January 9, 2008 - 6:03PM
CHP to crack down on I-15 problem drivers

By AARON AUPPERLEE, city editor
BARSTOW — Citing a high number of collisions resulting in death or injury, the California Highway Patrol has targeted Interstate 15 for a new enforcement program.

CHP officer Taj Johnson said under the new program, which started Wednesday, officers would show zero tolerance on speeding, seatbelts and drunken driving.

Those three factors, according to CHP Officer Mario Lopez, are the most frequent causes of collisions along the I-15. From 2006 to 2007, 6,988 traffic collisions resulted in 136 deaths and 3,935 injuries on the I-15 from northern Riverside County to the Nevada state line.

“It is one of the more dangerous stretches of highway in California,” Lopez said. “We want to reduce these numbers, the number of accidents, the number of fatalities.”

The Barstow portion of the I-15 is particularly dangerous, Lopez said. Unlike the congestion seen around more metropolitan portions of the interstate, the traffic thins out near Barstow, the roadway straightens and already tired drivers, in the middle of long jaunts to and from Las Vegas, increase their speed. He said drivers routinely hit 90 to 100 miles per hour passing around Barstow.

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4121 or aaron_aupperlee@link.freedom.com