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San Diego County, California

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Randy Walton
Randy Walton
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To Prevent Accidents Palomar Mountain Fire Chief Takes Action

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Every weekend it seems there is another automobile or motorcycle accident on Palomar Mountain. Just last Sunday a motorcyclist died, and the following day two cars crashed racing up the windy mountain road. The community now wants to do something about it.

Palomar Mountain Fire Chief George Lucia has asked the county’s road department to install a “rumble strip” – a passive traffic and speed control mechanism that involves cutting grooves into the pavement to cause a significant vibration to any cars or motorcycles that cross over the center line.

“I hope it will cause everybody to drive slower,” Lucia said.

Lucia’s volunteer department responds to an average of three serious injuries on the mountain’s two main roads each weekend. South Grade and East Grade roads have become magnets for motorcycle and sports car enthusiasts navigating the narrow, tight turns.

Lucia said that he thinks the actual number of accidents on an average weekend is between one dozen and two dozen, but that most people don’t want to report what happened, for fear of raising their insurance premiums.
“We only see the ones who are hurt too badly to get away,” he said.

“The valid complaints of motorcycle and auto racing day and night continue to flood my home telephone and even I can hear the racing from my home on Crestline Drive,” he wrote.

In 2005, Palomar Mountain residents formed a lobbying group to crackdown on speeding motorcycles and racing cars. In light of the recent number of accidents in the area, law enforcement efforts are not working. Kudos to Mr. Lucia and his supporters for taking matters into their own hands to curtail the accidents that have taken so many lives in recent years.

For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Car and Motorcycle Accidents.