23 August 2008

Is Carbon Canyon Road safer than it used to be?

OK, one more before I call it a night and probably take several days off! But, I came across this earlier tonight and, in light of my other recent posts on Canyon driving, I thought it would be good to post this excerpt from a Los Angeles Times article by David Ryan, which appeared in Section B, Page 5 on 11 February 2000:

It may seem more dangerous and just as congested, but Carbon Canyon Road is actually safer now than it was 10 years ago.

The road has been the scene of 717 accidents, including 15 fatalities, since 1989 and just received a failing grade from the city traffic engineer for the 10th year in a row, but figures from the California Highway Patrol indicate the road has become safer.

CHP statistics show the number of people killed or involved in crashes has dropped more than 50% since 1989. The state released information on the stretch from Valencia Boulevard to Chino Hills Parkway in Chino Hills.

CHP spokeswoman Anne Da Vigo said the decline in injury accidents and fatalities on the road reflects a statewide trend since 1993–the year police were first allowed to stop and cite motorists for not wearing seat belts.

Actually, I'd like to rephrase that opening part to: "It may seem more congested and just as dangerous."

I don't know--a 50% drop really does sound impressive, but 15 fatalities in 11 years is still a lot and over 700 accidents in 11 years is about one every five days or so. And, just how many tickets have been given out since 2000 for people not wearing seat belts?
One last thing: just because the road became "safer", due to the halving of deaths from 1989 to 2000, does not mean that dangerous driving behavior on Carbon Canyon Road is something to be pushed even further off the radar (oh, nice pun!) than it already is. Oh, and it's nice to know that the city engineer (must be Brea) gave the road a failing grade for AN ENTIRE DECADE straight. Wonder how that report card has held up in the 2000s so far!


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