By Councilmember Bob Kellar
Public safety has been one of the City’s top priorities since its incorporation in 1987, and it’s something that your City Council is very passionate about. Doing what it takes to keep our residents safe, is one of the many reasons that Santa Clarita is continuously voted one of the best cities to live in.
By now you have seen the advertisements around Santa Clarita and in local publications encouraging folks to keep their “Heads Up” when out on the road. However, “Heads Up” is more than just an advertising campaign to promote safe habits on our streets. The City has partnered with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station to create this strategic enforcement plan to increase safety for everyone. This year, the City’s Traffic Safety Team is working to expand this innovative and award-winning approach to serve another important demographic in Santa Clarita, bicyclists.
We have a large community of bicyclists in our valley, and it isn’t comprised solely of recreational, trail riders. Our residents use bicycles to commute to work and some children ride bikes to and from school. Increasing bike safety and reducing the number of collisions involving cyclists benefit residents of all ages.
In addition to the advertisements, the City is finding new ways to remind cyclists and drivers about their role in public safety. “Heads Up” centers around four main messages for cyclists:
See and Be Seen – Wear bright colors and install lights on your bicycle, red for the rear, white for the front.
Gear Up – Always wear proper footwear and a helmet.
Be Predictable – Cross streets at marked crosswalks and intersections only.
Go with the Flow – Only ride with the flow of traffic, never against it.
New stenciling is being placed at various points along the bike trails in Santa Clarita, urging runners and cyclists to keep their “Heads Up.” This will serve as a friendly reminder to be aware of their surroundings so they can remain safe on trails, sidewalks and near roads.
It is also extremely important for drivers to have maximum visibility of cyclists out on the road, which is why we are distributing special “Heads Up” reflective stickers. Put these on your bike and helmet so that you can be seen at all times, especially when the sun goes down. A limited amount of stickers are available to pick up for FREE at City Hall, as well as various bike shops throughout Santa Clarita.
With the cooperation of the entire community, cyclists and drivers, we are confident that we will significantly reduce the amount of collisions involving cyclists in Santa Clarita. Let’s all do our part to continue the downward trend of accidents in the City.
To learn more about “Heads Up” and get important bike safety tips, please visit Santa-Clarita.com/HeadsUp.
Bob Kellar is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].