12 July 2015

On the Skids in Carbon Canyon #17979

This happened last night, probably late, and is located eastbound on Carbon Canyon Road, just a hop, skip and a crash from the Brea/Chino Hills border.

The vehicle does not appear to have slowed until after maiming the guardrail, because deep, heavily curved skid marks after visible beyond the point of impact.  Good thing someone wasn't coming the other way, because this looks like it easily could have been a nasty head-on collision.

Incidentally, the City of Chino Hills and the Chino Hills Police [Sheriff's] Department held a public safety forum three nights ago and Captain Robert Guillen spoke about all kinds of issues related to policing in the city.

He briefly made reference to Carbon Canyon Road, indicating that contact with the City of Brea, the use [briefly, it should be added] of electronic message boards and more patrolling were implemented.  He repeated something he has said to individuals and groups, which is that the analytics show an average of about 2.3 accidents per month in 2015 so far compared to an average of 2.5 in the preceding five years (2010-14.)

Analytics and metrics are the rage everywhere, from the corporate world to the sports world and, evidently, to the law enforcement world.  Quantification has a place.

But, there's also there matter of qualification; that is, the quality of the data and the quality of the environment.

So, 2.3 accidents per month on Carbon Canyon Road is not qualitatively the same as 2.3 accidents per month on Grand Avenue, Peyton Drive or Chino Hills Parkway, to use some examples.  Those are multi-lane roads, they go through more heavily poulated areas, they are generally straighter, and they are better lit.  Adventurous drivers are less likely to take to those thoroughfares to test their cars, for example.

Carbon Canyon Road, however, is different.  It is a two-lane highway, heavily curved, poorly lit for most sections and does not go through as many populated areas, especially on the Brea portion.  A certain type of accident on Carbon Canyon could cause a full road closure, but not on a multi-lane roadway.

In fact, it is hard to imagine that any of the aforementioned streets, or any other, for that matter, in Chino Hills has had as many complete road closures as Carbon Canyon Road.  The accident metric might show similar numbers per month, but the kinds of incidents can vary dramatically.

A fender-bender and a fatality won't be distinguished on the basic metric, at least as publicly presented so far..

Neither will unreported accidents or near accidents, which almost certainly dwarf the 2.3 accidents per month figure used by local law enforcement.  A figure that was also put in context by stating that most accidents happen during high-volume use (morning and evening commute times).

That may be, but those incidents will almost always be less serious than the one noted above, or the full closure last weekend, or the dozens and dozens detailed on this blog over the last seven years.

The quality of the accidents has to be measured with the quantity of them.

Racing through Carbon Canyon is a consistent and near-nightly phenomenon.  It can be heard through the window behind this computer from a room looking right over the highway.  Where, by the way, a car went off the side of the road last weekend.

So, again, using statistics as part of an analysis of conditions has a place, but, so far, it appears this has been the only criteria used to judge what response there should be from law enforcement.

Granted, policing resources are needed in a variety of ways throughout the two cities and no one should expect regular patrolling of the canyon by police in Brea or Chino Hills.

However, electronic message boards are only fancier versions of metal signs and have limited effect.  Patrolling has, it appears, only been ramped up during daylight hours on weekdays.

But, most major accidents, like last night's and the road closure last weekend, are happening during late evening/early morning hours on weekends.

This has been conveyed to Capt. Guillen and others of his staff.

Accidents are continuing--at least three in the last week as noted on this blog.  Signs need to be part of the mix, but so does patrolling during those times when most accidents take place.


Jeff Fischer said...

This just in...

Chino Hills Police Target Unsafe and Aggressive Drivers in Carbon Canyon


prs said...

Thanks, Jeff, for passing this along--it warranted its own post, so one has just been uploaded, with credit to you for sending the info.