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Street Smarts sits side saddle during CHP ride along
Last Thursday, I spent the afternoon riding in the passenger seat of a CHP patrol car with Officer Sarah Jackson, the Aptos office's spokeswoman. Each time I participate in these outings, I never know what we'll come across but I always look forward to sharing my adventures in traffic enforcement with Street Smarts readers. Read on: We started the afternoon on Day Valley Road, where the CHP has been getting speed complaints. Catching no one, we headed down to patrol some Live Oak schools to see if we could catch some motorists behaving badly as students are getting out of class. Instead, we came across children not minding traffic laws – two were riding their bicycles without helmets and one failed to stop at a stop sign. California law requires cyclists under age 18 to wear a helmet to protect against traumatic brain injury in the event of a fall or crash. Also, the law requires riders to obey the same traffic laws motor vehicle must abide by, including stopping at stop signs and stop lights. Jackson educated the youngsters about traffic law, attempted to call their parents, took down their information so she could send a follow-up letter to their homes and informed them about Bike Traffic School, where they can learn to be safer, knowledgeable cyclists. Later, we responded to a call about a fender-bender involving co-workers. This was an interesting call because the person suspected of hitting his coworker's car saw no damage and opted to go teach his class, rather than leaving a note informing the other driver of what had occurred and offering his driver license, insurance and contact information. Witnesses alerted the victim of the crash. She then reported it as a hit and run and expressed concern that her coworker's driving was being impaired by prescription medications. After investigating, Jackson determined the incident was not a hit and run and the suspect was not impaired. Making a DUI arrest forever changes someone's life, she said. She did, however, tell the suspect to take a look at his medications' side effects and talk to his doctor about whether the drugs and doses could impact his safe driving ability. Below are some more helpful links regarding handling traffic collisions, the impact of medications on driving and more:
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