Our recent community survey showed that enforcing traffic rules is important to many residents. As it is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, I’d like to let you know what we’re doing about distracted driving and other challenges.
The city has a unit of Public Safety Officers focused on traffic enforcement. They have been working to increase drivers’ awareness of pedestrians, rules of the road and the importance of not driving distracted. Law enforcement officers throughout the state are making similar efforts.
Sergeant Jerrod Marshall leads our traffic unit and reminds drivers that driving distracted can have life-altering consequences. “That text or phone call will never be worth losing your life – or that of someone else. That is why curbing distracted driving is high on our priority list.” According to the California Highway Patrol, 66 people were killed and more than 6,500 injured in 2017 in distracted driving-related crashes. The city’s $162 fine for a first time offense is a drop in the bucket compared to the loss of a life.
We are dedicated to making our city a safe place to walk, ride and drive. Distracted driving is dangerous, especially when it involves a cell phone. We encourage you to turn your cell phone off and put it out of sight while behind the wheel. If the call is too important to miss, park your car in a safe parking spot and return the call. Utilize your passenger by encouraging them to take the call or respond to the text for you. Pre-program your destination address and ensure the cell phone GPS audio is enabled and functioning appropriately when using your cell phone as a navigation tool. It’s also advised to familiarize yourself with the turn-by-turn driving directions before the engine is purring. Don’t text or browse the web at all – it’s the law.
Distracted driving also includes tending to your children or pets, eating, drinking, grooming, reading or smoking. If you have questions or concerns about traffic safety, please contact the city’s Traffic Division at 584-2600. Funding for distracted driving enforcement operations are provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Mark your calendar. Bring the entire family to Rohnert Park Public Safety Officers’ Association annual Easter Egg Hunt at Foxtail Golf, 100 Golf Course Dr., on Sat., 4/20 at 9 a.m. For those that enjoy a good laugh, check out our latest show, Barbeque Apocalypse - running now through Sat., April 20 at Spreckels Performing Arts Center. Don’t miss this year’s Tip-A-Cop fundraiser for Special Olympics Northern California Tues., 4/30 from 5–9 p.m. at Chili’s Grill & Bar at 4851 Redwood Dr. For our senior friends, Senator Dodd will be holding The Senior Issues Forum at the senior center Fri., May 3 from 10–11:30 a.m.