The California Highway Patrol is joining 10 other state highway patrol agencies nationwide in the I-80 Challenge, an eight-day campaign that aims to prevent fatalities on the 2,900 miles of Interstate 80 from California to New York.
Beginning Wednesday and continuing through July 31, highway patrol officers will step up traffic safety, enforcement and education efforts along I-80, according to a CHP news release.
The campaign was organized by the Iowa State Patrol after research identified an increase in traffic fatalities along Interstate 80 during the summer vacation period. Statistically, someone dies in a collision ever eight days on I-80 in California, officials said. Of those fatalities, 22 percent are speed related, 4 percent are attributed to distracted driving, 27 percent are alcohol related and 30 percent involve failure to wear a seat belt.
An analysis of Interstate 80 collision data from 2001 to 2011 across California reveals more than 77,842 collisions, or an average of 21.32 crashes each day, and more than 498 people killed during that time frame, according to the CHP.
During the campaign, the CHP will increase traffic safety operations to educate and, if necessary, cite drivers who violate traffic laws along the stretch of I-80 that begins in San Francisco, travels through Berkeley, Vallejo, Davis, Sacramento and Truckee to the Nevada state line.