During the first six months of last year, Santa Clarita saw over 750 collisions. This is an increase over the previous two years during the same time period.
The majority of accidents involved speeding, following too closely, failure to yield, distracted driving, unsafe lane changes, traffic signal/sign violations and driving under the influence. As a community, we can do better.
“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.”
– President and CEO for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Peter Kissinger
These most recent findings from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s annual survey that assesses and benchmarks the attitudes and behaviors of drivers revealed that the prevalence of unsafe driving behaviors are widespread including:
Red light running: More than a 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 (10+ mph) on residential streets: Nearly half of drivers report speeding (44 percent), yet 65 percent say it is completely unacceptable.
Texting/emailing: More than a 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 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 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
THE CITY’S PLAN
It is clear that we all need to change our driving behaviors and make our roadways safer. The City and the Sheriff’s Department are increasing our traffic safety enforcement, engineering and education (the three E’s) 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 along with a hard-hitting, targeted outreach campaign.