The Point: Speed limit is 55 mph

Sheesh – slow down! If you speed in the Route 60 Truck Lanes construction zone between Beaumont and Moreno Valley, there’s a good chance of seeing flashing red and blue lights in your rearview mirror, due to newly enhanced California Highway Patrol enforcement in this area.

The CHP San Gorgonio Pass Office is dedicating additional resources for speed enforcement to enhance the safety of motorists and RCTC’s construction crews. In the first two weeks of the enhanced enforcement effort, officers gave 177 citations and two verbal warnings to motorists who were putting the pedal to the metal. The speed limit in the construction zone is 55 mph.

“The San Gorgonio Pass California Highway Patrol consistently strives to maintain motorist safety and reduce injuries and deaths that occur within our jurisdiction,” said Captain Mike Alvarez, Commander of the San Gorgonio Pass CHP office. “The Route 60 Truck Lanes Project will greatly improve our transportation infrastructure, and we are committed to maintaining the safety of our community throughout the duration of the project,” Alvarez said. “As always, we are proud to partner with the Riverside County Transportation Commission to accomplish this goal through strategic collaboration and enhanced enforcement and education.”

The CHP and RCTC began seeing an uptick in speeding and collisions after RCTC shifted vehicles to the newly paved westbound lanes on August 9. In the weeks following this traffic shift, 13 collisions occurred in the project area – 11 in the westbound lanes and two in the eastbound lanes – primarily due to excessive speed. Of these collisions, two vehicles rolled over the median barrier where crews were working.

The agencies recognized the growing problem and met to discuss ways to improve safety using the CHP’s Triple-E approach – engineering, education, and enforcement.

RCTC flattened the outer shoulder slope and added two feet of asphalt paving to the shoulder for motorists who may drift off the road and created cutout areas for CHP units to safely pull over motorists. The CHP also will be adding speed detection signs to educate motorists of their travel speeds.

“This is a safety project, and it is essential that drivers slow down,” said RCTC Chair and Wildomar City Council Member Ben J. Benoit. “Speeding drivers and rollover incidents are placing our crews at risk and causing danger on the road,” he said. “Don’t risk your lives and the lives of others just to save a few minutes of time.”

Crews are continuing construction of the Route 60 Truck Lanes, with a focus on work in the median. The project, which is adding truck lanes in both directions, wider shoulders and medians, and wildlife crossings, is about 42 percent complete and is expected to open in 2022.