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CHP hopes to improve safety on Highways 74 and 243

Highways 74 and 243 in the Coachella Valley are known for being dangerous.

Highway 74, also called the Palms to Pines Highway, is a winding 50-mile stretch of road that weaves through the Santa Rosa Mountains. At times, drivers follow a narrow road at the edge of the mountain.

Highway 243 connects Interstate 10 in Banning to Highway 74 in Idyllwild. It also has dangerous bends and curves in its 30-mile stretch.

There were 16 people killed and 537 people injured in motor vehicle accidents on Highway 74 between 2009 and 2013. There were two people killed and 121 injured during the same time period on Highway 243.

After two fatal accidents in February, the California Highway Patrol is seeking to improve safety on both of the roadways.

The CHP has asked both routes to be designated as State Safety Corridors, which would expedite efforts to obtain funding for improvements and increased traffic enforcement.

Apparently, CHP officials have been considering asking for the state safety corridor designation for a while now, but it was February’s fatalities that convinced them to finally act.

The family of an experienced motorcyclist who was killed in one of the accidents when motorcycle lost control at a curve on Highway 74 is hoping that officials are successful at getting safety improvements made.

"If we don't change things, it will continue and continue and continue," the motorcyclist’s wife said in an interview.

The state and local municipalities have a duty to design and maintain safe roads for public use. When a road is determined to be dangerous, they have a duty to make repairs to improve safety.

When the state and/or local municipalities fail to act, they can sometimes be held liable for serious accidents in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. Keep reading for more information on holding negligent parties accountable for dangerous roads. 

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