October 21, 2011
Sad news from the Salinas Police Department: Fatal traffic collisions within city limits are up 250 percent from 2010 levels.
The Salinas PD has investigated 11 traffic fatalities so far this year, four of them occurring In the three-week period from Sept. 25 to Oct. 15. There were four reported fatal traffic collisions in all of 2010.
There is no traceable pattern or consistency between the collision locations, but the crashes causes are both predictable and preventable: illegal turns, pedestrians crossing roads at non-designated locations, unsafe speed and right-of-way violations.
The spike in fatalities has led Salinas police to ask the public for help in reducing driver and pedestrian deaths—especially because the city's traffic unit has been reduced from 10 officers to four in the past two years. Today's statement by Traffic Sergeant Dana Cornelison urges drivers to "drive defensively, slow down and take extra time to look for other traffic and pedestrians when they drive." Pedestrians and cyclists, you're not off the hook: "Pedestrians and bicyclists are also cautioned to have a better awareness for traffic on the roads and in parking lots. Bicyclists are reminded they are required to follow the same traffic laws as vehicles."
Photo courtesy Kevin Schraer via Flickr Creative Commons.