Wednesday, July 18 , 2018, 6:42 pm | Mostly Cloudy 70º


Local News

New Ban Prohibits Vehicles with Hazardous Materials from Traveling on Highway 154

Authorities say the restriction is part of a proactive approach to preventing accidents and incidents along the thoroughfare

Vehicles carrying hazardous materials are now banned on Highway 154, an effort stemming from concerns over spills impacting Lake Cachuma, the region’s major water source.

Scott Howland, assistant chief of the California Highway Patrol’s Coastal Division, announced Monday that unless vehicles with hazardous materials placards are making a local delivery or pickup that can’t be accessed from another route, they cannot use Highway 154 between Highway 246 in the Santa Ynez Valley and Highway 101 in Santa Barbara. Authorities have already banned hazardous waste from being transported on that road.

Violating the ban is a misdemeanor with the possibility of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine, Howland said. He and other CHP officials are educating the industry so truckers are aware of the new restrictions.

CHP officer Jeremy Wayland said that looking through statistics, there haven’t been any hazmat spills on that road so far and the ban is more proactive.

Santa Barbara County Supervisors Doreen Farr and Janet Wolf had pushed for the ban since 2010 with help from Caltrans, the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments and CHP.

Wolf said residents are disturbed with the number of accidents and incidents on Highway 154, so authorities have been working on this ban and another regulation to prohibit big rigs from using that road, which is still in progress.

On Aug. 24, 2010, the driver of a truck hauling gravel was traveling from the Santa Ynez Valley to Ventura County and lost control of the brakes as he reached Santa Barbara. The driver, Joaquin Morales of Oxnard, navigated through the intersection of Highway 154 and State Street, but then barreled through a parking lot and into a family’s home at the end of a driveway, killing the three inside instantly.

Morales was sentenced to six months in jail, and Caltrans has posted signs recommending that all trucks take Highway 101 instead of Highway 154.

Officials said the biggest reasons for crashes on Highway 154 are speed, improper turning and passing, and driving under the influence, and the CHP still has its grant to focus on DUI enforcement.

From 2007 to 2009, there were 105 DUI collisions, 60 of which resulted in injuries or deaths. CHP is working with wineries and the public to encourage designated sober drivers, according to Howland.

“State Route 154 is a windy mountain roadway and needs to be driven as such,” he said.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >