Monthly Message from the City Manager Ken Striplin
What if I told you that there is an epidemic in our country that claims nine lives every day? What if I told you your teenager is the most susceptible? What if I told you that this epidemic is completely preventable? All these statements are true, and the epidemic is distracted driving.
It takes only three seconds for a crash to occur when a driver’s attention is diverted from the road. Think about how often you are guilty of switching the radio, looking for something in your purse, or worse, picking up your cell phone.
Using your cell phone while you are driving is against the law in California, and is punishable by a fine of hundreds of dollars – yet people still do it. In a recent traffic safety operation conducted by our Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, deputies issued 67 citations in one afternoon. The majority of those citations went to drivers who were using their cell phones behind the wheel. The best choice is to wait to use your phone until after you’ve gotten out of your car – the fine and the potential for an accident that can cause injuries or death are simply not worth it.
Combatting distracted driving falls into the Education and Enforcement portions of our “Three E’s” approach to traffic safety, with the third E being Engineering. I am happy to say that our award-winning “Heads Up” campaign continues to be effective in reminding pedestrians and drivers to disconnect from distractions. This campaign, in correlation with Sheriff’s operations, is driving down the number of accidents in Santa Clarita.
The collision rate thus far in 2018 is already tracking well below last year’s numbers. The total number of collisions is currently down 12 percent, the number of injury collisions is down six percent and the number of bike collisions is down 10 percent.
Let’s all commit to keeping this downward trend going and keeping our roads safe for all who use them. For more on the City’s Heads Up campaign please visit www.Santa-Clarita.com/HeadsUp.
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