Broken parts may be left behind for a while after a freeway collision – Orange County Register

Q I drive both the 60 and 10 freeways through the San Gabriel Valley. Why do I regularly see so many crash remnants on the inside median and on the shoulder? This includes front bumpers (with license plate attached) and various parts. This is not unique to these freeways, I see this on other Southern California freeways as well. Tow trucks used to have to carry a broom, shovel and bucket to clean up collision debris before leaving the scene of an accident. What has changed?

– Neil Schroepfer, La Puente

A Tow trucks still carry these things, Neil, and also sand to soak up liquids.

In a collision on the freeway, of course, a tow truck driver often comes along. Maybe the driver called it, or a California Highway Patrol officer requested one that contracts with the state.

“They will clean up as much as possible,” he said Joseph Davila, a CHP spokesman and officer at the Baldwin Park station building that patrols the routes you mention. “Most of the time, the remains end up in the tows.”

If the parts don’t fit on the tow truck or otherwise don’t end up there, an officer tosses or drags them to a safe location on either side of the freeway.

If the cop believes the item cannot cause a problem, it is left there until a Caltrans crew goes on their normal patrol. If the part could in any way be dangerous to motorists, the CHP calls Caltrans and asks for immediate removal.

eric menjivar, A Caltrans spokesman said there are various locations where the stuff is taken and vehicle owners have 30 days to pick up the remains from Caltrans or they will be disposed of.

In terms of how often a scheduled Caltrans crew goes there, “At least once a month we run a sweeper in those areas,” Menjivar said.

A sweep crew usually consists of: a pickup truck up front, with the driver hoping to grab smaller debris like tires; a larger truck follows, perhaps with a shovel that can snag larger items, say a couch; then a street sweeper; and finally a vehicle with a large safety cushion to the rear in case a misguided motorist runs into the sweeping crew.

Has the procedure changed recently?


Honk and Officer Davila came to the same conclusion – maybe you’re just seeing evidence of more falls out there in the asphalt jungle. Broken parts may be left behind for a while after a freeway collision – Orange County Register

Grace Reader

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