Cops will be all over Vasco
Livermore police hope increased presence will curb fatalities
By Roman Gokhman, STAFF WRITER
Article Last Updated:10/11/2006 08:57:25 AM PDT
Highway Patrol investigators at the scene of head-on crash on Vasco Rd. north of the Alameda-Contra Costa County line 2 miles from Livermore in which four people were killed. (Ron Riesterer - STAFF FILE PHOTO)LIVERMORE Police next week will step up enforcement on crash-ridden Vasco Road and hope a two-year grant can help reduce the number of fatalities on the Alameda County portion of the commuter route.
(Drivers) have to take it seriously, Lt. Mike Peretti said. People are dying on Vasco Road because of improper driving.

Police hope that increased presence, and not necessarily increased citations, will cut down on traffic fatalities. The grant, which will pay for officer overtime hours, not new officers, was funded through a two-year grant provided by the State Office of Traffic Safety.

Brentwood Police Department spearheaded this effort, Peretti said.

That department also will increase enforcement on the Contra Costa County side of the road. The deadliest portions of the road are in an unincorporated area that are now patrolled only by the California Highway Patrol. Livermore and Brentwood police will supple-ment CHP patrols.

I dont have any officers dedicated to that road right now, Peretti said.

Enforcement will focus on speed, driving under the influence and other hazardous driving.

Well be stepping up a visual presence during the commute, Peretti said. Were not going to hide behind bushes. We want people to see us out there.

State Sen. Tom Torlakson, D-Antioch, said he wrote letters to the state in support of the grant because he believes increased enforcement will make commuters think twice about speeding or passing in a no-pass zone.

Fewer people will speed and fewer people will be reckless, Torlakson said. Its a good deterrent.

The 18-mile-long road is traveled by an estimated 19,000 to 24,000 cars each day. Rumble strips were added in the last couple of years to prevent accidents. In August, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law SB 3, which established a double-fine zone on Vasco Road.

The law was written by Torlakson and takes effect Jan. 1.

Since 2003, 16 people have been killed in vehicle crashes on the road, including a quadruple-fatality crash in mid-August.

Vasco Road is one of the deadliest roads in California now, Peretti said.

Roman Gokhman can be reached at (925) 416-4849 or at