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Santa Maria Police: Traffic collisions increase as city continues to grow

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - As Santa Maria grows, more drivers are hitting the road.

"It’s just a lot of people driving around the roads in a lot of traffic," said driver Vanessa Munoz.

It's especially busy near Betteravia Road and College Drive.

"Well that area in general is getting bigger … but just like Santa Maria in
general lots of areas are getting bigger," said Sgt. Michael McGehee of the Santa Maria Police Department.

As crews continue to build a new shopping center along College Drive, McGehee says more traffic is expected.

So far officers say they have seen at least 24 car collisions near the construction area of
along College Drive.

"As you can see they’re building new businesses a new restaurant and yeah
it’s cause more traffic," said driver Scott Franco.

"Construction obviously when the roads are being built … people are a little
bit confused right … New medians … directions where people have to go … so
people do get a little confused," said McGehee.

Due to the heavy construction  around Betteravia and College Drive,
officers are urging drivers to pay attention to road signs, street signals
and pedestrians.

"Of course with the school there you have pedestrians crossing you ... have
people walking around and shopping … pedestrians typically have the right of way way … pedestrians also … pay attention … use the crosswalks and don’t wear dark clothing at night," said McGehee.

"My hope is that people will learn how to drive safer because it not only
affects themselves but it affects the drivers around them," said Munoz.

The Santa Maria Police Department sees an average of about 2,000 car collisions in
the city throughout the year.

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Patricia Martellotti

Patricia Martellotti is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Patricia, click here.

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