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Old 08-24-2008, 07:33 AM
 
22 posts, read 41,160 times
Reputation: 14
Default Beware.....Lake Havasu is a tourist trap

I wish that I had read about the unfair treatment of "tourist" before we went to Lake Havasu for our family vacation. This was our first trip to Lake Havasu and we had planned to spend several days there. However, on our first day in town we had a very bad experience. The little "English Village" was almost a ghost town.... only a few little shops were open. But we thought that the lake looked pretty inviting so we rented a wave runner. My husband was teaching our autistic 16 year old son how to drive the wave runner (he was riding right behind him on the same wave runner.) They were traveling very slowly......just enough to be able to keep control of the wave runner......less than 10 miles per hour. They were being very careful. After riding for only a few minutes...the police on the lake pulled them over, yelled at my son and gave him a ticket for "excessive wake". My husband tried to talk to the officer but the officer just kept yelling at our son. My son was so upset by the way he was treated that he insisted on leaving. We went to court the next day to try to talk to the judge about the unfair way we were treated but they refused to let us see the Judge. We did find out that the fine is $185.00. We suspected then that we were caught in some sort of tourist trap and left town before our family vacation could be ruined even further. (I wish we had checked on this forum before we left.) We will never return to Lake Havasu and believe me .....we will help spread the word to others too. Especially the members of the Autism groups that we belong to. The Autism Society has been active in trying to educate law enforcement officers of the special concerns that people with autism have......but I guess this "education" wouldn't matter to a corrupt group of tourist trappers. I would love one of those Boycott Lake Havasu bumper stickers.

 
Old 08-24-2008, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Mesa, Az
21,157 posts, read 25,991,605 times
Reputation: 3654
Suffice to say I may 'suffer' from high level Asperger's Syndrome (I was incorrectly diag'ed with Autism 45 years ago); that stated.............I would be extremely skittish about letting anybody with true Autism operate anything motorized.

Yes; I am well aware of LHC's (bad) reputation.............but, I have to side with the cops here.
 
Old 08-24-2008, 02:19 PM
 
1,304 posts, read 2,127,080 times
Reputation: 374
I do not think that Autism was the reason behind the ticket...
I have seen the new reality show about LHC, and from what I seen..
They must have a ticket-quota to meet. No police force will EVER
admit to ticket-quota's.. but it in-fact does go on. People drunk on
the river, yes.. should be removed. But a little understanding would
have went along ways. I am sure the Dad would not have let the son
undertake such a task if he felt it would have been too unsafe for the boy.
Like John Stostel says: Give Me a Break!

I'm sure the police have to deal with some unruly characters.. but since
the new-age of video (caught-on-tape) shows these days, I have seen many
police videos to where the cops were waay out of line, so I can believe that the
ONLY reason for the ticket... without any undertanding, without even letting the
dad explain the boys handicap, the only reason for the ticket was for the
almighty-dollar!

just my opinion...
 
Old 08-24-2008, 02:56 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
6,328 posts, read 10,315,911 times
Reputation: 7518
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arizona Bound View Post
I am sure the Dad would not have let the son
undertake such a task if he felt it would have been too unsafe for the boy.
Like John Stostel says: Give Me a Break!
That's not the issue. The issue is going too fast in a no-wake zone which endangers other people.
 
Old 08-24-2008, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Wilmington NC. (Ogden)
1,230 posts, read 2,310,789 times
Reputation: 706
mmmmmm....fried alfredo.
 
Old 08-24-2008, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Baja Arizona
2,916 posts, read 5,014,199 times
Reputation: 1078
Okay, so very sorry! Every city has its drawbacks...

But I STILL love LHC!
 
Old 08-24-2008, 05:40 PM
 
22 posts, read 41,160 times
Reputation: 14
Unhappy Lake Havasu

Hello again,

I appreciate all of the comments made so far about the post I made earlier today concerning the excessive wake ticket that my son got in Lake Havasu a few weeks ago.

I think it important for me to clarify that while my son has autism he is very high functioning. He has a genius IQ to go with the autism. He gets good grades and scores very well on all the national standardized test. He recently completed his driving school with AAA and will be getting his drivers license in a few months.

My son has benefited from years of therapy on social skills and handles personal encounters with politeness and maybe a little too much formality. He is probably a little too rigid in his rule following and that is why he became so upset with the way the officer talked to him. He was following the expected rules......the officer was not.

Like I said before.....my son was being very careful to follow the directions that we were given on how to ride a wave runner. He was riding it slower than I had driven it when he rode with me while I was driving it only a few minutes before he was ticketed. His father was on the wave rider with him and assures me that they were hardly moving. I know my son....and his father......I know they were being extra careful. They were going so slowly that they were having trouble balancing the wave runner. They were going less than 10 miles per hour. We don't know the exact speed because the speedometer on the wave runner couldn't really go much lower. Even the ticket itself says that he was estimated to be going 10 miles per hour which was the speed recommended by the person we rented the wave runner from.

My husband is from the South and is very polite and respectful....especially in encounters with the authorities and so is my son. I can assure you that the officer was out-of-line in the way he spoke to my son. He was looking for an easy mark and my son and husband apparently fit the profile. Maybe their obvious inexperience riding the wave runner helped to "mark" them.

The letter we got yesterday says that we must appear in court in order to request a hearing. They will not let us schedule a hearing to fight this ticket....and from what I have read here it wouldn't do any good. I think a fine of $185 speaks for itself.....this is highway.....or should I say lakeway robbery.

