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Message from Mayor Bob Kellar
| Tuesday, Feb 2, 2016

bobkellar2012It’s no secret that dangerous driving habits cause the majority of accidents on our local roadways. During the first six months of last year, Santa Clarita saw more than 750 collisions. This is an increase over the previous two years for the same period.

The majority of accidents involved speeding, following too closely, failure to yield, distracted driving, unsafe lane changes, traffic signal and sign violations, and driving under the influence. As a community, we can do better.

Peter Kissinger, president of the Automobile Association of America’s Foundation for Traffic Safety said: “It is very disappointing that we continue to see a prevailing attitude of ‘do as I say, not as I do,’ where large numbers of motorists seem to recognize the risks of certain behaviors but do them anyway. Enhancing the safety culture in society must begin with each individual.”

The most recent findings from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s annual survey assessing the attitudes and behaviors of drivers revealed that the prevalence of unsafe driving behaviors are widespread, including:

Red light running: More than one-third (36 percent) of drivers admit to running red lights, yet 55 percent say it is a very serious threat and 73 percent say it is completely unacceptable.

Speeding (by 10 mph or more) on residential streets: Nearly half of all drivers report speeding (44 percent), yet 65 percent say it is completely unacceptable.

Drowsy driving: About 3 in 10 drivers (29 percent) admitted to drowsy driving, yet 45 percent say it is a very serious threat and 81 percent say it is completely unacceptable.

Texting or emailing: More than one-quarter (27 percent) of drivers report typing or sending a text or email, yet 79 percent of drivers say it is a very serious threat to safety and 84 percent say it is completely unacceptable.

According to the foundation, when it comes to specific distracted driving behaviors:

* 2 in 3 drivers reported talking on their cell phone;

* 1 in 3 drivers reported talking on their cell phone often;

* 1 in 3 drivers admit to reading a text message or email.

It is clear we all need to change our driving behaviors and make our roadways safer. The city of Santa Clarita and the Sheriff’s Department are increasing our traffic safety enforcement, outreach and education in an effort to improve safety on our roadways.

Over the last five years, city traffic engineers have modified 38 traffic signals for safety reasons. While Santa Clarita’s collision rate is below the state average, we still want to do more to improve city roadways for enhanced safety.

Targeted enforcement on major thoroughfares, an education and outreach campaign and more discussion in the community will commence this year. I believe that together as a community, we can improve traffic safety on our roadways.

Let’s all slow down, put the phone down, and drive safely. As always, I welcome your thoughts and ideas to improve our city.

 

Bob Kellar is mayor of the city of Santa Clarita.

 

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6 Comments

  1. Richard Trimble says:

    I don’t know how to blame. The council or the sheriff dept.. We have minimal traffic enforcement in this valley. Once in a great while you will see someone getting a ticket. I live on Barbacoa Dr. and people always speed on our street. To date I have never seen any enforcement. I have lived here 48 year.

  2. Joey Cavoto Joey Cavoto says:

    Lyons has become really bad. Even on non-rush hour times.

  3. Tank Franz Tank Franz says:

    Time to crack down on these road bullies, it truly blows my mind that SCV law enforcement has not earned a million dollars on traffic tickets alone!

  4. Kathy Edwards says:

    Was quite surprised to see this commentary from the Mayor. The speed limit on most streets in Santa Clarita average 50 miles per hour. Santa Clarita has become a more populated area and a 50 mile per hour speed limit invites danger as most people naturally exceed the speed limit by about 5 miles per hour. There is also a need for right turn lanes in high traffic areas. For example there is no right turn land into the only entrance to the Post Office on Mc Bean Pkwy, this causes cars to brake or quickly switch lanes. Same cam be said for the entrance to Target off of Mc Bean. The Mayor and City Council should consider lowering the speed limit in populated areas and creating right turn lanes into shopping centers.

  5. Justin Scott Justin Scott says:

    One of the biggest problems is people failing to yield to emergency vehicles. Countless times we have people race alongside the ambulance or continue straight in front of us so that they can make it to the left turn lane that is half a mile up the road. Or the most dangerous habit, people don’t know what to do or don’t care so they slam on the breaks in the left lane.

  6. Jack Irwin says:

    Since the City took out those hated cameras at several intersections, the City has NOT provided us with statistics on those intersections. The claim was that they reduced accidents, but did they? And what happened since they were taken out?

    Mayor Keller’s comments are welcome. However, they miss one point: the tremendous growth in traffic on our roads. This, in my opinion, is one of the major causes of accidents, whether due to unsafe driving or just due to jammed roadways and intersections. for example, look at Railroad Ave at 5 pm! Look at the number of trailer trucks that now use RR Ave and Newhall Ranch Road! And still the City and the County allow all sorts of housing developments, until, I suppose, every square inch of vacant land will be filled with dwellings, each of which will sport 2 or more vehicles. Traffic engineers can do their part, but they do not control the volume of traffic that is choking us.

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