In partnership with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, the City of Santa Clarita is launching its “Heads Up” campaign to combat distracted driving and increase pedestrian safety. The campaign will educate drivers and pedestrians on crosswalk and roadway safety in an effort to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents, vehicle collisions, injuries and fatalities in Santa Clarita.

            Since incorporation, one of our City’s top priorities has been the safety of our residents on City streets. Although our traffic collision rate has remained well below the state average, there has been a recent uptick in accidents. This led to the development of the new and expanded educational plan. “Heads Up” is the next phase in the City’s award-winning “Drive. Focus. Live.” program that launched in fall 2016, which focused on distracted driving, speeding, driving under the influence and unsafe driving.

“Heads Up” banners and advertisements will be seen throughout Santa Clarita and social media content will center on four main messages:

1.      See and Be Seen – Pedestrians should always assume that there is a car planning to turn through a crosswalk in front of them. Take time to make eye contact with waiting drivers and cross the street only when you can confidently do so.

2.      Use the Crosswalk – Simply put, never jaywalk. Many pedestrian accidents occur when people try to run across the street rather than taking the time to safely use a crosswalk.

3.      Expect People in Crosswalks – Drivers should always check twice, then check again, for pedestrians before making a turn. Take special caution in school zones.

4.      Disconnect from Distractions – Using a cellphone when driving is illegal in California, and can be potentially life threatening. Put away any and all distractions before you start the car. Texts and calls can wait until you reach your destination.

In addition to traditional methods of pushing out information, the City is looking to reach pedestrians and drivers in the crosswalks, on the streets and even at their local coffee shops. Heads Up crossing guard style signs will be available at local school crosswalks so students can get in on getting the word out. As pedestrians step into the crosswalk at several key City intersections they will see the words “Heads Up” stenciled on the asphalt. The City has also teamed up with local coffee shops to spread the message via coffee sleeve. As people purchase their hot cup of joe they will notice the words, “Drivers. Pedestrians. Heads up! The coffee can wait. A life can’t.”

Learn more about the “Heads Up” campaign online by visiting Santa-Clarita.com/HeadsUp.