Caltrans to Implement New Safety Measures for Highway 70

SR 70 Daylight Headlight section map.jpg

Daylight Headlight Section Among Improvements for Corridor in Yuba, Butte Counties 

Oroville, Ca.

Caltrans, the California Highway Patrol and local elected officials  announced a series of upcoming major safety measures, including establishment of a Daylight Headlight Section for a 22-mile stretch of State Highway 70 in Yuba and Butte counties.

These roadway improvements are part of a  mutli-agency campaign to increase public safety and reduce traffic collisons on a mostly two-lane stretch of Highway 70 between Oroville and Marysville. These steps will precede the start of construction of a series of safety construction projects coming up, including the start of work later this spring to add passing lanes in this area from Ophir Road and Palermo Road.

“We echo the public concerns about traffic safety along this corridor and stand committed to ensure the roadway stays safe for travel. Safety is our top 1 priority,” Caltrans District 3 Director Amarjeet S. Benipal said during a news conference in Oroville today.

Benipal was joined by officials from the Yuba-Sutter and Oroville CHP offices and Butte and Yuba counties in announcing the establishment of a Daylight Headlight Section on a 22-mile segment of Highway 70 between Laurellen Road north of Marysville and Ophir Road in Oroville. Motorists will be required to turn on their vehicle headlights during the day. Signs will go up as soon as good weather allows the ground to dry for the installation.

"From our experience, daylight headlight sections have been effective in increasing motorist safety on heavily traveled rural roadways,” Benipal said.

National and international studies have found that using headlights reduce daytime vehicle accidents from 5 to 15 percent. One study reported daytime headlight use reduced head-on fatal accidents by 5 percent while head-on fatalities involving passenger vehicles and motorcycles dropped by 23 percent, according to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis.

Other safety measures are:

  • Installation of solar-powered RADAR speed feedback signs this spring at five locations in Yuba and Butte counties. Some studies indicate drivers exceeding the speed limit will slow down 80 percent of the time.
  • Installation of three additional signs this spring alerting motorists that passing lanes are ahead between Cox Lane and Central House Road. These signs will alert motorists eager to pass slower moving vehicles there is a safe passing zone ahead.
  • Construction of additional rumble strips along the corridor this summer. Rumble strips are grooves or bumps in the pavement designed to alert motorists who are about to leave the roadway or cross the center of the highway. Studies show rumble strips on two-lane rural roads cut fatal accidents by 44 percent and head-on collisions by 42 percent.
  • Replacement of 4-inch pavement striping with 6-inch wide striping on a 9-mile segment of Highway 70 from Laurellen to the Yuba-Butte county line. This wider stripping provides motorists with a better view of the road in darkness or inclement weather such as rain or fog.

Caltrans District 3 is responsible for maintaining and operating 4,385 lane miles in 11 Sacramento Valley and Northern Sierra counties. For project updates, follow Caltrans District 3  on Twitter @CaltransDist3 and on Facebook at CaltransDistrict3. For real-time traffic, click on Caltrans QuickMap at: 

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