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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Thursday, June 30, 2016

CHP to Hold State Route 154 Press Conference

On Thursday, June 30th, 2016, at 10:00 AM, the California Highway Patrol (CHP), Buellton and Santa Barbara Areas, will host a joint press conference to raise awareness of safe driving practices on
State Route 154 (SR 154). The location will be at SR 154 and Grand Avenue in Los Olivos.

A recent number of traffic collisions on SR 154 have garnered community attention and it’s the CHP’s desire to let the public know they are working diligently with public safety advocates to help keep SR 154 a safe road to travel. “All available education and enforcement resources are being deployed to raise awareness of safe driving practices,” said Buellton Area Commander, Lieutenant Kurt Kruse. During the press conference, the CHP will remind drivers who navigate the SR 154 to fully comply with the laws in place to protect them, actively engage in and take seriously the privilege of driving, and exercise extreme patience when traveling this roadway. In both the Buellton and Santa Barbara Areas, officers have been out in the community talking about safe driving practices, including how to keep their vehicles in safe operating condition. Santa Barbara Area Commander, Captain Mark D’Arelli stated, “Lives will be saved when aggressive driving behaviors are eliminated. It has to be realized that addressing this problem is multifaceted. Everyone has to agree to accept the legal and ethical responsibility to slow down, be patient at all times, and pay attention to the incredibly important and critical task of operating a vehicle.”

In an effort to maximize education and enforcement on SR 154, the CHP applied for and was awarded a 12-month Office of Traffic Safety grant through the federal government that started on October 1, 2015, and ends on September 30, 2016. “Despite recent incidents, this grant has been aggressively used to step up education and enforcement efforts on SR 154 and has had a positive impact to prevent further tragedy,” said Lieutenant Kruse.

The CHP would like to remind all travelers on SR 154 to obey all laws, stay alert, and avoid all distractions while driving. As summer and holiday is travel is fully underway, remember to buckle-up and always designate a sober driver if your plans involve drinking alcohol. Officers will be actively patrolling SR 154 to ensure compliance with the law and provide assistance to motorists when needed.

Ride along appointments after the press conference will be available for the media.

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