In the last few weeks our officers have worked tirelessly to solve the rash of burglaries that occurred during the holidays, and it is because of your help that we were so successful in our efforts. Thanks, Ukiah!
In addition to reporting suspicious behavior, another way to make our community safer this winter is to allow a little more time to get where you’re going. In this cold and rainy weather, it seems like everything takes a little longer, and that can put us behind. In the morning before we leave for work or school, we wait for our cars to warm up, for the windows to defrost, and even for our kids to run back inside to grab a jacket or an umbrella
In our rush to be on time it’s easy to think, “Maybe I can drive a little faster to get to work, school, or that very important appointment.”
What most people don’t think about is that speeding can be deadly to them and those around them. In 2012, there were 10,219 speeding-related fatalities nationwide (up 2 percent from the prior year) and speeding caused 30 percent of all fatal car crashes. In bad weather, the percentages were even higher: on wet roads, speeding was a factor in 32 percent of fatal crashes and in freezing or icy conditions, speeding was a factor in 44 percent of fatal crashes.
When drivers speed, they have a harder time slowing their vehicle to steer safely around danger (an unexpected curve, another vehicle, or a hazardous object in the road). In school zones or neighborhoods, speeding makes it more difficult to stop in time for children and other pedestrians crossing the road.
Driving above the posted speed limit (especially in bad weather) dramatically increases the chances that you will be involved in a crash—putting you, your passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians at tremendous risk. Because of this risk, when our officers are on traffic patrol, they strictly enforce speed laws, especially in neighborhoods where residents commonly complain about speeders and in areas where student pedestrians commonly walk to school.
The problem is this: our police officers cannot patrol everywhere all the time. So we’re asking – please – slow down on our narrow city streets this winter season as our roads become slick and visibility worsens; because even one life lost to speeding is one too many.
Nationally, 86 percent of all speeding-related traffic fatalities occurred on local roadways (not highways). We don’t want those fatalities here, so be sure to stay alert and obey posted speed limits, especially in residential neighborhoods and school zones.
Among drivers involved in fatal crashes, young males are the most likely to speed. During 2012, 37 percent of male drivers aged 15-20 who were involved in fatal crashes were speeding at the time of the accident. And when they don’t wear their seatbelts, accidents are even more dangerous. Drivers aged 16-24 don’t wear their seat belts as often as other age groups, and more than half of vehicle occupants killed in 2012 were not wearing a seat belt.
As if speeding isn’t dangerous enough, in 2012 42 percent of speeding drivers had blood-alcohol concentrations above the legal limit. Mixing alcohol with speeding just makes a bad situation worse.
If you’re a parent looking for educational information to share with your teen about driving, please visit driveithome.org; it’s a great resource for parents working to keep their teens safe when driving.
At UPD, our goal is to save lives–to make Ukiah safe.
Please remember there is a reason for posted speed limits. Our roadways can be dangerous, especially in cold and rainy weather, and speed limits are designed to protect everyone – drivers, passengers, and pedestrians!
Please slow down, use your headlamps in stormy conditions, and above all, don’t text and drive.
As always, our mission at UPD is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have suggestions on how we can improve please feel free to call me. If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for telephone, cell phone and email notifications by clicking the Nixle button on our website: www.ukiahpolice.com
By: Chris Dewey - Chief of Police