By the California Highway Patrol
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) Buellton Area is implementing a 12-month, joint regional effort enforcement and educational campaign to save lives and remove unsafe drivers from State Route 1 (SR-1, Cabrillo Highway), State Route -154 (SR-154, San Marcos Pass) and US-101 (El Camino Real). The CHP Buellton and Santa Barbara Area offices will use a federal grant to accomplish this mission. The Safe on All Roads (SOAR) campaign began October 1, 2022 and will end on September 30, 2023.
In addition to providing a scenic route to numerous attractions along the coast, SR-1, SR-154 and US-101 serve as major commute routes between cities within Santa Barbara County. SR-1 predominately has one lane in each direction. US-101 intermittently switches between freeway and highway status, and closely follows the Pacific coastline as it travels through Santa Barbara County. State Route-154, a narrow 2-lane mountainous roadway with sheer cliffs, sharp curves, and grades provides continual challenges for all motorists especially commercial vehicles.
Between federal fiscal years (FFY) 2018 and 2020, there were 1,758 reportable (fatal and injury) crashes occurring within the CHP Buellton and Santa Barbara Areas. Of the total reportable crashes during this period, approximately 1,348 of those crashes indicated driving under the influence (DUI), speed, unsafe turning, and unsafe passing as the primary crash factor (PCF), resulting in 43 persons killed and 1,831 injured.
Officers will conduct enhanced enforcement patrols throughout SR-1 (Cabrillo Highway), SR-154 (San Marcos Pass), and US-101 (El Camino Real) within CHP Buellton and CHP Santa Barbara’s jurisdictions, focusing on the leading causes of fatal and injury crashes: speeding, DUI, unsafe turning, and unsafe passing violations. The “SOAR” campaign will also incorporate a public education and awareness campaign to reinforce the safe driving message.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.