Residents fighting the proliferation of so-called “stuck trucks” on Torrey Pines Road won a victory this month, when La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA) Hillside Drive ad hoc committee chair Diane Kane announced those drivers can now be ticketed. At least six “stuck truck” reports have come into La Jolla Light since spring.
Large trucks become stuck at the curb incline when they attempt to turn onto the steep Hillside Drive and other adjoining streets, blocking at least one lane of eastbound traffic on Torrey Pines Road and preventing residents from accessing neighborhood streets.
Previously, in order to be ticketed, police would have to observe the truck making the turn and getting stuck. However, Kane said the San Diego City Attorney’s Office recently opined that is not the case. (But a statement from the City Attorney’s office indicates: “Any legal advice we provide to San Diego Police Department is confidential due to attorney-client privilege. We cannot comment on any advice we gave in this matter.”)
Kane said to report a stuck truck and have the driver cited, residents should call the Police Department’s Northern Division non-emergency number: (619) 531-2000. She said she hopes “word will get around” to other truck drivers and deter the practice.
She added this change comes with the City re-evaluating its signage at the site. The City has had signs reading: “Tractors-Semis over 25 feet, Kingpin to rear axle not advised” on Torrey Pines Road before the left-turn lane leading to Hillside Drive. This sign has been in place since 2016 when the issue first emerged.
Another sign has been posted on Torrey Pines Road heading toward the troublesome left turn, between Little Street and Viking Way. It reads on a diamond-shaped sign: “No left turn into Hillside Drive,” with a small rectangular sign reading: “Trucks Over 5 Tons” under it.
However, Kane explained that according to the California Vehicle Code, if a sign is yellow, it is considered an “advisory” and those that violate the advisory would not necessarily be ticketed.
“Trucks are continuing to get stuck, so the signage isn’t working and the City is looking at additional remedies,” Kane said. “That’s in the works, but I don’t know what or when they will be installed.”