Apr 16, 2012 11:12 PM by Shawn Kline
Traffic crashes in Eunice are up 32%. Police Chief Ronald Dies says road improvements could be to blame and drivers have to "learn" their stripes before hitting the pavement on Highway 190.
"We've been having accidents." Chief Dies says, "where a mirror has been hitting another mirror."
That's just how close some of the lanes on Highway 190 are.
"(Drivers) are not paying as close attention to their driving ," Chief Dies said. "They're making contact with vehicles next to them."
The lanes on Highway 190 through are noticeably smaller. The Department of Transportation added a turn lane earlier this year to help relieve traffic but police say it's also adding to the number of crashes.
"the (drivers) pretty much forget where they are and cross over (lanes)," Dies said.
The "old" center line can still be seen between the new re-striped turning lane. The road however, wasn't widened to accommodate the new lane.
"(Drivers) think it's the same old lane they had before," Dies said. "It's not."
Each lane was shortened by about a foot. Now, confusion:
Left hand turns from the passing lane or driving too close to a tractor trailer, sometimes taking up the entire lane.
"You can go out and touch it," Dies said about a passing truck.
Chief Dies says drivers still aren't used to the new lanes but just paying attention can go a long way.
"If they can just slow down and be more cautious, we should see a reduction in accidents in the City of Eunice," he said.