Driver Uses Shoulder To Pass CHP Vehicle, Others On Hwy.4 In Martinez

January 15, 2019 19:00 pm · 69 comments

Although it’s not breaking or life-changing news, it’s nice to hear about instant karma once in a while.

A driver who couldn’t wait to get through the usual traffic jam on hwy.4 in Martinez attempted to pass vehicles using the shoulder. Unfortunately for him, one of those vehicles belonged to the CHP.

The CHP says this is a common complaint in the area and they’re cracking down with more enforcement.

photo credit: CHP – Contra Costa

Barney R January 15, 2019 at 7:14 PM

There is nothing wrong with using this paved shoulder to take exit at Pacheco Blvd. It makes for less traffic backing up on highway 4 eight there when 30 cars can use the shoulder to get to exit instead of adding those 30 cars in the stopped lane continuing straight.
You think I’d wait 1/8+ mile in stopped traffic when I can drive on paved shoulder to get to exit. Ain’t gonna happen I’ll drive on shoulder every time.
There is a bill being proposed now to allow this.

David Wall January 15, 2019 at 9:32 PM

The shoulder is used for emergency hazard stops. Also for Highway Patrol to pull over drivers like you. That bill will never pas.

Amanda January 15, 2019 at 10:03 PM

I cant wait till you get pulled over and try to tell the cop that!

Michael B January 15, 2019 at 10:29 PM

And I hope your the next person pictured. It’s for emergency use only. Saving yourself 5mins cause your in a hurry is not an emergency

Simonpure January 16, 2019 at 7:15 AM

Your also kicking up rocks and debris damaging other vehicles Barney. Please try to be a little more compassionate and not so much me me me all the time.

ZZ January 16, 2019 at 7:35 AM

You probably park in handicapped spots and leave your kid in the car while you run into the store.

Sign from Above January 16, 2019 at 7:56 AM


“There is nothing wrong with using this paved shoulder to take exit at Pacheco Blvd.”

Yes, there is something wrong with it. It’s Illegal. Think about it for a quick second……If it were legal, they wouldn’t be proposing a bill to make it legal (the bill will never pass)! Also, if it were legal, the CHP wouldn’t be pulling people over and citing them for it! Slow down and follow the law like the rest of us. YES, the law does apply to you too!

Startreknerd January 16, 2019 at 10:28 AM


Anon January 16, 2019 at 10:53 AM

Nope. When 100+ cars are doing it, IT IS NOT THE DRIVERS FAULT. It’s a garbage road which needs to be repaired, extended correctly.

How about some photos of the JERKS using that right merging lane to force themselves in front aka cut in front of a few cars!!!

And another thing: CHP vehicles have also been in the line of cars doing it, so get over yourselves.

Old Greg January 15, 2019 at 7:22 PM

Ha! I’ve seen them nab people doing that. Used to be that far right lane would just turn into the Pacheco Blvd exit. Was convenient. Had a “right lane must exit” sign. Then they changed it so the three lanes merge down to two lanes BEFORE the Pacheco exit. Not sure why. It worked great for those of us that had to get off at Pacheco.

Mimi (original) January 15, 2019 at 9:06 PM

Oh! This would be wonderful! It must have been changed before I started commuting on Hwy 4.

Sandy G. January 16, 2019 at 2:50 PM

They shoulda left it that way. Makes way more sense. I’ve wondered why is wasn’t that way.

Cellybean January 15, 2019 at 7:27 PM

I admit, I think about doing this too, but then I also think about the cost of the ticket and that gets me to stay put where I am!

JazzMan January 15, 2019 at 7:44 PM

Ha ha. Good to see karma striking.

David Wall January 15, 2019 at 7:46 PM

Oh yes I have seen it happen. A similar common dangerous nuisance is cars speeding up the shoulder left of the upcoming carpool lane at HWY 4 and 242 junction. There you have HWY 242 merging into HWY 4 along with Port Chicago , all battling furiously over to the carpool lane.

Tia January 16, 2019 at 5:39 AM

David, I HATE how drivers take the PCH OFFramp & then get right back onto HWY 4 with everyone that is already trying to get on the PCH Onramp.
I have seen sooo much craziness at that Onramp, that If it is crowded, I will go down to Olivera & take WIllow pass to HWY 4
And then you have the drivers that just cut across ALL the lanes that have a solid white line & go to the Carpool lane
I WISH they would have more CHP presence in this Area.
I have called 911 a few times when I was scared for my safety

CoCo Commenter January 16, 2019 at 8:20 AM

I was rear ended in stopped traffic here when someone attempting to break the law as you described sped up to merge onto the left emergency shoulder before the carpool lane starts. Well someone behind him did the same illegal thing and beat him to the lane so the guy behind me couldn’t merge over and smashed right into me.

