Several recent blogs have discussed why Highway 17 is considered one of the deadliest roads in California. Each day, an estimated 63,000 people use the road, which connects the South Bay Area to Santa Cruz. Recent data shows there were 800 car accidents on Highway 17 last year. Caltrans, the Safe on 17 Commission and the California Highway Patrol are working to improve safety on this dangerous highway. Improvements to Highway 17 include:
- Increased patrols. California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers are on the constant lookout for motorists who are speeding. Sharp turns and wet weather conditions make speeders more likely to crash into other drivers or objects. Increased patrols also serve as a visual deterrent for speeders.
- Anti-skid pavement. Wet weather conditions cause crashes on Highway 17. Caltrans installed anti-skid pavement on the highway to prevent accidents caused by slick roads. In addition, new improvements make it easier for the roads to drain water after rain.
- Warning signs. Highway 17 uses Dynamic Curve Warning Signs. These are digital signs that detect and warn drivers of their speeds. Additional digital signs warn drivers of crashes, roadway conditions and delays.
- Various other road improvements. Transportation authorities made several improvements to roads on Highway 17. Improvements include lane and shoulder widening, more effective barriers and tree trimming. According to the “Safe on 17 Task Force”, these improvements widen the recovery area for motorists who lose control of their vehicles.
- Public education. The “Safe on 17 Task Force” uses public education progThe teams to encourage safe driving on Highway 17. Public outreach progThe teams include press releases, brochures and news articles.