News Flash

Sheriff's Office

Posted on: November 14, 2019

Look out for livestock on county roads

Cows standing in a field

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) are “beefing up” enforcement and awareness, working together to help prevent vehicle collisions involving livestock.

Over the past year, the Sheriff’s Office and CHP have received numerous reports of livestock being struck by motorists. While Humboldt County is not a “free-range” county, meaning livestock must be contained on private property with a lawful fence, there are some instances where you might find livestock on the road.

Did you know that some county roads run through private property? As a rural county, several Humboldt County roads have easements granting the public passage through otherwise private lands; some of these lands being livestock pastures. On county roads with easements, livestock have the right of way. While a fence is still needed to keep them on their property, it is not needed to keep them off the section of the road running through the property (often marked by cattle guards). This does not apply to state highways, where a lawful fence is required, and livestock are not permitted to freely cross.

What does this mean for motorists? You might encounter a cow or other livestock blocking a county road. Under California law, it is the driver’s responsibility to safely navigate any roadway, making it your responsibility to see the road hazard caused by livestock in the road and respond accordingly (Vehicle Code §22350). Not only can your vehicle become heavily damaged in a collision with livestock, you could be on the hook legally. California Food and Agricultural Code §21855 says a person can be held financially responsible for the wrongful killing or slaughter of cattle, up to four times the value of the cattle. Additionally, if you hit livestock and flee the scene, you could be facing hit and run charges.

If you encounter livestock in the roadway, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and the California Highway Patrol encourage drivers to do the following:

  • When navigating roadways with cattle guards, drivers should slow down and be prepared for any livestock that may be on the roadway or around any turn.
  • Drivers should observe all posted signs regarding Livestock Crossing or livestock on the roadway.
  • In areas where livestock are present, drivers should always use caution while operating motor vehicles, especially during times of darkness and inclement weather.
  • If livestock are blocking your passage, stop and wait for them to vacate the roadway or navigate around them if safely able to do so. For your safety, do not leave your vehicle in an attempt to move livestock off of the road.

If you accidentally strike a cow or other livestock with your vehicle, please contact the California Highway Patrol at 707-268-2000 or the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Sheriff's Office

Stolen vehicle pursuit in McKinleyville

Posted on: January 13, 2020
Sheriff's car is parked while an EOD Robot is utilized

EOD Investigation on Humboldt Hill

Posted on: January 8, 2020
EOD Robot investigates suspicious package on the ground under a stop sign

Suspicious package investigation

Posted on: January 7, 2020
Tree stumps of lumber illegally harvested in a forest

Timber/firewood theft investigation

Posted on: January 6, 2020
TEACH booking photo

Attempted Murder in Bridgeville

Posted on: January 4, 2020

Garberville home invasion armed robbery

Posted on: December 30, 2019
Janeen Jackson Booking Photo

Willow Creek Stabbing Investigation

Posted on: December 30, 2019
lewis booking photo

Felon in possession of a firearm arrest

Posted on: December 23, 2019

Attempted robbery investigation

Posted on: December 18, 2019
FROST booking photo

Possession of stolen vehicle arrest

Posted on: December 13, 2019
Vaping cartridges of butane honey oil

BHO lab investigation in Phillipsville

Posted on: December 12, 2019
Black dog in front of the Humboldt County Animal Shelter sign

Animal Shelter Open House This Weekend!

Posted on: December 12, 2019
OSGOOD booking photo

Stolen Vehicle Recovery near Clam Beach

Posted on: December 6, 2019
CVETKOVIC booking photo

Garberville burglary arrest

Posted on: December 5, 2019
ADKINS Booking Photo

McKinleyville robbery arrest

Posted on: December 4, 2019
Orange tractor

Stolen tractor recovery

Posted on: November 26, 2019
Deputy in a bomb suit renders a live device safe

EOD Investigation at Mad River Beach

Posted on: November 21, 2019
Cannabis in a wood chipper

Sheriff's MET team concludes grant cycle

Posted on: November 19, 2019

Arrests made in child abuse investigation

Posted on: November 19, 2019

Assault with a Deadly Weapon Investigation

Posted on: November 15, 2019

Wanted subject Robert Cullen arrested

Posted on: November 13, 2019

Sprowel Creek Pursuit

Posted on: November 13, 2019

Fields Landing assault investigation

Posted on: November 13, 2019

Possession for sales arrest

Posted on: November 8, 2019

Body found near Sawmill Rd.

Posted on: October 30, 2019

PSPS Power shutoff update

Posted on: October 24, 2019

PSPS Power outage information

Posted on: October 24, 2019

Search and Recovery near Garberville

Posted on: October 23, 2019

Robbery in Blue Lake

Posted on: September 10, 2019

Disturbance on Cummings Rd.

Posted on: August 23, 2019

Missing Person investigation

Posted on: August 19, 2019

MET investigation Brannon Mountain

Posted on: August 1, 2019

Arson in Redway

Posted on: July 26, 2019

MET investigation

Posted on: July 25, 2019

Shots fired in McKinleyville

Posted on: July 24, 2019

Marijuana Enforcement near Hyampom

Posted on: July 24, 2019
Raymond Earl Preschern

Ramey Warrant Arrest - Case 201503461

Posted on: August 24, 2016