Totaled my car and left me without a vehicle for weeks. I did nothing wrong

concord ygnacio January 16, 2019 at 2:42 PM


It is perfectly legal to cross a solid white line in CA:

“A single solid white line is intended to discourage, but not prohibit you from changing lanes. Although in some states crossing a single solid white line is illegal, it is legal to do so in California, unless the solid white line designates a turn.”

Also, my google GPS sometimes directed to use the off ramp at an exit and get right back on the freeway in times of heavy traffic. Not illegal!

ConcordKate January 15, 2019 at 7:51 PM


David Wall January 17, 2019 at 7:46 AM

How it reads is that it is permitted but not high;ly recommended. Be a sport and do the right thing. no one likes to have a horned tooted at them now do they?

Steven Powers January 15, 2019 at 8:15 PM

I’m the CHP made contact and issued the proper violation

Steven Powers January 15, 2019 at 8:16 PM

I’m sure the CHP made contact and issued the proper violation

Anon January 15, 2019 at 8:44 PM

You’re obviously not familiar with that section. That lane (WHICH NEEDS TO BE EXTENDED TO PACHECO OFFRAMP), ends and you have to merge.
Not fair for people trying to Exit.

Pied January 16, 2019 at 8:08 AM

I am familiar with the section and you are 100% right, but having people passing in the breakdown lane is NOT right. I have been stuck in traffic there and people half a mile back are doing that – it’s dangerous and it can also bring roadside debris back into the lanes. (like shards of broken plastic or pieces of metal)

Average Joe January 15, 2019 at 8:48 PM

One of the joys in life is getting to enjoy watching this happen! If they set up grandstands and sold tickets to watch, I’d be a season ticket holder.

LTS January 15, 2019 at 8:49 PM

Finally! Cant stand it when people do this kind of crap

Tony Thongurai January 15, 2019 at 8:55 PM

This is a dangerous thing to do and yet people still do it without thinking that its gonna cost them huge amounts of cash and possibly someone’s life. What if someone blew a tire or someone rear ended somebody, pulls over and gets hit by this traffic cheater???

Mary January 15, 2019 at 9:03 PM

Finally someone got his KARMA! I get tired of driving Hiway 4, waiting my turn only to see people doing this all the time. There should be more monitoring in that area. Great job CHP!!

Mimi (original) January 15, 2019 at 9:04 PM

Hooray! I experience these scofflaws almost daily! So glad to see someone getting busted!!!!!

ConcordMike January 15, 2019 at 9:42 PM

Finally some justice. I drive daily on Hwy 4 from Concord to Antioch and witness numerous vehicles in excess of 90 mph, unsafe lane changing and erratic behavior. This is daily observations. Hardly any CHP along this route from 9am to 1pm. And if there are CHP, they miss these idiots.

Alyssa January 15, 2019 at 11:29 PM

I drive this road five days a week. Some days people are driving so fast on the shoulder that they hit multiple cars pulling off trying to do the same thing. I’ve seen it! A bill will never pass to allow people to drive on the shoulder just because they are impatient. I choose to drive to a job that’s only 35 miles away but takes 90 minutes or more to get to each way. I have NEVER put the lives of others at risk by driving on the shoulder. I hate my commute, but I don’t cut corners. It’s my choice. So if you don’t like waiting in traffic, get a different job. Stop putting others at risk.

Barney R January 16, 2019 at 4:32 AM

Your choice to drive 90 minutes each way to work is priceless. Yes it’s your choice…you can have it, but it’s not my choice to get tied up in stop and go commuter robot traffic when I’m not a commuter and I’ll use the shoulder anytime I feel like it to not sit in it. As long as you stay outa my way you’ll be fine
3 hours a day commuting…wow you sure went wrong way at fork in the road somewhere.

Sign from Above January 16, 2019 at 9:59 AM

@ Barney…..

What an idiot! If you don’t like the freeway traffic at commute time, drive on surface streets. I don’t choose to drive 2 hours to work either and, like you, I don’t want to sit in traffic. But unlike you, I do not think I’m above the law and feel that I can drive any way like. I avoid traffic by using city street whenever possible

I too have had gravel thrown up on my car by selfless morons like you that speed by illegally. But by all mean don’t worry about that! Your needs far outweigh mine or those of anyone else that is doing the right thing!

Aaron January 16, 2019 at 12:09 AM

There’s actually a stretch of 4 between Port Chicago & Willow Pass where it’s legal to ride bicycles on the shoulder. Hopefully no one is passing on the shoulder there.

