM

Are you sure it wasn't a toy yoda? Looks like a toy yoda to me..


 AUNTIE S. agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-02 04:27 PM

LOL, UH. I love your disclaimer and can't say I blame you after yesterday. You make a good point about the red and green lights and I, for one, am going to be extra careful around this intersection.


 COMMENT 370322 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-02 04:40 PM

The cop was at fault because the driver (the cop) is supposed to make sure it is safe to enter an intersection before proceeding. How tragic for the driver of the Honda who made a huge mistake thinking a reflection was her green light....when it was not her green light. But the cop is responsible as far as I'm concerned. Try doing that here in Alaska and get away with that....had my dog 'Peaches' in the back of my truck last week and narrowly missed getting hit by a AS Trooper. Good job EdHat and you Urban Hikers!!!


 COMMENT 370325 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-02 04:43 PM

I, for one, have been caught off guard by these lights heading eastbound. However, I was only surprised for a split second while I verified the light for me was red and stopped. I don't think the "Toy-onda" driver was paying much attention at all.

This will be a great story for his grandkids one day. The day grand-dad t-boned a copper car. I can see the kids' reactions...


 COMMENT 370335P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-02 05:23 PM

Yeah it's not hard to see who has the red and who has the green, drivers and bike riders need to pay attention and look STRAIGHT AHEAD for their lights. Lucky that there weren't more serious injuries for sure. Hitting a police car? Yeah, yikes!


 COMMENT 370346P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-02 06:13 PM

Interesting point about the light being visible, but the pole is not at an angle, nor is the street. So isn't this possible at any intersection configured as such? Or is the cone projecting from the opposite light not deep enough to shield it from view? A good reminder of how important it is to pay attention at every moment while driving!


 COMMENT 370350 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-02 06:23 PM

I bet that poor sod aged a few years just before impact and the back of his brain yelling at him: "you're gonna hit a cop car... you've hit a cop car... of all the cars in the world to hit you had to pick a cop car... you're hosed!" Now let's hope the cop's prisoner doesn't decide to sue him.


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-02 06:36 PM

I hit a cop car once drunk you usually only do it once.


 COMMENT 370357P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-02 06:44 PM

LOL ROGER! Why am I not surprised? Sometimes you slay me, man! Glad you survived the ordeal and never tried for a repeat performance.


 COMMENT 370358 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-02 07:01 PM

Honestly, with the speed that misinformation can spread because of the Internet. If you post it, make sure it's content is correct, grammar I don't personally care about. -to disclaimer

I do like how you took a picture of the Honda civic to make sure we believed you.

I agree with 295, if you can't tell that light is not for you. You shouldn't be driving. What happened to, when in doubt of a confusing traffic light. Slow or stop and then proceed.


 COMMENT 370368 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-02 07:21 PM

This isn't Alaska 322 .Here in S.B. we take responsibility for our actions and don't blame the cops .Maybe Peaches should do the driving for you.


 COMMENT 370372 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-02 07:32 PM

Alaska sounds awesome!


 COMMENT 370379 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-02 07:54 PM

368 - oh too funny. your sense of humor is classic and made my night. for some, it seems responsibility is a 4-letter word, but we know it's actually a 13- letter word. No shame in that!


 COMMENT 370385P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-02 08:14 PM

As the last photo shows, green is visible. Any lawyer can get the charges dropped. You can't have both red and green visible!


 COMMENT 370388P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-02 09:04 PM

085p - what do you mean you can't have both red and green visible? When stopped at a red light I take advantage of the fact that other directions' lights are almost *always* visible. Helps you to anticipate your own light turning green.

And as others have suggested, if the driver was unable to discern their light from cross-traffic's light, they haven't the refined senses (or attentiveness) to be driving.

But next time I get a ticket for a running a red light I'll tell the judge "I thought it was green," and see how far it gets me. That is apparently considered an adequate defense in Alaska.


 COMMENT 370390P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-02 09:40 PM

388P, do you know any attorney's? I lived with one for eight years and she would love this case. The driver heading westbound on Victoria could see both a green and red light. The fourth photo shows this. Case dismissed.


 COMMENT 370396 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-02 11:39 PM

Nope, 385P. Not at all. At almost every intersection, you can see what color the opposing traffic's light is. It's how some people "coast" red-to-green lights when they can see that the opposing light has turned yellow and will turn red before the driver reaches the intersection. Anyone who's ever driven in a place with traffic lights will know what I mean.


