Goose egg, slang for zero, was an evident goal Friday as law enforcement went after speeders on U.S. Highway 50 driving into Carson City.
“We’re here doing zero tolerance,” Trooper Dan Lopez said during a break from spotting multiple speeding drivers with a laser device so law enforcement colleagues could pull them over to issue citations. At least a dozen officers from the Nevada Highway Patrol and the Lyon and Carson City sheriffs’ offices took on the task during the morning commute.
It was part of stepped-up enforcement, at least through Aug. 12, and other efforts to combat injury and fatality crashes in western Lyon County and east Carson City. Five have died in two crashes since mid-June. More than 500 were injured since 2008. In just over 5 1/2 years, 26 lives were claimed on the Lyon County/Carson City stretch of U.S. 50.
Lopez said no warnings were issued to speeders Friday, only full citations.
“Our goal today: educate the public and slow traffic down,” he said.
The shoulder along the westbound lanes of the highway was lined with stopped cars and cruisers, emergency lights flashing, as troopers and sheriffs’ deputies wrote up the citations west of Drako Way on the hill, emerging from Mound House and the Lyon County line, down past Deer Run Road in Carson City.
The zero-tolerance policy is part of what Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong calls “Zero Fatalities/Zero Excuses,” his crusade to stop the carnage via increased enforcement and other initiatives, among them safety improvements along the route. Lopez took note of that part of the initiative as well.
“NDOT is doing a safety study through this corridor,” he said as he headed back to use his laser device to detect more speeders. He said the device, called a LIDAR, “actually pinpoints individual vehicles.” NHP colleagues relayed by radio to other officers in cruisers which vehicles to halt.
Also at the Drako Way intersection coordinating with the troopers was Carson City Undersheriff Steve Albertsen, who took a positive view of the morning’s work. “It’s going good,” he said. “We’ve got some more units coming up now.” He said one of the goals is to get the word out about dangers along U.S. 50 in the area.
Also on hand were reporters, who had been invited to help get that word out, as well as an area businessman. Cary Richardson, vice president of business operations at Miles Construction, said he wanted to see safety designs on the roadway implemented.
“This type of action doesn’t really address the safety issue,” he said. He added that NDOT should put in previously designed safety changes, or at least temporary safety design changes that would lower the accident toll. Among the ideas he preferred were a median and a frontage road.