Public records search by ECM finds 1,805 accidents, including 20 fatalities and 673 injuries from 2018 to the present
By Miriam Raftery
October 12, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) – On Sept. 27, the La Mesa City Council voted 4-1 to ask staff to prepare a request for proposals to erect electronic billboards along Interstate 8 and potentially, other areas in the city, with only Councilman Jack Shu voting against the proposal. Shu and other opponents argued that these could distract drivers, particularly near the interchange of I-8 and State Route 125.
How dangerous is that area already?
To find out, East County Magazine obtained public records from California Highway Patrol. We requested data on accidents along I-8 east and west throughout the city of La Mesa from Lake Murray Blvd. on the west to Chase Ave. in El Cajon, since one billboard site would be near the La Mesa/El Cajon boundary. We also asked for data on accidents on onramps connecting I-8 and SR 125.
The data reveals that from Jan. 1, 2018 to Oct. 10, 2023, there were 1,805 accidents in those locations.
Those accidents resulted in 20 fatalities and 673 injuries.
The vast majority of those occurred on I-8. On I-8 west alone, there were 1,000 crashes, resulting in 5 fatalities and 383 injuries. On I-8 east, there 642 crashes, including 8 fatalities and 233 injuries.
Don Wood, a vocal opponent of the proposed e-billboards, told ECM, “I’m not surprised,” by this data. He added, “There are numerous lane changes in the vicinity merging in that section…so it’s not surprising that we would have many accidents in that stretch. Adding flashing digital billboards showing thousands of different advertisements daily would only add to the confusion and distraction. This is San Diego, where we have a lot of drivers who are drunk, drugged and distracted.”
Read the full article online at eastcountymagazine.org/how-dangerous-area-where-la-mesa-seeks-erect-digital-billboards.
Scenic San Diego is an all-volunteer coalition of concerned citizens and organizations who favor strong sign ordinances and oppose billboards and other advertising sign proliferation.