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Traffic Safety Message From the Commanding Officer

VEHICLES: “Hands-free wireless use”

The new law has banned operating a cell phone while holding it while driving/operating a vehicle. Vehicle Code Section 23123.5 VC

Reaching for an object inside the vehicle, reading, applying makeup, shaving, or using a cellular telephone while driving are dangerous distractions.  Speaking on a cellular telephone while driving, or texting, are the main distractions.
The New Law as of 2017
Prohibits the use of a wireless telephone (WT) or an electronic wireless communication device (EWCD) while driving a motor vehicle unless the device is specifically designed and configured to allow voice-operated and hands-free operation, and used in that manner while driving.  

Does not apply to manufacture-installed systems that are embedded in the vehicle.

A device may be operated in a manner that requires the use of the driver’s hand while the driver is operating a vehicle if two conditions are met:

oThe device must be mounted on a vehicle’s windshield or affixed to a vehicle’s dashboard or center console in a manner that does not hinder the driver’s view of the road. (Lower left corner or right corner only).

oA driver’s hand is used to activate or deactivate a feature or function of the handheld WT or EWCD with the motion of a single swipe or tap of a driver’s finger.

Exempts an emergency services professional using a EWCD while operating an authorized emergency vehicle, in the course and scope of his or her duties.

Defines EWCD as a broadband personal communication device, a specialized mobile radio device, a handheld device or laptop computer with mobile data access, a pager, or a two-way messaging device.

Infraction to vehicular manslaughter
Legal fees
Driver’s license suspension
Community service
Loss of freedom.

Be a cautious driver and do not answer the cell phone or send cell phone messages while driving.
If the call, or text, is important then that call deserves for you to legally park and focus on the telephone call.

“Pedestrian Safety Tips”
When crossing a street at an intersection, pedestrians need to stop at the edge of the road and look left, right, then left again before proceeding. When the roadway is clear, begin crossing while looking over your shoulder for turning vehicles; always check for traffic while crossing and yield to oncoming traffic.
It is important to pay attention and follow the direction of traffic signals. Pedestrians need to wait until the “WALKING PERSON SIGNAL” signal is showing, and traffic is clear, before crossing. Do not begin crossing the street when a flashing “UPRAISED HAND SIGNAL” is showing.

When emerging from a driveway or alley, motorists must stop prior to proceeding onto the roadway and must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians on the sidewalk. However, for your safety approach all driveways and allies with caution and only cross when safe.
Motorists will usually be looking away from the corner and toward oncoming traffic as they attempt to turn and merge with traffic on the crossing street. Pedestrians must always look for turning vehicles before stepping off the curb. Make sure that any driver making a right or left turn sees you. If you are uncertain, wait until the vehicle passes, look again and then cross safely.
Crosswalks and pedestrian signals are strategically placed throughout the City of Los Angeles to facilitate the safe and orderly movement of vehicles and pedestrian traffic. Always cross at intersections, preferably in marked crosswalks. Do not jaywalk or cross from between parked vehicles.
Pedestrians should stay a safe distance away from other vehicles, especially trucks and buses. A driver of a truck or a bus has several “blind spots” around the vehicle where visibility is limited or obstructed. Pedestrians need to be especially attentive when walking near these large vehicles. Be alert and stay out of the “NO ZONES”; all sides, including the front and back of large vehicles are the key to pedestrian safety.
Remember, “having the right-of-way” does not protect you from becoming seriously injured or killed in a traffic collision. Always use caution when crossing a roadway.

“Motorcycle Safety Tips”
Always Wear Safety Equipment While Riding: When riding wear a legal helmet, boots, gloves, safety glasses, and sturdy clothing such as denim or leather. Tank tops, shorts, or open-toe shoes are not advisable.

