Contact Street Smarts
Ten years of being ‘Safe on 17’
Travelling the winding curves of Highway 17 between Santa Cruz and is much safer than it was 10 years ago. "I’ve been driving Highway 17 since I was 16-years-old," said Mark Stone, district five county supervisor and member of the . "And it was a very different road. There was very little median barrier. I would come around a curve and could swear there was oncoming traffic in the lane." Stone was among many dignitaries who addressed the press during the Safe on 17 campaign’s 10 year anniversary event at the Summit Roadhouse restaurant Monday. The campaign is a Regional Transportation Commissionjoint venture between the RTC, San Francisco Bay Area , Caltrans, , the Scotts Valley Police Department, California Highway Patrol and elected officials from both sides of the hill. The event also featured a bus tour of the entire mountainous stretch of the highway to illustrate the structural changes made over the years. On the Santa Cruz County side, more than $23.5 million has been spent to build retaining walls, improve drainage, widen the shoulders, and replace guardrails between the Summit and Granite Creek Road in Scotts Valley. Those improvements made wet weather driving safer, as well as improved sight distance for drivers and gave them a place to pull over in the event of a breakdown or collision with another motorist. Those improvements, combined with law enforcement and free basic tow services to stranded motorists, helped save lives. When the program began in 1998, there were 283 injuries and fatalities on Highway 17. Last year, those types of collisions dropped to 133. In other news... If you notice more CHP officers on the road than normal, you can thank a $3.5 million grant from the state Office of Traffic Safety and The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Starting this month, the grant will fund officer overtime for the next nine months as the CHP embarks on its "Comprehensive Approach to Reducing Speed," or CARS, project. The project will focus on reducing the number of fatal and injury collisions on state highways and county roads. Officers will keep a keen eye peeled for collision causing factors, including speed, failure to yield right of way, following too close, improper turning and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Motorists can reduce the odds of getting into an injury or fatal collision by obeying the speed limit, watching out for other motorists, including motorcycles, reducing distractions and wearing their seat belts.
This entry was posted in accidents, Caltrans, CHP, driver education, Driver safety, Highway 17, inattentive drivers, Motorcycles, Public safety, Rude/Unsafe Drivers, Scotts Valley Police, Senior drivers, teen drivers, Traffic collisions, traffic hazards, transportation projects, Uncategorized and tagged aggressive drivers, Caltrans, CHP, citations, collisions, Driver safety, Freeway Service Patrol, Highway 17, motorists, RTC, Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission, Scotts Valley Police, Senior drivers, speeding, Traffic collisions, traffic safety. Bookmark the permalink.