On the Road: Talking traffic and safety efforts for those who drive, bike and walk

Hello Mountain View! We’ve been getting a lot of inquiries lately about traffic safety throughout the city, and we thought, “Pump those brakes, we’d love to talk about that!”

Our traffic team consists of four officers and one sergeant, and they are responsible for patrolling ALL of Mountain View. Patrol officers also help, keeping an eye out to make sure all drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians are safe on our roadways, but that they are following the rules of the road.

Every day, our officers go out with the Four E’s in mind. What are the 4 E’s, you ask? Well, we’ll tell you!

E – Education: Education is not just about books, tests and training for us. It’s about talking with you too! We are constantly learning about new traffic laws and new ways to improve traffic safety, and while we train and test on those newest additions, we also talk with schools and businesses about best practices to make sure everyone in those areas is driving, walking or biking safely. We even offer classes here at the PD known as our Juvenile Diversion Program. The classes give those under the age of 18 the opportunity to attend a traffic safety class in lieu of paying fines and fees associated with a ticket. And, parents must also attend that class too! We see each moment we interact with anyone in a car, on a bike or simply walking around as a way to teach and to learn about traffic safety. Every quarter, we also provide a report about traffic collisions in the City. That report is available here, and breaks down every bit of information surrounding a traffic collision that we can release. If you have any questions about it, just reach out!



E – Engagement: Speaking of reaching out about traffic safety, couldn’t that be called engagement? You bet it is! We are big fans of what we call two-way engagement, where you ask and we answer. Some may call us chatty, we call ourselves responsive. We engage daily with people in person and on social media to chat about traffic safety here in Mountain View. We talk with folks about traffic concerns in certain neighborhoods, traffic in and around schools and we even send notifications out when we think there might be some delays in your area due to some pretty great events that are being hosted in the city! You can see some of our blog posts about traffic safety here, and please feel free to follow us on Nextdoor, Twitter, Facebook and our blog – www.mountainviewpoliceblog.com — to be in-the-know when we post something about traffic or to just chat with us about questions you may have about traffic in your area!

E—Engineering: This E is super cool because it means we get to partner with traffic engineers at City Hall! These super smart folks take all our data that we collect every day – be it collision reports, observations we made while on patrol, or even tickets we may have issued — and they look at areas that could be improved. In fact, last year, we started giving them even more data to look at! We started taking reports on ALL collisions reported to us that we responded to, whether or not anyone was injured or anything was damaged, to get DSC_9086 an even better picture of traffic patterns and potential problems. Our partnership with traffic engineers allows us to learn (E number one say what??) about areas in the city that may need some modifications or changes. We meet with them regularly (E number TWO say what??), and we get to provide input on where a light signal, a stop sign, a cross walk or a speed bump could be put to improve safety, including slowing down traffic. Traffic engineers do ultimately decide where changes will be made.

E – Enforcement: This E is multi-faceted, as we like to say. When we do enforcement, which does include administering tickets, we take each opportunity to educate and engage (there are those E’s again). And when we go out every day and conduct enforcement, it can lead to changes in traffic engineering (there’s that other E) in the City. Enforcement happens all over the City, with our officers not only patrolling major thoroughfares, but also monitoring intersections and neighborhoods. We move around throughout the day as we get calls to help our fellow officers or if we hear about an area that may have a traffic issue at a particular time. Allied enforcement 3 We also help with traffic control, and if a collision occurs, big or small, we head over to investigate it. When we do enforcement, we watch to make sure all drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians are being safe and following the law. Traffic safety is everyone’s responsibility. If you are in a car or on a bike, know that when a sign says to stop or if a light turns red, you need to stop. If a sign says not to walk across the street, don’t cross there; head on over to a crosswalk. If there is a flashing red hand, just hang out until you get the “ok” to walk across the road. If you think of a place that may need some more attention, or if you are noticing an uptick in traffic in an area and would like to report it? Give us a call on our traffic hotline: 650 903-6146. Your eyes and ears certainly help us!

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’ll keep you posted on traffic-related safety measures, changes and alerts. Stay safe, Mountain View!


** A note about traffic collision information release:

Due to state law, specifically the California Vehicle Code sections 16000-16005, we can only release certain information about collisions. We can provide the time, date and location of a crash, along with confirmation of whether there were any injuries. If someone is arrested, we will release that information as well, per the California Public Records Act. If the collision results in a fatality, we will also confirm that information.

However, we cannot release details of injuries or identities of those involved — apart from their gender and if they were a juvenile or adult. Also, initially we cannot release who may have been at fault, as that is determined by our traffic officers during their investigation.

To follow-up on collisions that the public may be curious about, we do release quarterly reports that detail results of investigations over the previous three months. If someone was not initially arrested in connection with the crash but was subsequently detained as a result of our findings, we will release that information once the investigation is complete.

Please note, the purpose of the California Vehicle Code is to protect the privacy of those involved in a collision. To learn more about who can obtain information about a collision, you can visit www.mvpd.gov. Again, to obtain a copy of our quarterly report, just click here!

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