New stop sign headed for south of Tulare

Ben Irwin

Avenue 196 and I Street intersection to be a one-way stop

TULARE – A new stop sign is coming to the Avenue 196 and I Street intersection, approved unanimously at a Nov. 3 Tulare County Board of Supervisors meeting.

The currently uncontrolled intersection, south of the City of Tulare, will become a one-way stop controlled intersection, with eastbound traffic stopping on Avenue 196 at the diagonal intersection of I Street. Both roads have a speed limit of 55 mph.

The decision came after concerns regarding traffic safety sparked a Tulare County Resource Management Agency investigation into the intersection.

The U.S. Department of Transportation notes the challenges rural road safety faces: crashes are more likely to be at high speeds, and emergency services generally take longer to get to the scene of a crash than in urban settings. In 2017, there were 2876 victims killed or injured in car crashes in Tulare County, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety.

A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Agency said using 2015 data, the rate of fatal traffic crashes was 2.6 times higher in rural areas than in urban areas.

Failing to stop at stop signs has contributed to multiple traffic injuries and fatalities in the area this year. An accident in March left three injured—including a 2-year-old boy and a 10-year old girl—in Visalia after the driver ran a stop sign and skidded into a school bus full of kids. In May, two women from Visalia and another from Lindsay sustained fatal injuries after blowing through a stop sign, slamming into an olive tree south of Exeter.

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