By Audrey Wong Daily Republic
FAIRFIELD - More eyes will be watching reckless drivers on Highway 12, and residents can expect to learn safe driving tips in commercials and community meetings.
These were some of the details officials presented Thursday to announce the final approval of $1.1 million state Office of Traffic Safety grant that will intensify patrols on the section of Highway 12 from Interstate 80 to Interstate 5.
California Highway Patrol officers are working with police in Fairfield, Suisun City and Rio Vista to enforce the new double-fine zone. The effort includes CHP officers in Solano County, South Sacramento and the Stockon area, CHP Capt. Sue Ward said.
The grant will pay for CHP planes to monitor speeds from above and also fund overtime for police and CHP officers. The state money will also help launch a public education campaign about safety on the highway.
Motorists can expect to have four to eight CHP officers working on overtime on Highway 12, CHP Officer Willie Williford said.
Williford is planning a town hall meeting during which residents can discuss the hazards of driving on the highway. He also has scheduled a meeting with Trilogy residents in Rio Vista to talk about new laws concerning Highway 12.
Williford also plans to teach teenagers about the dangers of reckless driving on the highway and is working on public service announcements about Highway 12.
Law enforcement agencies have started some efforts to reduce speeding and traffic violations. In October 2007, Fairfield traffic police bore down on motorists passing illegally on the shoulder of the highway, said Sgt. Dave Walsh. Monday morning, Fairfield police issued 25 speeding citations on Highway 12 between Beck and Pennsylvania avenues.
The grant will augment regular patrol on Highway 12, Walsh said, and police will be able to carry out more operations against traffic violators.
Motorists who receive tickets for moving or seat-belt violations on Highway 12 can expect to pay more because the double-fine zone went into effect Jan. 1.
Highway 12 has 70,000 vehicles travel on it daily and has been the scene of several fatal accidents in recent years.
Reach Audrey Wong at 427-6951 or firstname.lastname@example.org.