October 30, 2014

The CHP Talks About Topanga Traffic

 

The CHP Talks About Topanga Traffic

After experiencing a series of violent vehicle collisions in the Canyon, the Topanga Messenger talked to Leland Tang, Public Information Officer, State of California Department of Highway Patrol, West Valley Area, to help form some long-term solutions. His advice — Slow Down!

Q. Are there now more traffic accidents in Topanga?

A.
There has been a slight increase in traffic collisions over the past three years (2010-2012), an approximately 48 percent increase. The primary causes for most of the collisions were speed and unsafe turning movements.

What can the community do to make it safer to drive through?

We are finding that Topanga residents in a hurry cause the majority of the collisions, contrary to popular belief that the involved parties are non-Topanga residents.

What can we do to make people slow down?

We need traffic safety to be a priority thought on everyone’s mind, not an afterthought.

Why does it seem CHP’s response time is slow?

The CHP staffs one patrol vehicle for Topanga Canyon, exclusively, but they have the whole Canyon.

How can we get more officers on the road?

The CHP is not on a hiring freeze and we are actively hiring new officers. Regarding [State] grants, we are currently utilizing grant money to address some of the Topanga residents’ concerns of loud motorcycles traveling through the canyons on Wednesday nights. This grant is due to expire at the end of September. We are always actively looking for grant funds to augment our current staffing to increase patrols in our unincorporated areas. We also reached out to the Lost Hills Sheriff’s station to assist with additional patrols to saturate the Boulevard with focused enforcement.

What can Topangans do to make their community safer from speeding and hit and run drivers?

I would suggest that Topangans be more vigilant in reporting to us reckless or speeding drivers by calling 1-800-tell CHP. If it is life threatening, extremely dangerous, or an impaired driver, please dial 9-1-1. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety once stated that the mass majority of traffic collisions occur within one to two miles of the involved party’s residence.

We get complacent when we get into a familiar area and we tend to be lax in our defensive driving techniques. The best advice I would give a Topangan is to slow down and “Drive to Arrive!”

I thank you for assisting us in our efforts to make Topanga a safer community. I strongly believe your series of articles will bring traffic safety to the forefront of many Topangans.

At your service...

(A sus ordenes)

Leland Tang, Public Information Officer, State of California Dept. of Highway Patrol, West Valley Area, (818) 888-0980, ext. 224; (818) 888-2343, FAX.