Ride Defensively: Be aware of your surroundings in traffic. Maintain a safe speed for the conditions and stay out of other vehicle’s blind spots. Do not assume traffic will see you.
Use Combination Braking:
Use the smooth application of both front and rear brakes during every stop.
Seek Professional Motorcycle Rider Training: Know the limits of your motorcycle and ride within your ability.

Don’t Drink and Ride: The same laws regarding drinking and driving motor vehicles apply to riding a motorcycle.

Be responsible! If you have consumed alcohol, secure your motorcycle, and obtain a ride home.

Respect the Motorcyclist: The motorcyclist is a vehicle with all of the privileges of any vehicle on the roadway. Give the motorcyclist a full lane of travel.
Look Out: Look for the motorcyclist on the highway, at intersections, when a motorcyclist may be making a left turn, and when a motorcyclist may be changing lanes. Clearly signal your intentions.
Anticipate A Motorcyclist’s Maneuver: Obstructions (debris, potholes, etc) that you may ignore or not notice can be deadly for a motorcyclist. Predict evasive actions.
Allow Plenty of Space: Don’t follow a motorcycle too closely. Allow enough room for the motorcyclist to take evasive actions

“Illegal Street Racing”
There have been numerous deaths and serious injuries involving illegal street racing in the San Fernando Valley. The Los Angeles Police Department and the Office of the City Attorney have joined forces to address this deadly problem.

The Los Angeles City Council enacted LAMC 41.70.2 (Nuisance Vehicles) to provide for the forfeiture and destruction of vehicles engaged in speed contests.

After the judiciary process has been completed, the City ordinance allows for the vehicles involved in illegal street racing to be destroyed. Recently, the first vehicle which was used in an illegal speed contest, and subsequently forfeited, was crushed so that drivers and pedestrian in the streets of our communities will be safe.

“Elderly Drivers”
Driving represents freedom and independence for the elderly. As a caregiver for the elderly (child or other family member) telling them that it may be time to stop driving can be a difficult task. Are there any medical conditions or restrictions that may hinder your ability to react and control the vehicle. Has there been a change in their condition: a loss or change in vision or hearing, a slowed response, medication that affects their alertness. If so than some thought should be given to the ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.

There are many organizations that offer driver safety classes for the elderly. Insurance Institute For Highway Safety, AARP, U.S. Administration On Aging and AAA of Southern California are a few that could be contacted. For further information, search the internet or the phone book
•AAA, Call your local office
•AARP, 888-227-7669
•U.S. Administration On Aging, 800-677-1116
•Insurance Institute For Highway Safety, 703-247-1500
•National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 888-327-4236

“Mini Motorcycles / Scooters”
Pocket bikes, mini motorcycles, or similar style vehicles fall under the California Vehicle Code of Motor-driven cycle and qualifies as a “vehicle” under section 405 of the California Vehicle Code. The mini motorcycle must meet all of the vehicle equipment, registration, driver license and helmet requirements stated in the California Vehicle Code.

While many of the mini’s have most of the required equipment the DMV has yet to approve the mini motorcycle as a street safe vehicle and thus the rider would be in violation of 24002(b) CVC (vehicle not equipped or unsafe).

A mini motorcycle may be ridden on private property only with the owner’s permission.

Additionally, operators can be cited for 12500 (b) CVC if they are unlicensed or do not have a motorcycle endorsement. The mini motorcycle will be towed and placed on a 30-day hold.

While the popularity of this mini motorcycles are growing so too is the frequency of the injuries and death across the nation.

Here are some additional tips to enhance your safety.
Road Rage?
Just "back off!" It isn't worth it!

Seat Belts?
They really do save lives!

Small Children?
Install and use those "baby seats!"

A step to disaster! Please don't.
Slow down, show respect, and live!

Pull to the right and stop

Pedestrians Ahead?
Let'em cross safely!
Be aware of driving restrictions
Holiday parties?
Your "designated driver" loves you!
Be a responsible drinker, be a responsible host, and make use of public transportation.
Andrew Neiman, Captain II
Commanding Officer
Valley Traffic Division


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