Caltrans: Highway 18 Closure Hours for Hwy. 18 Winter Preparations

Caltrans logoOctober 2-If you’re heading to or from Big Bear via Hwy. 18 you need to know that the some changes have been made by Caltrans relating to their extensive work on Hwy. 18 in the “Arctic Circle.”

The work will now be done Monday through Friday, October 12 to October 29 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The closure will be between Snow Valley Mountain Resort and the Big Bear Dam. Due to the scope of the work and the safety considerations, as well as additional planned work, the closure will now take place during daytime hours. Clearing boulders off steep cliffs that abut the highway cannot safely be done during the night hours so it is important for the safety of all Caltrans workers in the area that some of these improvements be done in the daylight hours.

Caltrans will also complete annual routine maintenance in order to prepare for winter. This work  will include rock scaling, clearing turnouts and drains, guardrail maintenance and they will paint the recessed “fog lines” on the newly-paved section.

Motorists are advised to use State Route (Hwy.) 38 as an alternate route to Big Bear.

CHP Offering Free “Start Smart” Driving Program for Teens and their Parents in Running Springs

"The Line Up"-Five or six of the California Highway Patrol squad cars were lined up along the embankment on the side of the Hwy. 18 station so the parking lot was free to house a small car show and bounce house for the children.
“The Line Up”-Five or six of the California Highway Patrol squad cars were lined up along the embankment on the side of the Hwy. 18 station so the parking lot was free to house a small car show and bounce house for the children.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Office of Traffic Safety over 68,000 teens have died in car crashes in the last decade. To help teens get a good start behind the wheel the California Highway Patrol, teenagers and their parents or guardians can take part in the Start-Smart program.

The goal of the class is to help young drivers and their parents understand the responsibilities associated with driving a motor vehicle. The class will also show how poor choices behind the wheel can change the lives of everyone involved. The purpose of this program is to reduce the number of teen-related injuries and deaths due to collisions,

On Saturday, November 19 at 4:30 p.m. the California Highway Patrol (CHP) will be presenting a Start Smart Class in Running Springs.  The location is Calvary Chapel Running Springs at 31575 Hwy. 18 in “downtown Running Springs.” There is no cost for attending the class. Parents and new drivers interested in attending the class need to RSVP with CHP Officer Quintero or Officer Rodman by September 18. To RSVP call (909) 867-2791.  Space is limited to the first 25 students and parents. Additional classes will be scheduled as needed.

This class has the opportunity to help teens get on the right track with driving and it could, ultimately, prove to be a life saver.






Underage Drinking and Driving: A Recipe for Disaster!

With graduations right around the corner the Rim Communities for Youth has suggestions to make sure that graduates and their friends arrive safely at their graduation ceremony and the rest of their life.

Not only are underage drinking parties a concern for those with minor children, they impact neighborhoods through noise and vandalism, they become a drain on tax dollars and they result in longer wait times for police and emergency services on other important calls.

Real harm can come from binge and underage drinking. For students, the result of binge drinking can include scholastic difficulties, personal injury, sexual assault, unintended sex and unwanted pregnancies. Community problems include car crashes, vandalism, crime, fights, a drain on public services and lost public tax revenue.

The Rim Communities for Youth Coalition is undertaking this effort as part of Communities United, a countywide network of community coalitions and its coordinated campaign to curb youth access to alcohol.  Communities United chose the slogan, “Report Underage Drinking: Savings Lives has never Been Easier.” The focus of this campaign is to prevent problems related to underage drinking.

Sixty-seven percent of 11th graders say it is either “very easy” or “fairly easy” for them to obtain alcohol. Seventy-three percent of underage offenders report that they got alcohol from a residence and over half said it was from a house party. (These statistics came from verified series of youth throughout the state.)

In 2012, 67 people lost their lives in alcohol-related traffic crashes in San Bernardino County alone according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Each year approximately 5,000 youth  under the age of 21 die nationally as a result of underage drinking. In 2010, there were approximately 189,000 emergency room visits by people under the age of 21 whose injuries were related to alcohol.

