Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

News

Your Commutable Lexicon: Traffic Break

LAist relies on your reader support.
Your tax-deductible gift today powers our reporters and keeps us independent. We rely on you, our reader, not paywalls to stay funded because we believe important news and information should be freely accessible to all.

If you drive, you've probably been in one of these or at least seen it in ongoing traffic: the California Highway Patrol (CHP) puts their lights on and weaves across all lanes, slowing traffic down.

"This is called a traffic break. Officers are first trained in our academy how to initiate these because they are so heavily used...especially in Southern California," Officer Joe Zizi told LAist. "Traffic Breaks are utilized to 1) warn motorists of a hazard ahead 2) slow traffic in adverse weather conditions 3) slow traffic with the intention of stopping it for an extreme hazard. Usually, following the traffic break (and when all traffic is stopped), the officer will exit his/her patrol vehicle and remove the roadway hazard."

A flat tire-saving or life-saving move indeed. In this video taken on Saturday afternoon in the Cahuenga Pass, the officer is slowing down traffic down traffic ahead of an accident with a car on fire.