CHP warns drivers to slow down
Motorists may want to re-evaluate their driving habits as local California Highway Patrol officers attempt to change the uptrend of fatal collisions in the area. At a recent El Dorado Hills Community Council meeting, Placerville CHP Officer Andrew Brown shared statistics from the Placerville area jurisdiction, which includes El Dorado Hills.
Year-to-date numbers already match last year's total of 25 fatal collisions, which have resulted in 27 deceased persons.
“We're seeing that trend across not just the state,” reported Brown. “Across the country there has been a rise in the last five years in the highway mileage death rate and we're seeing that here as well.
Highway mileage death rate is measured by a ratio of public highway miles to fatalities within that geographical area.
To attack this issue, Brown spoke of the idea of taking back roadways through implementation of public trust initiatives.
“We're getting away from verbal warnings and getting back to writing a lot of tickets now,” said Brown. “We know that enforcement is effective.”
Most common violations are for speeding and DUIs. Unsafe lane changes and non-obedience of traffic signals will also be called out.
Brown pointed out that golf carts on public roads are illegal, a recurring issue near Lake Forest Elementary School. Oak Ridge High School drivers who park or stop on Clermont and other nearby streets to let students out is also a concern.
Although education and outreach funding has been cut about 20 percent this year, the CHP continues to offer adult education, classes for county employees and classes for student drivers 15-19 years old.
“We have a great program at Oak Ridge where we talk about drunk and drug driving,” Brown said.
With the end of summer and arrival of the school season, Brown said that the phone calls have been constant. “This is, by far, the most calls we've gotten for traffic complaints, especially in El Dorado Hills during drop off time,” he revealed. “We are doing our best to get a patrol officer to each school throughout the year, but we can't always be there. If you don't see us at your school and there's a problem area that you've seen, give us a call and let us know.”