Messages From the California Highway Patrol
Message From David Qualls, Lieutenant Commander
Lets face it, driving a vehicle anywhere is dangerous. But thanks to the efforts of groups such as "Citizens for 49 Safety" many improvements have been completed along the SR-49 Safety Corridor.
Over the next several years drivers can expect to encounter continued construction along Highway 49 from Grass Valley to Combie Road. I would like to remind everyone that creating a safer highway environment is the shared responsibility of all drivers. This can be achieved by staying alert and using common sense and courtesy while on the road. Remember, it only takes a split second of inattention to destroy the lives of so many people.
You can also help provide those who do business along the side of California’s roads a safer place to work by slowing down and increasing your following distance.
David Qualls, Lieutenant Commander
Encouraging News From Captain Ward
I thought you may be interested in knowing that your efforts for traffic safety on Highway 49 has had a positive impact in reducing the overall number of traffic accidents on Highway 49 in Placer County.
We have experienced a 17% reduction for traffic accidents on the entire stretch of Highway 49 in Placer County for the first quarter (January - March) of 2006, as compared to the same time period in 2005. Moreover, we experienced an even greater decrease of 29% on the Safety Corridor portion (from Dry Creek road to the Nevada/Placer County lines) in Placer County.
Finally, our number of enforcement contacts has increased significantly. Again, thank you for all your effort in this endeavor.
↑ Thanks to Captain Rick Ward, Captain, Commander, Auburn/Newcastle CHP
Message From Lt. Whitmore
First let me say thank you to the Highway 49 group for alerting the motoring public to the dangers of speeding on Highway 49. Accidents on Highway 49 have been greatly reduced thanks to the combined efforts of the California Highway Patrol and the media attention generated by Citizens For Highway 49 Safety.
In March 2006 there were no accidents on Highway 49. That is a landmark. While I realize that accidents will continue to happen, I think the public has taken charge and has slowed down. My officers have, and always will, vigorously enforce the vehicle code. As some of you may have read in the newspaper, if you speed there is a good chance that you will be stopped by an officer.
Let me close by saying thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Jones and all involved in the safety of Highway 49. And remember, take your time on 49.
↑ Thanks to Charles Whitmore, Lieutenant Commander, Grass Valley CHP
The Highway 49 Safety Task Force is working together to improve safety on the Highway 49 corridor. The Auburn/Newcastle CHP office in conjunction with the Grass Valley CHP office is taking a zero tolerance on speeding. In fact, we conducted a joint speed enforcement on March 16, 2006 and issued a total of 114 citations for speeding and other violations. We will continue these joint speed enforcement efforts throughout the year. However, we need your help in reducing the number of accidents on Highway 49. For 2005, the Auburn/Newcastle CHP office investigated 1,818 traffic accidents for our entire area.Unfortunately, we investigated 213 accidents on Highway 49 last year, as compared to 224 accidents in 2000.
The Auburn/Newcastle Area office is responsible for more than 800 square miles of area in west Placer County, which includes I-80, S.R. 49, S.R. 193, S.R. 65, and over 1,100 miles of county roadways. We have 30 Road Patrol Officers assigned to the Auburn/Newcastle Area Office to patrol these roadways 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We are committed to providing the maximum amount of service and traffic enforcement allowable with our current staffing levels.
Increased enforcement, mandatory daylight headlights, and other improvements are expected to help reduce the number of accidents on Highway 49, however, traffic safety is a team effort and we need your help. By following the good driving practices listed below, you will be doing your part:
- Stay alive, don't speed on Highway 49.
- Use your headlights for safety.
- Always drive at a safe speed.
- Click it or ticket, always buckle up.
- Don't drink and drive, designate a driver.
- Be patient, don't pass.
- Stay alert for oncoming traffic.