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UPDATE: Traffic backs up on local freeway lanes on highly traveled day

Posted: November 21, 2012 12:12 p.m.
Updated: November 21, 2012 5:05 p.m.

South bound holiday traffic, left, creeps along as the north bound moves steadily on the Interstate-5 as viewed from the Lyons Avenue overpass in Newhall looking north on Wednesday evening. (Dan Watson/The Signal)

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Southbound traffic was backed up through the Newhall Pass, the 405 was at a crawl and surface-street traffic in the Santa Clarita Valley was slow late Wednesday afternoon, dubbed one of the most heavily traveled days of the year.

Three people were injured and one of them was taken to the hospital in a two-car collision on Sierra Highway at Red Rover Mine Road in Acton. The collision occurred around 10:30 a.m.

The Old Road, which becomes San Fernando Road below the Santa Clarita Valley, was backed up in both directions all afternoon, with a SigAlert issued for the southern stretch.

But delay was due to road construction, not necessarily heavy traffic.

One motorist reported it took two hours and 45 minutes to get from Reseda to Valencia on Wednesday late afternoon.

Law enforcement officials reported traffic flowing well on local freeways through the early afternoon, but things changed rapidly as the sun sank on Thanksgiving eve.

California Highway Patrol officers were gearing up for the agency’s “maximum enforcement period” beginning at 6 p.m. today and continuing through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, CHP spokesman John Lutz said.

The focus, as always, is enforcing impaired-driving laws, speed limits and seat belt requirements, Lutz said.
Both last year and in 2010, 26 people were arrested for drunken driving during the Thanksgiving maximum enforcement period in the Newhall Station patrol area, he said.

No DUI-related fatalities were reported in the 674-square-mile area, he added.

Last year, the CHP made 1,475 arrests statewide for driving under the influence during the holiday period.





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