By Mayor Marsha McLean
Back to school season is a time for growth, learning and new opportunities. From meeting new teachers and making new friends to learning new subjects and possibly attending a new school — children often delight in the change that back-to-school time brings. This time of year also brings increased traffic, particularly in the mornings for school drop-off and afternoons for pick-up. In order to ensure that you and your loved ones get off to a great, and safe, start this school year – I want to emphasize the importance of practicing safe habits when walking, biking and driving throughout the City.
The City of Santa Clarita values the safety of our residents and continuously strives to keep collision rates on a downward trend. In 2017, the City partnered with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to create the “Heads Up!” public safety campaign, which aims to increase awareness about driver, cyclist and pedestrian safety. The ongoing campaign is a reminder to everyone to take precautions each time you travel. No matter what role you play on the road, it is always important to see and be seen and follow the rules of the road.
As children return to school this fall, make sure to keep the “Heads Up!” campaign in the forefront of your mind. City streets will become increasingly busy, especially around residential areas and schools. Doing something as simple as leaving early to ensure you do not rush, or speed through town will make roads safer for everyone. Additionally, heightening your awareness as you drive up to a crosswalk might give you the extra cushion of time needed to see a little one hustling off the curb to catch the school bus.
Driving is a huge responsibility, and although it is a part of our everyday lives, we should never take the task lightly. I encourage all residents to practice these five basic safety tips that will make a large impact when out on the road: stay within the posted speed limits, do not text and drive, stay focused when driving, do not drive when you are extremely tired and encourage others to drive safely.
As a pedestrian, remember to cross only at designated crosswalks and stay vigilant when doing so. Taking the precautions of holding your child’s hand, and checking left, then right and left again, before stepping into a crosswalk can potentially protect you from being struck by a car.
While the long, relaxing days of summer may be behind us, we can all look forward to a fresh start this school year. As a community, we can work together to make our City a safe environment for all. Happy back-to-school season, and I wish everyone a fun, exciting, learning-filled year!
For more information about the City’s “Heads Up!” award-winning public safety campaign, please visit santa-clarita.com/HeadsUp.
Mayor Marsha McLean is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected]. The views expressed in her column are those of the city and do not necessarily reflect those of The Signal.