At any rate......a $185 fine is OUTRAGEOUS .....way too much even if he had been speeding....and to set things up so that you have no legal recourse without returning for more abuse is BEYOND outrageous.

We have traveled extensively through out Arizona and have really loved visiting the desert. If the State of Arizona knows about this......why aren't they doing something about it? We will think twice about visiting anyplace in Arizona in the future. We of course will never go anywhere near Lake Havasu again.

It is really too bad that Lake Havasu has taken a predatory view of their tourist. We live close enough to head over for a weekend now and then.....and prior to this bad experience we were already planning a return trip. I blog and I belong to several large organizations and you can bet that I will be sharing our experiences with all the folks that we know.....so that they will not make the same mistake that we did.

P.S. Does anyone know what really happens if you don't pay the fine. The ticket is in my son's name.
 
Old 08-24-2008, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
689 posts, read 1,563,100 times
Reputation: 596
I think the issue is not so much the speed but the issue is with law enforcement's attitude toward any operator of jet skis (aka PWC's) in any touristy area. PWC are looked at as "menaces" by fishermen and other boaters alike, and sometime for good reason- people who use them have no clue about boating laws or safety practices. Therefore, the water patrols are ALWAYS dealing with some knucklehead who rides unsafely on a PWC on any given day. I am sure Havasu has plenty of those out there- PWC and boaters alike.
It is possible to be going 10 mph on a PWC and still throw off a wake. "No Wake Zone" means no waves, wake or any kind of throwing off of any disruption to the water while the craft is underway. If the craft is heavy enough or the trim is improperly adjusted, a craft can easily do 10 mph and still throw off a wake, making it a violation. Speed has NO BEARING on the no wake zone laws. If you are doing 5mph and throwing a wake, you will STILL get ticketed. So, it certainly is possible for a craft the size of a PWC to be violating this law, especially in the hands of someone unexperienced as to how trim and throttle control work on these craft. I have been riding PWC for 15 years, both stand up and sit down variety, so I think that qualifies me to provide input on this issue.
You have to understand that in a heavily water-oriented locale such as LH, citations on the water far outweigh citations on land. This means the fine structure and case load for the courts would (unfortunately) necessitate the way it seemed excessive and uncaring to you. Granted, the officer didn't handle the issue properly, but that's a complaint best left referred to the agency he works for; the judges don't ever care about how you were treated. They are simply there to find you guilty or not, and have you pay the fine.
I think it's unfair to classify the whole city as a "tourist trap" by that experience. I honestly have a problem with allowing a 16 year old to operate a PWC. Sure, he may have a valid license and all, but riding a jet ski is a far cry from operating a car, and the lack of experience in operating both can be very hazardous. Here in Florida, there are a lot of fatalities every year involving PWC, but it's because people who have no clue how to ride them jump on em and go 60 mph into a boat or a dock. Even the experienced riders can get killed due to lack of basic boating safety laws. He shouldn't be on one of those until he's 18 and has taken an approved coast guard boating safety course.
 
Old 08-24-2008, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
689 posts, read 1,563,100 times
Reputation: 596
Oh...saw your last sentence. If he fails to pay the fine, a warrant can be issued in his name, and in some areas it's possibly a misdemeanor to fail to do so. You had your day in court, you were ordered to pay the fine, just pay it and chalk it up to a learning experience.
 
Old 08-24-2008, 06:27 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
6,328 posts, read 10,315,911 times
Reputation: 7518
Quote:
Originally Posted by rich67 View Post
I think the issue is not so much the speed but the issue is with law enforcement's attitude toward any operator of jet skis (aka PWC's) in any touristy area. PWC are looked at as "menaces" by fishermen and other boaters alike, and sometime for good reason- people who use them have no clue about boating laws or safety practices. Therefore, the water patrols are ALWAYS dealing with some knucklehead who rides unsafely on a PWC on any given day. I am sure Havasu has plenty of those out there- PWC and boaters alike.
It is possible to be going 10 mph on a PWC and still throw off a wake. "No Wake Zone" means no waves, wake or any kind of throwing off of any disruption to the water while the craft is underway. If the craft is heavy enough or the trim is improperly adjusted, a craft can easily do 10 mph and still throw off a wake, making it a violation. Speed has NO BEARING on the no wake zone laws. If you are doing 5mph and throwing a wake, you will STILL get ticketed. So, it certainly is possible for a craft the size of a PWC to be violating this law, especially in the hands of someone unexperienced as to how trim and throttle control work on these craft. I have been riding PWC for 15 years, both stand up and sit down variety, so I think that qualifies me to provide input on this issue.
You have to understand that in a heavily water-oriented locale such as LH, citations on the water far outweigh citations on land. This means the fine structure and case load for the courts would (unfortunately) necessitate the way it seemed excessive and uncaring to you. Granted, the officer didn't handle the issue properly, but that's a complaint best left referred to the agency he works for; the judges don't ever care about how you were treated. They are simply there to find you guilty or not, and have you pay the fine.
I think it's unfair to classify the whole city as a "tourist trap" by that experience. I honestly have a problem with allowing a 16 year old to operate a PWC. Sure, he may have a valid license and all, but riding a jet ski is a far cry from operating a car, and the lack of experience in operating both can be very hazardous. Here in Florida, there are a lot of fatalities every year involving PWC, but it's because people who have no clue how to ride them jump on em and go 60 mph into a boat or a dock. Even the experienced riders can get killed due to lack of basic boating safety laws. He shouldn't be on one of those until he's 18 and has taken an approved coast guard boating safety course.
Excellent post. Surprisingly it seems I've rep'd you before recently, because it's not taking this one. Keep up the good work.
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