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Mother Lode Traffic Fatalities Decrease In 2008

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Sonora, CA — The number of traffic related fatalities was down in both Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties in 2008.

Last year five people were fatally injured within the Sonora Area CHP jurisdiction, compared to 15 in 2007. Commander Mike Ayala attributes the sharp reduction to a $309,000 Hwy 108 Traffic Corridor grant from the state that has allowed for extra officers to patrol between the Stanislaus County line and the Pinecrest turnoff.

“I think it goes to show what increased enforcement can do,” says Ayala. “We´re seeing a lot of overtime hours.”

The grant period started on June 1st of last year and is set to expire on May 31st.

Meanwhile in Calaveras County, the San Andreas Area CHP Office responded to 12 vehicle fatalities in 2008, compared to 13 in 2007.

“I think people are slowing down, they´re wearing their seatbelts and learning to not drink and drive,” says Sgt. Lori Harmon in San Andreas.

Written by BJ Hansen