Center dividers won’t prevent deaths - Hi-Desert Star: Letters To Editor

Center dividers won’t prevent deaths

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Posted: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 5:54 pm

Deaths only on the grade? Look at the crosses and/or memorials along the road going east, starting at the Morongo Grade:

1. Two people killed by an alleged DUI, head on, wrong side of divider;

2. Pedestrian;

3. Pedestrian:

4. Toddler wandered onto roadway;

5. Two women killed, head-on collision;

6. Child killed by DUI;

7. Near Fox Trail, woman killed making U-turn;

8. Near Rawson, man killed, unknown reason;

9. Teenager pedestrians killed;

10. Man died from unknown reasons;

11. Vehicle pulled out in front of speeding motorcyclist, who was killed;

12. Two persons killed by DUI;

13. One man killed, head-on collision;

14. Near Fobes, elderly man dies, unknown reason;

15. Near Country Market, woman jumps or falls from motorcycle;

16. Pedestrian killed;

17. Near Bella Vista, two search-and-rescue personnel killed by head-on DUI;

18. Two male Marines killed, lost control;

19. Young man killed, unknown reason;

20. Near Little Morongo Road, man found dead in burning car;

21. West of Samel, two people die, head-on collision;

22. Samel Road, a vehicle pulls in front of motorcyclist, who is killed;

23. Young woman dies, head-on collision;

24. Near Hoopa, two people killed, hydroplaned;

25. Young man killed, hydroplaned;

26. Two bicyclists killed by DUI.  

The center dividers will not prevent many of these accidents, as they can easily be run over, as witnessed during turn-arounds during the road closure on Aug. 25.  

How long will it take to set and post a 55-mph speed limit? It didn’t take long to put up the aggravating center divider.

It is also important to notice that most of the fatalities are local people killed by others passing through. 

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  • tommyray posted at 3:53 am on Thu, Sep 5, 2013.

    tommyray Posts: 160

    Thank you for your input MBO. I knew you'd have the answers. So true the drivers are relucant to tell the truth about their cell phone use during a crash, but if an investigating officer suspects that cell phone use contributed to the crash ans the cell phone is in plain sight while investigating, the officer has the pc to check the cell phone and see if it was in use at the time of the crash. At least the stats whould be more reliable, do you agree?

  • MorongoBasinOmbudsman posted at 9:22 am on Wed, Sep 4, 2013.

    MorongoBasinOmbudsman Posts: 497

    The metrics reported are suspiciously inconsistent with each other and some discussion is underway about the methods of reporting that may be affecting the actual counts. Many who study the situation believe that since drivers are reluctant to tell the truth and are essentially self-reporting the use of cell phone during a crash, the numbers are actually higher than reported.

    MBO considers the CDC study to be reliable that "In 2010, nearly one in five crashes (18%) in which someone was injured involved distracted driving." (1) National Center for Disease Control

    MBO considers a less reliable report that "In California, 2594 fatal crashes of which 22 were known to be cause by cell phone use." (2)

    Yeppers, tommyray's testimony about the habits of the drivers on Morongo grade matches the experience of MBO: Speed limit 65, most push it to 70, many push it to 75, and then westbound, some total idiot drives literally 15 feet behind a vehicle that is already traveling at 75 MPH and stays so dangerously on the tail so they can take that moment to break through the pack and floor it to 90 MPH! Absolutely insane. Looking over, these speed freaks often have the Marine haircut and a size 14 1/2 necksize and no facial hair—what can MBO say but PUNK KID!

    MBO will take the time now to salute an anonymous CHP officer:

    Reading the letter of Otter Smith-Martinez about deaths from hydroplaning reminded me of the following.

    More that 4 years ago MBO was traveling Morongo Valley eastbound during a heavy rainstorm. Sheets of water were on the road even where the road had been properly designed to shed water. MBO slowed to 55 MPH in the 65 zone. Not fast enough for the rattletrap with a 30 year old make driving! Tailgated MBO.

    MBO looked out and saw a CHP parked at the top of the grade into Yucca Valley - about 2 miles away. Rattletrap decided to pass MBO on the right....just as he started to pass MBO, rattletrap hit one of the thicker sheets of water and going about 10 MPH faster than MBO rattletrap hydroplaned and dumped off to the right and into the sand.

    Almost instantaneously, CHP light were on and the CHP started driving West to deal with rattletrap. Some CHP officer knew his/her turf and was there at the ready to do the job—total professional and I salute him or her for proactive service.

    I certainly hope the rattletrap driver did not die, but I do hope he learned the lesson and teaches his children to slow the heck down in a rainstorm! Sheezz!



  • tommyray posted at 6:29 am on Wed, Sep 4, 2013.

    tommyray Posts: 160

    So you're thinking that by posting a ower speed limit that people will automatically so down and no more people will be killed by speeding cars? All of the accidents where people were killed were caused by "SPEEDING" posted speed is 65, most all of the vehicles traveling the highway in that area are exceeding the speed limit by at least 20-25 m.p.h. Funny thing, you never see long skid marks down that area of highway, only short ones that all of a sudden have a very small hook at the end from the impact. Dropping the "Speed Limit" to 55 m.p.h. will only reduce the force of the crash or the distance the person is thrown by 5 percent. At 55 m.p.h. the best of us will still exceed the limit by at least 5 m.p.h. most will try and squeeze 9-10 m.p.h. over the limit. In 10 trips up or down the hill I have seen CHP cars about3 times. The limit at the top of the Morongo grade is 55 m.p.h. the same as it is from Indian Canyon. How mant drivers except for the big trucks have you seen even close to the speed I'll tell you, O, that's how many. Ever see them slow down at the very top, it is a sight to behold. 75 percent will not slow down untill the signal at the Chevron Station. Those that do, myself included are shown that we are number one. Funny thing is it is always with the middle finger. SIGNS WON'T SLOW PEOPLE DOWN, THE CHP WILL SLOW PEOPLE DOWN. One question. It's against the law to talk or text on a cell phone. How many people do you see doing that even though they are willfully breaking the law? MBO can you tell us the percentage of accidents caused by cell phone useage while driving? With respect you do have most of the answers to these questions. Your input is welcomed of course.[smile]


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