By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Traffic grant aims to make Turlock streets safer
Olive and Wayside pic2
The City of Turlock recently made the intersection at Wayside Drive and N. Olive Avenue a four-way stop. Its hoped the new stop signs will decrease collisions at the intersection. - photo by KRISTINA HACKER/The Journal

Twenty-year old Miranda Rodriquez was doing everything she was supposed to do when she attempted to cross N. Olive Avenue. She looked both ways and was using the crosswalk at the Wayside and Olive intersection, and yet was still struck by an oncoming car.

The Oct. 13 collision left Rodriquez with a broken leg, a break in her shoulder blade, and numerous cuts and scrapes and an extended hospital stay.

An investigation determined the 37-year-old driver was at fault. Her name was not released by the Turlock Police Department, but she has been issued a citation for failure to yield to a pedestrian, said department spokesperson Officer Mayra Lewis.

Since the collision the intersection has been made into a four-way stop .

It is collisions like the one that injured Rodriquez that the Turlock Police Department hopes to put the brakes on with a new grant for traffic enforcement and crash prevention.

The California Office of Traffic Safety awarded the Turlock Police Department a $69,000 grant for a year-long program of special enforcements and public awareness efforts to prevent traffic related deaths and injuries.

“We are thankful to the California Office of Traffic Safety for their partnership with Turlock and financial support to better address traffic safety issues in our community. This funding will be put to good use in to help create a safer Turlock” said Turlock Police Chief, Robert Jackson. 

Turlock had been seeing a steady decline in traffic related fatalities and injuries from 2006 to 2010, but then the numbers started to rise. In 2014, there were 827 reportable collisions in Turlock, which was a 15 percent increase from 2013. Of those, 281 resulted in injuries and there were eight collisions that resulted in 10 fatalities, including a family of three killed by a suspected drunk driver while out for an evening stroll.

The Turlock Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit issued 639 citations in 2014, according to the department’s annual report.

In the investigation of these collisions, the police department cited distracted driving and the emergence of drug-impaired driving as a major problem.

“Overall, California’s roadways are among the safest in the nation,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “But to meet future mobility, safety, and accessible transportation objectives, we have to reverse this recent trend in order to reach our common goal – zero deaths on our roadways. The Office of Traffic Safety and the Turlock Police Department want to work with everyone to create a culture of traffic safety across Turlock and the state.” 

The police department has plans to use the grant to fund: Educational presentations; DUI checkpoints; DUI saturation patrols; Motorcycle safety enforcement; Distracted driving enforcement; Seat belt and child safety seat enforcement; Bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement; Speed, red light, and stop sign enforcement; Warrant service operations targeting multiple DUI offenders; Compilation of DUI “Hot Sheets,” identifying worst-of-the-worst DUI offenders; and Specialized DUI and drugged driving training.