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HesperiaStar.com
  • Hesperia raises speed limits on Bear Valley Road

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  • HESPERIA — The Hesperia City Council unanimously approved a resolution to increase the speed limit on two sections of Bear Valley Road on Tuesday, just 24 hours after a speed-related fatal collision on the thoroughfare the city shares with Victorville.
    While the timing may appear ironic, the decision is the result of a speed survey conducted by a consulting firm in February with the aim of improving traffic flow and creating consistent speed limits.   
    With Councilman Mike Leonard absent, the council voted 4-0 to OK raising the speed limits on Bear Valley Road between Cottonwood Avenue and Cypress Avenue from 40 miles per hour to 50 mph, and between Second Avenue and Apatite Avenue from 45 mph to 50 mph.
    The changes will not go into effect immediately, as Hesperia staff plans to coordinate the changes with Victorville officials.
    The agenda item came coincidentally a day after San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner officials said speed was a factor in the death of 32-year-old Jason Allec of Apple Valley, who died at Desert Valley Hospital after his Honda Civic collided with the back of another vehicle on Bear Valley Road.
    The agenda item prompted a flurry of questions from the council. Members questioned the uniformity of the speed limit on the Hesperia and Victorville sides of Bear Valley Road, and the issue of Victorville’s red light cameras, which was not part of the resolution.
    Much of the north (westbound) side of Bear Valley Road is in Victorville, while much of the south (eastbound) side is under Hesperia’s jurisdiction.
    “I think it would be a disaster if we had independent speed limits in different directions,” Mayor Pro Tem Eric Schmidt said. “How do we accomplish that with Victorville?”
    Victorville officials are also seeking input and concurrence to update the speed limits along Bear Valley Road to be consistent with this most recent speed survey. Hesperia city staff said they will get back with the council on the coordination of speed limits on both sides of Bear Valley Road.
    Referencing the fatal Labor Day collision, Mayor Thurston “Smitty” Smith said he’d like to see “a couple of motorcycle cops on the Hesperia side of the road” to keep drivers moving at a safe speed.
    Sheriff’s officials said witnesses reported that Allec was speeding before his car collided with the back of a 2008 silver Saturn Vue. Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Doug Hubbard said Allec hit the Saturn at over 80 mph.
    Victorville made an agreement with Hesperia to maintain the traffic signals along the Bear Valley Road corridor. As part of the agreement, speed surveys are conducted every five years to determine the enforceability of the posted speed limits on Bear Valley Road.
    Hesperia staff recently received copies of February’s speed survey conducted by Counts Unlimited Inc. The survey counts were conducted using a certified radar gun in keeping with the guidelines outlined in the agreement.
    The Hesperia City Council has adopted a policy to regulate the establishment of speed zones in the city. Speed zones provide motorists, police and traffic courts with clear, understandable guidelines for reasonable and consistent speed limits that will facilitate the orderly flow of traffic under normal conditions.
    Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227, RDeLa Cruz@VVDailyPress.com or on Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz.
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