LOMPOC - A section of highway one in Lompoc has the highest rate of traffic collisions in the entire state.
The one mile stretch of Highway 1 from the H street bridge, North to the Lompoc Y has been the scene of nearly 200 car crashes in a three year span.
Matthew Hill is a traffic officer with the Lompoc Police Department. He spends his time patrolling a section of Highway 1 in Lompoc.
"This stretch of highway, our top two leading causes of collisions is speeding and following to closely," says Hill.
On Tuesday morning he and fellow officer Eric Andreasen monitored the area by setting up a speed trailer and clocking motorists with a speed gun. The goal is to make the highway safer after a report found it to have a high number of accidents.
"This was taken over a three year study. It was taken from SWITRS which is state wide integrated traffic reporting system. Within those three years there were 188 documented traffic collisions. Which is 3.4 more than the state average for similar highways," says Hill.
It didn't take long for officer Andreasen to spot a motorist going nearly 30 miles over the speed limit. A second driver was caught a while later.
"Most of the crashes are going up the hill. people are speeding up trying to get up that hill, traffic backs up at the light, and by the time they crest that hill, its too late, they cant slow down in time to avoid colliding with those cars slowing down or stopped," adds Andreasen.
The Lompoc Police Department teamed up with Caltrans and the City and recently lowered the speed limit in the area in hopes of reducing the number of traffic accidents.
Lompoc Resident Alfonso Gonzalez says, "I think I was going a little faster than the speed limit but when they reduced it, I said fine I need to follow the speed limit rules."
"The north bound lane is 50 miles per hour, where it used to be 55, the southbound traffic is 45 where it used to be 55. And in both directions we have written a lot of citations for people going way over the speed limit, confirms Andreasen.
The Lompoc Police Department is planning to have extra patrols during the holiday season, especially on this section of Highway 1.