One of the appealing things about Idyllwild has been the small-town, slower-paced feeling. Not any more.

Observant folks will notice the proliferation of front-lawn signs urging “slow down.” The more frantic driving style seems to have arrived.

Just for the record, for the ignorant, the default speed limit is 25 miles per hour. A few other places it’s posted 30 mph or 35 mph.

So when I’m driving the 25 mph limit and signal a left turn, then someone almost rear ends me as I’m waiting for traffic to clear, was it ignorance or arrogance?

When I slow down to the 30 limit going through Pine Cove and someone tailgates and flashes bright lights, ignorance or arrogance?

By “ignorance,” I mean, “doesn’t know how fast he or she is going and/or the speed limit.”

By “arrogance” I mean, “How dare you hold me up!” or “I don’t care if I’m endangering others, I’ll drive as fast as I please.”

For me, the question was answered the other day as I was driving up the highway a little over the [speed] limit as a concession to the frantic someone who was 10 feet behind my bumper until they saw the black and white on the side of the road and fell back to a polite and legal distance.

Obviously they knew it was illegal so it was not ignorance.

Eric Townsend


  1. On my drive up and down 243 to banning, I pulled over about 10 times to allow the speedy traffic to go through, regardless on the speed limit, high profile trucks cannot speed on sharp turns, or they fip over or fishtail.

    Its a free country, but i will not be intimidated or pressured into speeding. I pull over when possible and let others make life choices.

  2. Uh, I don't think Cal Trans had the 25 mph assumption in mind for Highway 243. When you leave Pine Cove, the sign clearly says "End 30 MPH Zone". I think the assumption is not to slow down to 25 mph (conversely… speed up when going through Pine Cove). Similarly, when heading up the hill from Banning, the sign says "End 40 MPH Zone" past the school. I doubt it's to enter a 25 mph zone. The highway speed is 55 mph. If people choose to crawl down the highway, that's OK — use the dang turnouts.

  3. I believe the letter by Mr. Townswnd is about following too closely for traffic conditions. Referred
    to in CVC 21703 as tailgating…a "common moving violation in California" and it is "very dangerous." Generally the distance between cars should be one car length for every 10 mph of
    travel speed. Fines vary but can cost the offender upwards of $146.00 per violation. The letter
    also speaks to the arrogance exhibited by some drivers who act like all other drivers must get out of their way quickly as possible, because of course the streets belong to speed racers.
    News flash folks. When driving the PUBLIC roadways at 55mph please keep your dang vehicle
    5 car lengths from my dang rear bumper. If traffic is moving at 30 mph for whatever reason, then please keep your dang vehicle 3 car lengths from my dang rear bumper, etc etc. You get the picture. And it's not your decision which paved or unpaved or too short turnouts are safe for
    turnout to any one driver especially those with very young or elderly passengers. There is NEVER a good reason to tailgate another vehicle. In fact the act amounts to dangerous bullying
    and harrassment. Statistics prove…Tailgaters Kill Kids.

  4. I've been coming to Idyllwild for 61 years and when I was old enough to drive there were idiots back then who wanted to race down the mountain. If cars are behind me I pull over. I'd rather be same than sorry when I drive. I just know one day they will be very sorry for driving like a crazed nut and might end up hurt or dead. But, it still beats living in Anaheim that is for sure! Debbie Johnson