Briefing Room: leave traffic cones alone

Dear Capt. Nicholas,

At about 7 p.m. on Labor Day evening (Sept. 4), I was dismayed to see two kids on a bike kicking over all the traffic cones on Bolsa Avenue in front of McGaugh Elementary. Was I witnessing a violation of the law?

Perhaps you can write a few paragraphs about traffic cones.


Hi John,

Thanks for your question. I very much appreciate you writing in so often, as your questions are interesting, and I am always looking for content.

California Vehicle Code §21464(a) states: A person, without lawful authority, may not deface, injure, attach any material or substance to, knock down, or remove, nor may a person shoot at, any official traffic control device, traffic guidepost, traffic signpost, motorist callbox, or historical marker placed or erected as authorized or required by law, nor may a person without lawful authority deface, injure, attach any material or substance to, or remove, nor may a person shoot at, any inscription, shield, or insignia on any device, guide, or marker.

This means it is illegal to interfere with a traffic control device, which includes traffic cones.

These cones are set up to help discourage illegal turns from Bolsa Avenue into the McGaugh Elementary lots and drop-off areas (we also discourage these illegal turns by having our motor officers write tickets to offenders during pick-up and drop-off).

Is this the crime of the century? Certainly not, and while we understand that kids will be kids, we don’t want kids interfering with the cones. It could cause many other issues, including confusing drivers or making the roadway unsafe.

As vigilant as we are, we cannot be at all places at all times. In the future, if you see anything illegal (or think might be illegal or suspicious), please call our non-emergency number (562) 594-7232.

You are the eyes and ears of our community, and without your partnership, we wouldn’t be able to keep Seal Beach as safe.

Keep your questions coming Seal Beach! Email us at today.