Our View: CHP efforts on Hwy. 49 are laudable | TheUnion.com

Our View: CHP efforts on Hwy. 49 are laudable

While we wait for the California Department of Transportation to install a rumble strip on Highway 49, it is reassuring to see law enforcement continue its crackdown on speeding and reckless drivers.

On Wednesday alone, California Highway Patrol officers wrote 62 tickets on the stretch of highway that connects Grass Valley to Auburn. On Tuesday, 17 motorists received a ticket in just 90 minutes near Lime Kiln Road.

The ticket-writing campaign is paying dividends in other ways as well, according to the CHP. Accidents and fatalities have both fallen dramatically when compared to last year, Sgt. Mike Lawrence told The Union on Thursday.

The CHP started its crackdown in late December after 11 people died in crashes on that road. Caltrans has since decided to spend $500,000 to install a rumble strip, although it is still unclear when that project will be completed.

The rumble strip, however, is clearly not the definitive solution for that highway. Many of last year’s fatalities were due to reckless driving that would not be deterred by some reflective bumps in the middle of the highway.

It is also clear that many drivers will continue to ignore speed limits and put others at risk in order to shave a few minutes off of their trip. No satisfactory explanation for their selfish and reckless behavior exists and it is doubtful that such individuals will ever accept responsibility for their decisions until it is too late for either them or an innocent person.

Or maybe until they get a ticket or two.

The CHP is taking a leadership role in making Highway 49 a safer road. We urge them to continue writing tickets at a furious rate and thank them for their efforts to date.

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