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CHP Reports Dip in Injury Accidents; to Continue Radar Use on Kanan Road

December 04, 1986|JILL STEWART | Times Staff Writer

The continued use of radar on Kanan Dume Road has been approved by the county Board of Supervisors after the California Highway Patrol reported that a temporary radar program has reduced injuries and fatalities on the accident-plagued roadway.

Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich said a radar pilot program, in effect since late 1985, has reduced vehicle speeds and the severity of accidents, although the number of minor accidents did not drop.

The board voted 4 to 0 Tuesday to continue the radar program, with Supervisor Pete Schabarum absent.

Under the enforcement program, 1,967 people were issued tickets and 836 were given oral warnings.

Accidents Decrease

Antonovich cited a report from the California Highway Patrol which showed that from November, 1985, through last month, there were 10 accidents in which injuries occurred and no fatalities.

During the same period in 1984-1985 there were 13 injury accidents. Two additional accidents in that period involved fatalities.

Antonovich also said that vehicle speeds--which were recorded on tickets issued along the road, posted for 50 m.p.h.--dropped dramatically. Ticketed speeds averaged 61 m.p.h. during the most recent 12-month period, compared to 67 m.p.h. during the same period last year, he said.

However, the CHP noted that vehicle speeds dropped most significantly during stepped-up "special enforcement periods," when the radar was highly visible to motorists. In contrast, the CHP said, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works found that overall speeds recorded throughout the day decreased only slightly.

'Overall Success'

Nevertheless, Antonovich called the program an "overall success," and commended the CHP for its efforts.

The roadway, which was the scene of a four-fatality accident before the program began in 1985, is heavily used by commuters and weekend motorists, who use it to travel between the San Fernando Valley and Malibu.

Concerned about a steady increase in accidents on the road in recent years, local citizens' groups last year requested that a radar enforcement program be adopted.

Since late 1985, radar has been in use on a 5.9-mile stretch of the road between Mulholland Highway and the Agoura Hills city line.

According to the CHP report, the program has been so effective that the agency hopes to expand the use of radar to include Mulholland Highway between Old Topanga Road and Westlake Boulevard.

The rural highway is popular with motorcyclists, who use it for racing and have caused several accidents, the report said.

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