Interesting California Traffic Stories for September, 2018

Check out some of the interesting news stories and developments affecting California drivers from the past month.

Staying safe: California Highway Patrol focuses on traffic violators in Vandenberg Village (Santa Maria Times)

Speeders, crosswalk violators and distracted drivers were among the people contacted during a "successful" pedestrian safety operation conducted by the California Highway Patrol on Tuesday morning in Vandenberg Village.

The operation was held during the start of the school day at Constellation Road and Aldebaran Avenue. Its purpose, according to the CHP, was to educate and encourage members of the community to develop and maintain safe practices while driving, walking and bicycling. [Read more…]

First-Ever Traffic Safety Summit Tackles Concerns Over Cannabis-Impaired Driving (CBS SF BayArea)

California is still working out the kinks after the legalization of recreational marijuana use materialized in January. Cannabis-impaired drivers continue to present a challenge for law enforcement.

California Highway Patrol and other agencies, including a prosecutor from Colorado, met at the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department in Dublin on Monday for a Marijuana Traffic Safety Summit, which aimed to provide insight into the legalization of marijuana in California and its impact on impaired driving. [Read more…]

California doesn’t have the worst drivers in the nation? Baloney! (Mercury News)

Reading the latest SmartAsset survey of the states with the country’s worst drivers, Californians don’t know whether to be thrilled that we’re in third and not first place or angry because anyone who drives in the Golden State knows full well that we’re definitely the very best at very bad driving.

The financial tech company has ranked us after Mississippi and Tennessee, which is outrageous no matter what metrics you’re using to define “worst.” The only thing those two states have over us is a bunch of vowels and consonants aside one another, which California, of course, is sorely missing. [Read more…]

When Cities Rely on Fines and Fees, Everybody Loses (Governing)

Raising taxes is painful. That may be why, since 2010, 47 states and a number of cities have instead raised both civil and criminal fines and fees. These increases are often viewed as a conflict-free way to plug budget holes.

In the last decade, for example, New York City grew its revenues from fines by 35 percent, raking in $993 million in fiscal 2016 alone. The monies came largely from parking and red light camera violations, as well as stricter enforcement of “quality of life” offenses such as littering and noise. In California, routine traffic tickets now carry a multiplicity of revenue-boosting “surcharges.” As a result, the true price of a $100 traffic ticket is more like $490 -- and up to $815 with late fees, according to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. [Read more…]

Fremont Police To Step Up Patrols As School Begins (Fremont Patch)

As students head back to school Wednesday, the Fremont Police Department is preparing for higher-than-normal traffic volume around schools, and will conduct enforcement patrols throughout the school year, starting with added patrols during the first week of school.

Along with their increased presence, police urge parents and drivers to be extra cautious and proactive about traffic safety.

Specifically, officers recommend that parents plan a route with their children ahead of time and practice walking it before the start of the school year. This will allow parents and children to identify any potential dangers and plan a route with the fewest number of traffic crossings, according to police. [Read more…]

TRIP Report Urges a Focus on California’s Failing Infrastructure (Construction Equipment)

TRIP has released key transportation facts on California infrastructure, noting that driving on insufficient roadways costs residents a total of $61 billion each year. In the report, it has calculated the cost to the average motorist in the state’s largest urban areas in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC).

TRIP has also provided statistics on state safety and traffic, along with an overview of additional structure condition (bridges, roads, etc.) [Read more…]

California Lawmakers Want to See Stoned-Driving Data (Government Technology)

After she was injured in a car accident allegedly caused by a driver impaired by pot, state Controller Betty Yee is backing a bill approved Monday by the Legislature that aims to begin addressing the problem of drugged driving on California roads.

The measure sent to Gov. Jerry Brown would require the California Highway Patrol to report on how many motorists stopped for impaired driving are allegedly under the influence of marijuana.

“It’s what other states have done — like Colorado and Washington — to at least start collecting state-level data,” Yee said. “They just want to understand the extent of cannabis-impaired driving.” [Read more…]

California drivers pay growing cost for climate program (San Francisco Chronicle)

A California program to fight climate change may now add more to the cost of gasoline than the state gas-tax increase that many voters want to repeal.

The Low Carbon Fuel Standard, designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions from fuel, now adds 12 to 14 cents per gallon to the cost of gasoline sold in the state, according to an estimate from the Oil Price Information Service. The fiercely debated gas tax increase, which took effect last year to fund road repairs, added 12 cents to the state’s gasoline taxes, which were already among the country’s highest.

The fuel standard’s exact impact on prices is impossible to know. For oil companies, it is a cost of doing business in California, and each company must decide how much of that cost to pass on to consumers. [Read more…]

Here's How Many Teens Text While Driving In California (Petaluma Patch)

We've all experienced it — you're driving the speed limit and nearly zoom into the back of another car that's traveling 10 mph slower and ping-ponging between the lane boundaries. Maybe the driver simply lost focus and will self-correct, you think. Wrong. You're met with brake lights even though no one and nothing is around. You speed around the driver and stare daggers through their window. But the teenager, buried in a phone, doesn't look up.

Sound familiar? It should. A new study published Monday in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that nearly four in 10 high school students — 38 percent — text while driving. In California, where the minimum learner's permit age is 15 years and 6 months old, that number is a little better at 32 percent. That number ranged from a low of 26 percent (Maryland) to a high of 64 percent (South Dakota). In Maryland, you have to be 15 years and 9 months old to get a learner's permit. In South Dakota, you have to be 14. [Read more…]

Deteriorated Roads Cost California Drivers $61 Billion Each Year (For Construction Pros)

Driving on California roads that are deteriorated, congested, and that lack some desirable safety features costs California drivers a total of $61 billion each year. TRIP has calculated the cost to the average motorist in the state’s largest urban areas in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on rough roads, the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion, and the financial cost of traffic crashes.

Due to inadequate state and local funding, 68 percent of major roads and highways in California are in poor or mediocre condition costing the average state driver an extra $843 annually in additional vehicle operating costs as a result of driving on rough roads – a total of $22.1 billion statewide.

In addition, more than 1,500 of California’s bridges (20 feet or longer) are structurally deficient, meaning there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. More than half – 56 percent – of California’s bridges are at least 50 years old – the eighth highest rate in the nation. [Read more…]

OOIDA-backed California bill to deter 'mistreatment' of truckers nears approval (Landline Mag)

One step closer to passage at the California statehouse is a bill intended to end the “rampant exploitation” of truck drivers who haul cargo from the state’s ports.

About 25,000 truck drivers move goods between California’s 11 ports and various inland distribution centers, according to a bill analysis. In fact, more than 40 percent of U.S. shipping-container traffic flows through the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland.

A bill awaiting a final assembly floor vote is expected to deter shippers from using port drayage motor carriers who have unpaid wage, tax and worker’s compensation liabilities. The Senate previously approved a nearly identical version of the bill on a 24-12 vote. [Read more…]

$3,000 is what LA-area roads cost drivers each year (Daily News)

Driving on Los Angeles-area roads costs motorists nearly $3,000 a year in vehicle repairs, fuel costs, the results of crashes and lost time because of traffic congestion, a transportation research organization said Wednesday.

The Washington, D.C.-based group TRIP found that throughout California more than two-thirds of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor or mediocre condition, costing drivers more than $900 dollars a year in the form of accelerated vehicle depreciation, repair costs, increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

A report from the group also stated that 176 of the 4,703 bridges that are 20 feet or more in length in the Los Angeles area are structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components. [Read more…]

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