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Hwy 99 Crash Spike

There has been a drastic jump in the number of crashes on Highway 99 in the last year.

Posted: Feb 20, 2019 6:02 PM

CHICO, Calif. - There has been a drastic jump in the number of crashes on Highway 99 in the last year.

Chico CHP said from November 2017 to today there has been 37% increase in crashes on the freeway.

"With the influx of the population since the Camp Fire we've had a significant amount of more collisions these last couple months," CHP Officer Joe Ortiz said.

From November 8, 2017 through February 20, 2018 there were 89 collisions on the freeway - 29 of those involved injuries. From November 8, 2018 through February 20 2019 there have been 118 collisions - 47 of those had injuries.

"What's happening is people are coming up to stopped traffic and just going too fast for the conditions and not being able to stop of not giving themselves enough space cushion in fron tof the other vehicle," Ortiz said.

Ortiz said with there only being two lanes on the freeway, it's not sufficient enough for the influx of vehicles on the road - and the public agrees.

"I would've really loved to see three lanes all the way from Southgate all the way to Garner Ave, just to deal with the traffic," John Gaddie from Chico said.

Gaddie has lived in Chico for 15 years. Action news now asked if he's experiences vehicle traffic.

"I commute to Oroville from my job that's where my office is so coming back in the evening yeah I absolutely - the traffic starts almost impacting around estates and it goes all the way through Chico not only on the freeway but on the side streets you know some of the Esplanades, the Mangroves, the Cohassets, - yeah absolutelty I see it," Gaddie said.

"Basicallty what they'll do they're lights it'll tell and allow only a certain amount of cars to merge onto the freeway instead just huge influx going in," Ortiz said. 

CHP is working the Cal Trans to better improve safety on the freeway. Cal Trans PIO, Gilbert Mohtes-Chan, said over the years they've completed a number of safety projects.

"Additional rumble strips those are bumps in the road that if someone veers off the roadway or crosses the center divider it creates a loud noise that alerts people that maybe happen to fall asleep we also created a daylight headlight section," Mohtes-Chan said.

But Mohtes-Chan said Cal Trans doesn't have any projects set up as of right now.

"We'll take a look at what the statistics show and the locations and what might be some of the causes and we'll work and talk with our local officials to see what we can do," Mohtes-Chan said.

You can find a breakdown of the numbers about an increase in crashes on our website under Local News.

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Although we're a little cooler in northern California today, the wind is already blowing and our weather will get hotter and windier this weekend. A Red Flag Warning will be in effect for our area tonight through Monday evening.
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