Councilmember Bill Rosendahl and a group of concerned constituents have launched an awareness campaign to promote street safety and reduce reckless and distracted driving on one of the most iconic roads in America.
The campaign is called Safety on Sunset (SOS) and was developed by Rosendahl, the Brentwood and Pacific Palisades Community Councils, and other traffic safety advocates as a result of an increase in vehicular crashes and other reckless activities along Sunset Boulevard.
The campaign features a series of banners on light poles along Sunset that were created by IMAX with images designed to express the emotional impact caused by a collision.
Each banner displays one of four images along with the words Safety on Sunset and Is is worth it? The short, provocative message aims to curb bad driving habits like speeding and texting, while also reminding you to continue to watch the road.
“My constituents have lost one too many lives and witnessed far too many close calls on Sunset Boulevard,” said Rosendahl. “This campaign takes speed limit signs and traffic signals to the next level, and reminds motorists that more than just cars use this stretch of road.”
The campaign will also include, through Rosendahl’s request, additional elements such as increased traffic enforcement by the Los Angeles Police Department, outreach by code enforcement to alert homeowners of overgrown shrubs and other visual impairments on public right of way, and direction to staff to start the process to increase speeding fines on this stretch of Sunset.
SOS is the brainchild of Palisadian Bruce Scwhartz who had the simple idea to use banners to plead for safe driving practices in the area.
Community Councils from both Brentwood and the Pacific Palisades agreed to sponsor the campaign and participate in a committee of concerned citizens.
“This is a campaign by the community for the community,” said Freedman, president of the Brentwood Community Council. “Besides the Councilmember’s office and the community councils, we brought together the local businesses along Sunset as well as the larger public and private schools to collaborate on this project and promote safe driving.
“This campaign is long overdue,” said Kohn, president of the Pacific Palisades Community Council. “Sunset Boulevard is as beautiful and scenic as it is famous and infamous. As more people drive here to see the beauty first hand, the greater the chances of more accidents. We want people to come visit, but please drive with caution when you do.”
SOS was funded by the family of Julia Cukier Siegler, who was killed on Sunset while crossing the street to catch her school bus in 2010. Jody Siegler, Julia’s mother, led an effort to better enforce regulation of school bus stop locations, which included legislative language (AB 2679) adopted by the California State Assembly that was signed into law September 29, 2012.
“The collision, personal injury and rate of fatality on Sunset are arguably among the worst in the City,” said Siegler. “This campaign tries to make a compelling case for compliance and caution so others don’t have to live with the agony of loss the way we do.”
According to the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, the speed limit on the eight mile stretch of Sunset Blvd between the 405 Frewway and Pacific Coast Highway is 35 mph. There were 1101 crashes with three fatalities along this stretch of Sunset between March 2008 and March 2011.