Driving in Davis

  1. Customary Order
    1. Law Enforcement
    2. Traffic Slowing Measures
    3. Purely Davis
  2. Hazards
    1. Traffic Signals
    2. Street Signs
    3. Bicycles
    4. Pedestrians
    5. Trucks
    6. Accidents
  3. Getting Around

Driving in Davis is an interesting experience, and it shows when you look at the commentary about Davis Drivers. It's quite a bit different than either SoCal or Bay Area driving. Here are some of the things to consider when driving the streets of the People's Republic of Davis:

Customary Order

Law Enforcement

Davis Police Department Traffic Unit consists of four motorcycle officers and an administrative sergeant. The motorcycle officers are used for traffic enforcement because they allow officers easier accessibility to traffic related problems. The traffic unit is responsible for enforcing the California Vehicle Code statutes, enforcement of local traffic ordinances, and investigation of vehicle collisions. The traffic officers provide dedicated enforcement at high collision intersections. If you are concerned about a specific traffic related issue, you are encouraged to [WWW]contact the Davis P.D. traffic unit by email. Occasionally speed traps are set up, but you are more likely to see a radar sign that just lets you know how fast you were going and what the speed limit is for that street.

Traffic Slowing Measures

In its brilliance, the Davis City Council designs streets so that people will have to drive slowly through neighborhoods. Thus we see 4-way stops, traffic circles like the one on Alvarado Ave., speed humps (you have to take them at 15mph or less - if you care about the parts in your car) and curved roads. Every city does this but Davis takes it a little further. Presumably this is at the behest of the residents.

Purely Davis


Traffic Signals

Street Signs

Unlike Davis' well-administered neighboring cities, the street signs here appear to be printed in small font (specifically, the signs displaying the name of the street). This increases the number of people who slow down at each and every intersection trying to figure out if it's the street they want to turn on or not. If you already know the names of the streets where you're driving, it's no problem. But the purpose of the signs is to inform people who aren't already familiar with the streets, right?


There are a lot of them, and you have to watch out for them. Watch out—most bicyclists, who, presumably, feel like they own the road, do not stop for pedestrians or cars. Be vigilant of bicyclists riding on the wrong side of the street (against traffic) and in pedestrian crosswalks, especially at night time. Thankfully, the system of Bike Paths in Davis is excellent, and works better than the road system.


Three points each. Bikes are only two. :) Pedestrians are generally a problem while driving in the neighborhood near Cafe Roma as well as the Downtown area, where people will often step out into the crosswalks without even looking.


Delivery trucks will often double-park downtown, blocking both the bike lane and most of the traffic lane.


Please note that it is a CRIME to leave the scene of an accident: [WWW]http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d10/vc20001.htm. This is known as a hit and run. For example, if you hit someone on their bike, you should pull over and make sure they are okay and exchange information/call police if necessary, instead of speeding away.

Random facts about accidents from the State of CA

Top 5 locations for vehicle accidents that occur in Davis are as follows:

Citywide Primary Collision Factors prepared for 06/01/05 to 06/30/05 Statistical analysis of the Primary Cause factors citywide equally indicated that Unsafe Speed and Right of Way amounted to the majority of collisions.

Accidents Daily/Hourly Analysis

June 2005

Getting Around


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2005-12-06 18:12:19   I see cars without plates all the time in Kali, what is up wit that? —DudeNude

2005-12-12 12:07:54   Driving less is good for everyone. —GregoryThrasher

2006-05-16 22:42:34   I just recently moved to Davis from the East Coast and need to get my car inspected so that it passes the CA smog laws. Any recommendations on where to go? I was hoping the DavisWiki pages re: cars would give me a hint, but no dice. —BelvinGong

2012-03-06 21:25:01   I got into an accident on 1st & B the other day (the T intersection near campus). I fit in the statistics of the right of way being the cause. Just a plea to others: please don't text and drive, and please don't lie if you're the one at fault. I should have called the police just to get a clear report. Oh well, lesson learned. —MichelleHV

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