Red Light Ball: More lives saved, fewer accidents on Highway 49 |

Red Light Ball: More lives saved, fewer accidents on Highway 49

I would like to share the success the Grass Valley area CHP has experienced in reducing accidents and savings lives on Highway 49 in the “safety corridor,” between McKnight and Combie roads.

At the beginning of 2006, the Grass Valley CHP started a rigorous enforcement campaign to reduce accidents on this portion of Highway 49, where there had been six fatal accidents in 2005. The corridor extends all the way to Dry Creek Road.

I am proud of the efforts my officers have made in saving lives. Fatal accidents in the county and on Highway 49 continue to decline. In 2007, fatal accidents were down by 36 percent. This is due to a cooperative effort of the Highway 49 Safety Committee, Caltrans and the Nevada County Board of Supervisors in supporting the CHP’s work and lobbying for an increase in the number of CHP officers assigned to the county. To that end, Grass Valley has seen an increase in patrol staff.

The Grass Valley CHP started a free Senior Driving Program to help senior drivers continue to drive safely in the increased traffic environment of Nevada County. It also created the Smart Start program, which is designed for beginning drivers.

Another life-saving tool the CHP used in 2007 was the Every 15 Minute Program, which was established to educate our young drivers about the dangers of drinking and driving. I would like to thank the Nevada County Law Enforcement and Fire Protection Council for its donations, which help fund this vital, lifesaving program. This program will expand to Downieville High School this year.

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