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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Changes Made to Make Magnolia Avenue Safer

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The mystery behind a high number of traffic accidents along Magnolia Avenue at State Routes 52 and 67 may have been solved by the sheriff’s department traffic division in Santee.
A few months ago, traffic analysts looking at accident statistics discovered what looked like a cluster of collisions in the same general location. They dug a little deeper.

They learned that approximately 20 traffic collisions had occurred since March 2011. More than half of the accidents involved drivers who had run through red traffic lights.  The second leading cause was unsafe speed. The trend was true for both northbound and southbound traffic. The accident zone contained two sets of traffic lights located within a few hundred yards of each other.
Several of the drivers involved in the collisions claimed they had been fooled by the double sets of traffic signals. The dual signals are necessary for motorist to  access the freeway onramps. In other words, the drivers were looking at the green traffic light off in the distance and not seeing the red light right in front of them.

The sheriff’s department discussed the problem with Santee’s traffic engineers, who in turn consulted with Caltrans, which owns and maintains the traffic signals in question. Recently, hoods were installed over one set of traffic lights, making the nearest signals more obvious to drivers, said Traffic Sgt. Scott Hill.
“It’s a lot better now,” he said. “Now you don’t see both sets of lights at the same time.”

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