From left, CHP Officer Mike Murawski and CHP Officer Graham Aanestad
Photo by Jenny Kirchner

California Highway Patrol (CHP) is on high alert as the agency works to keep our roadways safe when snow play visitors disobey traffic laws. 

On New Year’s Day, visitors who made their way to Humber Park and Forest Drive in upper Fern Valley weren’t given any slack. After countless verbal warnings, CHP started handing out citations and towing vehicles that were blocking the roadways.

Officers Mike Murawski and Graham Aanestad were both on duty, working together to cover as much ground as possible. 

“Between the two officers, there were three impounds, nine citations and countless verbal warnings in Humber Park and on Forest Drive,” said CHP Public Information Officer Matt Napier.

CHP Officer Graham Aanestad has Idyllwild Garage tow a vehicle out of Humber Park after illegally parking.   
Photo by Jenny Kirchner

While those areas experience high snow play along narrow roadways, there are many other locations on the mountain that are causing just as many problems. 

“In regards to other snow play areas, we have identified the problem areas and will be proactively patrolling and enforcing illegal parking,” stated Napier. “Additionally, we are working on a public safety announcement for all of our social media sites for the current winter season.” 

Areas of concern other than Humber Park and Forest Drive are Fern Valley Road, Franklin Drive, and Highway 243. 

The good news is that CHP has noticed a decrease in illegal parking and the amount of enforcement that has had to be put in place between this year and years past. 

“I believe the number of citations and tows have decreased this year,” said Aanestad. “I attribute it to two things. Idyllwild Park opened — allowing a few hundred folks a place to play and our snow levels have been extraordinarily low [elevation], so folks are playing all over the hill, not just in Idyllwild and Pine Cove.” 

If you are out to play in the snow, be sure to park legally, pay attention to the road signs, do not trespass on private property and be respectful to law enforcement if they ask you to move. Their job is to make sure everyone is safe.