 COMMENT 370413 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-03 06:45 AM

I, for one, am offended by the disclaimer.


 CORKY agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-03 07:42 AM

Well of course you can see both lights, but the one straight ahead is obviously red.


 COMMENT 370425 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-03 07:48 AM

Corky is correct.


 LOUWHO? agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-03 08:12 AM

I loved the disclaimer!! I also loved how you took a shot that hid the arrested persons face with a plant!!


 COMMENT 370443 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-03 08:54 AM

Years ago when I was leaving work at the County Admin Bldg., I had the misfortune to witness a red-light-runner accident at Victoria & Anacapa. Fairly high-speed, followed by much wailing from one of the vehicles. This isn't funny.


 COMMENT 370444 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-03 08:58 AM

That is why there are lights on BOTH corners facing west. If your in doubt you look to the other corner.
As far as the poster who wanted to blame the police officer because entered the intersecion on a green light and got struck after entering the intersection by the Honda violating 21453 a CVC he likely could not even see the vehicle approaching from the west because of the pawn shop and even if he could see the headlights, why would he assume that the car would not stop and would run through the red light and collide with him after he entered the intersection legally or even imagine that he should have jammed on the brakes before entering the intersection and not proceed even though his light was green and he was probably going 25 miles per hour? As we all know from the officer Casey flap, failing to proceed on a green light is a vioation of the vehicle code.


 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-03 09:12 AM

Why would anyone be offended by the disclaimer? It helps keep uncomplimentry comments by insecure people at arms length, they can puff up their egos another way. The report was made by bright, intellegent people; if they go fast and make a mistake, so what; they have important lives and are kind enough to take time out to keep us informed. It's the content we're interested in. Thanks, UHers for the report and pictures.


 COMMENT 370460 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-03 10:03 AM

Flicka & 444 - I believe the comments you refer to are trolls/sarcasm. At least I hope so - can't believe someone would actually think it's ok to run a red light because the person who has the green should slow down and/or stop prior to the intersection to ensure it's clear before proceeding. And the disclaimer was funny, and I don't see anyone actually being offended.
Thanks UH!


 COMMENT 370531 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-03 05:08 PM

Thanks FLICKA and others who"got" the disclaimer. We knew there are intelligent Edhatters who have a sense of humor, and you confirmed our beliefs.


 COMMENT 370533 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-03 05:12 PM

The story’s headline “Arrestee Injured… handcuffed in the Back Seat of a Police Car” reminded me of an alleged practice I’ve heard of called the “Invisible Dog.” If this actually occurs, I’m sure it’s limited to smaller and less professional law enforcement agencies than the one’s we’re used to doing business with.

As told to me by a cop friend in a small community in NW Florida. “It works like this; you have an unusually obnoxious arrestee handcuffed in the back seat. Metal bars and wire mesh separate the front seat from the back. No time to fasten the seat belt. On the way to the jail the cop slams on his brakes a couple of times, exclaiming “Damn dog” and/or “Stupid Cat.” The arrestee, with his hands behind his back and sitting a slippery plastic seat… well, you get the idea. I’m not judging here, just repeating a story as told to me.

Regarding the accident, it seems pretty straightforward to me; Honda runs the red light, Honda’s at fault—the end. Also, I’m surprised anyone would call this intersection dangerous or unconventional. It’s a two lane 90 degree intersection in a light business/residential area. One signal on each corner, good signage and unrestricted visibility in all directions. What’s the problem? Nice job reporting Urban Hikers!


 COMMENT 370565 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-03 08:16 PM

Thanks 460, I'm 413 and was LMFAO at the disclaimer! To be clear, I was in no way offended by it. I absolutely loved it!!


 STRAY agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-04 08:01 AM

Instead of "every cloud has a silver lining", how about:

"there's a little bit of green in every intersection."

Santa Barbara's new slogan?


 COMMENT 370682P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-04 12:19 PM

lol @FLICKA.


A blase chapter in the tale of tragic Geezers Gone Wild. Sordid history of judgmental, off-topic drive-bys, elitist rants, and Pot meets Kettle. Also a huge enthusiast of Band Wagon Carriage Co. Loves to rub elbows with the imagined hoi polloi online. A tall glass of water and Metamucil before bedtime may help.


 COMMENT 443081P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-08-20 07:52 AM

460: Insurance companies always say a driver who doesn't avoid someone running a red light is partially at fault. On the other hand, if the cop car had run the red light, it wouldn't be an issue.


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