COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. -- A notorious road near Cottage Grove will soon become a safety corridor to help combat fatal and serious-injury crashes.
The first seven miles of London Road from Latham Road to Cottage Grove Reservoir Road will be designated a safety corridor for two years starting on July 4. The Lane County Board of Commissioners approved the designation during a meeting on Tuesday.
As a result, signs will go up letting people know that traffic fines along the popular route to Cottage Grove Lake are doubled. The Lane County Sheriff’s Office will also increase patrols.
Between 2014 and 2018, county data shows three fatal crashes and three severe-injury crashes on the seven-mile corridor. All six involved drunk driving.
Bob Green, who lives on London Road, recalls about ten fatal crashes in the 23 years he’s lived next to the street. One of the cars involved in a fatal crash even ended up overturned in his yard.
“One fatality ended up right against those two trees. Right around the corner, there was two or three [other] fatalities,” Green said. “Sometimes you take your life in your hands leaving your driveway to get out on the road.”
Green said he’d also like to see the speed limit lowered to 45 miles per hour.
The safety corridor designation is a first-of-its-kind for a county-owned road in Lane County. Normally, the designation is reserved for certain sections of state highways.
Officials said the London Road Safety Corridor is a trial run and could be expanded to more county roads in the future.
Jennifer Hanke, who lives near London Road, also welcomed the change.
“It's a scary road to drive. I won't let my son ride his bike on that road. Which is sad because we live just like three minutes from the lake…But no, you just never know when something's going to happen. It's curvy. And people go fast," Hanke said.
The doubled fines apply to the following:
- Class A or Class B traffic violations
- Class C or Class D traffic violations related to exceeding a legal speed
- Reckless driving, as defined in ORS 811.140
- Driving while under the influence of intoxicants
- Failure to perform the duties of a driver involved in an accident or collision
- Criminal driving while suspended or revoked
- Fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer