Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Plan Exceeds Goals
Traffic collision and pedestrian-involved incident rates down dramatically. After a spike in traffic collisions in 2016, the City of Santa Clarita and the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station formed a special committee to focus on a Traffic Safety Plan for 2017. We are pleased to say these efforts have already yielded measurable results. The goal was to see a five percent reduction in traffic collisions in 2017 – projected results show a reduction of more than twice our goal, at 10.5 percent less traffic collisions. There has also been a marked decrease in traffic collisions resulting in fatalities. In 2016, there were 14 fatal traffic collisions and during 2017, there were eight fatal traffic collisions. The goal was to reduce pedestrian-involved incidents by 20 percent – that too was more than doubled with a projected 42 percent decrease – resulting in a 100 percent reduction in pedestrian fatalities.
“These impressive results demonstrate the resolve of your City Council and Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Deputies to make our City streets as safe as possible for all that travel on them,” said Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste. “By focusing on the Three E’s; enforcement, education and engineering, we were able to properly align resources and maximize impact for the safety of our community.”
Noting that data showed that as the number of traffic citations went up – the number of traffic collisions went down – the City approved the contract for one additional motor deputy and a sergeant. This allowed for our hard-working deputies to issue 45 percent more citations than they did the previous year.
“When drivers see one of our motor deputies at intersections or monitoring speeds on busy stretches of roads, they instinctively drive safer,” said Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Traffic Sergeant Scott Shoemaker. “That means less speeding, less distraction and less reckless driving. Which in turn, means fewer accidents on our City streets.”
As the City of Santa Clarita continues to implement the educational component, “Heads Up,” data shows that roadways and sidewalks are becoming increasingly safer for the City’s pedestrians. While 2016 saw 24 pedestrian-involved incidents with seven of them being fatal – in 2017 there were only 14 incidents, none of which resulted in the loss of a life.
When it comes to the third “E” our City traffic engineers review copies of every traffic collision report taken within the City. Review of these reports helps staff to prioritize safety improvements such as traffic signal modifications, circulation improvements and median modifications. Over the past five years, the City has modified 19 signalized intersections to provide protected left turns (allowing a turn on a green arrow only). Intersections are generally selected for protected left turns based on prior collision history and/or visibility issues of oncoming vehicles. This type of improvement has been very successful resulting in a 92 percent reduction of left turn broadside collisions at these intersections.
For more information on the City’s efforts to improve traffic and pedestrian safety in Santa Clarita, visit www.santa-clarita.com/HeadsUp.
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