“They are just beginning their lives. Don’t let them ruin it by drinking alcohol underage. The consequences can impact their lives and future greatly and have dire effects,” warns local Sheriff Public Information Officer Gilbert Flores.

According to the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Study, high school students reported that in the last 30 days, 35 percent drank some amount of alcohol and 21 percent “binge drank.” Another part of the survey showed that 10 percent of those who had driven drove after drinking alcohol and 22 percent rode with a driver who had been drinking. California Highway Patrol Arrowhead Area Information Officer Juan Quintero said, “During this prom and graduation season, the Highway Patrol encourages drivers to not drink and drive”.

In an effort to eliminate alcohol and substance abuse by youth, the mission of the Rim Communities for Youth Coalition is to promote positive life choices within the Rim Communities. If you would like to join this effort or need more information about the coalition and its activities call Rim Family Services at (909) 336-1800. You can also “Like” the Rim Communities for Youth on their Facebook page.



Arrowhead CHP To Conduct “Maximum Enforcement Operation” on Hwy. 18 May 23 and 24

California_Highway_Patrol_patchCan you imagine how many motorcycle collisions happened in 2013? Well, thanks to the California Highway Patrol I can tell you and it doesn’t paint a pretty picture.

Last year there were 475 motorcycle fatalities and 13,143 injured victims. The previous year 467 people were killed and 12,617  motorcyclists made up 14 percent of ALL vehicle-related fatalities in 2013.

Surviving the ride must be foremost in the mind of every motorcyclist. This means taking a motorcycle safety course, wearing the proper gear, using a Department of Transportation compliant helmet and staying alert ,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow advises. “Every vehicle has its place on the road, but motorcyclists face additional dangers because their vehicles  require exceptional ability and are more difficult to see.”

During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and throughout the year, all road users are reminded to safely “share the road” with motorcyclists and to be extra alert to keep motorcyclists safe. That message is most important in California which is home to more than 830,000 registered motorcycles….the most of any state and more than 1.4 million motorcycle riders.

The CHP passes along the following safety reminders for motorcyclists:

* Wear the proper safety gear at all times, including a DOT complaint helmet;

* Obey the speed limit because excess speed is the most common rider-related factor in motorcycle crashes;

* Don’t drink and drive…..DUI is a leading cause of motorcycle crashes;

* Ride defensively–assume other drivers don’t see you;

* Survive the Ride!

The Arrowhead Area CHP officers will be conducting a Maximum Enforcement Operation on Hwy. 18 on May 23 and 24. This program is partly funded by their “Have a good ride Grant.”


CHP and Sheriff’s Department Hosting “Social Media” Seminar: All Parents Should Go!

Arrowhead Area CHP Commander Tyler encourages parents to attend this very important meeting that affects youth and families.
Arrowhead Area CHP Commander Tyler encourages parents to attend this very important meeting that affects youth and families.

Parents! Save April 29 at 6 p.m. and be at the Rim High School Performing Arts Center for  what is sure to be an eye-opening look at cyber bulling and sexting seminar that is being coordinated by the CHP Arrowhead Area and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Twin Peaks station.

This seminar will be highly informative and it will be filled with information that parents MUST know regarding the use of social media, cyber bullying and sexting.

If you have children that have access to social media and/or wireless devices, you are highly encouraged to attend. The seminar is free and space is limited.

Parents should RSVP to Rim of the World High School at (909) 336-2038, extension 243 or 215.

Topics such as parent’s  responsibilities regarding their children’s use of social media, cyber bullying, improper use of wireless devices (sexting) and the consequences associated with these illegal activities will be the focus of this community event.

Through the past decade many of these “social media” issues have exploded into problems for large and small communities. Parents need to be aware that their children are in danger of being indoctrinated by people who are using them.

See you at this important meeting but do be prepared to be shocked! I was and so were a lot of other people, when the first of these events was held last year. I encourage you to give yourself enough time to get to the high school so you’ve got a seat. Last year’s event was a big success so if you’re late you may not get a seat.

