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Highway 154 safety topic of town hall

154 Safety Committee
Town Hall

SOLVANG, Calif. - Santa Barbara County Association of Governments Highway 154 Safety Committee held its first town hall at the Solvang Veterans Memorial Building on Monday night.

Committee members including Assembly member Monique Limon said more than 2,000 residents signed a petition calling for safety improvements.

Many of them were in the audience and said they were shaken by the death of a Solvang mother and her children in October. The driver suspected of causing the crash has a history of mental illness and is now facing homicide charges.

Limon said safety has been on radar of elected officials, the CHP and Caltrans.

State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson said drivers need to take some responsibility.

She said speed, unsafe turn movements and DUI's were to blame for a majority of accidents on the 154 involving local drivers.

Jackson said speed limits are difficult to change. She also said studies indicate barriers increase accidents because there is little room for correction and they can also impede first responders.

Committee members said they welcome ideas.

Robert Walton said he would like to see trucks and buses heading to the Chumash Casino on the 101 instead of the 154. He also said people driving too slow should be driving the speed limit.

California Highway Patrol Captain Cindy Ponce said she prefers the 101.

She said they have reached out to mapping companies to ask them to direct people to the 101 rather than the 154 but they have yet to make changes for safety's sake.

The Santa Barbara County Association of Governments, known as SBCAG, gave out a handout containing answers to the most frequently asked questions. Members said they welcome new ideas.

For more information visit or call 805-961-8900.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here


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