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Traffic all over SCV, SoCal slows down before holiday

Thanksgiving travel begins

Posted: November 22, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 22, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Southbound traffic, left, creeps along as the northbound moves steadily on the Interstate 5 as viewed from the Lyons Avenue overpass in Newhall looking north on Wednesday.

Three people were injured in a two-vehicle collision Wednesday as cars choked the roads on one of the most heavily traveled days of the year.

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.

In Acton, a collision between two vehicles at the intersection of Red Rover Mine Road and Sierra Highway injured three people, including an 8-year-old child who was taken to Antelope Valley Hospital.

The child suffered major head trauma in the 10:30 a.m. crash, which involved a Jeep and a Ford, California Highway Patrol officials said. The lone occupant of the Ford was unharmed.

Law enforcement officials reported traffic was moving well throughout the Santa Clarita Valley until Wednesday afternoon. But then, the jams began.

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

The delay was due to road construction.

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

Those who headed elsewhere to enjoy their turkey will likely find similar rough going on the trip home. While the day before Thanksgiving is considered a heavily traveled day, the Sunday afterward is the most traveled day of the entire year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The California Highway Patrol was ready for the onslaught of drivers. Wednesday at 6 p.m. began its “maximum enforcement period,” which continues until 11:59 p.m. Sunday, CHP spokesman John Lutz said.

During its maximum enforcement period, the agency puts as many units as it can on the state’s highways and freeways. The focus this year, as always, is enforcing impaired-driving laws, speed limits and seat belt requirements with the goal of keeping motorists safe, Lutz said.

During each of the past two Thanksgiving crackdown periods, 26 people were arrested for drunken driving in the Newhall Station patrol area, he said.

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

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


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