How Aware Are You When You’re Behind the Wheel?

corvetteBet you didn’t know that April is California Distracted Driver Awareness Month?  This month the Arrowhead CHP Area office in Running Springs will be conducting a campaign with enforcement efforts on distracted driver violations during the month of April. Officers will pay special attention to the statewide focus days of April 1 and April 15.

In 2013, the California Department of Motor Vehicles reported over 426,000 hand-held cell phone and texting convictions, with more than 57,000 tickets issued in April alone. (California DMV and the California Office of Traffic Safety.)

In 2014, 61 percent of California drivers surveyed said they had been hit or nearly hit by a cell phone and texting convictions, with more than 57,000 tickets issued in April alone.

In 2014, nearly 40 percent of California who were surveyed thought texting or talking on a cell phone while driving posed the biggest safety problem on California’s highways.

In 2014, more than 50 percent of Californians surveyed said texting while driving is the most serious distraction for drivers.

In 2014, nearly 53 percent of drivers admitted to making a driving mistake while talking on a cell phone.

All of these shocking and terrifying statistics came from the California Traffic Safety Survey. If, as a driver, you do any of the above-mentioned actions while driving hopefully these statistics will help change your mind. Remember, horrific accidents don’t just happen “to somebody else.”

Joan: Thank you to the Arrowhead Area CHP office for this important driving information!





County Supervisors and CalTrans Prepare for Snow in Mountain Areas

Caltrans logoThe California Department of transportation (Caltrans) district 8 partnered with San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors and various agencies this morning to host a press conference to present information to provide safety tips and to prepare motorists for traveling to the mountains during snow events.

“Big Bear Valley is a hot spot for recreational activities. For visitors to enjoy the beauty of the San Bernardino mountains we ask them to please come prepared for the changing weather conditions,” said Board of Supervisors chairman James Ramos. “Not doing so results in unnecessary burdens to first responders and traffic delays for travelers going to the Big Bear valley,” he said.

“This is a good example of local and state agencies working together. We very much appreciate the visitors who come to play in the snow and ski in Wrightwood. But sadly, some folks are trashing the community, parking illegally, trespassing on private property, littering and even going to the bathroom on residents’ property. So we will be beefing up enforcement actions. Visitors are welcome, but those who trash our community are not,” said San Bernardino County vice-chairman Robert Lovingood

San Bernardino County Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford agreed “We welcome visitors to enjoy the snow in our wonderful mountain communities, but they shouldn’t spoil their visit by not being prepared. Bring and use chains, carry extra clothes, food and water; and please respect our forest and those who call it home by picking up your trash and not trespassing on private property.”

The California Highway Patrol, San Bernardino County Sheriff, San Bernardino County Fire, United States Forest Service, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal-Fire) and the San Bernardino Public Works Department joined Caltrans district Director Basem Muallem to encourage safe driving on mountain highways during snow events.

Here are some additional helpful tips offered by officials:

!. Know before you go! Check weather conditions and road closures at: Make sure your car is in good running condition and that you have a full tank of gas before you go to the mountains. Check tire pressure, windshield wipers and vehicle fluids.

2. Have a charged cell phone for emergency use.

3. Be advised that unforseen weather can cause traffic delays and road closures without notice. Have patience, be courteous, reduce your speed and leave more space between vehicles.

4. Do not enjoy snow play in, or next to, roadways, private property or undesignated areas. Bring trash bags to  to stash your trash….never leave it behind!

5. Do not block traffic to install snow chains or play in the snow.

6. Bring Chains! Chains will be required to travel on mountain roads during snow events. Keep chains in your vehicle at all times when you travel to the mountains during winter months….when when chain control is not active. Only chain up your vehicle in designated chain control areas.

7. The mountains can be (and are) a  great place to spend time during winter months for family fun and recreation. Motorists should prepare for unforseen events and changes in weather that can cause immediate road closures or extended periods in your vehicle on the highway. Plan your trip ahead of time, know your destination and pick up maps at Ranger Stations for designated snow play areas.

Winter weekends bring heavy mountain traffic so have patience and follow all traffic laws. Following these simple tips can make the difference between life and death in some situations….and they will definitely add to making your trip a pleasant one!

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