Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
Safe driving a a major concern at Yosemite and other National Park. 27 bears were hit by cars this year at th park– one more than all of last year. Speeding and impaired driving were the major causes. Be aware – the NPS will be bringing out the big guns soon. In 2010, the National Park Service began a two-year high visibility enforcement impaired driving demonstration project in partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). High visibility enforcement (HVE) encourages general deterrence against impaired driving and influences the public’s behavior by increasing the perception that the risk of being caught is high and has serious consequences through frequent and highly visible enforcement efforts such as checkpoints and saturation patrols. In other words they will bust you in a highly visible manner with media coverage.
The model is being tested at Zion, Delaware Water Gap NRA and Great Smoky Mountain. The three participating parks are working in partnership with NHTSA as well as state highway safety offices, prosecutors, and local law enforcement agencies on training, community outreach, joint law enforcement operations, and media coverage. All of these efforts are aimed at improving visitor safety on park roadways and surrounding communities.
Rangers have contacted over 4,350 vehicle and motorcycle operators, issued over 280 citations and warnings for suspended licenses and for equipment, safety belt, open container of alcohol and other violations, and made 40 arrests during these enforcement efforts. Media coverage in each park has been high for these events, helping to inform both local residents and visitors of the enforcement efforts and consequences of impaired driving on park roadways. Upon competition of the tests and evaluation, odds are a similar program will roll west with good old Yosemite on the list. Slow down and keep the booze at home.
In other news.the Yosemite Conservancy Webcams have a new URL – bookmark this to see shots from Turtleback Dome, Sentinel Dome and the Ahwanee meadow. http://www.yosemiteconservancy.org/webcams
Unrelated thought worth quoting:“If you’re going to be thinking, you may as well think big.” – Donald Trump
*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com