28 August 2010

On the Skids in Carbon Canyon #5142

It's actually been quiet in Carbon Canyon of late when it comes to accidents and observed instances of dangerous driving, which isn't to say that there's been a complete absence.  Still, an incident like that which happened on the way home at about 6 p.m. this evening is a reminder of just how close a serious accident can be (and one that was totally avoidable).

While heading east on Carbon Canyon Road just past Olinda Village and making the turn leading toward the historic La Vida Mineral Springs property, I was tailed closely by a motorcyclist (gasp), who was showing obvious signs of impatience, even as I rolled down that hill from Olinda at 55 mph, ten over the speed limit.  As we reached the bottom of hill, however, a white minivan was going less than the posted 45, so as we made the first turn there, the motorcyclist decided to pass both of us.

Of course, a white full-size pickup truck came around that corner just as the cyclist accelerated, crossed the double-yellow line and blew by both cars.  The problem was that there wasn't really room for him to pull ahead of the minivan, so the driver of the latter abruply swerved over into the shoulder to avoid an accident as the cyclist continued down the road at a high rate of speed.

So, all right, this is hardly news to anyone who drives Carbon Canyon Road on a regular basis--illegal and dangerous passing is something that has happened in this blogger's experience a couple dozen times over the several years of living in the Canyon.

What happens, though, if the cyclist wasn't able to negotiate that pass in time?  He might be badly injured or killed--consequences of a bad decision--but what about the others involved?

This is, naturally, more wasted words, to be sure, but it stands to reason that a little more effort by Brea and Chino Hills city police patrols in the Canyon could probably mitigate some of these potentially deadly situations.  In fact, just a few minutes before this, while driving down Hacienda Boulevard in La Habra Heights, another curvy road in a canyon setting, your humble blogger noted a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department car was parked off the side of the road observing traffic.  And, guess what, everyone drove slower. 

In fact, there have been more than a few occasions when weekend checkpoints have been seen there. Never, however, has such a strange phenomenon been known by yhb to take place on Carbon Canyon Road.  Why?

Maybe the good luck streak of no major accidents will continue, maybe it won't.  Tonight, though, someone played with death and came through by sheer luck.  I just hope I won't have to see a repeat of an accident once discussed on this blog, in which I came across a three-car accident with crushed vehicles pointing in several directions and people lying on the road and frozen in shock in their vehicles, an incident in which I am sure there was a fatality.  It made a lasting impression on this observer, but, evidently, not enough on officialdom to make even token efforts to patrol a road where dangerous driving behavior is a commonplace occurrence.

It is something, evidently, we must learn to accept.

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