Barney R January 16, 2019 at 1:34 AM

Yea even emergency vehicles! They’re gonna hit that bicyclist just like any other vehicle driving on the shoulder.

While that CHP spent 10 minutes ticketing that guy, over 100 cars drive on the shoulder to take that exit. Those are odds I can deal with and do it.

I don’t care about tickets, it’s like a game and the cop count on patrol to each vehicle is probably 10000 to 1, and I like those odds.

Carry on people nothing to worry about in my book…

Simonpure January 16, 2019 at 7:19 AM

VERY good point Aaron.

Sign from Above January 16, 2019 at 10:04 AM

@ Barney

Thinking like a true criminal! I can get away with that crime because my chances of getting away are much better than getting caught. Hope you don’t have kids to influence! Looser mentality!

concord ygnacio January 16, 2019 at 2:48 PM

It is also legal to ride a bike on Rt. 160, across the Antioch Bridge.

Freaksonhwy4 January 16, 2019 at 1:57 AM

About time…. Goodness people think they can get away with it.

Barney R January 16, 2019 at 10:48 AM

People do get away with it…don’t even think they don’t…

stumpy January 16, 2019 at 4:53 AM

I would like to see the CHP spend more time on the Port Chicago off ramp nailing all the people that use it as a bypass and all they do is backup the traffic for those of use that are just trying to get home just like them.

concord ygnacio January 16, 2019 at 2:49 PM

No! It is legal and google GPS directs you to do it when traffic is backed up.

Cowellian January 16, 2019 at 2:56 PM

Sorry, Concord Ygnacio, but it’s not legal if the sign prohibiting it is still there. And your GPS isn’t going to pay your fine if you get caught.

concord ygnacio January 16, 2019 at 10:33 PM

@Cowellian I just checked, and there is no sign, and straight-thru traffic is expressly allowed with arrows:,-122.021095,3a,75y,286.18h,97.16t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sulUr5Wde31HimmSR2BBsZg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Phil January 16, 2019 at 5:07 AM

Life is good when you see a scum bag get busted like this. I’ve seen it 5 or 10 times in my years of driving. The best was while driving for Veteran’s Cab in the City in 1972. An idiot ran a red at Post and Stockton while I was stopped for the red next to an SF PD car. We both watched in amazement when the fool flashed by, the cop looked at me, I looked at him, I jerked my thumb at the guy, the cop turned on his red lights, and went after him.

The Fractionator January 16, 2019 at 5:19 AM

Not condoning what this idiot did but once they put the new, long awaited, I-4 to I-680 interchange in they might fix the problem entering/exiting from Pacheco Blvd and exiting I-4 to I-680. One of the most dangerous interchanges in the Bay Area and they didn’t help matters when they realigned I-4 offramp to I-680. After commuting on this section of road for 20+ years seen plenty of dummies do the same thing that caused a few wrecks.

DJ January 16, 2019 at 7:11 AM


Pied January 16, 2019 at 7:37 AM

Yes! I hate people that take shortcuts through the broken glass and plastic lane, or shoulder as some people call it. I always hope they’ll get a flat tire. Having said that, the exit from Hwy 4 East to 680 North is a goddamn disaster. A one-lane 40mph zone between two freeways where 75mph is the average speed? Genius.

Reality says... January 16, 2019 at 8:04 AM

I see people do that on YV making a right on Ayers frequently when I leave later for work. Never see CPD there though.

Also saw a lady driving about 1 mile on Cowell in front of the elementary school about 2 months ago. She was going in and out of the single lane to avoid parked cars and a tractor then back onto the shoulder to drive. Best part, I saw her do the SAME THING two days later. I saw her coming in my rear-view and moved over to block her. She honked and motioned for me to move – I gave her the motion to get back into the same single lane and held my position of splitting the two lanes. After about a min of going no where (like the rest of us who have places to be) she honked again and motioned me to move over. We did this about three times. The guy in front of me was laughing his @ss off giving me the thumbs up. We finally got to Monument and she passed by PISSED off and yelling something. I rolled down my window and shouted some pleasantries at her as well.

IMO, they should make these blatant disregard of the rules and use of the shoulder as their personal lane the same as carpool lane violations.

BTW, she had paper dealer plates on her car, so I’m sure she has a habit of breaking the laws.

GreenAcres January 16, 2019 at 8:20 AM

@BarneyR – karma will strike you. Learned the laws of the road or get off. — signed, FredF

Barney R January 16, 2019 at 9:23 AM

Karma don’t mean crap to me. I don’t believe nonsense like that.
I love seeing people pulled over by CHP, cause it leaves the area clear for me to do whatever I want.
Hopefully the person getting that ticket will go to court and get the cop off the street for hours..

