The Buellton Area California Highway Patrol has increased its presence along Highway 154 in Santa Barbara County after a higher number of car crashes.
Buellton-area CHP officers have been conducting traffic enforcement operations at certain saturation points like those along Highway 154 after members of the community requested more officers patrol the roads following an elevated number of accidents.
"It's not just the commuters, it is a lot more people, so it is just more cars. People are in a bigger hurry and they are rushing and if you try to drive the speed limit or even 10 miles over, they are on your tail," said Leah Myers, Santa Ynez Valley resident.
As a result, CHP officers have and will continue setting up saturation patrols in an effort to enforce the law and keep motorists safe.
Buellton-area CHP Public Information Officer Kevin McCool said bad driving behavior is likely one of the main causes of the high number of accidents.
"Crossing over the double yellow lines, not obeying the speed limit which is there to keep yourself and passengers safe, driving distracted is something else we are seeing a lot of as well," McCool said.
While drivers, like those coming to and from Santa Barbara, may take Highway 154 to save time, law enforcement officials want to remind drivers that for the most part, it is just one lane in each direction.
"What I would recommend, the majority of the people that would like to go northbound or southbound, use the 101. It is two lanes and allows for safe travel, as does the 154, but a lot of the time there is less traffic on the 101," McCool said.
Jennifer Gette is a long time resident of Los Olivos and commutes to Santa Barbara multiple times a week via Highway 154. She said she is glad to hear more officers will be enforcing the law.
"I think that is necessary. I think that is a really good thing. I think we need more police presence up there. People ride your tail. People drive over the limit and it is very dangerous," Gette said.
The Buellton-area CHP also encourages residents to follow them on their Facebook page and leave public input. They say it is a great tool to keep communication lines open between the agency and the public.