OJAI : CHP to Use Radar on California 33

Radar enforcement along California 33 to Ojai is expected to begin later this month, officials said, but it could take until June to install flashing beacons for crosswalks on the highway near Nordhoff High School.

The California Highway Patrol will begin clocking vehicle speeds as soon as the California Department of Transportation completes installation of radar warning signs along the highway, CHP Sgt. Matt DeMarco said.

Officers will give verbal warnings for the first 30 days and then will begin issuing citations for speeding, DeMarco said. The speed readings can be used as evidence in court.

The radar equipment, which monitors motorists moving in both directions, will be used along the six-mile stretch of California 33 between Foster Park and the city limits of Ojai, as well as the two-mile length of Villanova Road.

Manuel Mendoza, a Caltrans highway engineer, said the radar enforcement signs are scheduled to be installed Sept. 24.

However, the design contract for flashing beacons in front of the Ojai high school will not be awarded until December, Mendoza said, and installation could be as late as June.

After a nudge from state legislators last June, Caltrans agreed to install and pay the estimated $18,000 for two poles, signs and flashing warning lights to warn motorists to slow down and to stop for pedestrians using crosswalks.

Representatives from Caltrans and the Highway Patrol will meet Wednesday with members of the Highway 33 Improvement Committee to respond to safety concerns the committee raised at its meeting in May.

The committee, a citizens group established by county supervisors to recommend safety improvements for the highway, will hold the public meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the Oak View Community Center.

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