Eddie January 16, 2019 at 9:04 AM

CHP needs to camp out on Port Chicago entrance around 5pm.
They were present for a for a few days last year and at one point they had stopped over 5 cars for riding the carpool lane with 1 person in car and some riding the shoulder.

Ivona Tinkle January 16, 2019 at 9:33 AM

The problem isn’t drivers using the shoulder to save 5 minutes in commuting. The problem is there is no economy in East CCC, so everyone living in Pitt, Concord, Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley has to spend over 2 hours a day driving to San Francisco. This area is becoming so congested. The quality of life is not great and it is too expensive.

Brian January 16, 2019 at 10:55 AM

Yes, finally someone speaking truth in the comment section. That is the real issue about the lack of affordable housing in the cities where all the jobs are, forcing us to live out in the CCC.

Our freeways, specifically highway 4 were not built with the amount of commuters in mind. Something has to be done to improve 4 if this is going to be the standard of living now.

concord ygnacio January 16, 2019 at 2:55 PM

@Ivona Tinkle: Concord is central Contra Costa County, not east.

And what about that poster above who commutes from Concord to Antioch?

Super January 16, 2019 at 11:38 AM

They need to start ticketing people who slowdown on the hwy 4 to 680 ramp, there is no reason to take that at 5 mph. Nice long sweeping turn and people act like its the hair pin turn at the end of the straight away at Infineon…

FYI, you have almost a mile to mere on to 680 before the exit to Target and you have your own lane!

Sandy G. January 16, 2019 at 2:59 PM

I know what you mean! I’m like what the bleep are you doing. It’s an on-ramp. You should be getting up to speed to get on the freeway. And if everyone would be good zipper, there wouldn’t be a problem merging into one lane.

concord ygnacio January 16, 2019 at 3:00 PM

Many people here in past comments have mentioned this is a dangerous turn. There was an accident where someone died a on that curve a year ago or so. It was on Claycord!

Patty January 16, 2019 at 12:08 PM

I was on Hwy 4 when this happened. We saw the person pull out of traffic and drive in the emergency lane. Then, many cars later, we saw the CHP car where the driver had been pulled over. We gave the CHP the thumbs up. This driver thinks they are special. I hope the fine was high.

Barney R January 16, 2019 at 12:29 PM

Got nothing to do with driver thinking they are special. They do it cause they can.

The fine isn’t high at all in my opinion and doesn’t keep me from doing it occasionally if traffic is stopped. Nothing unsafe about it, I can see anyone stopped in front of me, it’s not like I’m going 90 mph on the paved shoulder and gonna run into a disabled car.

Simonpure January 16, 2019 at 12:37 PM

Your post at 4:32 AM states you are not a commuter. Now you say you do it everyday. Which one is it Barnstein? Clearly an attempt to get a reaction from others. You know…like a child.

concord ygnacio January 16, 2019 at 3:02 PM

I used to get up at 4:30 AM to make the gym before commuting to work.

Barney R January 16, 2019 at 5:40 PM

You clearly can’t comprehend what I typed at 0432 comment comparing it to earlier comments.

WestSideBill January 16, 2019 at 2:30 PM

If you haven’t noticed he is driving on rock,not pavement so therefore very illegal

Barney R January 16, 2019 at 4:10 PM

No..he pulled over into the rock to leave emergency lane open! He was not driving in the rock, he was driving on the paved section…. Geez…
The CHP vehicle is blocking the emergency lane!!! Hahaha

NICKY BECKWITH January 16, 2019 at 3:37 PM

TY Fractionator. You are the first to mention the upcoming construction. Thus, this is why the shoulder was redesigned and then lane terminates/ends before you get the to the Pacheco Blvd. exit. Since its long been the case that the traffic backs up there on Hwy 4 eastbound in mornings, patience simply needs to be applied and timing is the key since this has been a long-known fact. I drive that very stretch every M-F at about 8:40 a.m. and would rather wait it out so therefore I alot the time on my drive to work. It is only hoped that when construction is complete, this matter will be remedied. We’ll just have to wait & see.

concord ygnacio January 16, 2019 at 10:37 PM

I drive that stretch at about 6:20 AM going from Rt. 4 eastbound to 680-S and there is very little traffic.

Anon January 16, 2019 at 7:21 PM

Whatever. Don’t take the exit a few feet early, meanwhile 80% of the drivers on the freeway are texting = Crickets.

Barney R January 16, 2019 at 8:15 PM

I don’t, I take it ALOT of feet early…lol

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