According to California Highway Patrol Capt. Teresa Sumprer, statistics from the “Arrive Alive” campaign along state Route 67 show the presence of law enforcement has had a positive impact on traffic violations and safety issues.
Sumprer presented the statistics to a group of Ramonans attending a meeting about Route 67 at San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob’s office on Dec. 3.
The CHP kicked off “Arrive Alive” SR-67 DUI (Driving Under the Influence) Safety Task Force on March 31 with a grant from the Office of Traffic Safety and working in conjunction with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).
Keeping in mind the grant is for a DUI highway safety corridor, Sumprer said they had two goals. One was to sustain a zero for fatal crashes that happen because of a drunk driver. The other was to reduce the number of injury collisions caused by a drunk driver by 5 percent.
That measurement was taken against the 2007 accidents, she said. So far they have met their goals, she added.
The CHP has conducted three DUI checkpoints on 67, with the first one on June 6, another on Aug. 7, and one on Sept. 4. A fourth DUI checkpoint will be held this month. During the June 6 checkpoint, at northbound 67, south of Poway Road, 807 vehicles were screened and two DUI arrests were made.
On Aug. 7, at the same location, 719 vehicles were screened and one DUI arrest was made. Of the 400 vehicles stopped Sept. 4 at Main Street in Ramona, five DUI arrests were made.
During the checkpoints, other citations were issued and some vehicles were towed.
Noting that it’s the first time they have done checkpoints on Route 67 for this grant, Sumprer said, “It’s a little more problematic. There’s a lot more set-up because of the nature of the roadway.”
For the checkpoint, she said, “The success is measured not at how many people we arrest for driving under the influence. It’s the fact that we’re reaching out. We’re advertising it. We’re letting people know. It’s more of a deterrent.”
Sumprer said the number of collisions along 67 peaked in 2006 with 305 total collisions. That number has dropped to 184 this year. Since the grant began, the total number of collisions, from April 1 to Oct. 31, was 117 as compared to the same time period in 2007, when there were 168, which represents a 30 percent reduction.
“Basically, across the board all numbers are down. They’re down a lot,” said Sumprer.
From January to Oct. 31, the CHP has issued over 6,000 traffic citations, she said, which is about 20.1 citations per day.
Sumprer said they are looking at collisions occurring at Archie Moore Road, where five collisions have occurred each year for the past three years.
Although CHP can do their best to educate people, and can write a lot of tickets, and Caltrans can make a near perfect roadway design, Sumprer said, “Every individual driver takes a responsibility when they get behind the wheel. I can’t emphasize that enough.”