Cops target speeders on Highway 89
A South Lake Tahoe police officer aims to decrease the number of traffic collisions on a section of Emerald Bay Road by the end of 2002.
Officer Brodie Seagrave has targeted the road from 7th Street to the city limit, just past Saint Francis of the Woods Condominiums, as an area that will see increased law enforcement.
From June to November, officers have written more than 150 tickets and warnings as a result of traffic stops in the area.
Seagrave said the speed limit is 35 mph but drivers regularly exceed it, sometimes reaching speeds of 60 mph, because the four-lane road gives them a false sense of security. The speeding combined with a high volume of merging and turning cars, pedestrians and bicyclists is a formula for disaster, Seagrave said.
“Pedestrians have been killed in that area,” he said. “It’s a bull in a china shop; people flying down the road and huge influx of pedestrian traffic.”
Seagrave said the problem is more evident in the summer when nearby bike and scooter rentals shops are open.
To combat the problem, police also expect to conduct more bike patrols and post a radar trailer, which automatically displays a vehicle’s speed, along the road. Last summer, the trailer was posted on Lodi Avenue and on Al Tahoe Boulevard.
Seagrave’s plan is known as a COPS project, or Citizen’s Option for Public Safety. It is a program developed at the department several years ago in which the police ask for help from residents to make the community a safer place.
“At least half the stops are locals. We need their help to improve safety out there,” Seagrave said. “Sometimes they speed excessively past northbound vehicles fearing they might get stuck behind vehicles on their way to Tahoe City.”